MATTHEW RUSCH INTRODUCED AS AIGLES FIELD MANAGER

The Trois-Rivières Aigles organization announces the hiring of the new team manager and former Aigles player from 2014 to 2018, Matthew Rusch.

General manager René Martin is very enthusiastic and confident for the future of the team whose league is newly partnered with Major League Baseball. “With Matthew, we are in very good hands. I have no doubts about his recruiting capabilities. What could be better than an American who settles in Trois-Rivières, who is appreciated by his supporters and who gets involved in the community to attract new players to our beautiful city?”

For Rusch, this is a great opportunity offered to him: “It has been my dream for many years! I look forward to leading the Aigles to success in the Frontier League. My goal is to have a very competitive and efficient team, but above all, a team that my community can be proud of. Trois-Rivières is my city and I will represent it to the best of my ability. Together, we will do what is necessary to have a great 2021 season”.

The retirement of number 22
In 2019, the Aigles retired Matthew Rusch’s jersey to highlight his involvement and his performance on the field. Author of 31 wins, 445 strikeouts, a Can-Am League championship, Matthew Rusch was one of the top pitchers in the history of independent baseball. In 14 seasons in professional baseball, he had a massive 1,134 strikeouts. He also served as head coach for the Cascades de Shawinigan in the LBMQ in 2019 and 2020, leading his team to the final for two consecutive years.

A well-established selection process
A selection committee was set up beforehand to determine who would be the new manager of the team. Formed by the general manager René Martin, the former manager of the Aigles Pierre-Luc Laforest, the former Major League player Éric Gagné and the former commissioner of the Can-Am League Miles Wolff, the committee interviewed several candidates. It was Matthew Rusch who stood out and got the job.

The pitching coach position is given to Kyle Lafrenz, catcher for the Aigles from 2014 to 2017, who also chose Trois-Rivières to live there. “Kyle was by far my first choice for this position. He brings his professionalism, knowledge and love of baseball. Coaches should be leaders, teachers and role models for our young players. Kyle is more than qualified in all these areas and he is undoubtedly a valuable element for the organization,” said Rusch.

The organization, which is entering its ninth year, is beginning to forge its history and become anchored in the heritage of Trois-Rivières. “It’s fun to bring back players we know, who have already played for the Aigles and who have adopted our region as their home”, added René Martin, Managing Director.

Founded for the 1993 season, the Frontier League is the largest and longest running independent professional baseball league.  An official Partner League of Major League Baseball, the Frontier League features 15 clubs stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from the Ohio River to the St. Lawrence Seaway.  The Frontier League annually moves the most players into Major League Baseball organizations of any of the independent leagues.

OTTAWA ANNOUNCES COACHING STAFF, INAUGURAL PLAYER SIGNINGS

The Ottawa Professional Baseball Club announced Monday its 2021 coaching staff, as well as the team’s inaugural player signings. 

Nick Kennedy joins field manager Steve Brook’s staff as assistant coach, while right-handed pitcher Cody Mincey and outfielder Kyle Gaedele have been signed to contracts.  Mincey and Gaedele will serve in dual roles as pitching coach and hitting coach respectively.  All three played under Brook with the Frontier League’s River City Rascals at various points in their professional careers. 

A former right-handed pitcher, Kennedy enjoyed a nine-year professional career from 2011-19, which included six seasons under Brook and River City from 2012-17.  The Houston, Texas native compiled a lifetime 3.18 ERA in 376 appearances (10 starts, 366 in relief) across 455.2 innings pitched.  Kennedy was 22-28 with 16 saves, and averaged just 2.3 walks per nine innings during his career.  He was honored with the Fran Riordan Citizenship Award for the 2016 season for his work with special education students.  

“I am extremely honoured and excited for this incredible opportunity,” said Kennedy.  “I would like to thank Sam (Katz) and Steve for the chance to make the transition from player to coach.  I began my professional career as one of Steve’s players in the Frontier League, and was lucky enough to play for him for six seasons.  I was molded by our experiences together, and I cannot wait to learn and grow as a member of his coaching staff.” 

After finishing his college career at the University of Kentucky (Lexington, Kentucky), Kennedy made his professional debut in 2011 with the North American Baseball League’s Lake County Fielders.  During his six seasons with River City, the 32-year-old Kennedy helped the Rascals to three consecutive berths in the Frontier League Championship Series (2014-16).  Kennedy closed out his career pitching for the Can-Am League’s Rockland Boulders, helping Rockland to playoff appearances in 2018 and 2019.  Kennedy owns a 0.98 ERA in 18.1 career postseason innings. 

Mincey enters his fourth season of professional baseball, and is coming off a championship performance with the Atlantic League’s Long Island Ducks in 2019.  The Hartsville, South Carolina native was 7-1 with five saves and a 2.53 ERA in 49 relief appearances.  Mincey ranked first among Atlantic League relievers with 96 strikeouts (67.2 innings pitched), and third in wins above replacement (WAR) among relievers at 1.5.  Mincey also led all Atlantic League hurlers (starters or relievers) with 12.8 strikeouts per nine innings. 

