Rent One Park joins the Prospect Baseball League
Three weeks after announcing Marion's Rent One Park will be the home of a new baseball team in 2023, team management has decided to join the summer collegiate Prospect League.
During a news conference at Rent One Park on Wednesday, stadium and team General Manager Dave Kost said after many conversations it became clear this was the best fit for the new franchise.
He says the 60 game season (30-game home schedule) from late May through early August still allows the ballpark to be a community-oriented venue.
"Allowed to have baseball, but still be able to do concerts, PBR, youth baseball events. We've had more amateur sports here this year since February than we believe in a very long time at Rent One Park."
Kost said the 18-team Prospect League is also a great fit geographically with teams already in Cape Girardeau and O'Fallon, Missouri; Alton and Springfield, Illinois and Terre Haute, Indiana.
The Prospect League is a wood bat league where teams can recruit players from all over the country, with as many as four players from a single college on each roster.
Marion's team and stadium owner Shad Zimbro said he hopes the roster can have a local flavor.
"We will definitely be looking at the local talent. We'll look at it first before we do try to go outside. I know a lot of the schools around here that do try to get the local talent to go to SIU, John A. (Logan), Rend Lake. That is who we will be looking at first and then we'll look to the outside after that."
Fans stlll have time to suggest the team's name at NameOurNewTeam.com. The new name will be announced by Thanksgiving.
Rent One Park became part of the Black Diamond Family of Businesses in January after the Southern Illinois Miners ceased operations following the 2021 season.