Tag Archives: Fargo-Moorehead Red Hawks

American Association 2020 Season Plans, Schedule

On June 12th, the American Association unveiled their plans to play baseball in three hub cities, featuring six teams, for the 2020 season.

Today (June 15th) the league released the full schedule.

Press release from June 12th:

MOORHEAD, MINN. – The American Association of Independent Professional Baseball will begin a six team, 60-game season with fans in attendance on Friday, July 3, the league office announced today. The full schedule will be announced on Monday, June 15.

The American Association will begin the season operating out of three hubs, with games hosted by the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, Milwaukee Milkmen and Sioux Falls Canaries. The Winnipeg Goldeyes will operate out of the Fargo hub, the Chicago Dogs will operate out of the Milwaukee hub, and the St. Paul Saints will operate out of the Sioux Falls hub. Each team will play 42 of their 60 games in their hub to limit travel. The schedule will allow any of the three road clubs to return home for games if local governmental restrictions allow for games with fans in attendance.

The American Association teams participating in the 2020 season were based on cities allowing for fans in attendance at stadiums, geography, and the COVID-19 restrictions that persist in certain American Association cities.

Each team and stadium will have in place and enforce COVID Readiness Plans, approved by local Health Departments and Government Officials. Stadiums will be configured to return to play with limited capacity in order to allow for safe social distancing while enjoying a live, professional baseball game.

A truncated Spring Training will begin on June 25, with Opening Day scheduled for July 3. The American Association will experiment with new roster rules in 2020, highlighted by the elimination of rookie, LS, and veteran minimums and maximums on rosters, and a draft of players from non-participating clubs to allow the best possible talent available to play this season. The regular season will end on September 10, with a five-game American Association Finals pitting the top two teams from the regular season.

“We are very happy to be able to return professional baseball to our fans, albeit in a different fashion than usual,” said American Association Commissioner Joshua Schaub. “We look forward to opening up our season on July 3 for a summer of high-level professional baseball and bringing America’s Pastime back to the fans.”

According to ESPN, each home team will be ” in position to sell about 25% to 33% of their ballpark’s capacities.”

Schedule and June 15th press release:

MOORHEAD, MINN. – For weeks, sports talk show hosts and baseball fans all believed the perfect time to begin the 2020 baseball season was the Fourth of July Weekend. The holiday, the fireworks, and baseball have always gone together. Fans were looking for a glimmer of hope that the national pastime would return

The American Association of Independent Professional Baseball are providing that optimism with the unveiling of the six team, 60 game schedule that will begin play on July 3 in the hub cities of Fargo-Moorhead (ND/MN), Milwaukee (WI) and Sioux Falls (SD).

The American Association season will run from July 3-September 10 with a Championship Series to follow in a best-of-five format. The league will consist of six teams based in three separate hubs. The Chicago Dogs are paired with the Milwaukee Milkmen at Ballpark Commons, home of the Milkmen. The St. Paul Saints will be grouped with the Sioux Falls Canaries at Sioux Falls Stadium. The Winnipeg Goldeyes are grouped with the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks at Newman Outdoor Field, home of the RedHawks.

Each team will play 30 games as the home team in their pods and 12 games as the visiting team in their hub, meaning 42 of each team’s 60 games will be played at their hub site. The schedule will allow any of the three road clubs to return home for games if local health and governmental restrictions allow for games with fans in attendance.

Each team and stadium will have in place and enforce COVID Readiness Plans, approved by local health and government officials. Stadiums will be configured to return to play with limited capacity to allow for safe social distancing while enjoying live professional baseball.

With players around the country unsure of whether they would have a chance to play baseball this summer, the leaders of the American Association and its clubs were determined to find a way. As teams found ways to keep hope, and their business, alive and players found creative ways to work out on their own, the American Association knew they had to make a 2020 season happen.

Why? For Love of the Game.

This sentiment became so pervasive in the league’s approach that Baseballism, a lifestyle brand devoted to all things baseball and its rich history as America’s pastime, has been brought aboard

to promote the 2020 season with a retail offering commemorating the spirit of the effort via a “For Love of the Game” logo.

