T-Bones Become Monarchs

The Kansas City Monarchs are back — sort of.  New owners of the Kansas City T-Bones baseball club in Kansas City (KS) announced Thursday that the team will adopt the name of Kansas City’s storied Negro Leagues team beginning this season.  Read more here.

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Prospect League Adds Clinton LumberKings, Burlington Bees to Lineup

PRESS RELEASE – The Prospect League is proud to announce further expansion with the additions of the Clinton LumberKings and Burlington Bees.  “We are proud to announce that both the Burlington Bees and the Clinton LumberKings are joining the Prospect League for the upcoming 2021 season and beyond,” said Prospect League Commissioner Dennis Bastien. “We applaud their decision to be a part of our league and welcome them with open arms.” Continue reading

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2020 – The Ballpark Year in Pictures

Joe Mock BaseballParksJoe Mock from BaseballParks.com has posted his annual “The Ballpark Year in Pictures” covering all the big baseball stadium stories of 2020.  Read more and view photos here.

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MLB Offers 119 Clubs Affiliation, Await Fresno Outcome

Major League Baseball has neared completion of its extreme revamp of the minor leagues, officially offering 120 Player Development licenses to franchises that will survive as affiliated clubs and comprise a slimmed-down player-development apparatus with centralized control under MLB.  Read more here.  Read more from Forbes here and Sporting News here.

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Saints Bring Their Distinctive Brand of Entertainment to Triple-A

PRESS RELEASE – For 28 years the St. Paul Saints introduced the baseball world to pigs delivering baseballs to umpires, nuns giving massages to fans, and promotions poking fun at current events, politics, the baseball industry, and oftentimes themselves, all while being an Independent Professional Baseball Club. The Saints “Fun is Good” motto is about to enter center stage on a completely different level. The Saints, in a partnership with the Minnesota Twins, have received an invitation to become the top tier, Triple-A, Minor League affiliate of their Twin Cities neighbor beginning in the 2021 season.

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Staten Island Yankees Cease Operations, Sue Parent Club and MLB

The Staten Island Yankees, the former short-season Class A affiliate of the New York Yankees, announced Thursday that the organization is ceasing operations and filed a lawsuit against its former parent club – as well as Major League Baseball.  Read more here.

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Fresno Grizzlies Given More Time to Work Out Deal

Major League Baseball has given the Fresno Grizzlies (Triple-A, Pacific Coast League) more time to work out the fate of the franchise.  MLB said in a letter last week the team must accept a demotion from Triple-A to Single-A baseball by Nov. 30 or prepare to go without affiliation to a team in the majors.  Read more here.

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Polar Park to Provide Fans with 5 Scoreboards and LED Sideboards to Inform, Entertain, and Interact

PRESS RELEASE – Polar Park will have high-technology full-color videoboards in Left Field and Right-Center Field, as well as a large, traditional, electronic alphanumeric scoreboard on the Worcester Wall in Right Field, plus a pair of LED Matrix boards behind First and Third Base, all supplied and integrated by experience design and execution company, ANC.

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Owlz Relocate from Orem (UT) to Windsor (CO)

The Orem Owlz (Independent Professional, Pioneer League) have announced that they are relocating from their home in Orem (UT) to the Future Legends Complex in Windsor (CO).  They will be renamed the Northern Colorado (NoCo) Owlz in 2021.  Read more here.

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MLB to Launch League for Draft Prospects

PRESS RELEASE – Major League Baseball, Prep Baseball Report (PBR), and five founding members today announced the formation of the MLB Draft League, which will become the first league in the country focused on top prospects who are eligible to be drafted by MLB Clubs that summer.

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Pioneer League Named MLB Partner League

PRESS RELEASE – Major League Baseball and the Pioneer League jointly announced today that the Pioneer League has been designated a “Partner League” of MLB.

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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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