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Deal will bring baseball back to Kalamazoo in 2014


KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- Monday night the Kalamazoo City Commission will consider a five year lease with Dick Raddatz and Michigan Baseball LLC to bring a Northwoods League baseball franchise to town next summer.

They will be playing at the field with the perfect name for baseball, Homer Stryker Field, named for the patriarch of the Stryker Corporation. It’s been a shame there has been no organized baseball at Kalamazoo’s riverfront ball park since the Kings franchise folded in 2011.

The former Sutherland Field has hosted a variety of leagues on and off since 1928.

The collegiate league that will be coming to Kalamazoo already has a team in Battle Creek, The Bombers. Most of their 18 team roster is in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

The annual contract will bring in about 35-thousand dollars a season to the city for reimbursement of costs.

Commissioners will also consider a 46-thousand dollar proposal to upgrade the electrical system at the Mayor’s Riverfront complex, which also includes a football and a soccer field. The money would come from an endowment fund set up to underwrite improvements at city recreation facilities.

The complex is subject to frequent power outages because of the current design of the electrical system. This contract would move it underground, where it would be more protected.