Bobcats to bow out of 2014 baseball season.
3, 2013) From The
The boys of summer will be sitting out 2014.
For the last six years, the Marion Bobcats have
drawn crowds to Gordon Blue Guess Field at Marion-Crittenden
County Park during the months of June and July.
The ballpark and City of Marion played host each
of those years to the team’s college baseball
players looking to hone their skills in the summer
months away from school. Next year, however, the
Bobcats will be idle.
Club spokesman and namesake of the Bobcats’ home
field, Gordon Guess, announced last week that the
club will not be taking the field during the next
season of Ohio Valley League baseball. The
team’s exit from the league will be indefinite.
“We’ll be on hiatus,” Guess said. “I don't
know how long it will last. I’m not going to
speculate on 2015.”
Guess’ reasoning behind the decision was, in
baseball terms, a double play. Due to health
issues, Guess was finding it hard to cover all the
behind-the-scenes bases needed to keep the club
moving ahead. But difficulty in finding housing
for the players during their summer stay in
Crittenden County was the single biggest issue.
the last six years, Guess has approached about 150
people asking them to put up a player or two for
the summer. While grateful to those who did house
players over the years, he said it was becoming
more and more difficult to find willing hosts.
Guess called the turn of events disheartening, but
would not rule out the club’s return to action
in the future.
Bobcats were born in January 2008 as the
brainchild of Guess and first took the field that
summer. A group of local financial backers made
the team possible. It took a team of volunteers
and a small paid staff to keep the club going each
year. Community support through advertising,
donations, sponsorships and, of course, filling
the stands, helped keep the team solvent.
Because of the Bobcats, Guess Field, also home to
Crittenden County High School Rockets baseball,
has seen numerous improvements in order to meet
the needs of hosting summer collegiate baseball.
In retrospect, Guess, a die-hard baseball fan, is
proud of what the team accomplished.
“You look back, and we did something
worthwhile,” he said. “We did something good
The team amassed a 103-167 record over six years.
In 2011, the organization’s most successful year
on the field, the club finished in third place
with a 20-22 record, only 4.5 games out of first
The team’s most successful alumnus is Travis
Jankowski. In 2010, he batted .484 with the
Bobcats and still holds most of the club’s
single-season and all-time offensive records. In
2012, he was drafted 44th overall by the San Diego
Padres in Major League Baseball’s June Amateur
Draft. He remains a rising star in the Padres
minor league system.
Guess remains president of the Ohio Valley League.
and the Railroaders
featured on Bluegrass & Backroads.
7, 2013) Kentucky Bluegrass
& Backroads recently featured the Fulton Railroaders
on their television program. The segment reflects how
baseball, past and present, affects small towns. To watch the video Click
President's comments on the 2013 season. 2013
saw the beginning of our third season as the OVL with many
changes and growing pains. Expanding to six teams and playing a
45 game schedule led to considerable speculation and guesswork
as to just who could win the league.
SURPRISE! The competition was fierce - with Dubois County and
Hoptown leading early and Madisonville and Fulton fighting
it out for third. The last half of the season changed all that
with Hoptown pulling out in front with an insurmountable lead,
and Fulton charging late to finish just ahead of Madisonville
for second place the last week of the season leaving Dubois
County, Owensboro and Marion in the dust.
The playoffs provided several upsets,
Marion and Owensboro eliminating higher seeds Madisonville and
Dubois County respectively and with Fulton taking 2 of 3
from Hoptown for the playoff championship.
2013 saw more home runs than previous
years and also more close games, i.e. one run affairs and
walk-off games leading to increased interest and attendance.
Unfortunately, there were a few blowouts, rare for the OVL.
Injuries were a major factor this year with at least one team
having to replace over 90% of its initial roster over the term
of the season. Another change was three new venues; one in
Huntingburg Indiana in a historical ballpark - site of the Tom
Hanks and Madonna movie "A League Of Their Own" about
girls pro baseball during WW II, a move across town in Hoptown
to the Hopkinsville High School field, and Owensboro's move to
the Brescia College complex
Of course the 2013 season brought other unanticipated challenges
in rules interpretations, umpiring, bench conduct and getting
all rainouts played timely; all which are expected to be
addressed in the post season.
The league continues to encourage league expansion, hoping to
add two more franchises; Greenville/Central City is certainly a
possibility after hosting two promotional games involving
Madisonville, Owensboro and Marion, and Union City, Tenn.,
Mayfield, Paducah and Jackson Missouri remain under
On balance, the OVL experienced a solid
growth year - maturing and gaining respect throughout the
Valley League 2013 Season Leaders.
The final games of the 2013 regular season are concluded. The Individuals
below are players who qualified in the 45 game schedule and led
the league in the regular season in ten OVL selected Titles.
Congratulations to those players who were the best in 2013 and
thanks to all the players for a another great season of
baseball. Good luck in the Playoffs.
Runs Batted In
factor for batters is 126+ plate appearances and for pitchers
with 36+ innings pitched.
Bases and Saves are exempt from qualifying factors. (post-season
games not included).
season news here - 2013 Archives