PRESS RELEASE – Today the Can-Am League and the Frontier League are announcing a historic merger resulting in the creation of the largest league in all of Independent Professional Baseball. The newly formed Frontier League will begin play in 2020 with a soon to be revealed 96-game schedule spanning from mid-May through September.
The all-new league will be comprised of all five Can-Am League organizations and nine members of the Frontier League, totaling 14 clubs in two divisions. The former Can-Am League clubs – including the New Jersey Jackals, Quebec Capitales, Rockland Boulders, Sussex County Miners and Trois Rivieres Aigles – along with the Washington Wild Things and Lake Erie Crushers of the Frontier League will play in the Can-Am Division. The Midwestern Division will consist of the Evansville Otters, Florence Freedom, Gateway Grizzlies, Joliet Slammers, Schaumburg Boomers, Southern Illinois Miners and the Windy City Thunder Bolts.
“I couldn’t be more proud of everyone’s efforts behind making this historic merger a reality,” Can-Am League Chairman of the Board Al Dorso said. “It’s been a long time coming and yet the final stages came together overnight. I can’t wait for what will be our first Frontier League meetings as we implement our vision of fostering exciting baseball and expansion into new markets.”
Through this groundbreaking pact, the Frontier League will bring together strong ownership groups, teams and facilities from each league. Plus the league will feature some of the longest-running teams in the industry’s history. The Evansville Otters began play in 1995 and the New Jersey Jackals were born in 1998. Plus several major markets will be well represented through this landmark accord such as New York, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Quebec City and St. Louis. As a result, the newly formed association will be an even more attractive beacon for cultivating and developing professional baseball talent.
“It has been my honor to be a part of this groundbreaking deal and I can’t thank all parties involved enough for getting us to this historic moment,” Can-Am League Executive Director Kevin Winn said. “I look forward to seeing where our newly formed alliance heads next and all the Independent Professional Baseball history that’s yet to be written.”
Frontier League Commissioner, Bill Lee, who has held that position since 1994, will continue in that role. He states, “I am extremely excited about this merger announcement. Not only does it strengthen the Frontier League, but it strengthens Independent Professional Baseball as a whole. I want to thank everyone from both Leagues that have worked so hard to make this happen.”
The oldest Independent Professional Baseball League in the country, the Frontier League began play in 1993 and just finished its 27th consecutive season. Over this remarkable span, more than 1000 players have been sold to MLB teams and 38 of those players have advanced to play in Major League Baseball.
The Can-Am League’s predecessor was the Northeast League that began play in 1995. Prior to the 2005 season, the Can-Am League name was officially adopted. During these years, 137 players have been sold to MLB clubs and 16 of them played in Major League Baseball. In addition, two Can-Am League umpires have reached the Majors.