HANNIBAL, MO. (WGEM) -- The abbreviated absence of summer baseball in America's Hometown is over.
The Prospect League formally announced a Hannibal franchise will return in 2018 Tuesday morning after the Hannibal Cavemen suspended operations earlier this year.
At a press conference at Hannibal City Hall the owner of the yet-to-be-named team, Rick DeStephane, and Prospect League Commissioner Dennis Bastien officially welcomed the city back to the league.
"It's a shame we didn't have baseball last year. But things happen in life and we had to work out things with the city and resurrect the team," DeStephane said.
"It's good for baseball. It's good for this community and it's good for the fan."
According to Bastien: "What this has done today is resurrect the team. It sures up (the Prospect League's) West in the Western Division. It adds another player to that mix. As a league are very proud to have Hannibal back."
DeStephane's first order of business was to hire a new general manager and named former Quincy University and John Wood assistant baseball coach Matt Stembridge to the position.
"Talking to him, he has a understanding and a love for (baseball)," DeStephane said.
"He has 10 years of resources to draw upon to put together a very good and solid team. I think we'll be competitive."
With a new team comes the need to unveil a nickname.
DeStephane and Stembridge say they will offer the Hannibal community a chance to name the franchise before the season starts.