River City Rascals

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The River City Rascals are a professional baseball team based in O'Fallon, Missouri, in the United States. The Rascals are a member of the West Division of the Frontier League, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. From the 1999 season to the present, the Rascals have played their home games at T.R. Hughes Ballpark.

Contents

History

The team was previously located in Zanesville, Ohio where they were known as the Greys from 1993 through 1996. The Greys were inactive during the 1997 and 1998 seasons. Then on Tuesday, October 27th, 1998, O'Fallon Mayor Paul Renaud announced the new name of the team to be the "River City Rascals." Initial ownership of the Rascals consisted of a local group headed by Ken Wilson.

The Rascals began play in 1999 in the Western Division of the Frontier League under manager Jack Clark, pitching coach Greg Mathews, and first-base coac Dick Schofield Jr., all previous Major League Baseball players.

The first five players to be signed to the club consisted of pitcher Jeff Pohl, outfielder Mike Robertson, first baseman Jonathan Bushman, infielder Jason Rackers, and outfielder Kevin Pitts. The first game played was on Wednesday, June 2, 1999 on the road against the Cook County Cheetahs of Crestwood, Illinois. Pitcher Joey Pipes pitched a complete game in losing by a score of 1-0 .

The first home game was played on Tuesday, June 8, 1999 at T.R. Hughes Ballpark at the Ozzie Smith Sports Complex in front of an overflow crowd of 4,173 (3,500 seat capacity). The Rascals beat the Dubois Dragons by a score of 6-5 by rallying from a 5-1 deficit with William Black scoring on Tim Still's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning. This was the first minor league baseball game in Missouri since 1955.

In February, 2004, Wilson sold his interest to Harold Burkemper, who took over management of the Rascals. On October 11, 2006, the franchise was acquired by the group PS and J Professional Baseball Club, LLC headed by Steve Malliet, who moved to O'Fallon, Missouri from Joliet, Illinois, where he had worked with the Joliet JackHammers since 2001. Malliet has managed and operated the Rascals since the closing of the 2006 acquisition.

Former pitcher Josh Kinney who played for the Rascals in 2001 (21 innings, 18 strikeouts, 1.71 ERA) became the first Rascal player to make it to the Major Leagues. His contract was purchased from the Memphis Redbirds on July 2, 2006 by the St. Louis Cardinals where he appeared out of the bullpen during the 2006 regular season. His first major league pitch (July 3, 2006) was hit for a home run by Atlanta Braves left fielder Ryan Langerhans; Kinney finished the 2006 season winning a championship ring with the Cardinals as 2006 World Series Champions.

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