PRESS RELEASE – The Prospect League is proud to announce further expansion with the additions of the Clinton LumberKings and Burlington Bees. “We are proud to announce that both the Burlington Bees and the Clinton LumberKings are joining the Prospect League for the upcoming 2021 season and beyond,” said Prospect League Commissioner Dennis Bastien. “We applaud their decision to be a part of our league and welcome them with open arms.”
Both clubs bring professional-level operations and facilities to the Prospect League. Burlington has been playing professional baseball since 1889, Clinton since 1895. Along with long histories, both organizations bring strong operational leadership, further strengthening the league’s membership.
“I personally have known both of these two fine baseball operators for many years,” Bastien added. “They will bring much experience and know-how into our fold. Both communities, Clinton and Burlington, will enjoy the finest in summer collegiate baseball. The LumberKings and the Bees will continue to make their fans and followers proud!”
Prior to joining the Prospect League, Clinton was the only remaining charter member (1956) of the Class A Midwest League and has operated continuously since 1954. The club plays its home games in Clinton, Iowa, at NelsonCorp Field, a ballpark built in 1937 as a Works Progress Administration project. Prior to the 2006 season, the ballpark underwent a $5 million renovation that included a new home clubhouse, indoor batting cages, a new sand-based playing surface with drainage and irrigation systems, a new scoreboard and box seats. Prior to the 2018 season, the LumberKings added a new LED ribbon board in right field and front entrance monitors as part of a $500,000 renovation, earning recognition from Ballpark Digest as Honorable Mention for the 2018 Best Ballpark Improvement under $1M. NelsonCorp Field is listed by Ballpark Digest as one of the top five must-visit ballparks anywhere.
“We are excited to join the Prospect League and have the opportunity to provide our community with great baseball coming from the top collegiate players in the country,” said LumberKings general manager Ted Tornow.
Before joining the Prospect League, Burlington had been a longtime member of the Class A Midwest League dating to 1962. The Bees make their home at Community Field in Burlington, Iowa. The ballpark was built in 1947 and, after a fire in 1971, was rebuilt by the community for the 1973 season. A major renovation in 2005 brought the ballpark up to modern standards and recent renovations include new field lighting, third base bleachers, grounds keeping facility, party pavilion and luxury seating above the first base dugout called “Stingerz Landing”. The Bees have received numerous awards, including Iowa’s Field of the Year, King of Baseball, Midwest League Executive of the Year and, most recently, Minor League Baseball Rawlings Woman Executive of the Year.
“We are very excited to join prospect league and continue the tradition of baseball here at Community Field,” Said Bees general manager Kim Parker. “The Prospect League has a great following and we are happy to be a part of this successful league!”
The additions of the LumberKings and Bees are the third and fourth of the offseason, bringing the league’s number of teams to 16. Divisional realignment and a 2021 game schedule will be announced in the near future.