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Quincy is losing its summer collegiate baseball team

(via Flickr/Nero.Lives)
The Quincy Gems have played their last season.

The owners of a collegiate summer baseball team in Quincy, Illinois, are saying goodbye.

Jimmie and Julie Louthan announced on Tuesday that the 2023 season, which ended earlier this month, would be the Quincy Gems' last. The couple pointed to the sacrifice of family time and the difficulty providing affordable seasonal entertainment for the decision.

In a statement, the couple, who have owned the team since 2016, thanked the community for the ongoing support.

“We are sincerely grateful for the unforgettable connections made with players, host families, fans, sponsors and those in the community who supported Quincy Gems Baseball along with the dedicated staff who made summer baseball in Quincy possible,” the Louthans said.

The Louthans could not be reached for further comment.

The news is a loss for the Quincy area, said Bruce Guthrie, the president and CEO of the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce. The team got its start in Quincy in 1996.

“It’s a big thing for a community to have a team and build a rally around that team,” Guthrie said. “So not having it is going to hurt. The community has really supported them as best as they can for many years. So it’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out.”

Guthrie commended the Louthans for their dedication to the team and community. He said running a baseball team while owning a catering business isn’t an easy job.

“Owning an independent baseball team is—you’re taking on a lot of responsibility both financially and your personal time,” Guthrie said. “It took up their whole summer.”

St. Louis Public Radio reached out to the Prospect League, but the league declined to comment on what the future holds for the team.

The Quincy Gems have been part of the Prospect League since 2009. It’s won three Prospect League championships and eight division championships, including one this year. The news has been felt throughout the region. The Louthans want the team to remain in the league but under new management and in a new location.

Marissanne is the afternoon newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio.