Thursday, March 27, 2008

Bobcats' roster set

A slice of America will take the field this summer with the first pitch of the Marion Bobcats' inaugural season.
"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.

Bobcats seeking reserves

The Marion Bobcats will be hosting a tryout of sorts for reserves on May 24. Though the 22-man roster is set, if injuries or other occurances force any of the team’s players to miss games, reserves will be used. Prospec-tive players must be college-eligible. Further details will be made available prior to May 24.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

'Meet the Bobcats' scheduled

Marion baseball fans will have an opportunity to get a firsthand look at their new team before the players even don their uniform.
On May 26, a Meet the Bobcats dinner will bring the 22-man roster, its management and the public together for an informal meeting four days before KIT League action begins on May 30.
According to General Manager Gordon Guess, the barbecue-and-all-the-fixin's dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m., in the high school multi-purpose room. The meal, which includes a drink, will be only $5.
The cost of the function is being underwritten by several Marion attorneys.
Guess said field Manager Steve Fowler plans to "make a big deal" out of handing the players their uniforms that night. It won't be the first time the players have met one another, but it will be the first time they are formally introduced to the public.
"These team functions help them to mix off the field," Fowler said of his plan for handing out jerseys – one he has used before as manager of the Tradewater Pirates, one of the other five teams in the Kitty League.
"We want the community to be able to bond with these guys and be a part of them," Fowler added. "It helps the players to identify, too."
Guess says he has found housing for all 22 players who will be on the team in its inaugural season. He, in fact, will be putting up at least one in his own home during the two-month, 50-game regular season schedule.
The Bobcats' first home game will be June 4 against the Fulton Railroaders.

Season tickets now on sale

The first pitch of the season for Marion’s new collegiate summer league baseball team is still two months away, but ticket packages are now available for purchase at local outlets.
Bobcats General Manager Gordon Guess said in response to requests for season ticket packages, the team now has three plans available for purchase at Superior Trophies and Mike's Barber Shop. Both downtown Marion businesses are located on South Main Street.
The packages offer savings of up to 20 percent on the face value of tickets – $5 for adults and $3 for children.
The full season ticket package includes adult passes for all 25 home games at Gordon B. Guess Field at Marion-Crittenden County Park. The full package sells for only $100. If purchased at the gate each night, the cost for 25 home contests would be $125.
Two 10-game packages offer a 10-percent savings on both adults’ and children’s tickets. The 10-pack of tickets for adults sells for $45, while a child’s package is just $27.
All three packages are now available at both the barber shop and trophy store. Since tickets from any of the packages are not dated or numbered, they can be used at any home game by anyone.
The first home game for the Bobcats will be June 4 against the Fulton Railroaders.