Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ohio Valley League born

It's now official. The Bobcats' finally have a name for their new league in 2011.

Marion, along with the Owensboro Oilers, Fulton Railroaders and Tradewater Pirates, will be playing in the Ohio Valley League next season. All four teams left the KIT League after the end of the 2010 season in order to form their own summer collegiate baseball league. The Ohio Valley League will play with essentially the same rules on the field as the teams had played under in the KIT League. Wooden bats will still be used and the bulk of the season will be played in June and July.

Three of the four teams had played in the KIT League, a throwback to the original Kitty League, since their establishment—Fulton in 2004, Owensboro in 2006 and Marion in 2008. Tradewater began play in 1999 as an independent semi-pro team, but joined the KIT League in 2007. Ironically, the only two teams remaining in the KIT League, a league whose name is an acronym derived from the states of Kentucky, Illinois and Tennessee, are from Missouri—the Farmington Browns and Sikeston Bulls.

While only four Kentucky teams comprise the Ohio Valley League at present, Bobcats General Manager Gordon Guess said talks with other communities might yield franchises from other states, such as Missouri or Tennessee. Guess, also a key participant in forming the new circuit, said other cities in Kentucky have also expressed an interest in eventually adding franchises to the league. Among them are Paducah and Mayfield.

The league's bylaws are still being drafted and its Web site, www.OhioValleyLeague.com, is still under construction, but Guess said the league is on firm footing.

The league's logo was designed by Brian Hunt, who also designed the Bobcats team logo.