South Mississippi Closer to Landing Minor League Team - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

1/15/05

South Mississippi Closer to Landing Minor League Team

It's the dream of perhaps every young baseball fan to one day play in the big leagues.

This weekend about 150 future baseball stars got the chance to play ball with some of those big league stars at the fifth annual Weekend with the Pros Baseball Clinic.

The clinic is organized in part by Biloxi native and former major leaguer Barry Lyons.

Jackson County resident Joseph Dahm is hoping his fast pitch will land him in the big leagues one day.

Former major leaguer and Biloxi native Barry Lyons has a dream of his own.

"In the year 2007, us here on the Coast, and Biloxi in particular, having a minor league baseball team," Lyons said.

Lyons says South Mississippi has already caught the eye of a prestigious national magazine.

"We were listed in Baseball America as one of the top 10 cities in the country that does not have minor league baseball that should have it," Lyons said.

But this is a community where minor league sports have struggled. Indoor soccer and indoor football leagues have failed in the past.

But Lyons believes minor league baseball would be a hit on the coast.

"I just know baseball is a natural fit here on the coast, and I have every belief, and every reason to think and know that it's going to be successful," Lyons said.

Orioles pitcher Kurt Ainsworth shares Lyons' vision.

He's visited South Mississippi a few times and thinks minor league baseball could really take off here, if the facilities are good. He says if Biloxi builds it the fans will come.

"If you build the right kind of stadium, people will go, they will show up and have a great time at the games. You can tell by all the new stadiums that they're building in minor league baseball and the major leagues are really making the crowds come out in big numbers," Ainsworth said.

And it's very possible that within the next few years, players like Joseph Dahm could soon be drawing crowds of their own right here in South Mississippi.

By: Toni Miles

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