The summer-collegiate Prospect League has announced plans for an Alton, IL expansion team to launch in 2021, with the yet-to-be-named club to play at Lloyd Hopkins Field in Gordon Moore Park. Alton becomes the 13th Prospect League team.
“The City of Alton is extremely pleased to welcome the Prospect League to Gordon Moore Park and the greater Alton community,” said Greg Caffey, City of Alton Director of Planning and Economic Development. “The expansion of both active and passive recreational opportunities is a central component of our tourism and economic development strategies. We invite baseball fans throughout the region to view the future stars of tomorrow displaying their talents at Hopkins Field.”
“After several visits and meetings, we knew that Alton was an ideal fit for our league. We applaud the efforts of Mayor Brant Walker and Parks and Recreation Director Michael Haynes in their understanding and potential that the Prospect League brings to this remarkable city,” said Prospect League Commissioner Dennis Bastien. “We are proud of the relationship that has already been established and look forward to many upcoming summers of the highest level of summer collegiate baseball that the Prospect League has to offer. Look forward to Opening Day 2021, in late May, when the Alton franchise takes the field. With our newest team for 2020 in O’Fallon, Mo., Alton will have a great rival across the river.”
The Prospect League also introduced Steve Marso as the owner/operator of its newest franchise. Marso is an experienced operator of summer collegiate teams and experienced Minor League Baseball staffer. Most recently, Marso owned and operated the Waterloo Bucks of the Northwoods League. “I have gotten to know Steve very well the past several months and we have been impressed with his knowledge, experience and dedication to summer collegiate baseball,” said Bastien. “We are proud that Steve jumped at the opportunity to make Alton a vital member of our league.”
“How exciting it is to have such a big asset coming to our community,” said Alton Mayer Brant Walker. “It’ll be a new outlet for family-friendly fun in Alton and should provide not just a boost in our quality of life, but economic impact as well. We’re excited to have Steve Marso oversee the operations and appreciate his investment in marketing the team and our town.”
“My family and I are grateful and blessed to be given the opportunity to make Alton a standout member of such a prestigious organization as the Prospect League,” Marso stated. “We have long hoped that the opportunity might come along to fulfill that dream and get back in the saddle operating a club and team in such a receptive and amazing area as Alton.”
Several additions and renovations are being discussed for Lloyd Hopkins Field prior to the opening of the 2021 PL season. “I personally was blown away upon my first visit to Gordon Moore with the amazing new additions and facilities that have been added there, as well as the remarkable upkeep the Park staff there maintains,” said Bastien. “What a magnificent jewell that park is for everyone in that region.”
“Lloyd Hopkins Field is an incredible asset for our community,” said Michael Haynes, City of Alton Director of Parks and Recreation. “The city has put a lot of time and resources into bringing it back to life over the last few years. We’re so excited to see that work paying off with the increased activity in the park and now the addition of an expansion team in the Prospect League. We look forward to the continued upgrades at the park in partnership with our new Prospect League organization!”