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December 13, 2013

SOLD: Local group buys Terre Haute Rex

Deal must be OK’d by Prospect League

TERRE HAUTE — The Terre Haute Rex baseball team has a new owner, pending approval by Prospect League officials.

The Indiana State University Foundation has sold the team to Wabash Valley Baseball LLC, a Terre Haute corporation whose member-owners are Brian Dorsett, Bruce Rosselli, Bob Brown, John Newton, Ray Kepner and Kevin Hoolehan.

Five of the six are ISU alumni.

Rosselli will be the general manager, a paid position, while Dorsett will be the member manager.

The new owners want to spread the message that “it’s the community’s team,” Rosselli told the Tribune-Star. The group wants to keep the team in Terre Haute, as opposed to someone buying it and moving it out of town.

“It’s a community effort to keep this entity here,” Rosselli said. The sale was finalized just this morning.

The team will remain in the Prospect League, a summer college wooden-bat league, and will still be called the Terre Haute Rex. The team also will continue to play at Bob Warn Field, according to an agenda item before the ISU board of trustees this afternoon.

ISU trustees are expected to approve a new lease agreement. Sycamore Foundation Holdings Inc. will lease Bob Warn Field and Sycamore Stadium from ISU for Terre Haute Rex baseball play.

Under the new agreement, the ISU Foundation will sublease the facilities to the new owners of the team. The lease agreement is for three years, spanning four baseball seasons, from June 1, 2014, to Aug. 31, 2017.

Members of Wabash Valley Baseball LLC are planning a news conference Tuesday, Rosselli said, when they will discuss details of the change of ownership and their plans for the future. He also indicated that he has left his job at the Terre Haute Parks Department, saying it was “the toughest decision I have ever had to make.”

“What the owners wanted to do was step up and keep [the team] here,” Rosselli said. “We’re grass-rooted here and didn’t want to see it move on.”

They didn’t purchase the Rex as a money-making venture, he said. The baseball team is a good source of summer entertainment for the community, Rosselli said, adding that team owners hope to expand interest into other Wabash Valley communities such as Linton, Brazil and Clinton.

See Saturday’s Tribune-Star for more information and revisit www.tribstar.com.

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