Rent One Park joins Prospect League
MARION, Ill. (KFVS) - Rent One Park leaders announced it would join the summer collegiate Prospect League.
According to a release, the newly formed team is the 18th team to join the league for the upcoming 2023 playing season.
The staff is asking for your help in naming the new team. So far, they said more than 1,000 ideas have been submitted.
Baseball fans can submit name ideas online at www.NameOurNewTeam.com.
A new team name will be announced in early fall.
“The Prospect League is proud and honored to welcome Rent One Park into the league,” Prospect League Commissioner Dennis Bastien said. “Rent One Park elevates our league facilities to the highest level of summer collegiate leagues. The operation of this new franchise will be a sterling addition.”
At the end of the 2021 Frontier League season, the Southern Illinois Miners ceased operations. The stadium became part of the Black Diamond Family of Businesses in January 2022.
“Rent One Park has a rich history of baseball dating back 16 years. When the opportunity arose to continue that legacy, we purchased the stadium,” owner Rodney Cabaness said. “The Prospect League is 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.”
According to Rent One Park leaders, the decision to make a Prospect League team a major tenant at Rend One will “bring back high-level baseball to the southern Illinois region.”
“The one message we kept hearing was we missed baseball, when’s baseball, are you going to bring baseball back?” said Dave Kost, Rent One Park Event Manager.
Stadium leaders say they believe the community will get behind the team.
“Fan experience is first, baseball and everything else is after that. As I was talking earlier, with somebody the game is the game. At 7:05 whether there’s 100 people or 10,000 people in the park, that game is still going to happen. The difference between 100 and 10,000 people is what we do to give them value, affordability, entertainment,” said Kost.
Co-Owner of Rent One Park, Shad Zimbro says the the team also belongs to the community
“This is just not Rodney, Shad, Dave or whatever’s team, we want this to be southern Illinois team,” said Zimbro.
Prospect league Commissioner Dennis Bastien says the league is proud to welcome another new team to the league. This marks the 18 team in the prospect league.
Bastien says fans will enjoy the shorter more compact season.
“We start at the very end of may, we go to early august and then the playoffs. So we play 60 games; 30 at home, 30 away, that may alter by a game or two each year based on the calendar,” said Bastien.
Bastien also mentions it will be a unique atmosphere for baseball lovers.
“Scouts will be here every single night for the July draft. So you’ll see a highly competitive play on the field,” said Bastien.
Ballpark owners said during today’s press conference that the prospect league fits the mold of southern Illinois.
“It has a great tenure, it has a highly competitive player base. It has done well in communities where baseball isn’t necessarily readily available and that model fits well for southern Illinois,” said Kost.
They said Rent One Park is an ideal location because of the proximity to other Prospect League teams in Cape Girardeau and O’Fallon, Mo., Jackson, Tenn., Alton and Springfield, Ill. and Terre Haute, Ind.
“We spent countless hours and days discussing which league was the best landing spot for our baseball organization and with each conversation, it became evident that the Prospect League was the perfect fit,” said Dave Kost, general manager at Rent One Park. “Not only from a competitive perspective, but the schedule size allows us to return baseball to the region while still providing the opportunity to host community-oriented events that meet our vision and goals for Rent One Park.”
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