The Chiefs and St. Louis Cardinals have formed an affiliation. (WJBC File Photo)
By Paul Morello
ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis Cardinals are headed back to Peoria.
The Cardinals announced a four-year affiliation with the Peoria Chiefs Wednesday. The Midwest League Chiefs were Cardinals affiliates from 1995-2004.
"We had a great relationship with them," said Chiefs President Rocky Vonachen. " We won our first Midwest League Championship with them. And they sent some great players through the Chiefs, so we're excited to have them back."
Yadier Molina, Jason Motte and Kyle McClellan are the only current Cardinals to have played in Peoria. During the Chiefs' first tenure as a Cardinals affiliate, Albert Pujols, Dan Haren, Rick Ankiel, Placido Polanco, Coco Crisp, Chris Duncan, Jack Wilson, Pablo Ozuna and Chris Narveson played in Peoria.
"We know how Peoria and Central Illinois represent a big part of what 'Cardinals Nation' is all about and that the Chiefs run a first-class operation that will only enhance our player development efforts," Cardinals General manager John Mozeliak said in a release.The Cubs dropped their affiliation with the Chiefs in August, in an effort to move their player development agreement to the Kane County Cougars.
Vonachen said the Chiefs logo won't change, except for placing the Cardinals' logo on Homer's sleeve. He said the uniforms will change, to mirror more closely the Cardinals' style.
Paul Morello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.