|West Virginia Black Bears|
|Minor league affiliations|
|Class||Collegiate summer (2021–present)|
|Previous classes||Class A Short Season (2015–2020)|
|League||MLB Draft League (2021–present)|
|New York–Penn League (2015–2020)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Previous teams||Pittsburgh Pirates (2015–2020)|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles (2)|
|First-half titles (1)|
|Colors||Black, gold, blue, white|
|Ballpark||Monongalia County Ballpark (2015–present)|
|Bob Rich, Jr. (Rich Baseball Operations)|
|General manager||Leighann Sainato|
The West Virginia Black Bears are a collegiate summer baseball team of the MLB Draft League. They are located in Granville, West Virginia, and play their home games at Monongalia County Ballpark, which is across the Monongahela River from Morgantown and West Virginia University. From 2015 to 2020, they were a Minor League Baseball team of the New York–Penn League. They were the Class A Short Season affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates from their inception until MLB's reorganization of the minors after the 2020 season.
In August 2014, it was announced that the Jamestown Jammers would cease operations and move to Morgantown. On October 22, the team announced that they would be named the "Black Bears" following a fan vote, as the American black bear is the state animal of West Virginia. Other finalists included Black Diamonds, Canaries, Coal Kings, Coal Sox, Energy, Moonshiners, Muskets, Wild Ones, and Wonder.
In January 2015, Wyatt Toregas was named as their inaugural manager. The Black Bears won the New York–Penn League wild card in their inaugural season. The team then defeated the Williamsport Crosscutters and the Staten Island Yankees to win the 2015 New York–Penn League Championship. On February 24, 2022, Leighann Sainato was named General Manager.
|West Virginia Black Bears (New York–Penn League)|
|Record||Win %||Finish||Record||Win %||Result||MLB|
|2015||42-34||.553||2nd Pinckney Division||4-1||.800||Won Semifinals vs. Williamsport Crosscutters, 2–1
Won Championship vs. Staten Island Yankees, 2-0
|2016||38-38||.500||3rd Pinckney Division||—||—||Did not qualify for playoffs||Pirates|
|2017||40-35||.533||3rd Pinckney Division||—||—||Did not qualify for playoffs||Pirates|
|2018||32-44||.421||5th Pinckney Division||—||—||Did not qualify for playoffs||Pirates|
|2019||40-36||.526||2nd Pinckney Division||—||—||Did not qualify for playoffs||Pirates|
|2020||-||-||None||—||—||Season cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic||Pirates|
MLB Draft League
- "Black Bears retain affiliation with MLB, are founding member of Major League Baseball Draft League". West Virginia Black Bears. Minor League Baseball. November 20, 2020. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
- Vingle, Mitch. Morgantown lands NY-Penn League baseball team. Charleston Gazette. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
- "New NYPL club to be called the Black Bears: Team also decides to identify primarily with state of West Virginia". MiLB.com (Press release). Rich Baseball Operations. October 22, 2014. Retrieved October 22, 2014.
- Vote to name new Morgantown team MiLB.com
- Biertempfel, Rob (January 15, 2015). "Pirates Notebook: Assignments Finalized". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
- Heneghan, Kelsie (September 7, 2015). "Bears seal NYPL Wild Card in first season". MiLB.com. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
- Zimm, Tyler (September 15, 2015). "Black Bears Claim NYPL Championship". West Virginia Black Bears. Retrieved September 21, 2015.
- "Leighann Sainato named General Manager of the West Virginia Black Bears". Minor League Baseball. February 24, 2022.