Former MLB affiliate the Lexington Legends have officially announced that they will be joining the Atlantic League for the 2021 season.
ATLANTIC LEAGUE WELCOMES LEXINGTON LEGENDS
MLB’s First Professional Partner League Adds Defending South Atlantic League Champions for 2021
(February 18, 2021, New York) – The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) announced today it has welcomed the Lexington Legends to the Atlantic League. The Kentucky team will begin play in the upcoming ALPB 2021 Championship Season.
The former Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, the Lexington Legends were three-time champions of the South Atlantic League, including back-to-back titles in 2018 and 2019. They averaged more than 425,000 attendees each year at Whitaker Bank Ballpark, located near downtown Lexington, Kentucky. The team is led by Owner/CEO Andy Shea and Chief Operating Officer Jesse Scaglion.
“We are excited and honored to join the Atlantic League,” Shea said. “During the 2020 season we created, I had multiple players and fans tell me ‘you pretty much have an Atlantic League roster on the field.’ From that point forward we realized very clearly that the Atlantic League is the premier MLB Partner League and that our community, ballpark, and fanbase are a perfect match. We are also very thankful for the support and partnership with Major League Baseball during this process. Together, we will all be able to continue growing the game of baseball in our local communities and across the globe.”
“We are very excited to add such a high-caliber ballclub to our league,” said Atlantic League President Rick White. “We congratulate Andy Shea and the entire Legends organization. The Legends bring a tradition of outstanding baseball, operating excellence, and dedication to their community that make them a perfect fit for the ALPB.”
“We are thrilled to continue our relationship with the Lexington Legends as they join the Atlantic League in 2021,” said Morgan Sword, MLB’s Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations. “We have developed an excellent working relationship with the Legends and congratulate them on this next step for the franchise.”
White added that the Atlantic League will soon announce additional news regarding the 2021 Championship Season.
About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
The Atlantic League is the first Professional Partner League of Major League Baseball, a player gateway to the major leagues, and a leader in baseball innovation. ALPB has sent over 950 players to MLB organizations while drawing 42 million fans to its family friendly ballparks over its 24-year history. Please visit www.AtlanticLeague.com.
The Frontier League has released their schedule for the 2021 season. The schedule features the new Can-Am division and reduced travel due to the pandemic.
FRONTIER LEAGUE ANNOUNCES 2021 SCHEDULE
The Frontier League has released its schedule for its 28th season, which will feature sixteen clubs playing a 96-game, full-season format. Opening day for the 2021 season will be on Thursday, May 27, with the regular season concluding on Sunday, September 12.
For the 2021 season, the Frontier League will be split into two conferences of two divisions each. The Can-Am Conference features the New York Boulders, Quebec Capitales, Tri-City ValleyCats, and Trois-Rivieres Aigles in the Atlantic Division plus the New Jersey Jackals, Ottawa Titans, Sussex County Miners, and Washington Wild Things in the Northeast Division. The Midwestern Conference includes a Central Division of the Lake Erie Crushers, Joliet Slammers, Schaumburg Boomers, and Windy City ThunderBolts and a West Division of the Evansville Otters, Florence Y’alls, Gateway Grizzlies, and Southern Illinois Miners.
In order to minimize travel and to enhance regional rivalries the 2021 schedule will be played largely in-conference. Washington will have cross-over games with Florence and Lake Erie, both of whom will make a 6-game trip to the Can-Am Conference. Quebec City and Trois-Rivieres will each make a 6-game trip to the Midwest, with Gateway and Southern Illinois hosting the Capitales while the Aigles visit Schaumburg and Windy City.
The two newest members of the Frontier League battle each other to open the regular season when Tri-City visits Ottawa. Quebec, New York, Sussex County, Gateway, Lake Erie, Joliet, and Schaumburg also begin 2021 at home. Trois-Rivieres and Windy City open their home schedules the following night with New Jersey and Florence having their home openers on Saturday, May 29. Evansville and Southern Illinois return home for Tuesday, June 1 while Tri-City and Washington have their home openers on Friday, June 4.
Due to a compressed schedule and the many logistics involved in staging the event, the Frontier League will not have an All-Star Game in 2021.
Playoffs begin on Tuesday, September 14 with the four division winners qualifying.
