Rapid City now looks to have a team in the Expedition League.
It was announced on Wednesday that the Rapid City Jackalopes are looking to be the collegiate wood bat baseball league's next franchise, beginning action the 2020 season.
The Jackalopes and the Expedition League are working with the City of Rapid City to play their home games at McKeague Field on the west side of Rapid City.
“McKeague Field sits in an area saturated in rich baseball tradition and we look to continue that tradition of high quality baseball,” said Jackalopes owner and president Kevin Bybee. “McKeague Field is in need of some work in order to bring collegiate level baseball to Rapid City.”
The Expedition League and the Jackalopes have been granted permission by the city to pursue naming rights for the field. The league field is also in Rapid City.
“We will honor the name ‘McKeague Field’ through this process. We will ensure that this name will remain in the new name of the stadium,” said Bybee, who also owns the Spearfish Sasquatch.
The Expedition League is a summer collegiate wood bat baseball league that is entering its second season with the first games May 26.
Along with Spearfish, the other league teams include: Casper Horseheads, Fremont Moo, Hastings Sodbusters, Western Nebraska Pioneers, Badlands Big Sticks, Hub City Hotshots, Pierre Trappers, Souris Valley Sabre Dogs and Wheat City Whiskey Jacks.
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The league emulates minor league baseball with players using wood bats and playing 64 games in 10 weeks, on average.
The players stay with host families from the local communities. Host families are a very integral part of the Expedition League and these host family relationships provide a lifetime of memories for both the host families and the players.
League affiliated teams are involved in various non-profits and community fund raising activities.
“We are very excited to announce the Rapid City team name and logo today,” said Steve Wagner, Expedition League President. “When traveling the Great Plains over the past five years, I knew we had to have a team in Rapid City. This community loves its baseball and we can’t wait to show the great people of Rapid City and the surrounding communities what we are all about.
"The Bybees also own the Spearfish Sasquatch and they operate the Sasquatch with excellence, providing nonstop fun and entertainment for their wonderful fans. I know they will bring that same excellence to the Rapid City Jackalopes.”
Ross Johnson of Ross Johnson Design Co., in Rapid City, created the team’s logos. The team’s colors are cardinal red, dark blue, teal and gray.
“When thinking about what this Rapid City franchise should be named, we wanted to make sure that we branded ourselves with a name that lends itself to the area and something we could have some fun with. We are all about quality family fun and this branding gives us so much to work with,” Bybee said. “Not many things say Western South Dakota like a jackalope. We will have a ton of fun with this mascot at the ballpark every night, which is what we aim to do, create a fun, affordable and exciting atmosphere for families to enjoy.”