A yet-to-be-named baseball franchise will move from Hannibal to replace the River City Rascals as the summer tenant of CarShield Field
By Brett Auten
As you would expect, on his third day on the job as the general manager of a yet-to-be-named baseball franchise, David Schmoll, was dealing with plenty of unknowns.
“There’s a lot of new,” Schmoll said. “But the affordable entertainment will still be there. You’re going to have a lot of fun at the ballpark.”
There will be a new energy inside CarShield Field. After saying goodbye to long-time tenants, the River City Rascals, the city of O’Fallon will have a new resident at 900 TR Hughes Blvd.
The Hannibal Hoots were a team without a home last summer.
The Prospect League squad was left without a field following damage to Clemens Field during last spring and summer’s flooding. The franchise played its season in Quincy, Illinois. Now it will set up shop in O’Fallon, possibly under a new nickname.
The Prospect League is an amateur summer league made up of all college players trying to showcase their skills to pro scouts.
“(Prospect League) baseball has a lot of hustle. They are running everything out,” Schmoll said. “They’re working hard to get noticed and move on to the next level.”
There are currently 12 teams and the league includes multiple teams from this part of the country, including five from Illinois and two from Missouri.
“St. Louis is a hotbed for baseball talent,” Schmoll, who was GM for the Rascals during its last season, said. “What we have in our backyard can play at this level and it will be part of our efforts when building the roster, which we have already started.”
O’Fallon Mayor Bill Hennessy called the stadium, “a true jewel,” of the city and is excited to have baseball there for years to come.
Owner Richard DeStefane said O’Fallon is an ideal location for the Prospect League and the organization and is committed to becoming an integral part of the city and all of St. Charles County. The five-year lease with the city is for $125,000 a year, plus $10,000 annually in naming rights. DeStefane, who has a home in O’Fallon, purchased the branding rights of the Rascals but the new club may or may not keep the same name.
Prospect League Commissioner Dennis Bastien announced the relocation last week in O’Fallon. The new club will replace the River City Rascals, a Frontier League franchise that folded after its championship-winning 2019 season. It was the second title the franchise has won since it moved to O’Fallon, after winning the championship in 2010. It was announced in August that the Rascals would be ceasing operations at the end of this season, after a 20-year-run in O’Fallon.
“When the Rascals elected to cease operations after this just-completed season, we were ready, willing and able to make O’Fallon our newest home,” Bastien said.
Bastien went on to thank Hennessy, the city council, Parks and Recreation Director Cindy Springer and her committee.
Hannibal went 23-37 last year and finished in fourth place in the Prospect League West Division.
Photo courtesy city of O’Fallon
There will be a new energy inside CarShield Field. After saying goodbye to long-time tenants, the River City Rascals, the city of O’Fallon will have a new resident from the Prospect League.
Photo courtesy city of O’Fallon
Richard DeStefane, owner of the new Prospect League team that will play at CarShield Field next season, speaks at a press conference announcing the new team.
Photos provided by Jerry McGrath
Fans will again be passing through the turnstiles this summer in O’Fallon. A Prospect League team from Hannibal has taken over the residence of CarShield Field.