The Tri City ValleyCats open up their 2022 Frontier League season on the road Thursday against the Florence Y'Alls. The Y'Alls are from Kentucky and one of 8 new teams, for a total of 16, that will travel to Joe Bruno Stadium in Troy this summer. The Frontier League is one of the premier independent professional baseball leagues and is a partner with Major League Baseball.
Two weeks ago, the New York Yankees offered outfielder Aaron Judge $230 million to remain in the Bronx for the next 7 years. Judge said no. The surprising answer reminded many Mets fans of a similar situation involving one of their stars during spring training of 2021. Now that former Mets player is getting offers from teams he doesn't really want to hear from.
The Capital Region has a rich history when it comes to the sport of baseball. Minor league baseball has been weaved in the fabric of this area for decades. From the Albany Senators, to the Albany-Colonie A's, to the A-C Yankees, then Diamond Dogs and now the Tri City ValleyCats, this community has witnessed greatness in many stages on local diamonds.
The baseball fans that still watch the All Star Game want to see the game's best players. That's it in a nutshell. Jacob deGrom, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa are some of the games biggest stars. Jacob deGrom is among the top 2 or 3 very best. If it's not important to those players, why should it be important to the fans?
Life for most minor league baseball players is filled with long bus rides; not so great hotels and plenty of fast food. Truly not the formula one would recommend for training a world class athlete. Some players are on their way up to "the show", many are fighting to be noticed, while some are finishing a dream. The Frontier league is filled with all 3.
“Baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet” said the old TV commercial. Baseball is as American as it gets. It was, at one time, “America’s pastime.” I think those days have passed but it is hard to celebrate a holiday around a Playstation 5 or XBox Series X, so we’ll stick with baseball. So, here are 5 cool baseball focused road trips for this upcoming 4th of July weekend. As of now, tickets are available to all of them! Play ball!
This year the ValleyCats will play in the Frontier League. Some fans may howl for a little while that Tri-City won’t be the pipeline to the Astros or some other team. However, most baseball fans will enjoy the ValleyCats emphasis on winning, while developing talent. That’s the goal of Independent baseball and the Frontier League has been successful at it for decades.
Sports fans here in the Capital Region have been through changes, challenges, and loss... and that was BEFORE the COVID-19 pandemic. So when we lost a season of Tri-City ValleyCats baseball to the coronavirus it stung but we've had worse. Then we found out that the MLB wasn't including the Cats in their new vision of the Minors. That felt like the pain we've all been through way too many times of losing one of OUR teams. Luckily that loss didn't last very long. The ValleyCats are now in the Frontier League and with the release of their 2021 schedule, we get our first look at Capital Region baseball fan's new normal.