Our Story


Contact Information:
McDaniels Marketing
Bridget Norman (U.S. PR Contact), Public Relations Specialist
309-346-4230, [email protected]

FOR RELEASE:

GOLDEN RULE ENTERTAINMENT REACHES AGREEMENT TO PURCHASE
SPRINGFIELD SLIDERS BASEBALL TEAM

(SPRINGFIELD, Ill.) — Golden Rule Entertainment® is excited to join the baseball community in Springfield, Illinois by announcing that they have entered into an agreement to purchase the Springfield Sliders Baseball Team. Pending Prospect League approval, the purchase is expected to be finalized in January 2022. The local operation plans to do business as Capital City Baseball, LLC. This highly knowledgeable ownership group has decades of involvement in front office management and creative fan experiences and is looking forward to bringing a new brand of entertainment to the Capital City.

“There’s nothing more American than baseball — it’s a tradition that’s been deeply ingrained in our cultural identity for more than a century,” said Jamie Toole, Chief Storyteller of Golden Rule Entertainment. “We’ve been fortunate to have been involved in America’s Pastime for many years, and we’re beyond thrilled to continue that rich tradition in the hometown of one of America’s greatest presidents.”

Capital City Baseball would like to extend its deepest gratitude to Springfield Sliders Owner and General Manager Todd Miller for his commitment to the Springfield baseball community since 2016. Throughout the past eight seasons, the Sliders have finished in the top five in Prospect League attendance, averaging more than 1,000 fans per game each season, finishing in the top three in attendance four times in that same timeframe. Now, ownership is looking ahead to build off that success and create the ultimate family-friendly entertainment destination in Central Illinois. “We’re looking forward to becoming the stewards of baseball in your community,” Toole said. “Golden Rule Entertainment has already outlined plans to build upon that hard work and take Springfield baseball to all-new heights.”

With engaging, creative gameday promotions, team interaction with fans at the ballpark and throughout the community, and brand positioning, Capital City Baseball promises to reestablish Springfield baseball as the quintessential experience for fans of all ages in Central Illinois. “Without a doubt, we believe in the Springfield region on and off the field,” Toole said. “Significant baseball history meets an enthusiastic fanbase, and through our partnership with the community, it will be elevated to the next level. Springfield in 2022 is truly going to be the Capital of Fun.”

“I’m thrilled to be joining Jamie and his team at Golden Rule Entertainment as we begin a new era of baseball in the City of Springfield,” said Capital City Baseball co-owner and WWE hall-of-famer Jeff Jarrett. “From the moment the opportunity to get involved was first presented to me, and hearing the passion in Jamie’s voice about bringing the best entertainment experience possible to Springfield, I knew I wanted to be a part of this organization. I’m excited about the challenges ahead of us, but I’m more than confident that this talented and experienced ownership group will be able to deliver and exceed all expectations.”

“I have always been a fan of fitness and athletics and certainly played and coached my share of baseball. I soon became interested in what Jamie’s plans were for baseball in Springfield and his commitment to involving the community,” said Capital City Baseball co-owner Mike Manley. “Jamie’s experience with Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium in Jupiter, FL, and his obvious knack for entertainment convinced me that he would surprise a lot of people and his company would grow into something I really wanted to be a part of.”

“Investing in the Springfield club was a no-brainer as it has everything you need for an entertaining baseball experience. Our club will represent the best the city has to offer in a memorable way that will make our fans want to come back time after time,” said Capital City Baseball co-owner Tim Hoker. “I’m excited to partner with such a diversified group that shares a common goal of providing great entertainment to our Capital City.”

“I wanted to be part of a group striving to provide family-oriented entertainment where smiles are the norm,” said Capital City Baseball co-owner Chris Harris. “The best place I can think of that happening is on a summer night with baseball on the field and a hot dog in the hand!”

“Once I made my visit to Springfield, it was clear this town deserves and desires a competitive baseball team,” said Capital City Baseball co-owner Glenn Gutek. “I am thrilled to invest in a baseball team and a baseball experience in the city of Springfield.”

“I got involved with the Capital City Baseball group after my visit to Robin Roberts Stadium and realized what a great community Springfield is and their hunger for baseball,” said Capital City Baseball co-owner Chris Rasmussen.

“Springfield and baseball: What a perfect combination with two great histories,” said Capital City Baseball co-owner Kristy Northway. “From a player and fan perspective, I’m so thrilled to be bringing a new chapter of baseball to the area. You will be on the edge of your seat with excitement until the last pitch.”

Capital City Baseball also recognizes the importance of community involvement in the operation of the team. With the goal of assembling additional local investors, the new team promises to ensure the best quality product for fans, players, sponsors, and investors alike. Golden Rule Entertainment will also be compiling input from the public online to help create the experience Springfield area fans want and expect at their ballpark. From ticketing and parking to in-game entertainment and stadium amenities, fan input is highly encouraged and can be submitted at capitaloffun.com.

