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New for 2015: Kokomo Jackrabbits

Kokomo Jackrabbits

We have a name for a new summer-collegiate Prospect League team: the Kokomo Jackrabbits, a clever name that refers to a car once manufactured in the city.

The name was popular in a name-the-team contest, with 15 residents submitting the Jackrabbits name.

“The Kokomo Jackrabbits playing Prospect League baseball enhances Kokomo’s identity throughout the state and Midwest,” said Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight. “The name Jackrabbits is a tribute to our automotive heritage, and the team and stadium are part of Kokomo’s aim to attract people to fuel the future of our city.”

The team is operated by Milwaukee’s MKE Sports & Entertainment, which also operates the Rockford Aviators (independent; Frontier League) beginning in 2015. MKE Sports also operates The Rock Sports Complex as well as soccer’s Milwaukee Wave.

The car reference: The Apperson was a brand of automobile manufactured from 1901 to 1926 in Kokomo, Indiana. The Apperson Jack Rabbit was introduced in 1907. It was a 2-passenger roadster, equipped with a four cylinder 60 or 96 horsepower engine. Features included a four-speed transmission, 34-inch wheels and tires, Hess-Bright ignition systems and a 20-gallon round gas tank. It had a guaranteed top speed of 75 miles per hour.

The team also announced the team’s first coach: Greg Van Horn, an assistant at Princeton University and an assistant coach last season with the Prospect League’s Chillicothe Paints. He’s also a former Paints player.

The team will play out of a new $9-million ballpark will have a capacity of almost 4,000: 2,350 fixed seats (both folding stadium seats and bleachers) and room for up to 1,500 spectators on the berm, with an upper level featuring two suites, two party areas and a press box. The playing surface will be an artificial turf that can also accommodate soccer. American Structurepoint (Indianapolis) is the architect of record on the project.

RELATED STORIES: MKE Sports & Entertainment launches Kokomo team; MKE Sports to manage Aviators in 2015; Franklin mulls new Frontier League ballpark; New pro ballpark pitched for suburban Milwaukee; Kokomo approves bonds for new ballpark; New Kokomo ballpark on tap for 2015

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