Prospect League

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Prospect League
ProspectLeague.PNG
Prospect League logo
Sport Baseball
Founded 1963
No. of teams 11
Country  United States
Most recent
champion(s)
Terre Haute Rex
Official website Prospect League

The Prospect League is a collegiate summer baseball league comprising teams of college players from North America and beyond. All players in the league must have NCAA eligibility remaining in order to participate. So as to maintain their college eligibility, players are not paid. Beginning in 2012, the league added four games to the season, making a total of 60 games per team (30 home and 30 road).

League history

Origin

In 1963, the Central Illinois Collegiate League (CICL), the precursor league to the Prospect league, was formed as a charter member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) summer collegiate baseball program. The league existed under NCAA rules and guidance for 41 years. In 2005, the NCAA ended its official association with summer collegiate baseball; however, the CICL continued to preserve the amateur status of its member athletes by abiding by the rules and regulations of the National Alliance of College Summer Baseball (NACSB).[1] In 2009, the CICL planned to expand to six teams by adding the Hannibal Cavemen, but in winter 2008, the league ownership voted for further expansion.

Dr. Chris Hanners, owner of the Chillicothe franchise and one of the founders of the independent professional Frontier League, wanted to keep a Paints baseball team in Chillicothe. Dr. Hanners, Leo Trich, former Frontier league director of development; General Manager and majority owner of the Butler BlueSox,[2] and Duke Ward, former owner of the Frontier League's Richmond Roosters[3] worked with the ownership of the CICL to form the Prospect League.

The Prospect League began its inaugural season in summer 2009 with the original CICL teams forming the Western Division. Five expansion teams formed the Eastern Division. Three of the Eastern Division teams began play in markets previously served by Frontier League teams. Besides the Chillicothe Paints, the Richmond RiverRats (Richmond, Indiana) played in the previous home of the Frontier League's Richmond Roosters, which are now the Traverse City Beach Bums. The Slippery Rock Sliders (Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania) played in the previous home of the Frontier League team of the same name.[4]

2010 expansion

In 2010, the Prospect League expanded adding four new franchises: the Terre Haute Rex (Terre Haute, Indiana), the West Virginia Miners (Beckley, West Virginia), the DeKalb County Liners (Sycamore, Illinois), and the Nashville Outlaws (Nashville, Tennessee).[5]

Due to a change in team ownership in 2010, the North Coast Knights became the Lorain County Ironmen.[6]

2011 and 2012 team departures

In 2011 the DuPage Dragons franchise folded after five years with the CICL (2006–08) and Prospect League (2009–10). As a result the league returned to a 2-division format after having 3 divisions in 2010. Richmond was moved to the six-team Eastern Division, while Danville, Nashville, Terre Haute, and Dubois County were moved to the eight-team Western Division.

Before the 2012 season, the Nashville Outlaws folded, and the DeKalb County Liners left the league to join the Midwest Collegiate League, leaving the Prospect League with twelve teams in two, six-team divisions. The 2012 schedule consisted of 60 games with no "cross-over" games; with all games played among teams from the same division only. The only time teams from opposite divisions meet is in the Championship Series.

Expansion into New York

For the 2015 season, the league added its easternmost team yet, the Jamestown Jammers (Jamestown, New York).[7] The Kokomo Jackrabbits (Kokomo, Indiana) were also added to the league to play in the new Kokomo Municipal Stadium, set to open for the 2015 season.[8] After the 2015 season, the Richmond RiverRats folded,[9] and the Jamestown Jammers moved to the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League after just one season in the Prospect League.[10]

Lafayette and DuPage join the league

The league stayed at 12 total teams for the 2016 season by adding the new Lafayette Aviators (Lafayette, Indiana) and DuPage Drones (Lisle, Illinois).[11][12][13]

2017 contraction

For the 2017 season, the league contracted to 10 teams, as the Hannibal Cavemen and DuPage Drones both ceased operation. [14] Hannibal reentered the league for the 2018 season as the Hannibal Hoots.[15]

2019 expansion and reorganization

The league will return to a twelve team league for the 2019 season with the addition of the Cape Catfish in Cape Girardeau, Missouri,[16] the departure of the Kokomo Jackrabbits to the Northwoods League, and the addition of the Normal CornBelters from the Frontier League.[17][18] The league is expected to return to a three-division format with four teams in each division.

