Leaders at Marion's Rent One Park have announced that the new wooden bat baseball team coming to the park will be part of the Prospect League.
The new Marion team will be the 18th team to join the league for the upcoming 2023 playing season.
The Prospect League is a wood-bat summer league for collegiate players and has 18 teams across Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Illinois, Iowa and Missouri.
Rent One Park has been without a resident home team since the Southern Illinois Miners ceased operations at the end of the 2021 season.
"The Prospect League is proud and honored to welcome Rent One Park into the league," said Prospect League Commissioner Dennis Bastien, a native of southern Illinois.
"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."
In January, following the Miners' departure, Marion Center Project LLC -- the business group that also owns the former Illinois Star Centre Mall, Kokopelli Golf Club, Black Diamond Harley-Davidson and Oasis Outdoors in Marion -- purchased the park.
"When the opportunity arose to continue that legacy, we purchased the stadium," said owner Rodney Cabaness.
He added 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."
The staff at Rent One Park is asking for the community's help naming the new team. So far, more than1,000 ideas have been submitted.
You can submit team name ideas online at www.nameournewteam.com. The team name will be announced in early fall.