MOORHEAD, MN – The Board of Directors of the American Association of Professional Baseball has unanimously accepted the application of the Kane County Cougars to be the 11th member of the league, effective for the 2021 season.
The Kane County Cougars have a long and distinguished history in the Midwest League, beginning play in 1991. Located in suburban Chicago in Geneva, IL, the Cougars play at Northwestern Medicine Field. They were 2001 and 2014 Midwest League champions and reached the playoffs in 17 of the club’s 29 seasons in affiliated minor league baseball.
“It’s my honor to welcome the Kane County Cougars to the American Association. The Cougars are a storied ballclub in professional baseball and they will add to our story in the American Association,” said American Association Commissioner Joshua Schaub. “We believe the fans of the Kane County Cougars will embrace the higher level of play and our culture of playing to win. I promise the fans of Kane County the temperature around our playoff chase will be like nothing they’ve experienced before in affiliated baseball. In the American Association, we focus on competition and playing to win each game.”
“As we explored all of our options for MLB Partner League membership, the American Association jumped to the very top of our list,” said Dr. Bob Froehlich, Director and President of the Kane County Cougars. “The American Association has the best facilities, best ownership groups, a wonderful Midwestern footprint and an outstanding governance model. In many ways we feel like we are going to a Triple-A level league.”
The addition of Kane County, located in Geneva, IL, strengthens the American Association’s footprint in the Chicagoland area. The club joins the Chicago Dogs in Rosemont, IL; the Gary SouthShore RailCats in Gary, IN while the Milwaukee Milkmen are about 100 miles from the Cougars ballpark from their stadium in Franklin, WI.
The Cougars, and all of the Midwest League, had the 2020 season canceled due to COVID-19. In their storied 29-year history they have averaged 430,331 fans per season and an average of 6,456 fans per game while becoming the first Class A team to draw over 10 million fans in 2013.
The American Association will kick off the 2021 season on Tuesday, May 18 with a 100-game schedule. The league will announce the 2021 schedule and plans for and a 12th club for the 2021 season at a later date.