OTTAWA ANNOUNCES COACHING STAFF, INAUGURAL PLAYER SIGNINGS

OTTAWA, ON – The Ottawa Professional Baseball Club announced Monday its 2021 coaching staff, as well as the team’s inaugural player signings.

Nick Kennedy joins field manager Steve Brook’s staff as assistant coach, while right-handed pitcher Cody Mincey and outfielder Kyle Gaedele have been signed to contracts.  Mincey and Gaedele will serve in dual roles as pitching coach and hitting coach respectively.  All three played under Brook with the Frontier League’s River City Rascals at various points in their professional careers.

A former right-handed pitcher, Kennedy enjoyed a nine-year professional career from 2011-19, which included six seasons under Brook and River City from 2012-17.  The Houston, Texas native compiled a lifetime 3.18 ERA in 376 appearances (10 starts, 366 in relief) across 455.2 innings pitched.  Kennedy was 22-28 with 16 saves, and averaged just 2.3 walks per nine innings during his career.

“I am extremely honoured and excited for this incredible opportunity,” said Kennedy.  “I would like to thank Sam (Katz) and Steve for the chance to make the transition from player to coach.  I began my professional career as one of Steve’s players in the Frontier League, and was lucky enough to play for him for six seasons.  I was molded by our experiences together, and I cannot wait to learn and grow as a member of his coaching staff.”

After finishing his college career at the University of Kentucky (Lexington, Kentucky), Kennedy made his professional debut in 2011 with the North American Baseball League’s Lake County Fielders.  During his six seasons with River City, the 32-year-old Kennedy helped the Rascals to three consecutive berths in the Frontier League Championship Series (2014-16).  Kennedy closed out his career pitching for the Can-Am League’s Rockland Boulders, helping Rockland to playoff appearances in 2018 and 2019.  Kennedy owns a 0.98 ERA in 18.1 career postseason innings.

Mincey enters his fourth season of professional baseball, and is coming off a championship performance with the Atlantic League’s Long Island Ducks in 2019.  The Hartsville, South Carolina native was 7-1 with five saves and a 2.53 ERA in 49 relief appearances.  Mincey ranked first among Atlantic League relievers with 96 strikeouts (67.2 innings pitched), and third in wins above replacement (WAR) among relievers at 1.5.  Mincey also led all Atlantic League hurlers (starters or relievers) with 12.8 strikeouts per nine innings.

“I would like to say thank you to our owner Sam Katz and our new manager Steve Brook for the opportunity,” said Mincey.  “I am pumped to get to Ottawa and to get the show on the road.  Being in the same organization as Steve again is going to make for an awesome year.  He’s a great manager who has had a lot of success, and I expect this year to be no different.”

During the 2019 playoffs, the 28-year-old Mincey earned four saves and added 10 more strikeouts in six and two-thirds innings.  With the Ducks facing elimination in Game Four of the Atlantic League Championship Series, Mincey shut the door with a perfect bottom of the 10th to preserve a 3-2, 10-inning victory that evened the series.  The following night, Mincey recorded the final five outs in Long Island’s 8-4, championship-clinching win.

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Mincey pitched collegiately at the University of South Carolina (Columbia, South Carolina) before starting his professional career in the Frontier League in 2017.  Mincey pitched under Brook in 2017, and again in 2018 where he led the Frontier League with 23 saves and was voted an All-Star.

Gaedele (pronounced guh-DELL) last played in 2018 where he appeared in 13 games for the American Association’s Chicago Dogs.  The Arlington Heights, Illinois native was one of the Frontier League’s best all-around players in 2016.  Gaedele ranked ninth in batting average (.308), 10th in runs scored (60), tied for seventh in home runs (14), ninth in stolen bases (24), and tied for second in outfield assists (11) while playing for Brook and River City.

“I am honoured to be teaming up with Steve Brook and the entire Ottawa staff for 2021,” said Gaedele.  “It’s a great group committed to doing things the right way, while competing for a championship.  I’m excited to see what’s coming for the players and fans of Ottawa this season.”

Drafted by the San Diego Padres in the sixth round in 2011, Gaedele has twice reached the Double-A level in his career.  A right-handed batter and fielder, Gaedele has a lifetime .251 batting average, .343 on-base percentage, and a .417 slugging percentage in 531 professional games played.  The 30-year-old Gaedele played three seasons of college baseball at Valparaiso University (Valparaiso, Indiana) where he batted a combined .326 for the Crusaders from 2009-11.

The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Gaedele is the grandnephew of late Major Leaguer Eddie Gaedel, who famously walked in his lone plate appearance with the St. Louis Browns in 1951, and is the smallest player in MLB history at 3-foot-7.

“Nick, Cody, and Kyle bring a dedication for the game and a passion for the Frontier League that is contagious in the clubhouse,” said Brook.  “I appreciate everything these men bring to our organization, both on and off the field, and I am excited to develop a successful roster alongside their experiences and leadership abilities.”

