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New baseball stadium in Marion, Ill. gets a team

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Children throw rocks Wednesday into a large area that will become a Frontier League baseball stadium in Marion, Ill. (UPI Photo/Bill Greenblatt)

By AP/KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The minor league ballpark being built in the southern Illinois town of Marion now has an actual team to play there.

The Frontier League said Wednesday it will add a team in Marion in time for next spring. The Gateway Grizzlies and River City Rascals are also in the Frontier League.

Bulldozers have been clearing land for months in Marion to make room for the ballpark, all the while not having a team secured.

The park is the effort of Metro-East lawyer John Simmons. Simmons' contributions to Gov. Rod Blagojevich were scrutinized after the state announced it would use some tax money to help pay for the building's construction.

The Frontier League is based in Troy, Ill.; its chief Bill Lee says he long has believed a Marion team would be a perfect geographical fit for the 10-team group.

The cost of creating a Marion team was not immediately made public. Simmons' wife, Jayne, is to be the club's legal owner.

The team and ballpark are scheduled to be ready for the 2007 season.

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