Ypsilanti Citizen Sports Sidetrack

Lincoln soccer closes out season with win.
By Kevin Korpal
Jun. 1, 2010   ·   10:45 a.m.

Strong defense led the Lincoln Railsplitters to a 3-1 victory over the undersized Ypsilanti Phoenix to close out the season on Lincoln’s Senior Night last Thursday....read more

Lincoln lacrosse dominates Ypsilanti
By Kevin Korpal
May. 20, 2010   ·   6:23 p.m.

Wind and rain were the names of the game when the Lincoln High School lacrosse team defeated visiting Ypsilanti High School 13-3 Monday night.

The Railsplitters...read more

Flyers softball drop season opener
By Jeremiah Juncker
Mar. 31, 2010   ·   5:50 p.m.

Willow Run junior starting pitcher Katie Mullins in the third inning in the team's home-opener against Huron Valley Lutheran High School. Flyers lost 13-4 against the Hawks Tuesday.

It was a mix of inexperience, first game jitters and a strong opposing pitcher which saw the Willow Run High School girl’s softball team drop its season-opener...read more

Lincoln High School sports roundup
By Jeremiah Juncker
Mar. 30, 2010   ·   10:39 a.m.

Baseball: Ace Andrew Dillon leads a young Railspitters team as fourth-year coach Marty Lozano tries to turn things around after a 12-21 season in 2009. Lozano has...read more

Lincoln hockey earns fourth straight win
By Tom Perkins
Dec. 22, 2009   ·   9:47 a.m.

Railsplitter David Skeans fires in the game winning goal against Chelsea.

For two periods it looked as if Lincoln hockey was not only going to break their winless streak against Chelsea, but they were going to decimate the Bulldogs in...read more

Baseball slides into Ypsilanti

Ypsilanti will be home to a minor league baseball team this summer, with the Frontier League's Midwest Sliders playing at EMU's baseball stadium. Photo by Dan DuChene

Ypsilanti will be home to a minor league baseball team this summer, with the Frontier League's Midwest Sliders playing at EMU's baseball stadium.
Ypsilanti Farmers Market

By Dan DuChene
Nov. 3, 2008    ·    5:00 p.m.


The new minor league baseball team coming to Ypsilanti could lead to more permanent prospects for the sport in the community.

Last month, owners of the Midwest Sliders, a Frontier League club, announced they would set up a base for their team at Eastern Michigan's Oestrike Stadium on Hewitt Road. The location is temporary while the team's permanent 3,900-seat stadium is built in Waterford, Michigan.

Rob Hilliard and his partner Bill Terlecky created Baseball Heroes of Oakland County LP and purchased the team in January. Previously, the club had been a traveling team in the league with nowhere to call home.

"If you take a look in southeast Michigan, the alternatives of playing this level of baseball are few and far between," Hilliard said.

The need for adequate seating, parking, lighting and concession opportunities limited the teams ability to find a suitable park to play ball.

"Even when we first announced we were moving to Waterford, we took a look at what people were saying in Ypsilanti," Hilliard said. "We just felt that EMU would offer us a good opportunity."

Even though this will be the only year the Sliders will play in Ypsilanti, as they plan to head to Waterford in 2010 as the Oakland County Cruisers, Hilliard hinted at more permanent baseball prospects for the city in the future, stating that Ypsilanti and Waterford are two separate markets and expressing his interest in becoming a "perspective owner of whatever is put in place in Ypsilanti."

Hilliard said, "We intend to be involved in Ypsilanti." Though, he also said conversations are just beginning.

Ypsilanti City Councilmember Brian Robb, D-Ward 3, was one of the people Hilliard had a conversation with.

Robb, who has been supporting the idea for a minor league stadium in the city's stalled Water Street Project for some time, said he sat down with the club's owners about two weeks ago. He was joined by Ypsilanti City Planner Richard Murphy and local resident Kevin Hill.

"They had found me through the blogs, and they wanted to meet me," Robb said.

He said he walked away with a list of "homework assignments" to help the team become successful in the area.

"We’re very excited to have them here even if it’s only for a year," Robb said. "We want to help them anyway we can."

Both Robb and Hilliard said this season for the Sliders could determine it the market exists for a professional baseball team in Ypsilanti.

"This is an opportunity to indicate to everybody if there would be a level of support," Hilliard said.

Robb agrees.

"This is super real now," he said. "Things are lining up and people are taking us seriously. We need to show that Ypsilanti is a baseball town."

Robb said his "homework" included helping to find host families for players, communication with local companies and services that could help with the club's needs and getting the word out.

Along with the movies, Hilliard said baseball games are "one of the two forms of entertainment that are virtually recession-proof." He said the team has already sold 250 season tickets at its stadium in Waterford. Aside from a few home games scheduled in Avon Ohio due to scheduling conflicts at EMU's stadium, Hilliard said the team will play 45 games at home.

For more information on the Midwest Sliders click here.



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