Baseball Outlaws ride into town this summer

Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 4:00pm
Outlaws owners Brandon Vonderharr, Jason Bennett, Chris Snyder and Jonathan Beachy

The Nashville Sounds will have company on the local baseball scene this summer.

The Nashville Outlaws were introduced Thursday as the newest member of the Prospect League, a summer wood bat league for players who have completed one year of college competition and have remaining eligibility.

Founded by three former Sounds’ executives, the Outlaws will play a 56-game schedule from June through August. The 28 home games will be played at Vanderbilt’s Hawkins Field.

The Prospect League (formerly known as the Central Illinois Collegiate League) began play in 2009 with 11 teams and expanded this year to 15 teams with the addition of Nashville and three others. In December, Dekalb County (Ill.), Terre Haute and West Virginia (Beckley, W.V.) were added.

The league is based in Chillicothe, Ohio and consists of teams throughout the Midwest.

“It’s a great league with a great approach of combining a developmental league with the feel of minor league baseball,” Brandon Vonderharr, president and general manager of the Outlaws, said.

Vonderhaar said the franchise would hire a coach who will be largely responsible for compiling the roster. He added that he expects the majority of players to come from colleges and universities in Tennessee, southern Kentucky and northern Alabama as well as local prospects who would like to play close to home for the summer.

“There’s literally hundreds of quality baseball players in the Middle Tennessee are who would be terrific prospects for this league,” Vonderhaar said. “We’ll be looking for a manager to do a lot of that work.”

He added that the initial response to Thursday’s announcement has been overwhelmingly positive.

“My phone’s been ringing off the hook, and my e-mail box is full,” Vonderhaar said.

For more information on the Nashville Outlaws, click here.


13 Comments on this post:

By: PokerFace 09 on 1/21/10 at 8:00

Do they really think this will work? Despite the issues with the Sounds over the years, it is still Triple-A baseball, the guys one step from the big leagues.

Will they even be able to sell alchohol at their games. Seems pretty pricey just to watch college kids. Can't we do that now by going to Vandy, MTSU, Belmont or Lipscomb games?

Didn't this staff work for the Sounds during the old ownership with all the problems.

By: averagejoe on 1/21/10 at 9:53

me thinks pokerface protests too much. Seems to need to convey too much info, too. Perhaps pokerface is the new regime at the Sounds? Hmm . . . What Nashville baseball fan would not want to support this? A team of college baseball all stars who will be future major league draftees, playing not for money but for the love of the game - with passion and heart and to try and catch the eye of the scouts who will surely be there. It is the stuff of movies! It is what baseball is supposed to be, unadultered by money and scandal. For the Love of the Game!

By: MusicCity2007 on 1/21/10 at 10:46

I like it. big fan of the game here, so why wouldn't I give it a try? cool logo too

By: Duhe77 on 1/21/10 at 11:22

LOCAL owners not holding taxpayers hostage for a new stadium??? Utilizing current resources instead of demanding something new??? What a concept!

By: JeffF on 1/22/10 at 8:22

I have watched summer league games in North Carolina. It is a very inexpensive product that is approachable by the fans. AAA baseball often times loses the appeal minor league baseball is supposed to have, especially with the recent infatuation with getting newer, larger, and poorly located downtown stadiums.

I would have more faith in this product if it were not located at Vanderbilt with its access problems for families. Like in the NC and Mass. leagues this is something that works well at good high school facilities like down at BGA . I would be curious to see what SEC players they pull in that previously have hoofed it to Cape Cod during the Summer.

By: develop12344321 on 1/22/10 at 9:58

This is a great idea!

Hawkins Field is a great facility and the ticket price is perfect. The local group of owners running the Outlaws were able to draw good crowds at Greer as employees. They worked for an absentee owner in a terrible facility with no City support and still were able to generate a fun fan experience. They will do great in this new venue as local owners!

By: TITAN1 on 1/22/10 at 1:13

I'd rather pay my money to see the Sounds and I hope they get their new down town stadium!

By: JeffF on 1/22/10 at 1:42

I think we all know that the convention center just exhausted all of the debt capacity of the city for a long time. Any new baseball stadium will have to be paid for by the baseball team itself. When the stadium died a few years ago the convention center people were on here celebrating for a reason.

By: develop12344321 on 1/22/10 at 2:23

Right on Jeff,

Dean blew that one. Instead of spending $43 million on something we wanted he chose to spend $ 1 billion on something nobody wants! What a bozo!!!

By: TITAN1 on 1/22/10 at 6:42

I wouldn't bet your knitting on it, Jeff.

By: PokerFace 09 on 1/22/10 at 7:28

Average Joe you serious. What you part of the old Sounds regime? All they need to do is add Mr. Yeager and they can have a Sounds reunion. Will be a nice battle of old Sounds vs. new Sounds. Can't wait until this summer to see who wins.

I give them credit for trying to make a go of it but why at Vandy, why not at MTSU where you would have a better chance of getting people to come to games? Hard to compete with Triple AAA especially with stadiums that are 4 miles apart.

By: averagejoe on 1/22/10 at 8:20

I am at a loss for words, poker face. I am not sure how to respond to such bitterness. Thanks for clarifying that you are part of the "new Sounds" so we all know now what this is about. I had not seen this as a competition between you and the Outlaws. I am a Sounds fan and have been at games every year since I was a kid. I was planning on going to some Outlaw games and Sounds games, but I was on both websites today and saw that the Sounds raised prices AGAIN this year and it will cost me as much to go to a Sounds game as a Predators game. I probably will make it to a Sounds game or two, but I can go to two Outlaw games for every one Sounds game for the money it looks like.

To people who are not directly affiliated with the Sounds, this seems to be a great opportunity for Nashville baseball. Why would we not want to come out to support these young kids with major league potential? Nashville is a big place and I think there is room for the professional team and also for the college all star team.

Poker face, just focus on the Sounds - try to talk the mayor into committing tax payer money for a new stadium, keep raising ticket prices, and please work on the lines in the concession stands and that smell in the restrooms. If you are not open to having a few future Sounds playing down the road from you, then that is just sad.

Baseball fans encourage the game at all levels, and that is what I plan on doing.

By: PokerFace 09 on 1/25/10 at 6:52

What happened to the Nashville Outlaws logo? Anyone notice the change on their website. It is now a N with the hat. Did they possibly try using a logo that was trade marked?

Not nearly as good.