The Hannibal Hoots (summer collegiate; Prospect League) will play early-season home games at Quincy, IL’s QU Stadium, as Mississippi River flooding has made Clemens Field unusable.
The Hoots were to have begun their home schedule at Hannibal, MO’s Clemens Field this week, but flooding from the Mississippi River has forced a change in venues for early-season home games. Beginning with their Saturday, June 1 contest, the Hoots will play scheduled home games at the University of Quincy’s QU Stadium–which is the home of another Prospect League club, the Quincy Gems.
At Clemens Field, water levels have been reported at approximately 24’, forcing the Hoots to shift home games. Once there is a drop in the current levels, the effort to clean and repair the ballpark would need approximately a week, according to a press release issued by the Hoots on Tuesday. The club’s hope is to return to Clemens Field by June 28. More from the Herald-Whig:
It’s expected to be a costly and time-consuming process considering there currently is water standing on the playing surface.
“It’s been horrible,” Hoots general manager Matt Stembridge said. “I’ll be honest, it’s heartbreaking.”
The Hoots were scheduled to play their first home game Friday against the Springfield Sliders, and there had been hope the stadium would be ready after the cleanup from the initial round of flooding.
“We were two weeks into the clean up and not done,” Stembridge said. “We were hoping to be done by Friday this week. When we knew the water was coming back, any work they’ve done to date gets wiped out.”
Originally built as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project in 1938, Clemens Field underwent an extensive overhaul in 2008 and has been home to the Hoots since 2018. Ballpark Digest contributing editor Mark Cryan visited the ballpark in 2015, when it was hosting Hannibal’s previous Prospect League entry, the Hannibal Cavemen.
Mississippi River flooding and related issues have had an effect on multiple teams around baseball this spring. The Quad Cities River Bandits (Low A; Midwest League) had a May 9-11 home series at Modern Woodmen Park cancelled over the issue, and had to play 12 of their first 15 scheduled home dates in other ballparks, with another home date lost because of rain. Currently, the River Bandits are playing a homestand at Modern Woodmen Park that began on Friday.