"It'll be a good flavor of what America is like," said Manager Steve Fowler of the baseball team's 22-man roster.
The team's skipper will be working with college-eligible men from 18 to 21 years old, with hometowns in 11 states. Two African-American and one Hispanic player will pitch and play the outfield.
"There are southern flavors and northern flavors in there," Fowler, of Hanson, said. "They'll have to put aside any differences when they're on the field."
Early last month, Fowler and General Manager Gordon Guess completed the team's schedule of players. While the opening day for the KIT League team is still nine weeks away, setting the roster this early was critical to securing talent for the 50-game schedule.
The team roster has been finalized with Bobcats management on the disabled list. Fowler spoke from his home last month, battling pneumonia that has kept him sideline from his teaching job in Madisonville. Meantime, Guess is still nursing a broken leg from a fall during the recent ice storm. Both should be fully recovered by Opening Day May 30.
From a makeshift office set up in his bedroom, Guess thumbed through a stack of player information from a briefcase steadied on a card table. He paused for a moment to comment on 20-year-old shortstop Zach Gerler.
"He's one of the top prospects," Guess said.
Gerler, according to Fowler, was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles out of high school but he did not sign, opting instead to sharpen his skills at Lincoln Trail College.
"They're still watching him closely," the manager said.
Gerler is one of two players from the Robinson, Ill., college. He will be joined on the Bobcats this summer by teammate Trent Bierman, one of two catching specialists on the team. Three players each will come from Oakland City University in Indiana and Olney Central College in Illinois. The University of Tennessee at Martin will also supply two players, with the balance of players coming from 12 other institutions.
Helping to gel the team of players from Albuquerque, N.M., to East Northport, N.Y., will be coaches David Beverly of Marion and newly-added Art "Badge" Badger of Princeton.
The Bobcats play their first home game June 4 against the Fulton Railroaders. All home games start at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children, with special package rates available.