Kansas City Monarchs Partner With Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Every home run scored this baseball season will have more of an impact than just on the scoreboard thanks to a new partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC).

Each time a Monarchs player hits a homer, the local health insurance company will donate $50 to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM), as part of a new partnership with the reigning American Association champions.

Blue KC will also sponsor the Monarchs’ championship flag giveaway on May 24th. The flag celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Kansas City Monarchs’ winning the inaugural Negro Leagues World Series. The NLBM recently announced plans for city-wide events to take place recognizing and celebrating that baseball milestone.

“Blue KC has always been committed to supporting local organizations, and we’re proud to call them a partner for the upcoming season,” Monarchs owner Mark Brandmeyer said. “We’re looking forward to supporting the museum’s mission with every home run our club hits!”

“We place the utmost priority on supporting our local community, including the preservation of celebrating our rich history of African American baseball and its impact on the social advancement of our country,” said Christina Lively, Blue KC Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “We are so excited to partner with the American Association Kansas City Monarchs and show our commitment to this instrumental piece of our City and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.”

“Thanks to Blue KC and the American Association Kansas City Monarchs for creating a fun and exciting way to celebrate the crowning achievement of the Kansas City Monarchs winning the inaugural Negro Leagues World Series a century ago while generating valuable support for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum,” said Bob Kendrick, museum president. “The Museum is the place where history touches home and needless to say, we will be cheering even more than usual every time the Monarchs hit one out of the park.”

Fans can buy tickets to the flag giveaway night at tickets.monarchsbaseball.com. The American Association Kansas City Monarchs’ home schedule starts on May 16 from Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN ASSOICATION KANSAS CITY MONARCHS:
The Kansas City Monarchs are a professional baseball team in the American Association, an MLB Partner League. 2024 will be their 21st season at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2020, the team partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and changed their name from the T-Bones to the Monarchs in honor of the legendary Negro League franchise that played from 1920 to 1965. This year, the Monarchs and the museum are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Negro League World Series, won by the Monarchs in 1924.

ABOUT BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF KANSAS CITY:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Missouri and the only not-for-profit commercial health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City provides health coverage services to more than one million residents in the greater Kansas City area, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and 30 counties in Northwest Missouri. Our mission: to provide affordable access to healthcare and to improve the health of our members. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information on the company, visit its website at BlueKC.com.

ABOUT THE NEGRO LEAGUES BASEBALL MUSEUM:
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) is the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African American baseball and its impact on the social advancement of America. The privately funded, 501 c3, not-for-profit organization was established in 1990 and is in the heart of Kansas City, Missouri’s Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District. The NLBM operates two blocks from the Paseo YMCA where Andrew “Rube” Foster established the Negro National League in 1920. To learn more about the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, please visit nlbm.com.

Former Royals Prospect McClelland Returns To Monarchs

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – A hard-throwing former Royals prospect is coming back to the Kansas City Monarchs. Jackson McClelland has signed with the reigning American Association champions.

McClelland is a 29-year-old right-hander with a high-90s fastball and plus slider. He was drafted in the 15th round by the Blue Jays and also has spent time in the Cubs organization. 

The Monarchs originally signed McClelland in February 2023 and he began spring camp with the team. A scout from the Royals spotted him at a pre-season workout and liked what he saw, signing McClelland to a contract for the upcoming season. He returns to the Monarchs after spending most of 2023 with the Royals. 

The Monarchs’ home opener is May 16 from Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. 

“Jackson’s got great stuff, a great makeup,” Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said. “We saw enough of him last year that we wanted him back as a Monarch. We’re excited to welcome him back to the club.”

A native of Cherry Valley, California, McClelland played three years of college ball at Pepperdine in Malibu, where he posted a 2.81 career ERA. He made two NCAA tournaments with the Waves, in 2014 and 2015.

Drafted by the Blue Jays in the 15th round in 2015, McClelland had a breakout season in 2017. He earned a 1.34 ERA that season between Class A Lansing and High-A Dunedin, and played in the prestigious Arizona Fall league later that year. McClelland was named an MiLB.com Organization All-Star following that season. 

McClelland spent most of 2018 in High-A before making his Double-A debut with New Hampshire. He posted an 11.7 K/9 over 39 games between the two levels that season, returning to the Arizona Fall League later in the year. 

The right-hander began 2019 in Double-A before making his Triple-A debut in 2019 with Buffalo. He earned a 3.77 ERA in 43 appearances that season. 

McClelland began 2021 in Buffalo before being released and picked up by the Cubs organization. He finished that year with Triple-A Iowa. He elected free agency following the season and did not play in 2022. 

