Crestwood Panthers to join MCL for 2017 season

By: David Bork

CHICAGO – The Crestwood Panthers, a summer collegiate team from Crestwood, Ill., has signed a three-year contract and will join the Midwest Collegiate League starting for the 2017 season.  

The Crestwood Panthers were founded in 1976 and currently stand as the longest running amateur baseball club in the Chicago area but were the Palos Heights Blue Jays.  

Jon Guzzo, Crestwood Panthers general manager, said he is excited to join the MCL this season.  

“We will all have more opportunities,” Guzzo said. “The league is well known and the level of play is great.”  

Mark Ayers, manager of the Crestwood Panthers, said he played for the club when he was younger and is ready for the MCL in his third year managing the team.  

“The MCL is a competitive league and it will help us and our players,” Ayers said.  

The Panthers have been a part of the National Baseball Congress for many years.  

Crestwood has produced 34 players that have played professional baseball over their history.  

In 2006, the Panthers finished in third place in the world at the NBC World Series and in 2007 they defeated the reigning national champions.   

Guzzo said this will be a transition year for the Panthers with this being their first year being in the MCL.  

“We have close collegiate athletes, high school seniors and young local players,” Guzzo said. “We are going to try to win the championship this year.”

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