Summer League Franchise Shift Occurs
In a joint statement of city fathers and new Summer League GM/Owner Matt
Klein, it was announced that the franchise vacated recently by Steve
Swinea would be located in Flint during the SL 2002 season and be called
This exciting news came following what seemed like months of speculation
whether or not Klein would indeed take franchise ownership and thus become
the final Klein involved in the Summer League.
Speaking to the media after the announcement, Klein stated that once the
decision was made to take ownership of the proud franchise, which had 2
playoff appearances in the previous 4 years, it was not difficult to
choose to operate out of Flint for 2002.
"It has been such a struggle in this town for years, since the General
Motors Buick division cut back, and this recent recession has truly hit
this area hard," Klein explained. "Of all the cities in this country,
Flint is perhaps the one most in need of good entertainment."
Flint has been working hard on a "public works" image over the past
several years, so the Gardeners name fit right in to the city's
"There is actually a lot of history in that name," Klein chuckled, "that
goes back to when I was much, much younger and involved with baseball with
my brothers. The fact that the city of Flint is along the same mindset as
me, was just another sign that this was the place to be."
He added, "We feel that due to the ownership change, as a franchise, we
will essentially be starting from the ground up, and that philosophy is
also similar to what Flint as a community is going through."
Another part of the announcement included plans to have the games be free
for all attendees. "I'm trying to get people to come to our house," said
Klein with a grin, "perhaps annoyingly so. It is a big place, and that
will cut down on our need to be driving all over."
Whether the franchise in its newest incarnation is successful remains to
be seen, but it appears to be beginning on the right foot, and hopefully
on the right foot for Flint.