Edelstein departs as NWA Naturals manager

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 235 views 

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals announced Thursday (May 2) that General Manager Eric Edelstein has accepted a position with the Pacific Coast League’s Reno Aces and will transition out of his role as General Manager of the team.

Assistant GM and Director of Sales Justin Cole will step into Edelstein’s responsibilities for the remainder of the 2013 season.

Edelstein has served as general manager of the Naturals since their inaugural season in 2008. He will join the front office of the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Edelstein will work through the end of May and direct the transition. (Link here for a recent The City Wire interview with Edelstein.)

“We would like to congratulate Eric and wish him success as he takes this exciting new position with Reno. Over the years, Eric has done a tremendous job directing the creation of the Naturals, the building of Arvest Ballpark and bringing great baseball and family fun to the Northwest Arkansas area,” said Jonathan Dandes, president of Rich Baseball Operations. “We thank him for his dedication, his service and the passion he has brought to Naturals baseball.”

Under Edelstein’s leadership, the Naturals have been won numerous awards including 2008 Ballpark of the Year, 2010 STMA Professional Field of the Year, 2010 Arkansas Tourism’s Henry Award, 2012 Texas League Organization of the Year and Baseball America’s 2012 Bob Freitas Award recognizing excellence in operation for Double-A Baseball. The Naturals won the Texas League Championship in 2010.

Cole, 31, has been a member of the Naturals family since their first season in 2008. He joined Rich Baseball Operations in 2004 and oversaw the final year of the Double-A Wichita Wranglers prior to the franchise’s move to Springdale in 2008. That year, he was named Director of Sales for the Naturals, responsibilities he has held to this day. In 2007, Cole was named Assistant General Manager.

The Northwest Arkansas Naturals are the Double-A Texas League affiliate of the Kansas City Royals and play at state-of-the-art Arvest Ballpark, located in Springdale.