BELOIT, WI - Pat O'Conner, President of Minor League Baseball, visited Beloit on Tuesday to meet with prominent members of the community. He described his visit as "enlightening and positive" to acknowledge the need for a new stadium as a long-term solution to keep affiliated professional baseball in Beloit.
The Beloit Snappers Board of Directors hosted a luncheon at The Beloit Club to give O'Conner and influential city members and officials an opportunity to build a coalition centered on a common goal. His address to the crowd of attendees was highlighted by the importance of the community as a fundamental component of the Snappers.
"Snappers baseball hinges greatly on this community," stated O'Conner. In regards of a potential new facility, he further explained, "From now on, what it's going to take is a broad base of community support to make this decision."
Prior to the luncheon, President O'Conner was joined by Midwest League President Dick Nussbaum as guests to a morning session held by the Snapper Board of Directors. O'Conner was encouraged during that particular meeting by a presentation centered on community support.
"This morning, I saw a glimmer of hope. I was very impressed with the breadth and the depth of work that has been done," says O'Conner. "I think there is momentum," he would go on to explain.
Throughout his thirteen-minute speech, he balanced positive remarks with reminders of the challenges ahead. Another angle he provided was the impact that Beloit has not only on the 15 other cities in the Midwest League, but the landscape of Major League Baseball. The city of Beloit holds one of 160 entities that serve as training grounds for the future of baseball.
President O'Conner acknowledged the importance of the current situation in Beloit as it relates to the mission of Minor League Baseball and his dedication to helping the community find a resolution.
"I am committed to working with this community," stated O'Conner near the close of his address.
The Beloit Snappers are a member of the Midwest League and have been the Single-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics since 2013. Opening Day for the Snappers 36th season is April 6, 2017 at Pohlman Field as the Snappers host the Cedar Rapids Kernels.