“This is a bittersweet decision for us,” said the Simmons in a press release. “We love the southern Illinois community and our family roots run deep here. We appreciate the years of support we have enjoyed from baseball fans, civic leaders, business owners, vendors and the City of Marion. We are at a time in our lives where we really would like to spend more time with our children and grandchildren.”
The Simmons brought baseball back to the Marion area in the summer of 2007. Under the leadership of Jayne Simmons, the Miners led the Frontier League in attendance each of the franchise’s first four seasons, having been named “Frontier League Organization of the Year” three times (2007, 2009 and 2010) and captured the franchise’s first Frontier League Championship after the 2012 season. The Miners’ state-of-the-art home facility, Rent One Park, was constructed for the team’s inaugural season and saw a Frontier League record 259,392 fans come through the gates in 2007. The Southern Illinois Miners concluded their 2021 season with a 7-3 victory over the Gateway Grizzlies at Rent One Park in Marion, finishing with a record of 54 wins and 42 losses.
It does not sound like the Simmons are completely leaving the baseball world, hinting that other uses for 7,000-capacity Rent One Park are on the horizon. “The stadium is a wonderful asset to the community and has incredible potential as a multi-use facility,” Jayne Simmons said in the same statement. “We have high hopes for its future, and we will share more information about the stadium in the coming months.”