GRANVILLE, W.Va – Jedd Gyorko has made the north central West Virginia baseball community a priority since becoming manager of the West Virginia Black Bears.
The most recent example of that is his latest hire, bringing Harrison County baseball icon Levi Maxwell back to the area.
After leading Lincoln to a state championship in 2003, Maxwell and his Cougars teammate Wes Osbourn both signed to pitch at WVU and Maxwell became a fixture of the Mountaineer pitching staff for four years.
Following his senior year in 2007, he was selected in the 18th round of the MLB draft by the Chicago White Sox and spent three seasons pitching in the minor leagues.
After turning to coaching over a decade ago, his baseball journey has brought him back to north central West Virginia this summer, and he’s soaking in every moment of being back home.
“I’ve been seeing a lot of people that I haven’t seen in a while coming out to a lot of the games,” he said, “It’s been really great being a part of this organization, coaching a lot of different really good athletes.”
Maxwell spent time coaching in the college ranks at West Virginia Wesleyan and Concord before taking the head coaching position with the storied Williamstown baseball program in 2020.
His unique blend of experience in both playing and coaching has allowed him to bring a new perspective to his players that are seeking professional opportunities of their own.
“I think the cool thing about that experience is I was a small town kid coming from Shinnston, West Virginia. Having the opportunity to do something like that is pretty rare,” he said.
Now that he’s back around the place where he first fell in love with America’s pastime, Maxwell is constantly reminded of the things that made that happen and just how special a place this area is for the game of baseball.
“North central West Virginia, in my opinion, is one of the best places for baseball. The talent is always there,” he said.
He’s been reminded of all the pride he has for his hometown community.
“It’s always great to see these kids that are younger getting these opportunities, especially in the lower levels like little league, all the way up through high school,” he said, “It makes me very proud to be from that area.”
Levi Maxwell and the Black Bears head back out on the road this week for three games with the Frederick Keys and will be back in action at Monongalia County Ballpark against the Mahoning Valley Scrappers this weekend.