Rumor no more: Stars to Biloxi in 2015

By Jason Arndthstars2
Brewers Farm Report

It is a sad day in Huntsville history after the Southern League unanimously approved the sale and relocation of the Stars to Biloxi, Miss. in 2015.

The move comes after an anonymous source told Brewers Farm Report last week the team would be moved to Mississippi despite a hesitant group of Southern League owners.

Reports indicated the AA Southern League owners were reluctant to make the decision for a variety of reasons including travel expenses and the market competition with the Mobile BayBears in Southern Mississippi.

Southern League teams travel by bus and play five-game sets every season in an effort to reduce costs of travel between cities.

southernleagueIn addition, owners noted the City of Huntsville and its commitment to fielding a AA team and attempted to find an alternative team to move to Huntsville.

City leaders of Huntsville grew frustrated with Stars’ owner Miles Prentice after the New York-based attorney declined many times to work with officials on building a new stadium.

Reports from Huntsville indicated the owner did not attend any home games at the aging Joe Davis Stadium and Mayor Tommy Battle “expected” the team to honor its lease through the 2015.

However, given the strained relationship between Prentice and the City Huntsville – it was not a surprise the owner opted to break the lease and sell the team to a Ken Young.

Despite reports from Biloxi, Miss. regarding postponed measures related to a new stadium – City leaders should be able to move forward and put it back on the agenda. Biloxi officials were awaiting documented proof the team would be approved and relocated.

Partnership with Milwaukee

brewersMilwaukee’s Player Development Contract with the Stars’ franchise expires after the 2014 and it remains to be seen whether both sides will mutually agree to continue its 17 year relationship.

Given the circumstances surrounding its last negotiation process following the 2012 season, both sides could extend the PDC.

Similar to the Nashville Sounds situation, the Brewers’ organization wanted to seek a new partnership due to an aging stadium constructed for football.

The difference was Prentice’s uncooperative demeanor toward Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and refusal to discuss any potential of a new stadium.

Huntsville was home to many of Milwaukee’s top prospects since 1999 when the Brewers ended ties with Texas League El Paso.

Former Brewers' All-Star as a member of Huntsville in 2000.

Former Brewers’ All-Star Ben Sheets as a member of Huntsville in 2000.

Pitcher Ben Sheets was the Brewers’ first Major League All-Star to be a part of the Huntsville Stars in 2000 when he made 13 starts posting a 5-3 record with a phenomenal 1.88 Earned Run Average.

Corey Hart made his mark for the Stars in 2003 when he was named the Southern League’s Most Valuable Player after knocking in 94 runs while blasting 13 home runs with a .340 On Base Percentage.

It took nine more seasons for the Stars to produce its next MVP when Huntsville native Hunter Morris took the organization by storm.

Morris belted 28 home runs and drove in 113 runs for the 2012 Stars while collecting 40 doubles and was ten percentage points shy of capturing the league’s triple crown.

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