Prospect League Coming to Cape - Summer 2019
Posted on 01/19/2018

Prospect League Coming to Cape - Summer 2019

Prospect League players are often future Major Leaguers, and in the summer of 2019, Cape Girardeau will join the League with a new team.

View news conference video - YouTube

“Baseball is alive and well in Southeast Missouri,” said retired Redhawks Head Coach Mark Hogan. “This entire development is a dream come true.” Prospect League games will be played at Capaha Field, a local hotspot for baseball fans to watch the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks, American Legion Baseball, and the Capahas.

The Prospect League has a long list of former players and coaches who have made it to clubs at the Major League level. It is a “first-class, affordable and family-oriented” entertainment option, according to the Prospect League website. The league gives college athletes experience with wood bat competition and the possibility to be seen by MLB scouts seeking collegiate prospects. The players are among the best of the Ohio Valley Conference and others such as the Southeastern Conference.

 “There are already some great ball programs in Cape,” said Hogan. “We want to add to the options and really enhance the experience for baseball fans and families.” Hogan will serve as the local team’s general manager and is part of the team’s ownership group that includes Apple Investors Group CEO/Principal Anand “Andy” Patel and Montgomery Bank Executive Vice President Jim Limbaugh. The group plans to tour other League facilities and meet with other owners to bring all the best ideas back to Cape Girardeau. The team owners and the City of Cape Girardeau also plan to make more improvements to the baseball facility by adding fencing and replacing benches with chair back seating.

The new local team will come together thanks to a series of networks and partnerships. Once the City of Cape Girardeau and Southeast Missouri State University shared the cost to refurbish Capaha Field with artificial turf, a new scoreboard and other improvements, Prospect League Commissioner Dennis Bastien heard of the new, state-of-the-art field and made a call to Southeast Head Baseball Coach Andy Sawyers pitching the league to the Cape area. Mayor Harry Rediger and the City of Cape Girardeau then worked with local interests, the Chamber of Commerce, the team owners and other partners putting it all together.

Funding some of the improvements to Capaha Field to accommodate the new team will be made possible by a lease agreement. In lieu of lease payments to the City to use the facility, the team owners will invest the money into some of the site improvements. Other field improvements are among the proposed projects to be completed if the Parks, Recreation and Stormwater tax extension passes in the upcoming April election. Improvements by the team owners, the City and the University will be coordinated around the increased use of the field.
                                                                        

All local baseball groups will benefit from any enhancements to Capaha Field. The Prospect League plays scheduled games in the evening. The Mon-Clair League, a new affiliation for the Capahas, plays in the afternoon and neither of those seasons interferes with Southeast Missouri State Redhawks baseball. There is even room in the schedule for American Legion Baseball.

The team owners will be working with marketing partners and the community to come up with the new team’s name, logo and mascot.

While baseball is a popular family tradition in Cape Girardeau, it is also good for business. “Sporting events of this caliber attract even more regional tourists and they can make a day of shopping, eating and playing in Cape Girardeau,” said Cape Area Chamber President John Mehner.

“Today's announcement joining the Prospect League will bring Cape Girardeau into the national baseball arena. It is an exciting opportunity to enhance the current strong baseball presence in our city and area,” said Mayor Harry Rediger. “My thanks to owner Andy Patel for showing his personal confidence in our community.”

For more information about the League, visit www.prospectleague.com/