Debuting in 1993, the Frontier League is the largest of the Major League Baseball Partner Leagues and features teams stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from the Ohio River to the St. Lawrence Seaway. More information and the complete 2021 schedule can be found at www.frontierleague.com.
Earlier this week, the Frontier League also announced that commisoner Bill Lee would be moving to a new role.
BILL LEE TO BECOME COMMISSIONER EMERITUS
The Frontier League announced today after 27 years as Commissioner, Bill Lee will be retiring and assuming the role of “Commissioner Emeritus” effective March 1st, 2021. Lee has served as Commissioner of the Frontier League since 1994 and will continue to serve as a consultant for the League and attend numerous League functions.
“It has been my honor to serve the Frontier League for more than a quarter of a century”, Lee stated. “It is very gratifying to see how the League has grown to 16 teams and has a partnership with Major League Baseball. I will always treasure the many relationships that were formed over the years with League staff, owners, front office members, managers, coaches, umpires, media, broadcasters and other members of our industry. I mostly want to thank all of the players and fans that truly built the League”.
“Bill Lee has done an outstanding job managing and growing the Frontier League”, stated League President John Stanley. “The League owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to Bill for his 27 years of service, and it’s safe to say the League would not exist in it’s present form without Bill’s leadership and hard work”.
After graduating from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville with a degree in Mass Communications, Lee played in the Atlanta Braves organization and the independent Lone Star League. He then worked for the Birmingham Barons as their Assistant General Manager and Public Relations Director before moving on to become the General Manager of the Chattanooga Lookouts.
While with the Lookouts, Lee was the Southern League’s Executive of the Year in 1989. Just before joining the Frontier League, he was the Vice-President of Sales and Marketing for the Seattle Thunderbirds Hockey Club in the Western Hockey League. Lee was chosen as Marketing Executive of the Year of that League in 1991.
The Frontier League will begin a search for a replacement immediately.
The Frontier League is the largest and longest tenured MLB Partner League, with 16 teams stretching from St. Louis to Quebec City, Canada. For more information go to www.frontierleague.com
The Mavericks League, a newly formed league that will feature mainly collegiate players (at least for their first full season), announced their managers for the upcoming 2021 season.
3 Former Major Leaguers and Oregon State University Back-to-Back National Championship Coaches to guide teams this year.
The Mavericks Independent Baseball League announced their managers for the upcoming season. Alan Embree, Daniel Robertson, Tony Torcato and Dave Wong will be at the helm. Embree will manage the Portland Mavericks, Robertson will guide the Campesinos de Salem-Keizer, Torcato will become 13th Manager of the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes and Wong will take over the Salem Senators.
Alan Embree was a three-sport letterman at Prairie High School in Brush Prairie, Washington, where he won All-Conference Honors and a state championship in baseball. On June 5, 1989, Alan was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 5th round of the 1989 amateur draft. The left-handed pitcher relied primarily on two pitches – a 90-95 mph four-seam fastball and a devastating slider. Alan made his Major League debut with the Cleveland Indians on September 15, 1992. He pitched in the big leagues for 16 years where in 882 games, he pitched 774 innings with 691 strikeouts.
Alan pitched for the Cleveland Indians (1992, 1995-1996), Atlanta Braves (1997-1998), Arizona Diamondbacks (1998), San Francisco Giants (1999-2001), Chicago White Sox (2001), San Diego Padres (2002), Boston Red Sox (2002-2005), New York Yankees (2005), San Diego Padres (2006), Oakland Athletics (2007-2008), and Colorado Rockies (2009).
In 2004, Alan recorded the final out against the New York Yankees in Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS, and the Boston Red Sox went on to win the World Series, and Alan received his World Series ring on Opening Day, 2005. On July 7, 2000, Alan became only the second major league pitcher to win a game without throwing a pitch. This was because he was able to pick Austin Kearns of the Washington Nationals off at first base. His last major league appearance was July 10, 2009, for the Colorado Rockies.
Former Big Leaguer, Daniel Robertson, was born and raised in Fontana, California, and attended and played baseball for Oregon State University. The Beaver outfielder was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2008, and on April 23, 2014, he was traded to the Texas Rangers, and called up to the major league the same day, making his major league debut on April 29, 2014. Daniel ended up spending eleven years in professional baseball with the San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels, Seattle Mariners, and Cleveland Indians. He played four seasons at the major league level which included 148 games, he hit 18 doubles, two triples and a home run, accumulating 36 RBI’s, and 6 stolen bases, and finished with a major league career batting average of .262. His last major league appearance was on June 25, 2017, with the Cleveland Indians. He then signed a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Including his major and minor-league play, Daniel played in nearly 1,200 games, hitting 230 doubles, 44 triples, 44 home runs, and 479 RBI’s.
