Pennsylvania Road Warriors
|League||Atlantic League of Professional Baseball|
|Colors||red, black, grey
The Pennsylvania Road Warriors were a professional baseball team owned by the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. Originally intended to play in the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania, they played mostly as a traveling team.
The original plan for the team was for them to be known as the Lehigh Valley Black Diamonds, based in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, where a planned a 5,000-seat stadium called the Lehigh Valley Multi-Purpose Sport Complex near Easton, Pennsylvania, was slated to be completed by 1999. In the interim, the team played the league's inaugural 1998 season as the Newburgh Black Diamonds in Newburg, New York. However, the owners filed for bankruptcy and left the stadium unfinished, forcing the league to take over the team and play all its games on the road. In 2000, the team played in a small ballpark in Quakertown, Pennsylvania with little to no fan support. One game had a paid attendance of two people. Former Cincinnati Red Wayne Krenchicki managed the team from 1998 to 2000 before becoming the manager of the Camden Riversharks from 2001–2006.
The team became the Pennsylvania Road Warriors for the 2002 season. The Lehigh Valley Multi-Purpose Sport Complex was demolished in early 2005, without ever hosting a single baseball game.
In 2005, the Lancaster Barnstormers took the place of the Road Warriors. When the Nashua Pride left to join the Can-Am League, the league re-established the Road Warriors for the 2006 season to replace the Pride, but did not give them a location.
With the move of the Atlantic City Surf to the Can-Am League for the 2007 season, the Road Warriors remained to fill the gaps in the schedule until the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs joined in 2008. In 2011, the Road Warriors would return to again fill in scheduling holes left by the departing Newark Bears.
The 2004 Pennsylvania Road Warriors finished with the worst record in Atlantic League history at 23–103. The final season of the Road Warriors, in 2007, proved to be their most successful as they finished at 43–83.
One Road Warrior alum, pitcher Alberto Castillo, made it to the major leagues with the Baltimore Orioles. Castillo pitched for the Road Warriors in 2006 and 2007 before being invited to spring training with the Orioles in 2008. Castillo quickly pitched his way up the system and appeared in 28 games with the O's going 1–0 with a 3.81 ERA and 23 strike outs.
42, Jackie Robinson, retired throughout baseball