Tag Archives: independent league

Western Association Of Professional Baseball

Today, Indy Ball Island was sent an official press release from the newly formed Western Association of Professional Baseball (WAPB).

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A NEW LEAGUE IS BORN

by Western Association

Newport Beach, CA – The Board of Directors representing the development of North America’s latest premier independent professional baseball league development, proudly announcing the official formation of the Western Association of Professional Baseball Clubs (“WAPB”) an association of independent professional baseball clubs owned by individual ownership groups throughout the Western United States. The League plans to kick off its inaugural season in June of 2020 and is expected to host 8 teams to be located throughout Arizona, California, Colorado, and Nevada. 

The League’s inaugural season will feature a 78-game regular season schedule to begin in the third week of June and wrap up in the first week of September with the top four franchises in the League advancing to the Western Association playoffs in hopes of being crowned League Champion. 

Seasoned professional sports and media executive Peter Young who is tasked with leading the League’s business had this to say about the start-up Western Association, “I’m looking forward to another startup opportunity.  I was fortunate enough to be with the Winnipeg Goldeyes in their first two seasons in the Northern League, winning a championship in 1994.  Then in 2005, I was named the president of the Calgary Vipers as we came into existence a mere two (2) months before the season started but only missed the playoffs in the inaugural season by half a game.  

Like many premier independent professional baseball leagues, the Western Association will seek the highest level of talent available and the League and its’ teams will look to take advantage of the amazing talent pool of the regions we service with both inexperienced players and those with Major League Baseball playing experience that remain unsigned calling the warm-weather states that round up our market home. 

We look forward to serving markets now and in the future that has had limited exposure to professional baseball yet have the right formula of a growing population, strong corporate sector and like most great communities an ever-growing need for affordable family entertainment. 

As we announce our birth, please stay tuned for additional announcements and in the meantime please be sure to follow us on all of our social platforms and be sure to check back often.

The league does have an official website up and running as well at: westernprobaseball.com

The site does have an ABOUT US section (similar to the info found in the press release) and a section on the STAFF involved.

Beyond this information, not much else has become available. Stay tuned to Indy Ball Island in the upcoming weeks and months for more information.

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Can-Am and Frontier All-Star Rosters Announced

This year, the Can-Am and Frontier Leagues are coming together for one All-Star game, hosted by the Rockland Boulders on July 10th.

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Both leagues have officially announced their All-Star rosters for next week’s game.

CAN-AM LEAGUE ALL-STAR ROSTER ANNOUNCED

Release courtesy Rockland Boulders

Rockland County, N.Y. – The Can-Am League announced its selections for the 2019 All-Star Game, which will be hosted by the Rockland Boulders at Palisades Credit Union Park in Rockland County, N.Y. All-Star Week events, presented by Good Samaritan Hospital, start on Tuesday July 9 with an 11:00 a.m. luncheon, with the Home Run Derby to follow at 7:30 that evening. On Wednesday, July 10, the Can-Am and Frontier Leagues square off for the first time ever with game time at 7:00 pm.

A total of 26 players comprise the roster for the Can-Am League, with the defending league champion Sussex County Miners placing eight, followed by Rockland and the New Jersey Jackals (5 each), the Trois-Rivieres Aigles and Ottawa Champions (3), and the Quebec Capitales (2). Sussex County Manager Bobby Jones will lead the squad on the heels of his crew’s first ever Can-Am League championship in 2018.

For the first time, one player from each of the Can-Am’s six teams was selected from a pool of nominees by fan balloting and input from managers. That group includes: Conrad Gregor (New Jersey), Jiandido Tromp (Ottawa), Ryne Birk (Rockland), Ryan Newell (Sussex County), and Garrett Mundell (Trois-Rivieres). Quebec’s Karl Gelinas was also selected but is unable to participate due to injury. The veteran hurler will be in attendance, however, as he was named Honorary Team Captain and Pitching Coach for the contest.

“The Can-Am League couldn’t be prouder that we are hosting the Frontier League in the 2019 All-Star Game,” noted Can-Am Executive Director Kevin Winn.” They bring 27 years of tradition with them as the oldest continuously operating independent league. I want to thank Commissioner Bill Lee, all the owners, executives, coaching staff and players. Two premier leagues are facing off in a premier ballpark.” 

Lee is in his 26th season as Frontier League commissioner. Lee will oversee a cross-league All-Star Game between the two circuits for the first time in history.

“We are extremely pleased and excited to be playing the Can-Am League All-Stars,” Lee said. “Everyone is looking forward to coming to the New York area. This is an unprecedented game for our League. We want to thank all of the owners, teams and Kevin Winn for making this possible. Above all, we want to thank Shawn Reilly and the entire Rockland Boulders staff for their hard work.” 