While playing for the San Diego Padres, Daniel spent the 2008 summer with the Eugene Emeralds, and was honored at the end of the season by being selected as the 2008 Northwest League Most Valuable Player.
Daniel is not a stranger to Independent League Baseball having played for the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball in 2018, the Kansas City T-Bones of the American Association League of Independent Baseball in 2019, and the Cleburne Railroaders of the American Association in 2019. Daniel also coached at his Alma Mater, Oregon State University.
Tony Torcato was born in Woodland, California, and was drafted in the 1st round, out of Woodland High School, in the 1998 Major League Baseball Draft by the San Francisco Giants. The left-handed hitting outfielder was assigned to the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes for the 1998 season appearing in 59 games, batting .291 with 3 homeruns, 2 triples and 15 doubles.
In 1999, he was promoted to Bakersfield of the High-A California League where he again batted .291 with 4 homeruns and 25 doubles. 2000 saw Tony playing at San Jose of the California League batting .324 with 7 homeruns, and 37 doubles before being promoted to AA Shreveport of the Texas League. In 2001, Tony was promoted to AAA Fresno of the Pacific Coast League where he batted .320.
In 2002, after 130 games in Fresno where he batted .290 with 13 homeruns and 23 doubles, Tony made his major-league debut on July 26th with the San Francisco Giants as a starting right fielder against the Los Angeles Dodgers and hit a single in his very first at-bat off the Dodgers Hideo Nomo. Tony played four seasons with the Giants with a career batting average of .298. His last Major League game was April 21, 2005.
After becoming a free agent after the 2005 season, Tony started the 2006 season in the Italian Baseball League with Grosseto, then signed with the Chicago White Sox, and was assigned to AAA Charlotte Knights. In 2007, he signed with the Seattle Mariners, and after being released, played for the Independent League Long Beach Armada and Chico Outlaws.
Dave Wong was All-Conference as a college pitcher and was NAIA All-American as a football defensive end at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. The Kansas City Royals drafted him in the 19th round of the 1980 amateur draft. He was 2-2 with 5 saves and a 1.90 ERA in 24 games for the 1980 GCL Royals Blue, allowing only 30 hits in 52 innings pitched. He was third in the Gulf Coast League in games pitched, 9th in ERA, and tied for third in saves.
In 1981, the right-hander was 9-6 with 8 saves and a 2.52 ERA in 52 games for the Charleston Royals. He tied for second in the South Atlantic League in pitching appearances, and tied for 7th in saves. The next year, Dave went 4-8 with 15 saves and a 1.79 ERA for the Fort Myers Royals. He tied for third in the Florida State League with 49 games pitched and was third in saves. Wong led Royals minor leaguers in saves while placing 4th in games pitched. Wong was 5-3 with 7 saves and a 3.38 ERA in 50 games for the 1983 Jacksonville Suns. He ended his career by going 2-0 with 2 saves and a 3.52 ERA for Fort Myers in 1984. Wong’s cumulative minor league record was 22-19 with 37 saves a 2.53 ERA in 190 games. He allowed 250 hits and 154 walks in 327 1/3 IP while fanning 244.
Wong was assistant coach at his alma mater in 1985-1986 and at the University of Portland in 1987-1988. He was MVP of the 1988 National Baseball Congress World Series as a member of the Everett Merchants. From 1991-2003, he was back at Willamette University as head coach, going 287-221-3 and setting the school win record. From 2006-2008, he was pitching coach of Oregon State University; his son Joey was an infielder there in 2007-2008. Oregon State won the 2006 College World Series and 2007 College World Series. Among Wong’s pitchers were Kevin Gunderson, Jonah Nickerson and Jorge Reyes, two of whom were named the top player in a College World Series.
The Mavericks League season will begin May 13th when the Portland Mavericks play the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes at Volcanoes Stadium. For further information on the Mavericks League go to www.mavericksindependentleague.com or call the Stadium at 503-390-2225. Ticket packages are currently on sale for all Mavericks League teams.