TERRE HAUTE —
Mark Edwards’ life has come full circle.
After 13 years as Indiana State’s director of marketing, Edwards has returned to his childhood passion of baseball. He’s actually able to combine the two as he’s now handling marketing for the Terre Haute Rex.
He and West Terre Haute native Jimmie “The Kidd” Baugh are working together in the broadcast booth at Bob Warn Field.
Edwards spent part of his childhood retrieving bats in the visitors’ dugout at Wrigley Field. As a result, Edwards has a love for the Chicago Cubs — in addition to a treasure trove of collectibles that would make most Cubs fans drool.
“I started my career in radio, and was actually part of a morning team [at KMOX in St. Louis],” Edwards said in the days leading up to the Rex season.
His new role as the voice of the Rex has similar qualities.
“It’s much like a radio show where you entertain the public. You talk to them, you interact with them. This has all the same elements,” Edwards said.
Edwards’ witty intros prior to each opening pitch combined with Baugh’s musical expertise provides a lively atmosphere at Warn Field.
“We’re approaching it much like a morning show. Stunts, music, events,” Edwards said.
Baugh, who works in productions and promotions for Radio One in Indianapolis, adds sound effects and fills dead time during the games with fitting music.
“So far Mark and I have been able to develop a back-and-forth almost like a radio show. We just have fun. So far we think people are having fun,” said Baugh, who got his start announcing at West Vigo.
Edwards and Baugh are also working with ISU students Meika Tackett and Emily Shepherd, who interact with fans and involve them in contests between innings.
Minor League baseball has become famous for its promotions, and the Rex desire a similar reputation, creating a good time for the entire family.
Hula-hoop contests, dancing competitions, dizzy-bat races and water-balloon games are among the ways the Rex are getting fans on the field to enjoy the night out in Terre Haute.
General manager Roland Shelton said the team has come along way from last year in adding to the enjoyment for fans.
“It’s night and day. This is much more of a real atmosphere for our fans in terms of being in a baseball environment,” Shelton said. “Their quality music and the public announcing is just heads and shoulders above last year.”
Shelton would like to keep things fresh for all the returning fans.
“I like them mixing it up. They’ll find a rotation that will become fan favorites. Then there will be some that won’t work out,” Shelton said.
The Rex have more special nights for certain community groups planned, but you have to provide more entertainment than just baseball to keep families returning.
The Rex seem to be achieving their goals. Season-ticket sales almost doubled from 2010, and average game attendance was up to 884 per game after Saturday’s crowd of 1,309. That’s good for sixth in Prospect League. The teams above them on that list have been home to a summer collegiate league for years, if not decades. Five teams in the league are averaging below 300 fans per game.
Entertaining fans beyond the on-the-field product is a big part of getting people to make return a return trip.
“I started my career in major league ballparks. In those days, they didn’t do a whole lot of that,” Edwards said of in-game promotions. “Things have really changed since that time with promotions, especially on-the-field promotions, have become a big part of the experience. A lot of it has to do with the technology, and has to do with the promotional value.
“We’re going to keep the audience guessing. A lot of surprises, a lot of energy, a lot of fun.”
Edwards and Baugh have also welcomed Little League players and high school girls into the booth to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh-inning stretch — not unlike Wrigley Field.
Edwards even throws in a “let’s get some runs” afterward, ala Harry Caray.
“When Harry Caray came along and started singing ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ during the seventh inning; a lot of people think that’s been going on forever. It hasn’t been. That was considered a revolutionary approach,” Edwards said.
The 19-year-old Baugh is enjoying working with Edwards.
“We’re just out here to make people laugh, have a good time and enjoy the game,” Baugh said. “Baseball’s back in Terre Haute, so we just want everyone to enjoy it. As the year goes along, we have our window open the whole game, we want to interact with everybody.”
Edwards, Baugh use witty intros, stunts and music to create a lively atmosphere
TERRE HAUTE —
Mark Edwards’ life has come full circle.
- Terre Haute Rex
2012 an up, down season for Rex
The Terre Haute Rex went through plenty of trials and tribulations during the summer of 2012.
The team got off to a sluggish start to settle for third place during the first half of the Prospect League race, but manager Brian Dorsett rallied the troops to a second-half title.
Metro Roundup: Dorsett, Rex players honored in Prospect League postseason awards
Terre Haute Rex closer Nick Blount won one award and shared another and Brian Dorsett shared Manager of the Year honors as the Prospect League announced postseason awards Saturday.
Rex out of playoffs
Successful playoff baseball = clean baseball.
Rex mix, match their way to win
The Terre Haute Rex clinched a playoff spot last Thursday … but there were still four games to be played.
