Gary Wendt, co-owner of the Mid-Missouri Mavericks baseball team, believes his squad will finish above .500 in 2005. He’s so confident that he is offering a pretty unusual guarantee. If the Mavericks finish with a losing record, season ticket holders will get half of their money back. Tickets run about $300. The move, as far as Wendt can recall is unprecedented.
“To the best of my knowledge it’s never been done in minor league baseball before”, Wendt said.
The Mavericks, which play in the independent Frontier League, have had a lack-luster two-year history. The team has had five managers in two season and haven’t even come close to a winning record. In 2003, they went 33-57 and last year they started 4-26. That cost manager (number four) Jack Clark his job. Jim Gentile (number five) finished the season and the Mavericks were 28-66. Gentile will be back this season.
At this point the Mavericks don’t have much to lose. Wendt saw attendance drop to 1,100 per game in 2004, which was second-worst in the Frontier League. His win or pay guarantee is risky, but he feels confident about the 2004 squad, saying “I hope it sends the right message that we’re confident we’ll put a competitive team on the field this year.”
The Mavericks open their season on May 25.