Edelstein stepping down as Naturals GM

Posted: May 2, 2013 at 4:16 p.m.

Eric Edelstein became general manager of the Naturals when the team moved to Springdale in 2008.

— Eric Edelstein, the general manager of the Northwest Arkansas Naturals since they relocated to Springdale in 2008, has accepted a front office position with the Reno Aces of the Pacific Coast League, it was announced Thursday.

Edelstein will be replaced by Justin Cole, the current assistant GM and Director of Sales. Cole, like Edelstein, has been with the organization since its move from Wichita, Kansas to Springdale.

“We are very fortunate to have Justin Cole on the Naturals team to step up to the plate and keep Naturals baseball the highest quality sports and family entertainment in town,” said Jonathan Dandes, President of Rich Baseball Operations. “Through his dedication and commitment for 10 years with the organization, we are confident Justin will do a great job in his new role.”

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.

Edelstein will work through the end of May and direct the transition.

Under Edelstein’s leadership, the Naturals, the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, have 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.