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Frontier League

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Frontier League
Frontier League.png
SportBaseball
Founded1993
No. of teams14
CountryUnited States
Canada
Most recent
champion(s)
River City Rascals
Official websitewww.frontierleague.com

The Frontier League is a professional independent baseball league with teams in the Northeast and Midwestern United States and Eastern Canada. The league and its teams are not affiliated with Major League Baseball or Minor League Baseball. The league was formed in 1993, and is the oldest currently running independent league in the United States. It is headquartered in Sauget, Illinois.

Description and history

Teams in the Frontier League must recruit and sign their own players, who usually are undrafted college players or one-time prospects who have been released by their teams.

Frontier League rules limit teams to four "veterans" (Players older than 29 as of October 1), while a minimum of ten of the 24-man roster are required to be rookies.[1]

Pay in the Frontier League is minimal. For the 2020 season, each team had a salary cap of $85,000 and the player salaries ranged from a minimum of $600 up to $1,600 a month. Veterans can earn up to $2,500 per month, and each team's highest-paid player can make as much as $4,000 a month with only one-third of the salary counting against the cap.[2]

Due to the low pay, players typically live with host families and receive meal money during the season.

The first league champions were the Zanesville Greys. Only seven teams have won more than one championship: Springfield in 1996 and 1998; Johnstown in 1995 (as the Steal) and in 2000 (as the Johnnies), Richmond (now Traverse City) in 2001 and 2002, Windy City in 2007 and 2008, the Joliet Slammers in 2011 and 2018, and the Evansville Otters in 2006 and 2016. The Florence Y'alls (including years as Erie and Johnstown), the Rockford RiverHawks (including years as Portsmouth and Springfield), Schaumburg Boomers, and the River City Rascals (including years as Zanesville) are currently tied for the most league championships with each franchise winning three.

On June 20, 2000, Brian Tollberg debuted with the San Diego Padres, becoming the first player from the Frontier League to make it to the Majors. A week later, Morgan Burkhart made his debut with the Boston Red Sox.

Although the league does not have any teams located in the same city as Major League teams, it does nonetheless have teams located within the markets of Major League teams. The Chicago area had three teams (Joliet Slammers, Schaumburg Boomers and Windy City ThunderBolts) and St. Louis (Gateway Grizzlies), Cleveland (Lake Erie Crushers), Cincinnati (Florence Y'alls) and Pittsburgh (Washington Wild Things) each have one. The Wild Things, in particular, have been able to market themselves as a successful alternative to the Pittsburgh Pirates due to the latter franchise's long stretch of losing seasons, which lasted from the Frontier League's founding in 1993 until 2013 when the Pirates finished with a record of 94–68.[3]

On October 16, 2019, it was announced that the Frontier League would be merging with the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball, absorbing five of its teams to form the largest independent professional baseball league.[4] The divisions were realigned and renamed to reflect the change. The Can-Am Division features the seven easternmost teams in the league (Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, New York, New Jersey, Sussex County, Washington, Lake Erie), while the remaining seven teams (Florence, Evansville, Schaumburg, Joliet, Windy City, Southern Illinois, and Gateway) compete in the Midwestern Division.

In September 2020, the addition of a team in Ottawa was announced, with a lease to play at RCGT Park.[5][6]

Teams

Current team locations:
  Can-Am Division
  Midwestern Division
Frontier League
Division Team First Season City Stadium Capacity
Can-Am
Lake Erie Crushers 2009 Avon, Ohio Crushers Stadium 5,000
New Jersey Jackals 2020 Little Falls, New Jersey Yogi Berra Stadium 3,784
New York Boulders 2020 Pomona, New York Palisades Credit Union Park 4,750
Québec Capitales 2020 Quebec City, Quebec Stade Canac 4,800
Sussex County Miners 2020 Augusta, New Jersey Skylands Stadium 4,200
Trois-Rivières Aigles 2020 Trois-Rivières, Quebec Stade Quillorama 4,500
Washington Wild Things 2002 Washington, Pennsylvania Wild Things Park 5,000
Midwestern Evansville Otters 1995 Evansville, Indiana Bosse Field 5,181
Florence Y'alls 2003 Florence, Kentucky UC Health Stadium 4,500
Gateway Grizzlies 2001 Sauget, Illinois GCS Ballpark 6,000
Joliet Slammers 2011 Joliet, Illinois DuPage Medical Group Field 6,016
Schaumburg Boomers 2012 Schaumburg, Illinois Boomers Stadium 7,365
Southern Illinois Miners 2007 Marion, Illinois Rent One Park 7,000
Windy City ThunderBolts 1999 Crestwood, Illinois Ozinga Field 3,200

Former teams

Franchise timeline

Trois-Rivières Aigles (independent pro baseball)Sussex County MinersQuébec CapitalesNew York BouldersNew Jersey JackalsFrontier GreysPennsylvania Road WarriorsSchaumburg BoomersJoliet SlammersNormal CornBeltersLake Erie CrushersSouthern Illinois MinersSlippery Rock SlidersKalamazoo KingsGateway GrizzliesCook County CheetahsCanton CrocodilesRichmond RoostersNewark BuffaloesErie SailorsRiver City RascalsZanesville GreysWest Virginia Coal SoxTri-State TomahawksPortsmouth ExplorersOhio Valley RedcoatsLancaster ScoutsKentucky RiflesChillicothe Paints

Champions

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Player Eligibility". FrontierLeague.com. March 1, 2020. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  2. ^ Chris, Dugan (February 4, 2020). "Frontier League hoping more experience means better baseball". Observer-Reporter. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
  3. ^ "Team History". Washington Wild Things. Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved January 21, 2011.
  4. ^ "Frontier League, Can-Am League to Join Forces". FrontierLeague.com. October 16, 2019.
  5. ^ Reichard, Kevin (September 25, 2020). "Frontier League returns to Ottawa in 2021". Ballpark Digest. August Publications. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  6. ^ Baines, Tim (September 23, 2020). "PLAY BALL! Sam Katz confident baseball will be a hit in Ottawa when it returns next year". Ottawa Sun. Retrieved September 26, 2020.
  7. ^ Chris Dugan Sports editor dugan@observer-reporter.com. "Frontier League season canceled". Observer-Reporter. Retrieved June 25, 2020.

External links

This page was last edited on 26 September 2020, at 08:05
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