Kenosha Kings Challenge Lake County Fielders
August 16, 2011
The Lake County Fielders have accepted a â€œchallengeâ€ from a semipro baseball team in Kenosha, and plan to play them potentially 10 times until their tumultuous season is scheduled to end in Septembe
The Lake County Fielders have accepted a “challenge” from a semipro baseball team in Kenosha, and plan to play them potentially 10 times until their tumultuous season is scheduled to end in September.
Fielders spokesman Bernie DiMeo said the two teams will face off against each other beginning Wednesday at their Zion baseball home at 7 p.m. at Green Bay Road and Route 173. In addition, the two teams will face off against each other on dates when the Fielders are not scheduled against North American League opponents during the remaining weeks of the 2011 season.
“Both ballclubs and their fans are excited about the upcoming games,” DiMeo said. “This is akin to the old-time minor leagues — local town ball, with each community having bragging rights at the end of every game.”
The teams will also hold a combined weekly tryout for a limited number of roster spots that may become available for upcoming games. The first tryout will be held Saturday at noon at the unfinished Zion stadium.
DiMeo said playing against the Kenosha Kings was a plan B for the ballclub. He said the goal was to play five games against a team from Maui, but they did not arrive at the ballpark as scheduled.
The Fielders are also scheduled to play teams from Calgary and Edmonton, but it’s unclear at this time if they will show up for the scheduled games.
The season is scheduled to end Sept. 5, and the remaining games could be against Kenosha, he said.
This is just the latest twist in a strange season for the two-year-old Lake County Fielders franchise.
In July, manager Tim Johnson and a radio announcer quit over allegations they weren’t fully paid.
Then, Zion officials have said the Fielders owe $185,000 in back rent for use of the city’s ballpark, which has yet to be completed.
Team owners said they stopped paying rent on the diamond because there is no hint of a permanent stadium as promised.
Then, an Aug. 4 game was suspended after the Fielders were accused of providing subpar baseballs for a contest against the Calgary Vipers.
Last week, the Fielders didn’t make a scheduled road trip to Maui, which prompted officials from the independent North American League to boot them out. But, that was rescinded and the Fielders are still part of the organization.
Amid all the uncertainty, Fielders officials pledged to finish the season and fill in any gaps in the schedule with games played “against the newly formed Kenosha County Fielders, a team of professional minor leaguers.” However, that changed later Monday when the Kenosha Kings stepped up, DiMeo said.
The Kings are described on their website as “a semipro team that consists of present college players, as well as ex-college and professional players.”
Story by: The Daily Herald
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