By Don Lowe 

   It’s once again time to play ball for the Joplin Outlaws organization, which features collegiate baseball players from around the Four-State Region and nationally, who will showcase their skills in M.I.N.K. (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas) League play this summer. 

   The Outlaws play host to visiting teams at Joe Becker Stadium in Joplin and fans will get an early glimpse of this year’s squad when they start 2023 with four consecutive home games between Thursday, June 1 and Monday, June 5. 

   Mark Rains, president and general manager of the Outlaws, believes it’s not only important to put together a competitive team, but to make it a great experience for all those who attend these games. He says, “We try to make it family friendly. And we just try to have fun. 

   “Prices are inexpensive. It’s a minor league atmosphere. There’s more entertainment than just baseball. And the players compete hard.” 

   Outlaws Head Coach Chris Dawson returns for his second stint in charge of the team’s on-field play, and he says, “The keys to success this summer will fall on the team chemistry. 

   “We can bring in all the talent we want, but the summer season can be long if guys don’t like each other. The good thing is that for most of June, we are on the road a lot, so guys will have time to bond early this summer.” 

   Dawson, who also serves as baseball head coach at McPherson College (KCAC–NAIA), says, “Another huge key for us will be pitching. Good pitching will always lead to success in the summer. If you pitch well, you’ll have chances to win games.” 

   When it comes to areas of uncertainty for this year’s club, Dawson says, “My concern this summer is our defense. We are strong in some aspects; however, we do have some guys that don’t really have positions, so hopefully we can find them a home on the field, and it’ll lead to some good defense.” 

   Conversely, Coach Dawson predicts, “Our strength will be our offense. We are bringing in some position players that had good spring seasons for their schools and I’m hoping they can carry that over to this summer. 

   “So, with me being an offensive-minded coach, the potential of this offense has me itching to get started. We have the chance to put up some good offensive numbers this summer.” 

   Coach Dawson is raring to go, and he says, “I’m always looking forward to getting around the guys and getting to know them. 

   “We have an awesome coaching staff coming to Joplin this summer that is going to help these kids develop their talents and I’m excited to spend time around everyone in the Outlaws organization.”   

   Rains is thrilled with the overall structure of this organization and M.I.N.K. League and says, “We put the players with host families. We enjoy hosting them. We enjoy watching them compete. And the fans that come out will tell us how much fun they have. This is perfect for Joplin.” 

   Of course, Coach Dawson has his mind on fielding a team that is championship caliber and he stresses, “Everyone in the organization has one goal in mind and that is to win the league. 

   “We will do everything in our power to win the title this summer and bring it back to Joplin. This organization has seen new heights the last two summers and we plan on taking the next step this summer.” 

Joplin Outlaws Fast Facts

Outlaws Collegiate Baseball: 14th year of summer baseball (started in 2008, began playing in 2009)

Home Field: Joe Becker Stadium, 1301 E. 3rd Street, Joplin, Missouri

Cost of Admission: $6 for adults, children 12 and under free

Front Office: Mark Rains, president/general manager; Larry Warren, vice president; Edwina Rains, secretary; Karrla Morgan, treasurer; Jimmy Morgan, board member/webmaster; Todd Hawkins, board member; and LeeAnn Luebber, board member

Team Advisors: Steve Luebber and Warren Turner    

PA Announcer: Chris Belk

Head Coach: Chris Dawson       


For More Information: Contact Mark Rains at 417.825.4218