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Published On: February 1st, 2019

ROCHESTER, MN. – The Rochester Honkers baseball club will have new ownership, new leadership and new vision as they prepare for their 26th season of play in the Northwoods League this summer.  The Rochester franchise introduced their new five-person ownership group, front office management staff and vowed to implement new all-inclusive ticket options and new promotions to a group of supporters and media members at a press conference held at The Double Tree in downtown Rochester on Thursday evening.

The Bases Loaded Entertainment, LLC ownership group, comprised of area business leaders Kyle Smith and Chad Surprenant, as well as a trio of long-time Northwoods League veterans in Dan Kapanke, Chris Goodell & Ben Kapanke, purchased the Honkers from previous owners Dan Litzinger and Kim Archer earlier this off-season.  That same ownership group also owns the Mankato MoonDogs and the two Kapankes, along with Goodell, own and operate the La Crosse (Wisc.) Loggers, also of the Northwoods League.

“We’re thrilled to be in Rochester and have the opportunity to fully engage in this growing community,” stated team president Chris Goodell.  “Dan (Litzinger) and Kim (Archer) are long-time friends and they did wonderful things here for a very long time.  We’re looking forward to partnering with the City of Rochester and supporters of the Honkers to take Honkers baseball to another level not just in 2019 but for years to come.”

The Bases Loaded Entertainment ownership group also introduced their front office staff that consists of new general manager Jay Fanta, director of group ticket sales and merchandise Kayla Piltz, director of ticket sales Brady Johnson and their marketing and social media director Brandon Oswald.

Newly appointed general manager Jay Fanta shared his excitement about what’s on deck for Honkers Baseball.  “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join the new ownership of the Rochester Honkers as the team’s next General Manager as we usher in a new era of Rochester Honkers Baseball in 2019.”  Fanta continued, “As a member of the Rochester community for the past six years, I understand the tremendous potential here and look forward to collaborating with members of the community in providing what will be a new entertainment experience unique to Rochester and Mayo Field that will resonate with fans of all ages.”

While the ownership and front office staff will feature new faces, one familiar face does return to the Honkers dugout for 2019 and that’s field manager Thomas Walker.  Walker returns for his third consecutive season with the Honkers, including his second season as the field manager after leading the Honkers to a 34-38 record in his managerial debut season in 2018.  The Long Beach, Calif. native currently serves as the outfield and hitting coach at Golden West College (Calif.).

The Honkers will open up the 2019 campaign on May 28 when they host the St. Cloud Rox on Opening Night at Mayo Field.  Season tickets and new all-you-can-eat ticket packages are available for purchase right now at or by calling the Honkers front office at 507-289-1170.


The Rochester Honkers are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Now in its 26th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 20 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 200 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (MIA).  All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Honkers as your favorite team.