Rent One Park Home of New Pro Softball Team, the Canadian Wild
Rent One Park, home of the Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier Baseball League, recently revealed it will also be the host of a professional softball team, Canadian Wild of Southern Illinois, for their 2019 season. The Wild, composed of players from Softball Canada, will play at least 25 home games at Rent One Park, as members of the National Pro Fastpitch [NPF] League.
“We are extremely excited to announce that Softball Canada has chosen Rent One Park and Marion, Illinois, as their home for an approximate 25-game home season this year,” says Miners Manager Mike Pinto. “Their games will take place when the Miners are on the road, so there will be no overlap, and we will all have the opportunity to use this beautiful stadium 25 more times this year.”
Rent One Park was one of three venues being considered for the Wild’s home base. Team representatives visited Marion and Southern Illinois University in September; the Wild will be housed at the university and use its training facilities.
The NPF League consists of six teams: Aussie Spirit; Beijing Shougang Eagles; Chicago Bandits; Cleveland Comets; USSSA Florida Pride; and now Canadian Wild. In 2016, the NPF played a series of exhibition games at Rent One Park which were well-received, drawing more than 1,000 fans per game.
“We’re really excited to be here,” says Softball Canada’s CEO Hugh Mitchener. “In the past, we’ve had to travel far to get world-class competition, but this league offers an outstanding opportunity for our team to play against world-class players and teams right here in North America.”
Softball Canada recently finished third in the 2018 Women’s Softball World Championship. The 2019 season will be the league’s 16th year at play.
In 2016, APRO board member and Rent One CEO Larry Carrico announced an extended sponsorship of the park, through the year 2026. “Marion and the surrounding communities have been great to Rent One, and this is a terrific opportunity for us to show our appreciation,” says Carrico. “Mike Pinto is a champion for our community, and the Wild is a big deal for Southern Illinois.”