UPDATE: Minnesota Twins take over as Kernels affiliate - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: Minnesota Twins take over as Kernels affiliate

Posted: Updated:
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

The Cedar Rapids Kernels announced a new Major League Baseball affiliation on Wednesday.

The Minnesota Twins will take over as the Major League affiliation for the Cedar Rapids Kernels for the next four years.

The Midwest League franchise, which was awarded to Cedar Rapids in 1962, has been affiliated with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim since 1993.

The franchise was called the Red Raiders from 1962-1964 and then was named after its major league affiliate until 1993.  They were the Cardinals from 1965–1972, the Astros from 1973–1974, the Giants from 1975–1979 and the Reds from 1980–1992.

The Twins are moving their affiliation from Beloit, Wis. to Cedar Rapids.

In front of a packed conference room inside Veterans Memorial Stadium Wednesday, many were excited to welcome in a big league affiliate a little closer to home

"It's all about the players and this was a great fit for us," said Jim Rantz, Twins Senior Director of Minor Leagues.

Attendance had dipped in the Kernels' final contract year with the Angels organization.

With the new agreement and Minneapolis just a four hour drive up the interstate, the hope is minor league baseball in Cedar Rapids will have new life.

"That's really what drove it was the opportunity to get with a Midwest-based affiliate and get that energy that you're seeing throughout today, going throughout the season," said Kernels president Gary Keoppel.

Diehard Twins fan Jack Kopel was among the Twins faithful turning out to Wednesday's news conference.

Kopel, who only attends a couple of kernels games a year, is now considering buying season tickets.

"It's just fun to come out and watch these young kids play baseball and see what they can do to get to the next level," he said.

The Twins depends heavily on player development through their farm system, giving fans from cedar rapids to Minneapolis a chance to see the organizations young prospects up close and personal

"if we're doing our job in the scouting side of things, you're going to see a lot of good players come through this league.  We have very few players that ever skip the Midwest League," said Bill Smith, Twins Assistant to the President and GM. 

Next year the nickname and the uniform may be the same, but the product on the field is one fans may be able to better relate to.

 

  • SPORTSMore>>

  • NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

    NCAA settles head-injury suit, will change rules

    Thursday, July 31 2014 2:52 AM EDT2014-07-31 06:52:16 GMT
    The NCAA has agreed to settle a class-action head injury lawsuit by creating a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing...More >>
    The NCAA agreed on Tuesday to help athletes with head injuries in a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit that college sports' governing body touted as a major step forward but that critics say doesn't go...More >>
  • Iowa City West clips Dowling at State Baseball Tournament

    Iowa City West clips Dowling at State Baseball Tournament

    Iowa City West clips Dowling at State Baseball Tournament

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:46 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:46:48 GMT
    Fourth-seeded Iowa City West broke a 2-2 tie with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to defeat fifth-seeded Dowling Catholic 4-2 in a Class 4A quarterfinal Wednesday afternoon at Principal Park.Devin Raftensperger started the sixth inning with a triple for the Trojans, scoring on the next play on an RBI single by Nate Boland. After a sacrifice bunt, pinch-hitter Spencer Wiskus doubled to left-centerfield scoring Boland, making it 4-2.owIowaity West moves on toa Class 4A semifinal matc...More >>
    Fourth-seeded Iowa City West broke a 2-2 tie with two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to defeat fifth-seeded Dowling Catholic 4-2 in a Class 4A quarterfinal Wednesday afternoon at Principal Park.Devin Raftensperger started the sixth inning with a triple for the Trojans, scoring on the next play on an RBI single by Nate Boland. After a sacrifice bunt, pinch-hitter Spencer Wiskus doubled to left-centerfield scoring Boland, making it 4-2.owIowaity West moves on toa Class 4A semifinal matc...More >>
  • Hempstead gets by Valley in 4A State Baseball Tournament

    Hempstead gets by Valley in 4A State Baseball Tournament

    Hempstead gets by Valley in 4A State Baseball Tournament

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:46 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:46:28 GMT
    A three-run sixth inning helped the second-seeded Dubuque Hempstead Mustangs rallie past the West Des Moines Valley Tigers, 4-2, in the Class 4A state quarterfinals at Principal Park on Wednesday night.After loading the bases in the bottom of the sixth, the Mustangs responded and tied the game when Bortscheller drove in Crimmins on an RBI single. Hempstead then took a 3-2 lead when Kolker scored on the suicide squeeze by Gross. The margin increased to 4-2 when Valley tried to get Bortscheller...More >>
    A three-run sixth inning helped the second-seeded Dubuque Hempstead Mustangs rallie past the West Des Moines Valley Tigers, 4-2, in the Class 4A state quarterfinals at Principal Park on Wednesday night.After loading the bases in the bottom of the sixth, the Mustangs responded and tied the game when Bortscheller drove in Crimmins on an RBI single. Hempstead then took a 3-2 lead when Kolker scored on the suicide squeeze by Gross. The margin increased to 4-2 when Valley tried to get Bortscheller...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KWWL. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Sandy Youngblut at 319-291-1259. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.