TERRE HAUTE —
The Terre Haute Rex baseball team has a new owner.
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, and Hoolehan is retired from the ISU Foundation.
Rosselli will be the general manager, a paid position, while Dorsett will be the member manager. Bobby Segal will be the head coach.
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 Friday 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 as the result of action taken by ISU trustees Friday.
Previously, Sycamore Foundation Holdings Inc. leased 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 spans 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 surrounding counties in both Indiana and Illinois.
Ron Carpenter, president of the ISU Foundation, said, “We’re happy for the Terre Haute community that the baseball team will be around.” He noted the Prospect League must still approve the sale, but that approval is expected.
“I think the community will be pleased with the new ownership,” Carpenter said. The sale price was $90,000, he said.
Brian Dorsett, who was the Rex head coach for three years, says he has a vested interest in the team. “I grew to love the Rex baseball club and what it means,” he said. “I didn’t want it to leave Terre Haute.”
He saw how kids and families “learned to love it and enjoyed going out to the baseball park.”
The new owners are pretty like-minded and believed “we can pull this off,” Dorsett said. They all want to see Terre Haute have a summer baseball team.
“We think it’s great for our community,” Dorsett said. “I think people will really be happy with what they see going forward.”
Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or email@example.com.
ISU Foundation sells team to Valley group wanting to keep independent leaguers in town
TERRE HAUTE —
The Terre Haute Rex baseball team has a new owner.
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