History of Baseball in Springfield, Illinois
Springfield has a long history of professional and semi-pro baseball beginning in 1883, when its first minor league team began play. Throughout the 20th century, Springfield hosted minor league teams affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres, and Kansas City Royals. The independent Springfield Capitals of the Frontier League continued that tradition from 1996-2001 before passing the baton to the Springfield Sliders of the Prospect League.

Playing in historic Robin Roberts Stadium at Lanphier Park, Springfield baseball comes with a rich past that has played home to baseball greats like Leon “Bull” Durham, Danny Cox, Ray Lankford, Tom Pagnozzi, and many others. Golden Rule Entertainment is proud to honor the long history of baseball in Springfield while looking forward to the future of the sport in the Capital City.

Management Team
The Golden Rule Entertainment/Capital City Baseball team is comprised of individuals from diverse backgrounds and skillsets devoted to putting maximum effort and energy into the creation and operation of baseball in Springfield. Our team includes:

Jamie Toole — President and Chief Storyteller

 

 

 

 

Melissa Gaynor — Chief Community Development Officer

 

 

 

 

Andrew Miller — Marketing and Communications Manager

 

 

 

 

Kristy Northway — Chief Retail Director

 

 

 

 

Jeff Jarrett — Advisor

 

 

 

 

Pepe Sosa — Legal Counsel

 

 

 

 

Gary Loewenstern — HBK CPA and Consultant

 

 

 

 

Anthony Giacalone — HBK CPA and Consultant

 

 

 

 

Mike “Mr. Unstoppable” Manley — Advisor

 

 

 

 

In addition, Capital City Baseball has recruited the services of McDaniels Marketing (headquartered in Pekin, IL with an office in Springfield) as a public relations consultant and advisor. The McDaniels Marketing team includes:

Randall McDaniels — McD President and Lead PR Consultant

 

 

 

 

Beth Geier — McD Vice President and Account Manager

 

 

 

 

Bridget Norman — McD Public Relations Specialist

 

 

 

 

Capital City Baseball Current Ownership Group includes the following:

Jamie Toole — Jamie is a 20-year veteran of the Minor League Baseball industry. A constant steward of innovation, he was most recently General Manager of the Jupiter Hammerheads. Between being surrounded by some of the brightest minds in sports, to connecting with local community partners, Jamie is ready for the new era of Springfield baseball. 

 

 

Jeff Jarrett — Jeff’s life has always been in the entertainment spotlight as a third-generation professional wrestling promoter, 12-time World Champion, and WWE Hall of Fame member. Beyond his wrestling career, he co-hosts the top-ranked podcast, “My World with Jeff Jarrett,” and is a partner in Moonsault Digital, a trans-media digital gaming company.

 

 

Kristy Northway — Kristy is a, owner of ProSway Batting Gloves, LLC. She has spent more than 20 years in various corporate roles including management, retail marketing, sales, and product development. A team-orientated leader, Kristy has a passion for sports and enjoys networking with those who share the love of the game.

 

 

Jason Theodorakos — Jason is a family man that has always dreamed of being part of minor league baseball in the Midwest. Besides brainstorming fun promotions for the fan experience, Jason’s other passion has been his professional career in education. Jason is ecstatic about bringing a new, fun era of baseball to Springfield.

 

 

Mike Manley — Mike is a high-energy wellness motivator who earned the nickname “Mr. Unstoppable.” He has devoted his life to helping others better themselves in areas of physical, mental, spiritual, and financial well-being. When in doubt, finish strong and remain active and relevant.

 

 

 

Tim Hoker — Tim is the owner of a small, family-owned logistics business, which operates with some of the world’s largest e-retailers. He has spent more than 20 years in corporate roles, managing supply chains for Fortune 500 companies and selling various solutions to the end consumer.

 

 

 

Chris Rasmussen — Chris is currently the Controller at Recoil Resources, a private-equity backed oil and gas production company. Beyond his more than 26 years of industry experience in oil and gas accounting and finance, Chris is also a Partner in Top Tier Sports.

 

 

Chris Harris — Chris is currently Vice President of Operations at Harris Lean Systems, Inc. In addition to his passion for baseball — he played at the University of Pikeville — Chris has a master’s degrees in Youth Development Leadership and Business Administration, and also holds a Doctorate in Business Administration.

 

 

 

Glenn Gutek — Glenn is the founder of Awake Consulting & Coaching, an organization devoted to helping professionals wake up and lead in the direction of excellence. Glenn has experience in leadership from the legal world to the spiritual world and brings to the table the strength of working with individuals and organizations in every industry.

 

 

 


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Golden Rule Entertainment, LLC is comprised of decades of professional sports experience, complete love of engaging creativity, and carries the utmost desire to be the leader in summer entertainment. Golden Rule Entertainment aims to enhance the fan experience, both on and off the field, to the highest level possible while connecting with the community as a true partner.