Prospect League

The new league began with 11 original teams: Butler (PA) BlueSox, Chillicothe (OH) Paints, Danville (IL) Dans, Dupage (IL) Dragons, Dubois County (IL) Bombers, Hannibal (MO) Cavemen, North Coast (Lorain County, OH) Knights, Quincy (IL) Gems, Richmond (IN) RiverRats, Springfield (IL) Sliders, and Slippery Rock (PA) Sliders.

The core of the new league included current and former Frontier League professional teams in Chillicothe, OH, Richmond, IN and Slippery Rock, PA plus teams from the Central Illinois Collegiate League (CICL). The CICL was formed in 1963 as a charter member of NCAA certified summer baseball. The league maintained certification for the entire 41 years of oversight by the NCAA, which ended its certification program in 2005.

In the winter of 2009, additional franchises were added for the 2010 Prospect League season, including the DeKalb County Liners in northern Illinois, the West Virginia Miners playing in a new facility in Beckley, the Terre Haute Rex playing at Indiana State University and the Nashville Outlaws playing at Vanderbilt University.

From 2011 through 2014 there continued to be additions and contractions from the League’s list of teams. In 2015 the League added the Jamestown (NY) Jammers and also an expansion franchise in Kokomo, Indiana (the Jackrabbits). The Kokomo team took the field in a new $13 million dollar downtown venue. And in 2015, the 12 teams played in an East and West Division format featuring minimum crossover games between the two divisions with nearly all Mondays as league-wide off days. The 2016 season saw the addition of the Lafayette (Indiana) Aviators, who replaced the Jamestown Jammers. The Aviators made their home at Loeb Stadium, which opened in 1940 and sits adjacent to the Columbian Park Zoo.

In 2018, Prospect League welcomed back a team in Hannibal, Missouri. The league also launched Prospect league TV, a subscription-based video platform that streams all Prospect League games via web browsers and OTT apps on AppleTV, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV.

The lineup of Prospect League teams changed drastically for the 2019 season. The Kokomo Jackrabbits left for another league and the Butler BlueSox, a charter member, ceased operations. The Cape Catfish (Cape Girardeau, Mo.), DuPage Pistol Shrimp (Lisle, Ill.) and Normal CornBelters (Normal, Ill.) joined the Prospect League.

In the only franchise change for the 2020 season, the Hannibal Hoots moved to O’Fallon, Mo., – a move made necessary by severe Mississippi River flood damage to Clemens Field in Hannibal, and are now known as the O’Fallon Hoots, playing in beautiful Car Shield Field.

The Prospect League has seen nearly 200 of their former players go on to play Major League Baseball, including Hall of Fame members Mike Schmidt, Kirby Puckett, and Phil Niekro!