After he left Monarchs camp, McClelland made six appearances with the Royals organization in 2023, including four at Double-A Northwest Arkansas. He also spent time on the development list. 

For more on the Kansas City Monarchs, visit MonarchsBaseball.com. 

 

Stud Pitcher Goudeau Returns To Monarchs

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Ashton Goudeau was one of the Kansas City Monarchs’ most important players down the stretch in the team’s run to a league championship in 2023. Now he’s returning to the Monarchs for 2024.

Goudeau has 27 career MLB appearances with the Rockies and Reds in 2020, 2021 and 2022. He owns 40 career strikeouts in 63 MLB innings.

He joined the Monarchs in August of 2023, immediately becoming one of the most dependable members of the team’s starting rotation.

Perhaps Goudeau’s biggest moment in a Monarchs uniform was his start in Game 2 of the league semifinals, with the Monarchs needing a win to keep their season alive. Goudeau held Sioux City scoreless over eight innings, striking out five and walking none.

The Monarchs’ home opener is May 16 from Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.

The 31-year-old right-hander was born in Newport, Arkansas and went to high school in Union, Missouri. He played college ball at Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Royals drafted Goudeau in the 27th round in 2012; he made his pro debut with the organization that summer at the age of 19. He was promoted to High-A in 2015 and made his Double-A debut in 2016.

Goudeau was traded to the Mariners ahead of the 2018 season, making his Triple-A debut with Tacoma that year.
Goudeau moved to the Rockies in free agency the following offseason, pitching in Double-A in 2019. He earned a spot in the prestigious Arizona Fall League that year.

Goudeau did not allow a run over 13 fall league innings against some of the game’s top prospects, earning a spot on the AFL’s Rising Stars team.

At 28, Goudeau made his big-league debut on August 19, 2020. He made four appearances with the Rockies that season.
Goudeau bounced between several organizations in the 2020-21 offseason, eventually landing with the Reds. He made five relief appearances for Cincinnati that season. He’d return to the Rockies organization later in 2021 for 11 appearances. That included his lone big-league start, where he held the Arizona Diamondbacks to no runs and one hit over three innings on October 3.

Goudeau made 12 more appearances for the Rockies in 2022. He owns a 5.57 career big-league ERA.
Goudeau pitched with Triple-A Toledo in the Tigers organization earlier in 2023 before signing with the Monarchs.

First-Round Pick Rutherford Signs With Monarchs

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A first-round pick with major-league experience is joining the Kansas City Monarchs for 2024.

Blake Rutherford, whom the Yankees drafted 18th overall in 2016 and played in the big leagues for the Washington Nationals in 2023, has signed a contract with the reigning American Association champions.

The 26-year-old outfielder is the second player with MLB experience to sign with the Monarchs for the upcoming season, joining Yermín Mercedes. Rutherford and Mercedes were teammates in the White Sox organization.

Rutherford played 16 games with Washington in 2023, all in the outfield. He owns a .279 batting average, 55 home runs, 53 steals and 26 triples in seven MiLB seasons.

The Monarchs’ 2024 home opener is Thursday, May 16 from Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.

“I like a lot of things about Blake. He can play center field, he’s athletic, he’s got a big-league pedigree, he’s ultra-competitive,” Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said. “He’s dedicated to his craft and extremely motivated to get back to the major leagues.”

A star at Chaminade College Preparatory School in West Hills, California, Rutherford was a top prospect heading into the 2016 draft.

Rutherford played with Team USA at the 2015 WBSC Under-18 World Cup in Osaka. He hit .345 for the tournament to help the US to the gold medal.

After being drafted by the Yankees, Rutherford made his pro debut that year in the Gulf Coast League and was promoted to the Yankees Appalachian League affiliate soon after.

Rutherford earned a .351 batting average and .986 OPS in 2016. He began 2017 with Class A Charleston, playing in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game.

The Yankees traded Rutherford to the White Sox ahead of the 2017 trade deadline. He went to Chicago with Tyler Clippard, Ian Clarkin and Tito Polo while Todd Frazier, David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle were dealt to New York. Rutherford finished the 2017 season with Class A Kannapolis.

Rutherford was promoted to High-A Winston-Salem for 2018, earning Carolina League Post-Season All-Star honors. He batted .293 and stole 15 bases in 115 games that season.

The White Sox moved Rutherford up to Double-A Birmingham for 2019. He played in the prestigious Arizona Fall League following that season, earning a spot in the AFL’s Rising Stars game.

Rutherford did not play in 2020 due to the pandemic. He spent 2021 and 2022 with Triple-A Charlotte, batting .271 with 13 home runs over 115 games in 2022. He elected free agency following the season.