“I would like to say thank you to our owner Sam Katz and our new manager Steve Brook for the opportunity,” said Mincey.  “I am pumped to get to Ottawa and to get the show on the road.  Being in the same organization as Steve again is going to make for an awesome year.  He’s a great manager who has had a lot of success, and I expect this year to be no different.” 

During the 2019 playoffs, the 28-year-old Mincey earned four saves and added 10 more strikeouts in six and two-thirds innings.  With the Ducks facing elimination in Game Four of the Atlantic League Championship Series, Mincey shut the door with a perfect bottom of the 10th to preserve a 3-2, 10-inning victory that evened the series.  The following night, Mincey recorded the final five outs in Long Island’s 8-4, championship-clinching win. 

The 5-foot-11, 175-pound Mincey pitched collegiately at the University of South Carolina (Columbia, South Carolina) before starting his professional career in the Frontier League in 2017.  Mincey pitched under Brook in 2017, and again in 2018 where he led the Frontier League with 23 saves and was voted an All-Star. 

Gaedele (pronounced guh-DELL) last played in 2018 where he appeared in 13 games for the American Association’s Chicago Dogs.  The Arlington Heights, Illinois native was one of the Frontier League’s best all-around players in 2016.  Gaedele ranked ninth in batting average (.308), 10th in runs scored (60), tied for seventh in home runs (14), ninth in stolen bases (24), and tied for second in outfield assists (11) while playing for Brook and River City. 

“I am honoured to be teaming up with Steve Brook and the entire Ottawa staff for 2021,” said Gaedele.  “It’s a great group committed to doing things the right way, while competing for a championship.  I’m excited to see what’s coming for the players and fans of Ottawa this season.” 

Drafted by the San Diego Padres in the sixth round in 2011, Gaedele has twice reached the Double-A level in his career.  A right-handed batter and fielder, Gaedele has a lifetime .251 batting average, .343 on-base percentage, and a .417 slugging percentage in 531 professional games played.  The 30-year-old Gaedele played three seasons of college baseball at Valparaiso University (Valparaiso, Indiana) where he batted a combined .326 for the Crusaders from 2009-11. 

The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Gaedele is the grandnephew of late Major Leaguer Eddie Gaedel, who famously walked in his lone plate appearance with the St. Louis Browns in 1951, and is the smallest player in MLB history at 3-foot-7. 

“Nick, Cody, and Kyle bring a dedication for the game and a passion for the Frontier League that is contagious in the clubhouse,” said Brook.  “I appreciate everything these men bring to our organization, both on and off the field, and I am excited to develop a successful roster alongside their experiences and leadership abilities.” 

The Ottawa Professional Baseball Club is scheduled to begin play in May 2021.  Fans can help “name the team” until October 28th by visiting www.ottawaprofessionalbaseballclub.com.

EVAN THE OTTER WEARS PINK FOR CANCER

This year, Evan the Otter is participating in the American Cancer Society’s “Real Men Wear Pink” campaign. This campaign is held annually during Breast Cancer Awareness month and is meant to bring awareness to our community about the American Cancer Society’s breast cancer initiatives, including innovative research, patient services, and education around screenings and risk reduction.

We are proud to participate in this because it’s something that hits close to home for our Evansville Otters family. Preston Leinenbach, our Director of Communications, has been affected by breast cancer, as his mother was diagnosed and won her fight in recent years.

“It is amazing to see the resources and support available nowadays, thanks to the donations made to organizations like the American Cancer Society, which allow for early awareness and detection and help people fight cancer,” Leinenbach said. “A strong support system, whether it’s from family or outside the family, is so vital, and it helps people stay positive during any battle against cancer.”

Joel Padfield, Evansville’s Vice President, met his birth mom for the first time in 2018, and he says she has been cancer free for 15 years.  “I am thankful that this wonderful lady survived breast cancer not once but twice, or we would have never had the opportunity to get to know each other,” Padfield said.

Otters’ Bench Coach Boots Day has also been affected, as his partner Cici is a survivor.

Our hearts go out to any of our friends who have been affected by breast cancer in any way.

As part of the campaign, we are helping raise funds for the American Cancer Society. Any donation, big or small, is greatly appreciated!

Visit this link to donate: http://main.acsevents.org/goto/EvanOtter 

BOOMERS ADD FORMER TWINS PROSPECTS

The Schaumburg Boomers have added to the 2021 roster, signing 2B Alec Craig and C/3B Eric Jones.

Alec Craig joins the Boomers after spending time with the Westside Woolly Mammoths (USPBL) and the Minnesota Twins Rookie Affiliate, Gulf Coast Twins (GCL Twins). In nine games with the Woolly Mammoths, Craig batted .483 with a .651 on-base percentage. He accounted for 14 hits, including four doubles and six RBI. Craig appeared in 30 games with the GCL Twins and hit .235 with a .417 on-base percentage. He logged 19 hits, six RBI, and six stolen bases.  

“Alec has some versatility defensively and has always been a guy that knows how to get himself on base. His speed will also be a big asset for us,” said Manager Jamie Bennett.  