“Our goal is to put the best talent possible out on the field, and high-talent players are certainly available,” said American Association Commissioner Joshua Schaub. “There is no shortage of enormously talented athletes who need a place to play. After much patience and perseverance, we can provide an environment in which to play and watch baseball.”

The league will hold a dispersal draft of players from the six clubs not participating in the 2020 season on Tuesday, June 16. An abbreviated Spring Training will commence on June 25 prior to the July 3 Opening Day.

Get ready for the return of live baseball in a safe and fun environment this summer – For Love of the Game!

Book Review: The 33-Year-Old Rookie By Chris Coste

Since news is some what slow during the offseason, I thought I would start something new and do a review on different baseball books at least once a month.  I plan to focus on ones that include indy ball, but I may stray from that every now and then. Finding books strictly about independent baseball isn’t easy. It’s not exactly the most profitable genre of writing, but it is an interesting one.  If you have any recommendations for further reviews, please leave a comment!

My first book review centers around Chris Coste and his long journey from indy ball to the affiliated minor leagues and finally to the majors and the World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies.

the 33-year-old rookie

The 33-Year-Old Rookie: My 13-Year Journey from the Minor Leagues to the World Series by Chris Coste

The 33-Year-Old Rookie isn’t Coste’s first attempt at writing a book, but it is a more complete version.  In 1997, he wrote a book, Hey… I’m Just the Catcher, that is now out of publication.  That book detailed some of his seasons spent in indy ball, but all of that information and much more is now included in his 2008 autobiography, The 33-Year-Old Rookie.

As far as indy ball goes, Coste spent five seasons in three different – and now defunct – independent leagues.  He spent the first half of 1995 with the Brainerd Bears in the North Central League before the league folded in July.  For the rest of the season, he played on the Brandon Grey Owls of the Prairie League.  From 1996 to 1999, Coste played for his hometown Fargo-Moorehead Red Hawks with the Northern League.

To a lot of casual baseball readers, this is the beginning that leads to the more important parts of his career.  For an independent baseball fan, this is the part of the story where you learn exactly who Chris Coste really is.  In his four seasons with the Red Hawks, Coste grows as a player and a person. He was originally signed to Fargo-Moorehead, not necessarily based on his talent, but as just the local player to draw fans.

However, Coste really grew into his own in those four seasons.  He changed positions to wherever he was needed for the team, batted over .300 each season, married the love of his life, had a daughter and took various jobs with the Red Hawks just to keep going.

His writing really captures his dreams and his determination.  He had a lot going for him with the Red Hawks where he grew comfortable playing and working in his hometown, but one could tell that deep down, he still yearned for something more.

That “something more” happened in 2000 when he was signed by the Cleveland Indians and spent a considerable amount of time in Double A Akron and Triple A Buffalo. After two years with the Indians organization, he spent a year with the Red Sox and a year with the Brewers but still never reached the majors.  In 2005, he signed a contract with the Phillies organization and played the entire season in Triple A.  Then finally, after a stellar spring training performance and a strong start in Triple A, Coste made his major league debut on May 26, 2006 for the Philadelphia Phillies… 11 years after starting his professional baseball career.

His journey still wasn’t over. Coste spent time in the minors in 2007 before spending the entire 2008 season in the major leagues.  When the Phillies won the World Series that year, Coste became the first player that originated from Division III college baseball’s MIAC to win a World Series.

His story is one of grit and determination, ups and downs, victories and failures.  It is an inspirational underdog story at its finest, and he manages to capture it perfectly.  It is a refreshing read about a truly humble player who worked hard and finally realized his dreams. Coste just loved to play baseball no matter where he was, and that really shines through here.

If you’re looking for a book that details the rocky road it takes for a non-prospect type player with true heart and passion to make it to the majors, I highly recommend giving this a read! It’s not as polished as some baseball autobiographies, but that’s what made it so appealing to me.  The roller coaster ride, the perseverance, the triumphs… all of it means that much more coming from the guy who lived it every step of the way.

4/5 stars