Tim Battle Jr. to serve as 2024 Spikes manager

Former Yankees draft choice, 14-year professional, cancer survivor takes reins in return to Happy Valley
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The State College Spikes will have a familiar face taking the reins on the field as Tim Battle Jr., who served as the Spikes’ hitting coach in 2023, returns to Happy Valley as the club’s new manager for the 2024 Major League Baseball Draft League season.

Under Battle’s tutelage last season, several Spikes stood out among the MLB Draft League’s year-end leaders. Infielder Braeden Blackford was second in the league in RBI’s with 34 over the second half of the season, and earned MLB Draft League Player of the Month honors for July, while Carlos Contreras was just one behind in second half RBI’s with 33. Josh Leslie also posted 63 hits in the second half under Battle, tied for most in the league.

After being selected in the third round of the 2003 MLB Draft by the New York Yankees, Battle received chilling news, as doctors diagnosed him with cancer, specifically B-cell lymphoma in his ribs. However, Battle overcame this adversity, and after six months of chemotherapy treatments, he returned to action and embarked on a 14-year professional career.

During his time in the pros, Battle made four stops in the Yankee organization for a total of six seasons, then played a further six seasons in American independent pro ball, including stints at two Pennsylvania stops in York and Washington. Battle added plenty of international experience as he played in Japan for the Kochi Fighting Dogs and in Canada with the Edmonton Capitals.

Battle now owns and operates Battlegroundz Baseball in his hometown of Atlanta, where he teaches and develops young players.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to come back to the Spikes this summer and help mentor the young men who are the future of baseball,” said Battle. “I am grateful to Sean Campbell and the MLB Draft League as well as Scott Walker and the Spikes for having me back to Happy Valley. Of course, I could not do this without my family - Shontel, Brielle and Empress at home, my mom, my dad, and so many others who helped guide me to this position. I’m also looking forward to seeing all of the Spikes fans, because their support means so much to our players and staff as we cultivate the next generation of the game before our very eyes.”

“We are very much looking forward to welcoming Tim back to Happy Valley, and we cannot wait for Tim and the players who will be forming the 2024 State College Spikes to see the new-look Medlar Field at Lubrano Park,” said Spikes President & General Manager Scott Walker. “It was a pleasure to have him here as our hitting coach last season, and we are excited to have Tim leading the way on the field this summer as we anticipate 40 games of fun, affordable family entertainment along with the future of baseball.”

The State College Spikes’ 2024 schedule has been released and will once again feature 40 home games to equal the most for a regular season in franchise history. The home slate at the new-look Medlar Field at Lubrano Park will start on Friday, June 7 and run through Tuesday, September 3.

Right now, groups can feel the love this February with the Spikes Suite Special! This limited-time special gives fans booking a Luxury Suite for a 2024 State College Spikes home game the opportunity to get a food and beverage package of nearly $400 included for all of your guests in a 20-person suite, and even more value when booking a larger suite for a Spikes game this summer!

Season Tickets, which offer the same great seats for all 40 games plus great benefits like TWO guaranteed giveaway items, early entrance into the ballpark for every game, and much more, are also available, as are Spikes Flex Books, Value Plans, and more group and hospitality options for the 2024 season. Ticket packages are now available by calling a Spikes ticket representative at 814-272-1711, or by logging on to StateCollegeSpikes.com.