The Nationals signed Rutherford in January 2023, and he began the season with Double-A Harrisburg. He was promoted to Triple-A Rochester on June 17 and made his MLB debut with Washington on August 4. He collected six hits in 16 games with the Nationals, spending the rest of the season in Triple-A.

For more on the Monarchs, visit MonarchsBaseball.com.

Kansas City Monarchs Hire Justin Shafer As Pitching Coach

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Justin Shafer, a former major leaguer who won a league title with the Monarchs in 2021, has joined the club as pitching coach for the 2024 season.

“Justin is a guy I’ve had a great relationship with for a few years now,” Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said. “I trust him to take on a role like this. I think the guys are definitely going to buy in.”

Shafer and the Monarchs begin their 2024 season on May 10. The club’s home opener is Thursday, May 16 from Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. See the team’s full schedule here.

The 31-year-old Shafer played in the major leagues for parts of three seasons. He suited up for the Blue Jays in 2018 and 2019 and played briefly for the Marlins in 2020. He owns 46 MLB strikeouts in 53.2 innings of work, all as a reliever.

Shafer was a starting pitcher with the Monarchs’ championship team in 2021. He had his contract transferred to the Chicago Cubs organization in June of that year but returned to Kansas City soon after.

The right-hander took the ball for Game 2 of the league finals that season, which the Monarchs won 7-5 over the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks as part of an undefeated postseason.

Shafer takes the place of 2023 pitching coach Matt Hall, who is currently pitching in the Mexican League.

The Blue Jays drafted Shafer in the eighth round out of Florida, where he played for three seasons. He played in the prestigious Arizona Fall League in 2015 and 2016. In 2019, Shafer earned International League Mid-Season All-Star honors while with Triple-A Buffalo.

Check out the Monarchs’ 2024 roster here.

About the Kansas City Monarchs

The Kansas City Monarchs are a professional baseball team in the American Association, an MLB Partner League. 2024 will be their 21st season at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2020, the team partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and changed their name from the T-Bones to the Monarchs in honor of the legendary Negro League franchise that played from 1920 to 1965. This year, the Monarchs and the museum are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Negro League World Series, won by the Monarchs in 1924.

About the American Association

The American Association of Professional Baseball is an MLB Partner League that began play in 2006. Teams in the league are not affiliated with any one MLB organization. The league consists of 12 teams located primarily in the Midwest and the Great Lakes regions of the United States. Its season runs from May to September and features players who are looking to showcase their talents for a chance to be signed by a major-league team.

Monarchs Sign Two Catchers

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Two new catchers have joined the Kansas City Monarchs’ roster, including one with Triple-A experience.

Former Phillies prospect Herbert Iser and former Reds farmhand Hayden Jones have signed on with the reigning American Association champions for 2024.

The Monarchs now have 19 players signed for the upcoming year. See the team’s full roster at MonarchsBaseball.com/Roster.

“Having a solid catcher is important for any ball club,” Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said. “Herbert and Hayden are dependable catchers with sound defensive skills. We’re looking forward to welcoming them to Kansas City.”

The Monarchs’ home opener is May 16 from Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. Tickets are on sale for every Monarchs home game at Tickets.MonarchsBaseball.com.

Born in Jamaica, Iser attended high school in Florida. He was a top prospect out of high school, ranked the No. 7 catcher in the country by Perfect Game his senior year.

Iser attended San Jacinto College to start his college career, playing in two NJCAA World Series. He homered in a championship-game loss in 2017 and was named to the All-Tournament team in 2018 after hitting .471 for the week.

The Orioles drafted Iser in the 24th round following that season but he opted to attend Dallas Baptist University. He hit .280 as a junior for the Division I program, posting an .837 OPS and hitting seven home runs in 52 games.

Philadelphia drafted Iser in the 23rd round in 2019. He signed with the Phillies and spent most of his debut season in Low-A. After sitting out 2020 due to the pandemic, he spent most of 2021 with High-A Jersey Shore.

Iser played with four different Phillies farm teams in 2022, spending most of his time in High-A and Double-A. He hit .271/.358/.383 in 60 games that season.

Iser has cracked Triple-A twice, playing one game each in 2021 and 2022.

Jones played college ball at Mississippi State and Illinois State. He recorded 13 extra-base hits in 38 games for the Redbirds in 2021, throwing out seven of 21 attempted base stealers.

After a stint with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers of the MLB Draft League, Jones signed a free-agent deal with the Reds in July 2021. He played the rest of that season with Cincinnati’s Arizona Complex League affiliate.

