New Baseball Team To Call Alex Duffy Fairgrounds Home

New Baseball Team To Call Alex Duffy Fairgrounds Home

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Collegiate baseball will return to the Watertown Fairgrounds next year.

The Watertown Rapids will take the field in June of 2018, bringing the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League back to the north country.

To make it official, the Watertown city council approved a deal Monday night to let team owners S&V Baseball Management to lease the fairgrounds as their home field.

Mike Schell is a major force behind bringing the team to Watertown. He was part of the Watertown Indians ownership in the 1980s.

"We've got a great leadership team with Paul Velte with 30 years' experience in the minor leagues," Schell said, "and our general manager, Andrew, has been in minor leagues for several years and brings a lot of energy."

Paul Velte is co-owner. Schell and Velte's relationship goes back to when he owned the Geneva Cubs in the New York-Penn League.

"Without Mike -- he's the face of the team," Velte said. "I'm just here to help the business end of it, develop it, and we're looking to put a very successful franchise together."

Andrew Sagarin has been hired as general manager of the team and is already busy putting the business side of things together.

Even though he's only been here a short time, Sagarin says he's already been busy. 

"I've probably had, maybe 15 or 20 meetings just over the past couple of weeks with people locally who are offering their help in many different ways," he said, "and the reception here has just been incredible for me not being from here, I've really felt welcomed to the community."

Team owners will pay the city a flat $10,000 fee to use the Alex Duffy Fairgrounds for 2018, with a 2 percent increase each year after that.

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