Peoria, IL -- After weeks of waiting, the Peoria Chiefs have an answer as far as their status in the Midwest League.
Central Illinois' minor league franchise signs a four year deal with a familiar major league baseball organization.
Peoria is converting from Cubby blue to Cardinals red.
The Peoria Chiefs are going back in time in order to move forward with baseball in Central Illinois.
The Chiefs will have a second stint as an affiliate of Major League Baseball's St. Louis Cardinals.
Chiefs President Rocky Vonachen says the move back to the Redbirds is simply a no-brainer.
Sometimes change is good, and I think now this is a good change for us. It's a good fit for us, we're excited about it as a staff and look forward to marketing the team, getting some tickets sold, and getting the season started again.
The Chiefs understand the switch to the Cardinals may be tough for fans of other Major League Baseball teams.
Everywhere I went, Cardinals fans, even Cubs were saying get the Cardinals, we need the Cardinals back. That was kind of our goal and hope that they would come back.
Vonachen says he felt good about Peoria's chances of landing the Cardinals once St. Louis entered the market for a new Midwest League affiliate. Peoria's proximity to St. Louis helped in the decision process.
It makes all the sense in the world, so are we saw they weren't going back to Quad Cities, we started looking at other cities within the Midwest League they could go. It just felt like, Peoria was the best fit for them, and it all worked out for both of us.
Vonachen says he's excited about the potential talent that could play in Peoria, many players have called Peoria home before making their way to the big league stage.
"They've got a fantastic farm system, when you look at all the players that are currently playing with the Cardinals, this year, and they past couple of years. They send some great players, through the Midwest League, so we're looking for that to continue, and for many years."
Whether you cheer on the Cardinals, the Cubs, or another franchise, Peoria Chiefs Baseball begins a new era in Central Illinois, just with a familiar partner...The St. Louis Cardinals Organization.
The Chiefs will hold a formal press conference Tuesday, September 25th. The Chiefs plan to keep Homer as their mascot and logo, but team colors, and jersey schemes will see a change next season.