Jones spent most of 2022 in Class A, but played four games with High-A Dayton. He was with Dayton for 2023, hitting .230/.240/.392 in 25 games.

Kansas City opens the 2024 season on the road on May 10 against the Sioux City Explorers.

About the Kansas City Monarchs

The Kansas City Monarchs are a professional baseball team in the American Association, an MLB Partner League. 2024 will be their 21st season at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2020, the team partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and changed their name from the T-Bones to the Monarchs in honor of the legendary Negro League franchise that played from 1920 to 1965. This year, the Monarchs and the museum are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Negro League World Series, won by the Monarchs in 1924.

About the American Association

The American Association of Professional Baseball is an MLB Partner League that began play in 2006. Teams in the league are not affiliated with any one MLB organization. The league consists of 12 teams located primarily in the Midwest and the Great Lakes regions of the United States. Its season runs from May to September and features players who are looking to showcase their talents for a chance to be signed by a major-league team.

Price Chopper Returns As Official Grocer Of The Kansas City Monarchs

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The Kansas City Monarchs and Price Chopper have reaffirmed their partnership, making the 2024 season the Price Chopper’s 20th year as the Official Grocer of the Monarchs.

“As one of our longest-tenured partners, Price Chopper has helped the Monarchs organization grow and thrive over the years.” Monarchs owner Mark Brandmeyer said. “We’re excited to partner up for another season and look forward to continuing this fruitful partnership.”

“As Kansas City’s local, family-owned grocer, we’re proud to support a community-focused organization like the Monarchs,” said Casie Broker, Price Chopper’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Like us, they bring area families together – and that’s something we can always get behind.”

Price Chopper has been serving Kansas City the freshest food at the lowest prices for more than 40 years, including partnerships with many of Kansas City’s most beloved sports teams.

That includes the Monarchs, who began their partnership with Price Chopper when the team was known as the Kansas City T-Bones. The team has won four league championships during its partnership with Price Chopper, including the 2023 American Association title.

The Monarchs’ 2024 home opener is scheduled for May 16 at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.

About the Kansas City Monarchs

The Kansas City Monarchs are a professional baseball team in the American Association, an MLB Partner League. 2024 will be their 21st season at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2020, the team partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and changed their name from the T-Bones to the Monarchs in honor of the legendary Negro League franchise that played from 1920 to 1965. This year, the Monarchs and the museum are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Negro League World Series, won by the Monarchs in 1924.

Monarchs Partner with Union Broadcasting

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Union Broadcasting is the radio home of the Kansas City Monarchs, the reigning American Association Champions, for the 2024 season.

All Monarchs games, home and away, will be streamed to 810whb.com. Games on Monday and Thursday nights and most day games will be broadcast on Sports Radio 810 WHB or ESPN Kansas City 1510 AM/94.5 FM. Additionally, the Monarchs are launching an official team podcast: Catching Up with The Monarchs.

“This partnership is great news for Monarchs fans,” team owner Mark Brandmeyer said. “Securing a radio deal has been a top priority for our organization, and we couldn’t ask for a better partner than Sports Radio 810 WHB and ESPN Kansas City.”

“We’re excited to partner with the Monarchs to provide championship baseball though the various platforms of Union Broadcasting,” said Chad Boeger, President and CEO of Union Broadcasting.

Carter Woodiel returns for his second season as the Voice of the Monarchs in 2024. He’ll be joined in the booth by broadcast partner Cal Friedman for home games. Nolan Brooks will co-host pregame coverage and provide in-game updates. Woodiel will also host the new podcast, featuring in-depth interviews with Monarchs players and the latest team news.

The Monarchs open their season on Friday, May 10 on the road against Sioux City. Their first over-the-air radio broadcast will be Sunday, May 12 on ESPN Kansas City 1510 AM/94.5 FM. The club’s home opener is set for Thursday, May 16 at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. Fans can hear that game broadcast on Sports Radio 810 WHB.

About the Kansas City Monarchs

The Kansas City Monarchs are a professional baseball team in the American Association, an MLB Partner League. 2024 will be their 21st season at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2020, the team partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and changed their name from the T-Bones to the Monarchs in honor of the legendary Negro League franchise that played from 1920 to 1965. This year, the Monarchs and the museum are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Negro League World Series, won by the Monarchs in 1924.

Big Leaguer Yermín Mercedes Signs With Monarchs

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Yermín Mercedes’ big-league power is coming to the Kansas City Monarchs.

The former White Sox and Giants slugger has signed with the reigning American Association champions for the 2024 season, the team announced Tuesday.

Mercedes made national headlines in 2021 when he became the first player in the modern era to begin a season with eight straight hits.

