Tag Archives: Frontier League

Brilliance Sox Win Empire Playoff Series, Look Ahead to 2021

In an effort to save the 2020 baseball season, the Empire League sent two teams to Washington, PA to play two teams fielded by the BlackSox baseball organization. The one month series ended with a two day playoff series to determine a champion.

The regular season series ended on September 25th with the Road Warrior Black Sox taking the number one seed for the two day playoffs.

The Brilliance Sox ended up as the second seed, with the Empire teams the Tupper Lake Riverpigs and Saranac Lake Surge taking third and fourth respectfully.

On Monday, the Brilliance Sox defeated the Tupper Lake Riverpigs in the first game of the series to move on to the championship game.

And in an upset, the fourth seeded Surge defeated the Black Sox in extra innings to advance to the finals.

Tuesday, the Riverpigs defeated the Black Sox in the consolation game to finish the finals in third place.

The championship game between the Brilliance Sox and Surge was a pitchers duel that went into extra innings. After a homerun by the Sox in the first, the game went scoreless until the Surge were able to answer with one run of their own in the 8th. In the end, the Brilliance Sox were able to walk it off in the bottom of the 12th inning to become the 2020 Empire League Series Champions.

Other awards given out at the conclusion of the season included:

In addition, multiple players from the series were able to sign contracts to higher independent leagues for the 2021 season.

Looking ahead to next season, the Empire League is hoping to return to their usual season in the Northeast of the country. The league, which focuses on developing rookie level talent, is looking forward to being able to have a full season again. Check out more information about the Empire League HERE.

The BlackSox will once again be moving ahead with their development of players through exposure events, spring training games and the newly established Yinzer Baseball Confederacy.

This league will consist of 4-6 teams playing 50-60 games at a Frontier League ballpark (at Wildthings Park in Washington, PA) from June-September in front of professional managers and scouts. The Black Sox Organization plans to continue being the feeder system for all of independent baseball.

This season, the league provided 72 opportunities to play among their two teams. Since 2018, the Black Sox have helped promote 188 players.

More information can be found on the Black Sox official website HERE.

On behalf of myself and the players, I would like to give a shout out and thank you to the Washington Wild Things organization for the use of their facilities, Eddie Gonzalez with the Empire League and Joe Torre with the Black Sox for giving these players a safe chance to play baseball during a summer of cancellations and concerns surrounding the pandemic. I know the players will be forever grateful for the opportunities given to them this season.

On a personal note, I would like to thank Eddie and Joe for being so welcoming to me whenever I was at the ballpark.

To the Black Sox boys… many of whom I’ve known for the majority of your careers, congratulations on finishing up this season. I am so proud of you all and love your drive, determination and dedication to the game of baseball. Thank you for always welcoming me in as part of the team. You made an otherwise boring summer a lot of fun. Best of luck in the future! You guys know you always have a home on Indy Ball Island.

Frontier League Expands in Canada

FRONTIER LEAGUE WELCOMES OTTAWA FOR 2021 SEASON

September 25, 2020

The Frontier League has announced the granting of an expansion membership to Ottawa, Ontario, to begin play in the 2021 season.  Ottawa becomes the 15th Frontier League team and the third in Canada, joining the Quebec Capitales and Trois-Rivieres Aigles.

The new Ottawa team is operated by Sam Katz and the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG).  Sam Katz has a long tenure in baseball, serving as President & CEO of the American Association’s Winnipeg Goldeyes since their inception for the 1994 season.  Sam was instrumental in building Shaw Park in downtown Winnipeg.  He has won numerous awards, including the Queen’s Jubilee Golden Medal (2002), Distinguished Alumnus from the University of Manitoba (2003), and being named to the Order of Manitoba (2004), the province’s highest award and served as Mayor of Winnipeg from 2004-14.

“Our ownership team is thrilled to be joining the Frontier League,” said Sam Katz.  “For nearly 30 years, the Frontier League has helped set the bar for independent baseball, and we are proud to become a part of its rich history.  We very much look forward to serving the City of Ottawa, and providing our fans affordable, family-friendly entertainment for years to come.”

OSEG owns and operates the Ottawa REDBLACKS Football Club (CFL) and the Ottawa 67’s Hockey Club (OHL), manages and programs events in the TD Place stadium arena complex and manages facilities and maintenance throughout centrally located, 40-acre Lansdowne district.

“The Frontier League is pleased and proud to welcome the City of Ottawa to our League,” said Commissioner Bill Lee.  “Ottawa is a major league city that deserves professional baseball. The ownership group of Sam Katz and OSEG provide great experience in owning and operating sports teams and facilities.”

The new Ottawa team will play out of Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park.  Located in the heart of Ottawa, RCGT Park opened for the 1993 season and served as the home of the Triple-A Ottawa Lynx from 1993-2007.  Regan Katz has been named Vice-President for Ottawa and will lead the team’s day-to-day operations, with a goal of having an office open in Ottawa in late October.

Jim Watson, Mayor of Ottawa, expressed his excitement for the return of professional baseball.  “As Mayor of the nation’s capital, I am thrilled that the Frontier League is coming to RCGT Park. Ottawa is a great sports city and the new partnership between OSEG and Mr. Katz is exciting news for our growing baseball community. I also want to thank our new partners for their vote of confidence in our City’s economic future and for working with us to finalize a long-term partnership in one of the most challenging economic times in our City’s and country’s history. I look forward to the seasons ahead.”

“The addition of Ottawa is great news for Québec and Trois-Rivieres,” added Michel Laplante, President of the Capitales.  “Not only do we benefit from having a team in our area, but we believe this strong ownership will make the Ottawa market successful and attractive for the possible expansion into greater Montreal.”

Founded for the 1993 season, the Frontier League is the largest and longest running independent professional baseball league.  An official Partner League of Major League Baseball, the Frontier League features 15 clubs stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from the Ohio River to the St. Lawrence Seaway.  The Frontier League annually moves the most players into Major League Baseball organizations of any of the independent leagues.