The Rails were started in 2009 to give area athletes a place to play baseball on the collegiate level during the summer. It all started when Michael Blanchard, a freshman at Hampden-Sydney College learned he was too old to play American Legion baseball. With the help of High School Coaches Taz McDole and Dennis Blanchard, Michael formed the Roanoke Rails as part of the Great South League. Players were gathered primarily from Roanoke, but also from Tennessee and North Carolina.
The Great South League dissolved after the Rails first season, so the Rails joined the teams of the Northern Division to form the Carolina-Virginia Collegiate Baseball League, which is what the Rails are currently playing in today. The league is made up of the West Virginia Wild (Bluefield, WV), Virginia Marlins (Danville, Va), Charlotte Hurricanes (Charlotte, NC), Catawba Valley Stars (Catawba, NC), Kernersville Bulldogs (Kernersville, NC), and the Fuquay Varina Twins (Fuquay Varinia, NC). They play a 34 game schedule, primarily made up of weekend double headers with several mid-week games against in-state rival, Virginia Marlins.
The goal of the Roanoke Rails is to take young players and work on their skills so they will become starters on their College Teams. Each year several players have gone from sitting on the bench to starting their next collegiate season after playing for the Rails. While our team is primarily made up of Division 3 players we play many division 1 caliber players.