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Talks for a New Joplin Baseball Team Ramp Up After Meeting

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Joplin, MO -

Talks for a new baseball team in Joplin ramp up after a meeting today with City officials.  Joe Becker stadium has been vacant for about a year now, ever since the Joplin Blasters left.  City officials say it's important to get a new permanent tenant there, to help repay tax dollars used to renovate Joe Becker.

Today, we met the people who want to fill that void.

"The old timers here, they'll remember my dad," says Kash Beauchamp.

Jim Beauchamp played with the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1960's and 70's.  Jim's son, Kash, wants to see a certain style of baseball in Joplin.

Beauchamp says, "Lets play baseball the way it used to be played.  They have kind of sissyfied the game down to where you can't even slide hard into second base anymore!"

Beauchamp could manage a new Joplin team that's part of the newly-formed Southwest League of Professional Baseball, based in Texas.

"We're not looking to draw 5,000 a game.  We believe we could average 2,000 a game, which would put us into profitability," says Mark Schuster with Ventura Sports Group, connected to Southwest League of Professional Baseball.

The proposed new team, of course, would play at the City-owned Joe Becker stadium.

"Satisfying the lease payments is something we feel confident about," says Schuster.

Beauchamp says one of the keys to succeed at managing and owning a baseball team...

"Go to work and bust your tail," says Beauchamp.  "They have to work to understand the people they're working for, the people they're working with, to get out into the community and forge relationships."

Beauchamp lives in Joplin.

"I remember coming here, in American Legion ball, and playing at Joe Becker stadium," says Beauchamp.

Come 2019, professional baseball team could once again play at Joe Becker.

 Joplin's city manager told us by e-mail today that talks between the City and the new baseball league continue, and that both sides are doing their due diligence.  A Southwest League of Professional Baseball official hopes to make a presentation to Joplin's City Council within the next 30 days.

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