Reilly, president of the Rockland Boulders, will be the host of this year’s event. “It is exciting that the best young talent in professional baseball is coming to New York City, the baseball and media capital of the world, to showcase our leagues,” Reilly said. “We are proud to host this historical matchup in our beautiful Palisades Credit Union Park and give our fans an event they will never forget.” Tickets for all All-Star Week events are available at rocklandboulders.com, or call 845-364-0009 for more information.

2019 Can-Am League All-Stars

Pitchers (11):

Catchers (2):

Infielders (7):

Outfielders (4):

Utility (1):

All- Star Week Events Schedule

Tuesday, July 9 – 11:00 am, at New York Country Club – Guest Speaker, New York Yankees broadcaster John Sterling.

Tuesday, July 9 – 7:30 pm at Palisades Credit Union Park – Home Run Derby, featuring Legends Team, including Mookie Wilson, Jesse Barfield, and John Flaherty.

Wednesday, July 10 – 7:00 pm at Palisades Credit Union Park – All-Star Game featuring Can-Am League vs. Frontier League.

OFF TO THE BIG APPLE: 2019 FRONTIER LEAGUE ALL-STAR ROSTER

Release courtesy Frontier League

*NOTE: all statistics provided are as of June 26, 2019.

SAUGET, IL — The Frontier League of Professional Baseball is pleased to announce its roster for the 2019 All-Star Game, which will take place in Rockland County, New York. The game will be played at Palisades Credit Union Park, home of the Rockland Boulders of the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball (Can-Am League), on Wednesday, July 10.

In a collaborative effort, members of the Frontier and Can-Am Leagues worked together this offseason to make the event possible. Can-Am Executive Director Kevin Winn acted as a critical part in the process.

“The Can-Am League couldn’t be prouder that we are hosting the Frontier League in the 2019 All Star Game,” Winn said. “They bring 27 years of tradition with them as the oldest continuously operating independent league. I want to thank Commissioner Bill Lee, President Rich Sauget, all the Owners, Executives, Coaching Staff and Players. Two Premier Leagues facing off in a Premier Ballpark.”

Bill Lee is in his 26thseason as Frontier League Commissioner. Lee will oversee a cross-league All-Star Game for the first time in independent history.

“We are extremely pleased and excited to be playing the Can-Am League All-Stars,” Lee said. “Everyone is looking forward to coming to the New York area. This is an unprecedented game for our League. We want to thank all of the owners, teams and Executive Director Kevin Winn for making this possible. Above all, we want to thank Shawn Reilly and the entire Rockland Boulders staff for their hard work.”

Shawn Reilly, President of the Rockland Boulders, will be the host of this year’s event.

“It is exciting that the best young talent in professional baseball is coming to New York City, the baseball and media capital of the world, to showcase our Leagues,” Reilly said. “We are proud to host this historical matchup in our beautiful Palisades Credit Union Park and give our fans an event they will never forget.”

Managing the Frontier League All-Star team will be Dennis Pelfrey of the Florence Freedom. Pelfrey also managed the 2017 Frontier League All-Star Game. His staff will feature Freedom hitting coach Drew Martinez and Freedom bench coach Mike Morris.

“It’s truly an honor to represent the Frontier League in the All-Star Game and even more so with our All-Stars playing against another league’s All-Star team,” Pelfrey said. “I’m excited about the opportunity to showcase our best players so we can elevate the already positive reputation of our league.”

The game will be played between representatives of the Frontier and Can-Am Leagues for the first time in history. Its unique dynamic offers a new and unique perspective across the independent professional scene.

“I believe this dynamic of an All-Star Game between two leagues can really provide opportunities and information for future players when choosing to play independent baseball,” Pelfrey said. “This All-Star game will show the competition level of both leagues and exactly what independent baseball is about. The electricity in the ballpark that night is going to be something you shouldn’t miss!”

Pelfrey will work with a number of familiar faces, as a League-leading six Freedom are recognized as Frontier League All-Stars. The Evansville Otters and Southern Illinois Miners are second with four, the River City Rascals have three, while the Schaumburg Boomers, Washington Wild Things, Joliet Slammers and Gateway Grizzlies have two. The Windy City ThunderBolts and Lake Erie Crushers have one representative, respectively.

The Freedom’s Austin Wobrock, who made this sensational playearlier in the year, earned his second All-Star nod. The shortstop is hitting .275 on the season with seven doubles and nine stolen bases.

Joining Wobrock is outfielder Ricky Ramirez Jr., as well as pitchers Tyler Gibson, Mike Castellani, Jonathan Tripp and Brian McKenna. Ramirez Jr. is hitting .282 with three home runs, seven doubles and an .844 OPS.

Gibson is an All-Star for the first time with his 2.76 ERA across seven starts and two complete games. Left-hander Castellani will attend his first All-Star Game as well following an impressive 2.25 ERA across 52 innings.

Both Tripp and McKenna are tied for a team-lead in appearances with 15. McKenna leads his team among relievers in strikeouts with 26 over 16.2 innings, while Tripp has yet to allow an earned run in 19 innings. It will be McKenna’s first All-Star appearance. It will be Tripp’s second consecutive All-Star season.

