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RailRiders, Yankees Extend Player Development Contract

September 1, 2018

MOOSIC — They own the team, so this was more of a paperwork move. The Yankees have extended their player development contract with the RailRiders through 2020. “To be honest, the relationship just keeps getting better,” RailRiders team president and general manager Josh Olerud said. “So, for me, it’s great. I have a really good working relationship with their front office on the playing side and on the business side, and I think our fans are — if they weren’t Yankees fans before — with all these young guys going up, I think they are (now). “I think they want the Yankees here just as much as we do. So, we’re pumped.” The last player development contract was signed during the 2014 season and was set to expire after this year. The RailRiders made improvements to benefit the players over the offseason, replacing the playing surface and the padding in the walls. They also transformed an auxiliary locker room into a video room. “Those are important things,” Olerud said. “Those are expensive things, but that’s our way of saying, ‘Yeah, we care about the process. Yeah, we’re all on the same team.’ I think every year we’ll keep on looking to improve the playing side. We just redid one of the indoor batting cages. We’ll see what’s next, but that’s how these guys get better.” The team has also made an effort to emphasize the connection to New York in recent years, with the Legends Series bringing former Yankees players to PNC Field and a YES Network show bringing the RailRiders’ players to a larger audience. “I think the combination of ‘Homegrown’ and the combination of bringing back these Yankees legends, I think it gives our fans here a lot of history to look back at,” Olerud said. “And then ‘Homegrown,’ they’re getting an inside look at the future of New York, so I think it’s actually helping our brand outside of here, too. “It’s been a fun ride for me the last couple years, but I think we’re also doing things at a different pace with New York as well. I look forward to continuing that process, too.”

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