NYC Committing $5.1M to Upgrade Richmond County Bank Ballpark

New York City has committed to a $5.1 million allocation to upgrade and revitalize Richmond County Bank Ballpark, which will prime it for other uses besides baseball. The funding comes on the heels of recent news that the New York Yankees would end its affiliation with the Staten Island Yankees (Single-A, New York-Penn League).  Read more here.

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Dodgers to Officially Cut Ties with Raptors

In expected news, the Los Angeles Dodgers will reportedly cut ties with Ogden Raptors (Rookie-level, Pioneer League), as part of the downsizing scheduled to take place across the minor leagues for the 2021 season.  Read more here.   Read more local news here.

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Former AirHogs Ballpark to Become Venue for Major League Cricket

Major League Cricket has leased a 5,400-seat minor league baseball stadium in Grand Prairie, Texas, and will turn the venue into a cricket stadium for the league’s inaugural 2022 season.  Read more here.  The ballpark was the home of the now-defunct Texas/Grand Prairie AirHogs (Independent Professional, American Association).  Read more here.

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Astros Officially Make Independent Skeeters Triple-A Affiliate

The Houston Astros’ farm system is getting closer than before to the team’s home base of Minute Maid Park. On Friday, the club officially announced it has agreed to purchase a majority stake in the Sugar Land Skeeters and designate it as its Triple-A affiliate.  Read more here.

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Twins Drop Triple-A Rochester, Look to Affiliatize Independent Professional St. Paul Saints

The Minnesota Twins are looking for a new top farm team, after officially informing the Rochester Red Wings (Triple-A, International League) that they are out.  The St. Paul Saints (Independent Professional, American Association) are the targeted replacement.  Read more here.

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Expedition League Launches Team in Caldwell (Idaho)

PRESS RELEASE – The Expedition League, with 11 teams in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming, Montana, and Manitoba Canada, today announced the arrival of its affiliate in Caldwell, Idaho. The Canyon County Spuds will play at Wolfe Field. Continue reading

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MLB Seeks Response from NYPL Teams

Major League Baseball has reportedly asked New York-Penn League teams to provide an indication whether they are interested in joining the summer wood bat league that MLB recently proposed to league members.  Read more here.  More on MLB’s affiliation revamp.

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Yankees Ditch Double-A Trenton for Independent Somerset

The New York Yankees have announced changes to their minor league affiliation structure as a result of the expiration of the Professional Baseball Agreement (between Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball) and the creation of the Prospect Development Pipeline.  Read more hereRead about the Somerset Patriots here.

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It’s the ‘Mining City Tommyknockers’

PRESS RELEASE – The Expedition League’s Butte affiliate, which will begin play in May of 2021, has announced the team’s name and unveiled the official logo. The team name is the Mining City Tommyknockers and the logo, designed by Jason Stemm of Stemm Creative, has been released. Orange, Black and Gray are the official team colors. Continue reading

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Gastonia Pro Baseball Narrows List of Possible Team Names to Five Finalists

The newest club in the Atlantic League (Independent Professional) located in Gastonia (NC) announced in August the launch of its “Name the Team Contest,” which encourages fans to submit names for consideration as the club builds its brand identity.  The team has narrowed the field to five finalists — Fire Ants, Honey Hunters, Uppercuts, Hogzillas, and Hotshots. Fans can learn more about the names and make their selection here by Oct. 31.

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Branding Change: Introducing the ‘Jersey Shore BlueClaws’

PRESS RELEASE – The BlueClaws and the Jersey Shore have made great partners over the last 20 years, and on Wednesday night, they officially announced a name change and re-branding to the Jersey Shore BlueClaws. The official name change announcement was made at a VIP event at Seahorse, part of Asbury Park’s historic Convention Hall.

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New Johnstown Franchise Named ‘Mill Rats’

PRESS RELEASE – The first Pennsylvanian team in the collegiate summer level Prospect League will pay tribute to that state’s blue collar heritage with its brand. The Johnstown Mill Rats’ nickname derives from a term used to describe coal miners and steel workers. The term originally had a derogatory connotation, but it’s been embraced and repurposed to reflect the grit and determination a person needs to work in those industries.

