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The main objective for teams in the Appalachian League is to develop young, talented players and prepare them to move up through the system with the hopes of making the major leagues someday.
Winning, it has been often said, is secondary in baseball’s lower minor leagues. Mike Shildt says the two go hand-in-hand.
“Development is winning,” Shildt said Monday, a day after his Johnson City Cardinals won their second consecutive Appalachian league championship. “They put the time in to develop, and the process ... the fundamentals, how to go about playing the game, they were able to execute it. Development leads to winning. It’s a real special process.”
The Cards clinched their second Appy League title in a row with a 4-1 victory over the Bluefield Orioles on Sunday night. Johnson City hadn’t won consecutive league titles since 1975-76.
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