It’s been nearly two years since the Tri-City ValleyCats have played a game at Joe Bruno Stadium. A lot has happened, to say the least. The world suffered a pandemic. The ValleyCats longtime Chairman, principal owner and New York Penn League icon, Bill Gladstone, passed away during that time. The team also lost its affiliation with a Major League Baseball Organization.

This year the ValleyCats will play in the Independent 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.

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Will players still go to the major leagues from the ValleyCats? No one can tell you that or how many. What they can tell you is that the level of play will be better than the Penn League featuring older and more experienced players on each team. In addition, the emphasis on winning will be fun for the fanbase.

Rick Murphy, President and Matt Callahan, General Manager are still running the show. That means all of the same fun and excitement that have made the ValleyCats a summertime tradition will still be there. The ValleyCats take on the New Jersey Jackals Friday night at 7pm at the Joe.

Fun fact: Kevin Burkhardt of Fox Sports fame at one time was the New Jersey Jackals play by play man.

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