The Ottawa Professional Baseball Club is scheduled to begin play in May 2021.  Fans can help “name the team” until October 28th by visiting www.ottawaprofessionalbaseballclub.com

BE A PART OF HISTORY: HELP NAME OTTAWA’S NEW BASEBALL TEAM

OTTAWA, ON – They are not scheduled to play for several more months, but the Ottawa Professional Baseball Club is already engaging fans as part of a “Name the Team” contest.

Fans may submit their ideas at www.ottawaprofessionalbaseball.com.  The individual providing the winning entry will receive a prize and be recognized on the field during the Ottawa Professional Baseball Club’s 2021 home opener at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park.

Entries will be accepted until October 28th, 2020.  Bilingual submissions are highly-encouraged.

“We look forward to hearing everyone’s ideas, and are excited to include the community in our building process,” said Regan Katz, Vice President of the Ottawa Professional Baseball Club.  “We are open to suggestions from all categories, whether it be wildlife, history, culture, or culinary.  Ultimately, we just want the name to be fun, and one that represents our mission to offer affordable, family-friendly entertainment.”

Previous Ottawa-based professional baseball teams have included names such as the Giants, Athletics, Lynx, Rapidz, and Champions.

Founded in September 2020, the Ottawa Professional Baseball Club is the newest member of the 15-team, independent Frontier League.  The ownership group is led by Sam Katz of the Winnipeg Goldeyes (American Association) and Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) of the Ottawa Redblacks (Canadian Football League) and Ottawa 67’s (Ontario Hockey League).

The Ottawa Professional Baseball Club and the rest of the Frontier League are scheduled to begin play in May of 2021.

DECORATED MANAGER BROOK HIRED TO LEAD OTTAWA

The Ottawa Professional Baseball Club, new member of the Frontier League, introduced Steve Brook as their inaugural manager on Tuesday.

Brook is one of the most accomplished managers in Frontier League history, having compiled a 542-415 (.566) record with the River City Rascals from 2010-19.  During his 10 years at the helm, Brook guided the Rascals to nine winning seasons, seven playoff berths (including six appearances in the Frontier League Championship Series), and Frontier League championships in 2010 and 2019.  The Frankfort, Illinois native’s 542 victories rank sixth all-time among Frontier League managers.

“We are thrilled to hire someone of Steve’s calibre,” said Sam Katz, co-owner of the Ottawa Professional Baseball Club.  “Our goal is to build a winning culture at all levels of the organization, and Steve’s resume speaks for itself.  He understands what it takes to succeed in the Frontier League’s competitive environment, and comes highly-recommended from his peers as both a baseball person and a man of character.  We are proud to introduce Steve as our inaugural manager, and welcome his family to Ottawa.”

After graduating from Illinois Wesleyan University (Bloomington, Illinois) with a degree in History, Brook pitched four seasons for the Rascals from 2004-07 where he was twice voted a Frontier League All-Star.  The right-hander compiled a 33-17 overall record with one save and a 4.14 ERA in 448.0 innings pitched.  After retiring as a player, Brook served on River City’s coaching staff before taking over as manager in 2010.

“I am humbled and beyond excited to lead in Ottawa for the 2021 season,” said Brook.  “The Frontier League continues to expand, and the return of professional baseball to Ottawa is something I’m very proud to be a part of.  I look forward to working within the community to bring success both on and off the field this season.  I want to thank Sam Katz and the Ottawa ownership team for the confidence and amazing opportunity.”

The 39-year-old Brook earned a Masters in Physical Education from the University of Central Missouri (Warrensburg, Missouri) in 2008, and is a Phys Ed. teacher at Fort Zumwalt South High School in Saint Peters, Missouri during the off-season.  Brook resides in Missouri with his wife, Ellen, and their two children, Nolan and Caitlin.

Brook will be available to the media via Zoom conference on Wednesday, October 7th, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

Steve Brook Managerial History

2010 River City Rascals – 57-38 (.600), Frontier League champions

2011 River City Rascals – 68-27 (.716), reached Frontier League Championship Series

2012 River City Rascals – 45-50 (.474)

2013 River City Rascals – 50-46 (.521)

2014 River City Rascals – 61-35 (.635), reached Frontier League Championship Series

2015 River City Rascals – 56-40 (.583), reached Frontier League Championship Series

2016 River City Rascals – 49-47 (.510), reached Frontier League Championship Series

2017 River City Rascals – 50-46 (.521)

2018 River City Rascals – 52-42 (.542), reached Frontier League playoffs

2019 River City Rascals – 54-42 (.563), Frontier League champions

In the coming weeks, the Ottawa Professional Baseball Club expects to host a name-the-team contest.  The 2021 Frontier League seasons begins next May.