Current teams

Western Division
Team Stadium City
Danville Dans Danville Stadium Danville, Illinois
Hannibal Hoots Clemens Field Hannibal, Missouri
Quincy Gems QU Stadium Quincy, Illinois
Springfield Sliders Robin Roberts Stadium at Lanphier Park Springfield, Illinois
Terre Haute Rex Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium Terre Haute, Indiana
Eastern Division
Team Stadium City
Champion City Kings Carleton Davidson Stadium Springfield, Ohio
Chillicothe Paints V.A. Memorial Stadium Chillicothe, Ohio
Lafayette Aviators Loeb Stadium Lafayette, Indiana
West Virginia Miners Linda K. Epling Stadium Beckley, West Virginia

The Cape Catfish and Normal CornBelters will join the league beginning in the 2019 season, replacing the Kokomo Jackrabbits, who left for the Northwoods League,[19] and the Butler Blue Sox, who have suspended operations.[20] During an October 29, 2018 press conference announcing the addition of the CornBelters, the league also announced that one more franchise would be added in time for the 2019 season.

Division and League Champions

Year Eastern Division Champion Western Division Champion League Champion
2009 Chillicothe Paints (31-25) Quincy Gems (36-20) Quincy over Chillicothe, 2 games to 0

2009 playoff format: After 56-game schedule, teams with best record in each division faced each other in a best-of-three series for the Championship.

Year Eastern Division playoff winner Central Division playoff winner Western Division playoff winner League Champion
2010 Chillicothe Paints 5, West Virginia Miners 3 Danville Dans 4, Nashville Outlaws 2 Quincy Gems 2, Springfield Sliders 0 Chillicothe 7, Danville 6 (11)

[after Danville def. Quincy, 7-3, in play-in game]

2010 playoff format: 56-game schedule divided in two halves. Winners from each half in each division faced each other in a one-game playoff (home field to team with best overall record). Where the same team won both halves in a division, the team with the next-best overall record from that division was declared the wild card. Championship Series was a two-game affair with the divisional playoff winner with the best overall record receiving a bye into the Championship Game. The remaining two divisional playoff winners met in a one-game play-in for the right to go to the Championship Game. Championship Series held at Chillicothe, Ohio.

Teams in italics qualified for that season's playoffs as a wild card entry under that particular season's playoff format.

Year Eastern Division Champion or playoff winner Western Division Champion or playoff winner League Champion
2011 West Virginia Miners 2, Slippery Rock Sliders 1 Quincy Gems 15, Terre Haute Rex 5 Quincy 5, West Virginia 0
2012 West Virginia Miners 6, Chillicothe Paints 2 Dubois County Bombers 3, Terre Haute Rex 2 West Virginia over Dubois County, 2 games to 0
2013 West Virginia Miners over Chillicothe Paints, 2 games to 0 Quincy Gems over Danville Dans, 2 games to 0 West Virginia Miners over Quincy Gems, 2 games to 0
2014 Chillicothe Paints over Butler BlueSox, 2 games to 0 Quincy Gems over Danville Dans, 2 games to 1 Quincy Gems over Chillicothe Paints, 2 games to 1
2015 West Virginia Miners over Chillicothe Paints, 2 games to 1 Terre Haute Rex over Danville Dans, 2 games to 0 Terre Haute Rex over West Virginia Miners, 2 games to 0
2016 West Virginia Miners over Kokomo Jackrabbits, 2 games to 0 Quincy Gems over Springfield Sliders, 2 games to 0 West Virginia Miners over Quincy Gems, 2 games to 0
2017 Butler BlueSox over West Virginia Miners, 2 games to 0 Lafayette Aviators over Terre Haute Rex, 2 games to 1 Lafayette Aviators over Butler BlueSox, 2 games to 1
2018 Kokomo Jackrabbits over Chillicothe Paints, 2 games to 1 Terre Haute Rex over Danville Dans, 2 games to 1 Terre Haute Rex over Kokomo Jackrabbits, 2 games to 0

2011 playoff format: 56-game schedule divided in two halves. Winners from each half in each division faced each other in a one-game playoff (home field to team winning the first half). Where the same team won both halves in a division, the team with the next-best overall record from that division was declared the wild card. Divisional playoff winners met in one-game playoff with home field awarded to the team with the best overall record from the regular season.

2012 playoff format: 60-game schedule divided in two halves. Winners from each half in each division to face each other in a one-game playoff to be hosted by the first-half champions in each division. If the same team wins both halves, the team with the best overall record from that division will be declared the wild card. Winners of each divisional playoff game will meet in a best-of-three Championship Series, with home advantage given to the division that wins the annual All-Star Game (to be held in Butler, PA). Game One of the Championship Series will be played at the home field of the team from the losing division at the All-Star Game, with Game Two and Game Three (if necessary) held at the home field of the team from the winning division at the All-Star Game.