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A Look at the Lone World Series Ballpark

As the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays prepare to meet in Game 1 of the 2020 World Series on Tuesday night, Joe Mock from BaseballParks.com has posted his annual comparison of the two ballparks — albeit with a COVID twist.  Yes, because of the global pandemic. it’s just two MLB teams, and one ballpark — Globe Life Field.  Read more here.  View World Series game schedule here.

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Expedition League Adds Butte to Lineup

Press Release – The Expedition League, with 10 teams in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wyoming and Manitoba, Canada, today announced the arrival of its affiliate in Butte, Montana. The team will play at 3 Legends Stadium at the Copper Mountain Recreation Complex in Butte. 3 Legends Stadium is a beautiful ballpark that was completed in 2017. Continue reading

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Mock Talks Bubble Baseball

In this article penned for USA TODAY Sports Weekly, Joe Mock of BaseballParks.com provides us with an in-depth look at the “bubble” MLB playoffs that are now underway.  Read more here.  View playoff schedule here.

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Statement by Minor League Baseball

PRESS RELEASE – The Chairman of Minor League Baseball’s Professional Baseball Agreement negotiating committee, D.G. Elmore, issued the following statement today: Continue reading

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“Name the Team” Contest Underway in Columbus (GA)

The Columbus Baseball Team is holding a “name the Columbus Baseball Team” contest, available via this Google form.  The team will be identified by Jan. 1 and will compete in the Sunbelt Baseball League.  Read more here.  Read background story here.  The team will play at Golden Park.  Thanks to Joe DeLeonard for the heads up.

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Skylands Stadium Jack O’Lantern Experience

The Sussex County Miners’ Jack O’Lantern Experience & Fall Festival is underway at Skylands Stadium. The Halloween extravaganza runs from Sept. 25 through Nov. 1. Thanks to John Cerone for the heads up.  Read more here.

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Rookie Appalachian League Will Operate as Summer Collegiate Wood-Bat League

Culminating a busy week for Major League Baseball, MLB announced on Friday that the Appalachian League (Rookie) will operate as a summer wood-bat league for rising freshmen and sophomores.  Read more here.

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Frontier League Adds Ottawa to Lineup, Ownership Group Led by Goldeyes’ Sam Katz

PRESS RELEASE – 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.

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Frontier League Designated as Partner League of MLB

PRESS RELEASE – Major League Baseball (MLB) announced today that it has named the Frontier League as a “Partner Leagues” of MLB. The Frontier League, along with the American Association, join the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB), which was designated a Partner League earlier this week.

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American Association, Frontier League Designated as Partner Leagues of MLB

PRESS RELEASE – Major League Baseball (MLB) announced today that it has named both the American Association and the Frontier League as “Partner Leagues” of MLB. The American Association and the Frontier League join the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB), which was designated a Partner League earlier this week.

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Atlantic League Designated Partner League of MLB

PRESS RELEASE – Major League Baseball (MLB) announced today that it has named the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) its first “Partner League”. As a Partner League, ALPB will meet regularly with MLB to discuss joint marketing and promotional opportunities, including the leagues’ shared goal of providing baseball to communities throughout the United States. Continue reading

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Coastal Plain League Adds Spartanburg to Lineup

Summer baseball is returning to Spartanburg and South Carolina’s oldest ballpark. The city council Monday gave the Coastal Plain League the OK to use Duncan Park for a team of top collegiate athletes to play a 52-game season, from late May to mid-August.  Read more here.

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RedWolves, City of Florence Partner on New Facility

PRESS RELEASE – The Florence RedWolves of the Coastal Plain League, along with the City of Florence (S.C.) are excited to announce a $15 million sports complex coming to Florence in 2022. This will be the new home of the RedWolves, who currently play at Cormell Field at Sparrow Stadium on the campus of Francis Marion University.

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West Coast League Adds Edmonton to Lineup

PRESS RELEASE – Western North America’s premier summer collegiate baseball league continues to grow with Tuesday’s announcement from Baseball Edmonton introducing the Edmonton Riverhawks as the West Coast League’s 15th member team.

