LEXINGTON, Ky. (KT) - The Lexington Legends have won the South Atlantic League title two years in a row and now the mayor of Lexington hopes to help the team win its battle against extinction.
The Class A Legends, a farm team for the Kansas City Royals, are one of more than 40 minor league baseball teams that could lose their affiliation after the 2020 season under a proposal by Major League Baseball designed to lower player development costs.
Mayor Linda Gorton has pledged her support for the Lexington Legends and Minor League Baseball by joining a task force dedicated to ensuring that cities throughout the nation keep their minor league teams.
“I am proud to join mayors across the nation in support of our Minor League Baseball teams,” Gorton said. “Time and time again, our Lexington Legends have showcased their championship quality, both on the field and in the community. The Legends have strong family ownership and management and are a great example of private sector leadership and investment.”
Andy Shea, the team’s President & CEO, said he’s grateful for her efforts.
“Mayor Gorton’s support is critical to the Legends and Minor League Baseball’s success with MLB negotiations, and the long-term health of Minor League Baseball in our community. The Legends have had roughly 6.5 million fans come through our gates in our 19 years of existence, and we look forward to many more as we go for the South Atlantic League three-peat in 2020!”
Lexington Councilmember James Brown, whose district includes Whitaker Bank Ballpark, is an avid Legends fan, and has been vocal in his support of the team.
“From Council passing a resolution, to now Mayor Gorton joining the task force, it’s important for the entire community to rally around our Lexington Legends,” Brown said. “Their impact on the community extends far past the game of baseball to economic development, philanthropy and building a more inclusive community by providing safe family entertainment.”
The Mayors’ Task Force to Save Minor League Baseball is led by Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina; Mayor Andy Berke of Chattanooga, Tennessee; and Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton, Ohio.