Photo: Prospect League Commissioner Dennis Bastien speaking during a press conference at Rent One Park in Marion August 24, 2022.
MARION (WQRL) – Marion’s new baseball team will play in the Prospect League, per an announcement made Wednesday during a press conference at Rent One Park.
Marion will become the 18th team to join the league for the upcoming season.
League Commissioner Dennis Bastien said the Prospect League is “proud and honored to welcome Rent One Park into the league as it elevates our league facilities to the highest level of summer collegiate leagues.” The operation of the new franchise will be a “sterling addition,” according to Bastien.
At the conclusion of the 2021 Frontier League season, the Southern Illinois Miners ceased operations, and the stadium became part of the Black Diamond Family of Businesses in January of this year.
Owner Rodney Cabaness said Rent One Park has “a rich history of baseball dating back 16 years. When the opportunity arose to continue that legacy, Black Diamond purchased the stadium.” Cabaness called the Prospect League a “strong organization with highly competitive teams, making it a perfect fit for the level of baseball we want to offer at Rent One Park.”
The Prospect League currently has regional league teams in Cape Girardeau and O’Fallon, Missouri, Jackson, Tennessee, Alton and Springfield, Illinois, and Terre Haute, Indiana.
Dave Kost, General Manager at Rent One Park, said they spent countless hours and days discussing which league was “the best landing spot for their baseball organization and with each conversation, it became evident that the Prospect League was the perfect fit.”
Kost said not only from a competitive perspective, but the schedule size allows them to return baseball to the region while still providing the opportunity to host community-oriented events that meet their vision and goals for Rent One Park.
The staff at Rent One Park is asking for the community’s help naming the new team. So far, more than 1,000 ideas have been submitted. Baseball fans can submit team name ideas online at www.NameOurNewTeam.com.
A new team name will be announced in early fall.