The Otters will send first baseman Carlos Castro, third baseman Ryan Long, catcher Rob Calabrese and relief pitcher Taylor Wright to New York. It will be the first All-Star game for Castro, Calabrese and Wright. Long will attend for the second consecutive season.

Long leads the League in RBI’s with 34 and is tied for the lead in home runs with seven, while also ranking in the top-10 in doubles (11), hits (41), walks (23), on-base percentage (.402) and slugging percentage (.524).

Calabrese is in his first Frontier League season after spending two years in affiliated ball with the San Francisco Giants. He is hitting .292 with an .897 OPS through 29 games. Castro, meanwhile, has six home runs in his second Frontier League season. Wright, a right-handed pitcher, has struck out 30 compared to six walks in 24.1 innings and sports a 1.11 ERA to go along with his four saves.

Four Miners will make the trip from Marion to Rockland County, as third baseman Gianfranco Wawoe, shortstop Bryant Flete, catcher Andy Cosgrove and right-handed starter Chase Cunningham are All-Stars.

Cunningham earned his second All-Star nod thanks in part to his League-leading 59 innings pitched accompanied by a 2.90 ERA. Flete (.388) and Wawoe (.331) rank first and second in the Frontier League in batting average, while Cosgrove (.319) ranks first among catchers in batting average. The three aforementioned will be making their first All-Star appearances.

Trevor Achenbach, Braxton Martinez and Kameron Esthay will represent River City as All-Stars for the first time in their respective careers. Achenbach is fourth in the Frontier League in batting average at .314. Martinez has walked nearly as much as he has struck out this season (28 BB/32 K) and has powered his way to 12 doubles and six home runs. Esthay, meanwhile, is hitting .284 with 13 doubles and a .794 OPS.

Washington’s J.J. Fernandez and Hector Roa are All-Stars for the first time as well. Fernandez is among the most productive bats in the Frontier League, as the 25-year-old is slashing .291/.382/.473 with five home runs, eight doubles, two triples, 23 RBI and 22 walks. Roa ranks second with 30 RBI and owns a .285 batting average and .494 slugging percentage.

Schaumburg will send catcher Nick Oddo and closer Connor Eller to the All-Star Game. It will be Oddo’s second selection and Eller’s first. Oddo leads his Boomers with a .311 batting average and 10 doubles. Eller leads the League in saves with nine and owns a 1.80 ERA over 20 innings pitched.

The Grizzlies have two first time All-Stars, featuring outfielder Shawon Dunston Jr. and reliever Dakota Smith. Dunston Jr., who is batting .271 through 35 games, is tied for second in the League in steals with 16. Smith, in his fourth season in Gateway, has 33 strikeouts in 21.2 innings pitched.

Joliet’s Chaz Meadows and Daren Osby also earned All-Star bids. Meadows is now a two-time All-Star, while Osby will partake in his first. The right-handed throwing Osby is averaging a strikeout per inning over 40.1 on top of his 2.67 ERA. The shortstop Meadows is tied for the team lead in hits with 40.

Left-handed starter Patrick Ledet will represent Lake Erie as their lone All-Star. Ledet ranks third in the League in ERA at 1.90 and has struck out 48 compared to nine walks in 52 innings pitched. It will be Ledet’s first All-Star appearance.

Rounding out the Frontier League All-Star roster is Windy City right-hander Tyler Thornton. Thornton boasts a 2.81 ERA through 32 innings pitched and is a first time All-Star.

FRONTIER LEAGUE ALL-STAR STARTERS

1B – J.J. Fernandez
2B – Trevor Achenbach
3B – Ryan Long
SS – Bryant Flete
C – Nick Oddo
OF – Hector Roa
OF – Kameron Esthay
OF/DH – Ricky Ramirez Jr.
OF – Shawon Dunston Jr.

ALL-STAR RESERVES

1B – Carlos Castro
2B – Gianfranco Wawoe
3B – Braxton Martinez
SS – Chaz Meadows
SS – Austin Wobrock
C – Rob Calabrese
C – Andy Cosgrove

SP – Tyler Gibson
SP – Patrick Ledet
SP – Chase Cunningham
SP – Mike Castellani
SP – Daren Osby
SP – Tyler Thornton
RP – Jonathan Tripp
RP – Taylor Wright
RP – Dakota Smith
RP – Connor Eller
RP – Brian McKenna

All-Star events begin with the All-Star Charitable Luncheon featuring New York Yankees’ broadcaster John Sterling on Tuesday, July 9. The Home Run Derby takes place that night and features former New York Yankees and Mets players Mookie Wilson, Jesse Barfield, and John Flaherty.

The Can-Am League vs. Frontier League All-Star Game presented by WMC Health/Good Samaritan Hospital is Wednesday, July 10. For tickets and additional information, please visit http://www.rocklandboulders.com/allstarsummer2019