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Monarchs set to start 2023 season


By Brad Hallier

There will be some change with the Hutchinson Monarchs this season, but one constant remains – Mother Nature often steps in and causes problems, especially early in the season.

The Monarchs had their season-opening game at Kingman rained out, and Sunday’s alumni game was also postponed due to Hobart-Detter Field taking too much rain the day before.

But all should be ready on Tuesday, as the Monarchs will take on the Wichita Black Sox in a non-league game. First pitch is slated for 7 p.m. at Hobart-Detter Field.

There will be major change with the Monarchs this summer, as for the first time since the team’s first season in 2009, Deron McCue will not be coaching. The Monarchs’ longest-tenured coach announced over the winter he would not return, as he took a job as an assistant baseball coach at Hutchinson Community College. Casey Lippoldt, a former Monarchs pitcher, will take over.

The Monarchs announced Sunday at the alumni festivities – only the game was postponed – that they would retire McCue’s No. 22.

Not only did McCue lead the Monarchs to 10 NBC World Series berths and a third-place finish in 2000, but he has a long history with Hutchinson baseball. He played for the old Hutchinson Broncs and even played alongside the likes of Barry Bonds, Rafael Palmeiro and Roger Clemens,

The Monarchs are slated to play 38 games, including two non-league games with the Black Sox. Seven teams are listed on the Sunflower Collegiate League’s website, including the Monarchs, Great Bend BatCats, Haysville Aviators, Kansas Cannons, Newton Rebels, Derby Twins, and Kingman Islanders. The Diamond Dawgs, who usually battled for the league championship with the Monarchs, first in Valley Center and then in Cheney, no longer exist.