2013–2016 playoff format: 60-game schedule divided into two halves. Winners from each half in each division to face each other in a best-of-three with game one being held at second-half winner and games two and three (if necessary) at home of first-half winner. There are no travel days in the Division Series. Each division champion plays in the best-of-three Prospect League Championship Series. Game one is held at the home of the team representing the division that lost that year's All-Star Game. Games two and three (if necessary) are held at the home of the team representing the division that won that year's All-Star Game.

2017–Present playoff format: After a 60-game schedule, the top two teams in the East Division and the West Division play each other in the first round in a best of 3 series with the first place teams getting home field advantage. The winner of the East Division and West Division series face off in a best-of-three Prospect League Championship series with the team with the best record getting home field advantage.

Mike Schmidt Award winners (Player of the Year)

Year Winner Position Team
2009 Tyler Bullock Catcher Richmond River Rats
2010 Jeff Holm Outfielder Chillicothe Paints
2011 Chris Serritella First Baseman Quincy Gems
2012 Matt Tellor Infielder Springfield Sliders
2013 Matt Calhoun Infielder Slippery Rock Sliders
2014 Ronnie Dawson Outfielder Chillicothe Paints
2015 David Marcus First Baseman Butler Bluesox
2016 Aaron Meyer Second Baseman DuPage Drones
2017 Dougie Parks Third Baseman Lafayette Aviators

Pitcher of the Year Award winners

Year Winner Throws Team
2009 Rusty Shellhorn Left Northcoast Knights
2010 Dean Wolosianski Right West Virginia Miners
2011 Clayton Schulz Left Chillicothe Paints
2012 Kris Gardner (LH Starter), Sam Lewis (RH Starter), Nick Blount (Reliever) Hannibal Cavemen, West Virginia Miners, Terre Haute Rex
2013 Wes Judish Right Hannibal Cavemen
2014 Adam Bleday (LH Starter), Chase Boster (RH Starter), Kolin Stanley (Reliever) Butler BlueSox, West Virginia Miners, West Virginia Miners
2015 Tanner Allison Left Chillicothe Paints
2016 Brian Hobbie Right Terre Haute Rex
2017 Brad Depperman Right Lafayette Aviators

References

  1. ^ "CICL:About Us". Retrieved 2009-06-08.
  2. ^ "Blue Sox Staff". Archived from the original on 2009-05-19. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
  3. ^ "Franchise gives Richmond hope for baseball". Retrieved 2009-06-08.
  4. ^ "Sliders in Ypsi for '09 season". Retrieved 2009-06-08.
  5. ^ "Prospect League Announces Expansion Team in Nashville". Retrieved 2010-01-23.
  6. ^ "North Coast Knights become the Lorain County Ironmen". Archived from the original on 2012-03-02. Retrieved 2010-02-20.
  7. ^ "Prospect League Team Keeping Jammers Name". The Post-Journal. Jamestown, New York. January 17, 2015. Retrieved January 30, 2015.
  8. ^ Jackrabbits name, logo, and manager reveal, archived from the original on 2016-02-12
  9. ^ Jimenez, Jesus (10 October 2015). "'Rats say so long". Palladium-Item. Gannett Company. Retrieved 12 February 2016.
  10. ^ Jamestown Jammers Join PGCBL, archived from the original on 2016-02-12
  11. ^ 2016 Schedule Announced, archived from the original on 2016-02-12
  12. ^ Lafayette, Fans Select Logo for New Team, archived from the original on 2016-02-12
  13. ^ DuPage Drones Logo Unveiled, archived from the original on 2016-02-12
  14. ^ "Hannibal Cavement to 'suspend operations' for 2017 season". Hannibal Courier-Post. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  15. ^ Graeler, Kevin. "Final countdown: Hannibal Hoots prep for inaugural season". Hannibal Courier. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  16. ^ "Prospect League Notebook: Gems change color scheme, Cape Girardeau franchise named, Tennessee may get team". Herald-Whig. May 30, 2018. Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  17. ^ Spedden, Zach (July 5, 2018). "Jackrabbits Shifting to Northwoods League". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. Retrieved July 6, 2018.
  18. ^ [email protected], Randy Reinhardt. "CornBelters to join Prospect League under new ownership". pantagraph.com. Retrieved 2018-10-29.
  19. ^ Staff, Tribune Sports. "Jackrabbits to join Northwoods League in 2019". Kokomo Tribune. Retrieved 2018-10-31.
  20. ^ "Butler BlueSox Won't Play Next Summer - ButlerRadio.com - Butler, PA". ButlerRadio.com - Butler, PA. 2018-08-28. Retrieved 2018-10-31.

External links

  • Prospect League
  • Google Map of the Prospect League teams
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