Tag Archives: Rockford Aviators

Frontier League Loses Two Teams for 2016 Season

The Frontier League released the schedules for their teams today, but they look much different than last year’s.  That is because the league has gone from 14 teams to 12 for the 2016 season.

Throughout the season, there were signs that the Rockford Aviators were faltering.  Attendance was at an all-time low (averaging less than 1,000 fans per game), financial problems were apparent and in June, MKE Sports & Entertainment was forced to terminate its managed service contract with the team.

According to the Rockford Register Star, “Commissioner Bill Lee ruled that MKE Sports & Entertainment’s contract with the team violates the league bylaws because the owner of MKE Sports & Entertainment, Michael Zimmerman, owns multiple baseball teams in another league.”

Then late in the season, the Frontier League took over day-to-day operations of the Aviators, all but cementing the fact that the team would fold at the end of the season.

With the loss of the Aviators, the Frontier League was able to dismantle their travel team, the Frontier Greys, which had been in place since the London Rippers folded in the middle of the 2013 season.

This downsizes the Frontier League to 12 teams for the first time since 2011. The 12 teams remaining are: Evansville Otters, Florence Freedom, Gateway Grizzlies, Joliet Slammers, Lake Erie Crushers, Normal Cornbelters, River City Rascals, Schaumburg Boomers, Southern Illinois Miners, Traverse City Beach Bums, Washington Wild Things and Windy City Thunderbolts.

However, the stadium in Rockford won’t go unused next summer. Rockford was awarded a franchise with the Northwoods League, a collegiate level summer wooden bat league.

Tyger Pederson Brings Strong Bloodlines and Work Ethic to Indy Ball

During the MLB All-Star week, all eyes were on rookie phenom Joc Pederson. After a tremendous first half of the season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Joc participated in the HR Derby, finishing 2nd behind Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier, and started the All-Star game in left field becoming the first rookie position player in LA’s history to do so.

However, Joc isn’t the only Pederson playing baseball in California this season. Tyger, Joc’s older brother, is currently playing for the San Rafael Pacifics in the independent Pacific Association.

In 2013, Tyger became the third Pederson to be drafted by the Dodgers – in addition to his younger brother Joc being drafted out of high school in 2010, his father, Stu, was also drafted by LA in 1981 and played 13 years in the Dodgers organization including 8 games with the big league club.

Tyger Pederson


Tyger spent the rest of the 2013 season with the Dodger’s Arizona Rookie League team with a .438 OBP and solid defense (.984 field percentage). He went to spring training with the Dodgers in 2014 only to be released before the season began.

But Tyger is a hard worker, and like many others, he turned to indy ball to keep his passion for baseball alive. After his release, he signed on to play independent ball with the Rockford Aviators in the Frontier League for the rest of the 2014 season. He appeared in 45 games and showed his strong defense with a .990 fielding percentage around the infield (1B, 2B, and 3B).

tyger pederson2

(Photo by Doug Timmermann)

Playing independent ball is great because it’s not about the money. It’s about pure love of the game. Players are playing because they want to be here and love what they do. I love going to the field every day and preparing and the process of what it takes to play professional baseball,” Tyger reflected.

“I have learned so many life lessons from baseball which I will have to hold on to forever. Baseball is a game of failure, and it teaches you to be humble. One day you could go 4-4 and be on top of the world and the next day you can go 0-4. It’s a long season so you have to stay humble and even keeled. Every day is a new day, new game, new opportunities and that’s the great part about this game.”

This season, he has returned to the west coast with the Pacifics. Although off to a slow start, that hasn’t stopped Tyger or slowed down his strong work ethic. In 19 games (46 at bats), he has an .310 OBP which is something he takes pride in over the normal batting average stat.

Getting on base helps the team score runs and win ball games.  Batting average is a statistic that is individual. I like to think of myself as a team player who will do anything to help the team win.”

The utility man is always ready to play whenever and wherever is asked of him. He has played both the infield and outfield this season and is always ready to go even when he’s not in the starting lineup.

I pride myself on making the most of my opportunities and always being ready to perform,” Tyger explained.

Teammates and coaches have taken notice of his passion and love for the game. Not only has Tyger grown up around the game, but he also has a sports science degree from the University of the Pacific. His stats may not show it right now, but make no mistake about it, he is a very smart player. Fellow players love to pick his brain and feed off of his work ethic and passion.

The best part is that Tyger isn’t limiting his baseball knowledge to just his teammates. He has been giving private lessons since 2011 and has recently started giving lessons around the San Rafael area. Teaching players from as young as tee-ball age to the collegiate level has given him a wide range of knowledge and outlook on the game. He now gets the chance to share what he has learned and experienced and give it to others.

tyger pederson3

(Instagram – tygerpederson)

He credits his family for his hard working attitude and perseverance.

I have acquired a strong work ethic that started at a young age. My dad, Joc and I would go hit every day in the back yard out at the highschool field on weekends. On game days, we would hit during lunch in the cages since we didn’t get batting practice before games,” Tyger said.

My dad was a hard worker and played 13 years professionally and only 1 in the big leagues so that goes to show he was a grinder. He always taught us that talent will only take you so far. As you keep climbing up the baseball ladder everybody is good and you need to separate yourself. And a strong work ethic is necessary to compete at the highest level.”

Not only is baseball in his blood with his father and brother, but his older brother, Champ, and younger sister, Jacey, are also great examples of strong, well-balanced athletes. Champ, who has down syndrome, is a Special Olympics athlete and a motivational speaker, while Jacey is a standout soccer player.

For now, Tyger is happy with making the most of his opportunity playing indy ball and teaching the players of the future.