The native of the Dominican Republic would go on to hit seven homers in 68 games with the White Sox that season, including some tape-measure blasts.

“Yermín doesn’t just have power, he has a true hitting skill,” Monarchs manager Joe Calfapietra said. “He has a good batting average, on-base percentage. He’s a complete hitter. We think he’s going to be a great player for us.”

Mercedes sports a .290 average and .354 on-base percentage in his 13-year professional career. He joins a Monarchs team that has led the league in home runs three years in a row.

The Monarchs’ 2024 home opener is May 16 from Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. See the team’s full schedule here.

The 31-year-old Mercedes’ journey to Major League Baseball was unconventional. Born in the Dominican Republic, he made his pro debut with the Nationals in the Dominican Summer League at age 18. He played for three years in the league before moving to the independent ranks.

Playing catcher and corner infield, Mercedes spent 2014 in the Pecos and United leagues, posting an impressive 1.124 OPS in 61 games.

The Orioles noticed and signed Mercedes to a minor-league contract in September 2014. He stayed in Baltimore’s system through 2017, earning league All-Star honors with Class A Delmarva in 2016.

The White Sox selected Mercedes in the minor-league Rule 5 Draft ahead of the 2018 season. He made his Triple-A debut with Charlotte in 2019.

Mercedes’ MLB debut came in the shortened 2020 season. He grounded out in a pinch-hit appearance for the White Sox on August 2.

The next time he saw action in the show, he made an immediate impact.

Mercedes made the White Sox 2021 Opening Day roster, and went 5-for-5 in his first game of the season on April 2. He followed that up with three straight hits to begin the day on April 3, starting the year on an unprecedented 8-for-8 streak.

Mercedes played 68 games with the White Sox that year, posting a .271/.328/.404 slash line along with seven home runs and 37 RBIs.

The Giants claimed Mercedes off of waivers ahead of the 2022 campaign. He made it into 31 MLB games that year, posting a .233 batting average and .668 OPS.

In 2023, Mercedes played with Monclova in the Mexican league, alongside former big leaguer and 2023 Monarch Keon Broxton. His most recent action came with Toros Del Este in the Dominican winter league.

Find Monarchs updates, news, schedules, promotions and more at MonarchsBaseball.com.

Kansas City Monarchs Join KDOT’s “Fans With A Plan” Program To Promote Safe Driving

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The Kansas City Monarchs and the Kansas Department of Transportation are joining forces to make sure every fan gets home safe from Legends Field.

The reigning American Association champions are the latest team to join KDOT’s “Fans With A Plan” program encouraging fans to plan ahead and get a sober ride home.

“We’re proud to partner with KDOT to spread the word about this important initiative,” Monarchs owner Mark Brandmeyer said. “Whether it’s choosing a designated driver, calling a friend or using a ride share service, every fan should have a sober ride home from Legends Field.”

KDOT, Bureau of Transportation Safety Behavioral Safety Manager Gary Herman said, “We’re excited for the partnership with the KC Monarchs Baseball Club and the opportunity to connect with their fan base at Legends Field and through gameday broadcasts with a reminder that planning ahead for a sober driver is always the right choice. We’re appreciative of their prominent ride-share accommodation at the ballpark and comprehensive communications support.”

KDOT and the Monarchs have designated a convenient ride-share pick-up and drop-off area at Gate A of Legends Field, encouraging fans to always have a sober ride to and from home.

The Monarchs will broadcast a special message to fans during each game promoting safe driving options like ride sharing and choosing a designated driver. The Monarchs will also promote sober driving on their TV and radio broadcasts.

KDOT’s “Fans With A Plan” program has partnered with a variety of sports and entertainment venues statewide including football, basketball, soccer and motorsports. The plan has been embraced by everyone from athletes to administrators to fans as part of the effort to prevent serious injuries and traffic deaths associated with impaired driving in Kansas.

The Monarchs open their 2024 season on May 10. Their home opener is May 16 from Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas.

About the Kansas City Monarchs

The Kansas City Monarchs are a professional baseball team in the American Association, an MLB Partner League. 2024 will be their 21st season at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2020, the team partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and changed their name from the T-Bones to the Monarchs in honor of the legendary Negro League franchise that played from 1920 to 1965. This year, the Monarchs and the museum are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the first Negro League World Series, won by the Monarchs in 1924.

About the American Association

The American Association of Professional Baseball is an MLB Partner League that began play in 2006. Teams in the league are not affiliated with any one MLB organization. The league consists of 12 teams located primarily in the Midwest and the Great Lakes regions of the United States. Its season runs from May to September and features players who are looking to showcase their talents for a chance to be signed by a major-league team.