Rex turn eye to Prospect playoffs
Fans attending this evening’s Terre Haute Rex game should expect some handouts, some surprises — and probably better start by the home team than the Rex could provide Saturday night.
Rex drop road game to Sliders 7-1
One night after a dramatic come-from-behind victory, the Terre Haute Rex went down meekly to the Springfield Sliders 7-1 in Prospect League baseball Friday night.
Rex defeat Springfield twice, clinch spot in playoffs
It was a long but fruitful night for the playoff-bound Terre Haute Rex.
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Hire the band, make the floats, and rent out a street.
Rex split, retain 3 1⁄2-game advantage in West Division
A five-run ninth-inning rally fell far short for the Terre Haute Rex on Sunday night in Prospect League baseball.
No no-hitter, but Rex triumphs
Kyle Zimmerman took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, lost his control and the lead, but the Terre Haute Rex offense had an immediate answer Friday night at Bob Warn Field.
Travel baseball teams enjoy busy summer
So in the past two or three years, the increase in local travel baseball options has been led by three groups, Indiana (formerly Terre Haute) Havoc, Riley Recreation League and Junior Rex.
First-place Rex top rival Bombers
If you haven’t been to a Terre Haute Rex game yet this season, tonight might be the time to go.
The Rex have a second straight home game against the Dubois County Bombers, a potential Prospect League West Division playoff preview — and a battle between maybe the division’s two biggest rivals.
Rex top Cavemen, raise record to 14-6
The first-place Terre Haute Rex picked up a 6-4 victory Wednesday at Hannibal, Mo., against the Cavemen.
Rex win first game of Saturday doubleheader
Terre Haute maintained its stronghold on first place in the Prospect League West Division on Saturday, the Rex defeating Dubois County 6-1 in the first game of a doubleheader.
Strunc fans 10, Rex win 12-10
Power pitching and power hitting kept a season-high crowd of 1,732 Rex fans on the edge of their seats Friday night at Bob Warn Field.
Starting role suits Cunningham as Rex win
Nick Cunningham took the mound Thursday in his relatively new role as starting pitcher looking to give the Terre Haute Rex some breathing room atop the Prospect League West Division standings.
Rex fall at Danville, maintain two-game division lead
The Terre Haute Rex lost 7-4 on Wednesday at Danville, falling to 9-4 in the second half of the Prospect League schedule.
High drama, but no win
Pinch-hitter Michael Eberle provided patient Terre Haute Rex fans with plenty of excitement by belting a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie the score against the Springfield Sliders at 9-9.
Rex cool off against Springfield
It was a game Terre Haute probably didn’t deserve to win, and, despite an outstanding bullpen effort and focused hitting in the last few innings, the Rex did lose Monday for the first time since July 4 at Quincy.
Rex roll to lead in division
A constant theme repeated by Terre Haute Rex manager Brian Dorsett is how his summer-league collegians adjust to the everyday schedule, rather than the four or five-game slates they’re used to.
Rex bounce back, dominate Dans
Terre Haute reaped the bounty of three Danville errors in the second inning. The Rex made the Dans pay for each of their errors with eight base hits in the inning and Terre Haute never looked back on its way to an 11-4 victory in front of sweltering crowd of 669.
Rex open second half with victory at Quincy
The Terre Haute Rex opened the second half of the Prospect League season with a 8-7 victory Tuesday night at Quincy Stadium.
Head coach could be next stop for Prettyman
Credited in part to some unforgettable memories at Cal State Fullerton, where Ronnie Prettyman scored the winning run in the 2004 College World Series, the Indiana State and Terre Haute Rex assistant coach wants to pursue a future in college coaching.
Cunningham, McCurdy pace Rex to win over league leader
What was essentially a meaningless baseball game as far as the standings were concerned couldn’t have gone much better for the Terre Haute Rex on Saturday night at Bob Warn Field.
Rex score 4 before getting first hit, then hang on for win
With temperatures over 100 degrees Friday, affairs at Bob Warn Field took a walk on the wild side.
Rex duo working overtime
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Rex fall 7-1 to Hannibal
The Terre Haute Rex lost 7-1 on Thursday, falling behind 4-0 after the first inning at Bob Warn Field.
Rex have winning streak snapped
The season-long five-game winning streak of the Terre Haute Rex came to an end Wednesday night at Dubois County.
Rex move within four games of first-place Dubois County
The Terre Haute Rex moved within four games of the first-place Dubois County Bombers, scoring the first 11 runs in a 12-6 shellacking at Bob Warn Field on Tuesday.
Rex take third straight, move to 12-11 overall
Wildness cost the Terre Haute Rex a precarious lead in the fifth inning, but thankfully for the home team Quincy returned the favor in the bottom of the ninth inning.
- More Terre Haute Rex Headlines
- 2012 an up, down season for Rex