The city of Kokomo will be home to a new baseball team next year. The Prospect League, which already has franchises in Terre Haute and Richmond, has announced the yet-to-be-named team will play in the 4,000-seat Kokomo Municipal Stadium next year when it opens. Wisconsin-based MKE Sports & Entertainment LLC Chief Executive Officer Michael Zimmerman owns the team and says current redevelopment projects and the city's love for sports create “the perfect storm” for a new franchise. The league is made up of collegiate players who use wooden bats.
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September 02, 2014
KOKOMO, Ind. – Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight joined Prospect League officials and new Kokomo team owner Michael Zimmerman to announce that Kokomo will join the Prospect League with new team for the 2015 season.
“The Prospect League's decision to bring a team to Kokomo is more than a baseball announcement,” said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight. “This is about bringing family entertainment to the heart of our city and creating pedestrian activity in the afternoon and evening around a new baseball stadium.”
The Prospect League features twelve teams competing in a six state region. With the addition of Kokomo, IN the league will have three Indiana teams including the Richmond RiverRats and Terre Haute Rex.
Construction is currently underway on the new, 4,000-seat, Kokomo Municipal Stadium that will host all of the team's home games.
The Kokomo team will lease the stadium from the city and share responsibility for maintenance of the facility and grounds.
“I have been all over the Midwest in the past six months looking for the right opportunity for minor league baseball,” said Michael Zimmerman Founder and CEO of MKE Sports & Entertainment. “After spending the day with Mayor Goodnight and city staff, as well as attending a local youth baseball game, I was hooked on Kokomo. The energy of the community with their love for sports and the revitalization projects currently underway is the perfect storm. It's a real recipe for success. I am truly humbled and grateful that the city has chosen my group to represent the great city of Kokomo.”
Kokomo native Joe Thatcher is playing in his seventh season in the Major Leagues. He is a relief pitcher for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Before he made it to the Major Leagues, Joe rose through baseball's amateur ranks playing for the Quincy Gems of the Prospect League.
“The summer I played for the Quincy Gems was one of the best experiences of my amateur career,” said Joe Thatcher. “The competition and coaching was great. The City of Quincy really supported us, and I am very confident that this will be a plus for our community as well. I am very excited that Kokomo will be offering the same experience to these college-age players.”
Source: The City of Kokomo