Charleston Senators Take the Field: June 23, 1952
On June 23, 1952, the Toledo Mud Hens baseball team made an unexpected midseason move to West Virginia, becoming the Charleston Senators.
As a Triple A minor league, the Senators faced off against cities like Milwaukee, Kansas City, St. Paul, Louisville, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, and Columbus.
Professional baseball first came to Charleston in 1910 as part of the Class D Virginia Valley League, which also included Huntington, Point Pleasant, Parkersburg, Montgomery, and Ashland-Catlettsburg. In 1931, Charleston joined the Class C Middle Atlantic League—along with Beckley, Huntington, Fairmont, Clarksburg, Wheeling, and other towns. By 1937, Charleston was the only West Virginia team left in the league; although, Bluefield, Logan, Welch, and Williamson also had teams in other leagues.
After a baseball absence in the ‘60s, Charleston got another Triple A team in 1971 with the arrival of the Charlies. Today, the West Virginia Power is Charleston’s home team.
Despite all the great players who’ve come through, Charleston has produced only one future Hall of Famer. Jim Bunning pitched for the Senators for three months in 1957 before being called up to the Detroit Tigers.