Have We Seen the Last of Quincy Gems Baseball?
Some 1510 fans turned out to watch the Quincy Gems defeat the Terre Haute Rex last night at Q.U. Stadium. Could they have been watching the final game ever for the Quincy Gems?
If the Gems win tonight in Hannibal they will play at least one more home game in the Western Division Playoffs, and maybe an additional home game in the League Championship Playoff if they win the Western Division crown. Playoffs or no playoffs, we may be looking at the last of the Quincy Gems.
The Oakley Lindsay Center, the owner of the Gems has been actively looking to sell the ball club since the end of last season. They also announced that they have no intention of operating the team beyond this year. With 12 months basically behind them, there apparently is still no sale imminent. The Prospect League requested a sale be made by August first to ensure Quincy as a part of the 2015 Prospect League. They granted the Gems and additional 30 days to get a deal made.
The Prospect League also made it clear to the Gems that if they sell the team it must be for more than $100-thousand to uphold the integrity of the other franchises in the league. This basically has put a stranglehold on the Gems to come up with an offer for that much money. While I understand the reasoning behind that thinking, I ask the following: Are the Minnesota Twins worth the same as the New York Yankees? Of course not!
The other concern with the potential loss of the Gems in the league would be the financial pressure placed on the Hannibal Cavemen. After tonight's game, the two teams will have played 15 games against each other this season and 6 of those were "road" games for the Cavemen. With the Gems no longer an opponent, the Cavemen will need to travel more to a distant area to make up those "road" games which will certainly be an additional cost factor for them.
Having the two teams within 25 miles of each other has been a financial benefit for both teams over the years. Perhaps the league should consider this before putting a $100-thousand price tag on the Gems. The Quincy Gems have put out a very good product over the years. It's enjoyable baseball at a reasonable price for a franchise that has the 4th best attendance in the league.This team has the potential to be a solid franchise with better marketing and a staff that works 12 months on it instead of the "part-time" approach it has utilized.
For the 1500 plus people who just spent an enjoyable evening last night at the ballpark, the demise of the Quincy Gems would be unfortunate. Not only for them, but for the City of Quincy as well. There has been a great history of baseball in Quincy over the years and would hate to think I witnessed the last Quincy Gems baseball game last night.