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.
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.
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.
The Tri-City ValleyCats have found their new home in the Frontier Professional Baseball League. Just months after finding out the ValleyCats would not be part of the MLB's new minor league plan they've become the 16th member of the Independent Frontier League.