When the Southern Illinois Miners ceased operations after last season, the Frontier League was looking at an uneven number of teams to compete for the 2022 season.
As in years past, the solution was to add an additional team that would play every game on the road.
This season, the Frontier League announced that they will partner with the Empire League to provide that final team.
FRONTIER LEAGUE WELCOMES EMPIRE STATE GREYS FOR 2022 SEASON
The Frontier League of Professional Baseball announced a partnership with the Empire League which will own and operate the Empire State Greys as a participant in the Frontier League during the 2022 season. The Greys, based out of Tupper Lake, New York, will be playing all of their games on the road, but will field a team by adhering to the same roster and salary rules as all Frontier League clubs.
The Empire League began play in 2016 and features four teams in upstate New York and northern New Hampshire. The Empire League is owned by brothers Eddie and Jerry Gonzalez along with MLB outfielder Matt Joyce. Eddie Gonzalez played in the Frontier League from 2006-08, including participating in the 2006 Championship Series. Jerry Gonzalez played as an infielder in the Los Angeles Angels’ organization in 2007 and 2008. Matt Joyce has appeared in 1,400 MLB games over a 14-year career, and saw postseason action for Tampa Bay, Atlanta, and Miami.
The Empire League moved 34 players to MLB Partner Leagues during the 2021 season, including 10 to the Frontier League. Current Frontier League coaches Joe Gannon (Tri-City) and Jared Lemieux (New Jersey) plus former Frontier League and current Atlantic League managers Jamie Keefe and Mark Mason have worked with the Empire League.
“We are very interested in seeing where this partnership goes. The Empire League’s historical ties to the Frontier League plus their New York base made them an ideal partner,” stated deputy commissioner Steve Tahsler. “Eddie Gonzalez has impressive baseball experiences and we like what he brings in terms of his player development skills, network, and desire to compete.”
The Empire State Greys will hold spring training at their home base in Tupper Lake, New York, before starting regular season play at the Gateway Grizzlies on May 13. Empire State will play in the league’s Eastern Division. They will play one 3-game series against the eight Western Division clubs, three series against the three Canadian teams in the Eastern Division, and four series against the four United States teams in the Eastern Division. Their full schedule is available at www.empirestategreys.com.
“It is a great honor to be able to join forces with the Frontier League,” stated Empire League CEO Eddie Gonzalez. “For us at the Empire League, we take pride in providing our best available scouting and recruitment baseball service to help players advance their careers. Having a team in the Frontier League through this great partnership, will create huge opportunities for not only Empire League players, but also open more doors for the up and coming players pursuing a pro career. We look forward to filling a very competitive Greys roster this year in pursuit of a historic Frontier League championship”
The Frontier League of Professional Baseball is an official Partner League of Major League Baseball and the largest of its kind in professional baseball. The Frontier League has moved over 1,000 players to MLB Teams in its 29-year history. The 2022 Frontier League season opens on Thursday, May 12. Please visit www.frontierleague.com.