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Justin Timberlake Joins Effort to Bring MLB to Nashville

Ten-time Grammy award winner Justin Timberlake cast his lot Wednesday with Music City Baseball, the group gaining momentum in its effort to bring a Major League Baseball franchise to Nashville.  Read more here.

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West Coast League Adds Kamloops (BC) to Lineup

PRESS RELEASE – Canada’s Tournament Capital just added another sports team to its roster, the Kamloops NorthPaws. The announcement on September 9 was surrounded by much socially distanced fanfare at Norbrock Stadium, the home of the NorthPaws when they begin play. Continue reading

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Ryan Voz Named as President/Commissioner of the NWL

PRESS RELEASE – Ryan Voz, co-owner of the Willmar Stingers, has been named as the 4th President/Commissioner of the Northwoods League.

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MiLB President & CEO O’Conner Announces Retirement

PRESS RELEASE – After 38 years in professional baseball and 28 years with the Minor League Baseball office, Minor League Baseball President & CEO Pat O’Conner [this week] announced that he will retire on Dec. 31, 2020.

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The Field of Dreams Game that Would Have Been

Joe Mock of  BaseballParks.com was all set to cover the “MLB at Field of Dreams Game” in Dyersville (IA), when MLB headquarters cancelled the event.  Because he already put together an article for USA TODAY previewing the game and ballpark built at the famous movie site, he has graciously posted it here.  Enjoy!

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Prospect League Adds Johnstown (PA) to Lineup, Name-the-Team Contest Underway

PRESS RELEASE – The Prospect League is proud to announce the addition of Johnstown, Pa. as an expansion franchise, which will begin play in the 2021 season at Sargent’s Stadium at the Point.

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Lafayette Aviators Selected to Lease New Loeb Stadium

PRESS RELEASE – The City of Lafayette and Lafayette Board of Parks & Recreation are pleased to announce that the Lafayette Aviators have been named the baseball team to play in Loeb Stadium. The announcement was made during a Park Board meeting at the Loeb Stadium construction site.

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Hinchliffe Stadium Update

The Paterson (NJ) City Council recently approved the use of $1.1 million in federal housing funds for the 75-unit senior citizen building being done in conjunction with the reconstruction of Hinchliffe Stadium.  The council also gave final approval to a 30-year tax break for the Hinchliffe development. The $76.7 million project also would include a 315-space parking garage as well as a restaurant with museum exhibit space.  Read more here and here.  Thanks to John Cerone for links.

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West Coast Reportedly Adding Kamloops

The West Coast League (Summer Collegiate) reportedly plans to expand to Kamloops (BC), possibly beginning the 2021 season.  Read more here.  The league recently announced the naming of the new franchise in Nanaimo (BC).  Kamloops is about two hours from Kelowna (BC), the home of WCL’s Kelowna Falcons.

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Joe Mock Granted Near-Exclusive Access to Fanless Christening of Globe Life Field

Joe Mock of  BaseballParks.com was one of the few granted access to Globe Life Field, as the Texas Rangers christened their new ballpark with no fans in the stands.  Mock’s original reporting appeared in USA TODAY Sports Weekly.  Read story and view photos here.

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Atlantic League Adds Gastonia (NC) to 2021 Lineup

The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB) announced today it is expanding to the City of Gastonia with a team ownership group led by Brandon Bellamy, CEO of Velocity Companies, Inc. Gastonia becomes the second Atlantic League location in North Carolina, joining High Point, where the Rockers began play in 2019.

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Empty MLB Ballparks to Pipe in Video Game Crowd Noise

Big league players will still hear the roar of the crowd even though the stands will be empty when the baseball season opens next week.  Taking a cue from two European soccer leagues, Major League Baseball will play crowd noise from its official video game through ballpark sound systems during games.  Read more here.

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It’s the ‘Nanaimo NightOwls’

PRESS RELEASE – The lights, the history, the proud First Nations lore. And the world-famous dessert that helped make the City of Nanaimo a household name, all combined.

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MiLB Shelves Season

PRESS RELEASE – Major League Baseball™ (MLB™) has informed Minor League Baseball™ (MiLB™) that it will not be providing its affiliated Minor League teams with players for the 2020 season. As a result, there will not be a Minor League Baseball season in 2020.

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