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Baseball returns to Winter Haven

The summer-collegiate Florida Collegiate Summer League will field a team, the Winter Haven Loggerheads, at Winter Haven's Chain of Lakes Park next summer.The summer-collegiate Florida Collegiate Summer League will field a team at Winter Haven's Chain of Lakes Park next summer, as the Winter Haven Loggerheads have signed on to be the league's sixth team for the 2011 season. This will expand the current setup to six teams and allows the league to extend its offerings of great baseball talent to another part of Central Florida.

Chain of Lakes Park is the former Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians spring-training site. The Loggerheads team received its name from the large concentration of Loggerhead sea turtles found along Florida's coasts. It provides an excellent mix of creativity and name recognition and will bring an exciting new mascot to the league, a loggerhead turtle named Clutch.

The Loggerheads will be owned and operated by the Starting 9 Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. "The Starting 9 Foundation is thrilled to be joining the Florida League and bringing summer baseball back to Winter Haven," said Starting 9 President Eddie Welling. "With all the great baseball resources in the state of Florida and the terrific baseball fan base in the Winter Haven community, it was only a matter of how and when. Thanks to the great efforts by the City of Winter Haven, Florida League President Sara Whiting and Vice President Rob Sitz, we look forward to recruiting the nation's top baseball talent to Winter Haven for the summer of 2011."

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