A native of Sicklerville, New Jersey, Craig was a standout at Chestnut Hill College. The four-year starter posted a career slash line of .314/.447/.449. His 181 hits are second all-time in program history and is first in games played (172), games started (169), runs scored (155), triples (19), walks (129), stolen bases (98), and assists (454). Craig was named aAll-Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference four times and Chestnut Hill College Baseball MVP twice.

Eric Jones spent the 2019 season playing for the Utica Unicorns of the United Shore Professional Baseball League (USPBL) before signing with the Minnesota Twins organizationHe batted .390 for the Unicorns in 20 games, hitting four home runs and posted a .597 slugging percentage. The Twins assigned Jones to their Rookie League affiliate Gulf Coast Twins. He appeared in five games. 

“Eric is a very polished hitter with a lot of upside. He should help offensively with a rare combination of power and average,” said Manager Jamie Bennett. 

The Charlotte, North Carolina native played his college baseball at Davidson UniversityThe right-hander batted .332 with a .519 slugging percentage in 198 career games at Davidson. He tallied 247 hits, 31 home runs, and 142 RBI. He was named team captain for his senior season and earned team MVP honors both his junior and senior season.

To stay up to date with all things Boomers baseball, follow the Boomers on social media and on www.boomersbaseball.com. 

HELP NAME OTTAWA’S NEW BASEBALL TEAM

They are not scheduled to play for several more months, but the Ottawa Professional Baseball Club is already engaging fans as part of a “Name the Team” contest. 

Fans may submit their ideas at www.ottawaprofessionalbaseball.com.  The individual providing the winning entry will receive a prize and be recognized on the field during the Ottawa Professional Baseball Club’s 2021 home opener at Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park. 

Entries will be accepted until October 28th, 2020.  Bilingual submissions are highly-encouraged. 

“We look forward to hearing everyone’s ideas, and are excited to include the community in our building process,” said Regan Katz, Vice President of the Ottawa Professional Baseball Club.  “We are open to suggestions from all categories, whether it be wildlife, history, culture, or culinary.  Ultimately, we just want the name to be fun, and one that represents our mission to offer affordable, family-friendly entertainment.” 

Previous Ottawa-based professional baseball teams have included names such as the Giants, Athletics, Lynx, Rapidz, and Champions. 

Founded in September 2020, the Ottawa Professional Baseball Club is the newest member of the 15-team, independent Frontier League.  The ownership group is led by Sam Katz of the Winnipeg Goldeyes (American Association) and Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) of the Ottawa Redblacks (Canadian Football League), Ottawa Fury (USL Championship), and Ottawa 67’s (Ontario Hockey League). 

The Ottawa Professional Baseball Club and the rest of the Frontier League are scheduled to begin play in May of 2021.

SCHAUMBURG UNVEILS ALL YOU CAN EAT SEATS

New this season to Wintrust Field, the Schaumburg Boomers have added special all-you-can-eat seats to the first three rows of sections I, F and J.

These are the perfect company seats! Treat your clients or employees and not have to worry about a thing. All you can eat food and drink is ordered & delivered by a dedicated server. Great view located right behind home plate.

Enjoy all 48 homes games with food and beverage included for just $1,250 per seat. Pick our your All You Can Seats here.

WILD THINGS INK STATE COLLEGE NATIVE

The Wild Things have added another pitcher to the 2021 roster, as today the team announced the acquisition of State College, Pennsylvania native Spencer Bivens. Bivens becomes the second pitcher announced to next year’s roster. The right hander pitched for the Steel City Slammin’ Sammies during pod play at Wild Things Park this past summer.

In six games, three of which were starts for the Slammin’ Sammies, Bivens logged a 3.74 ERA and was 3-2 across 21.2 innings of work. In that work, he allowed 17 hits and nine runs, all earned, with 19 strikeouts to eight walks and one hit batter. Hitters managed just a .230 batting average against the righty.

“Spencer and I have had multiple discussions about how to best showcase his versatility. This past year he showed the ability to give efficient length when needed, as well as being a matchup problem with put-away stuff,” said president and general manager Tony Buccilli. “He has shown the makeup to be a quality contributor, bringing an experienced mound presence as a rookie and we believe his development will continue with the bullpen assets we have in place.”

Bivens said the 2020 pod season gave him a taste of how his pitching translated to the pro level, and the immediate respect he received from the Wild Things’ organization was a big reason he decided to sign with the team going forward.

“I felt with them I was getting exactly what I wanted: some respect,” said Bivens. “Tony would hit me up almost every week and I felt wanted with the organization.”

Bivens played his high school ball at State College Area High School before he headed off to Louisburg College, where he pitched in two seasons for the Hurricanes. As a sophomore, Bivens was 4-0 with a 3.14 ERA and 27 strikeouts for the junior college. He’d then transfer to Penn State University and worked out with the team, but did not make the final spring roster. That’s when he found himself at Rogers State University, a Division II school.

In 2017, Bivens led the Hillcats with eight wins as he started 13 of his 14 games on the mound, He amassed 73.1 innings and punched out 46 batters while holding hitters to a .256 batting average. He started that year 4-0 and then 7-1 and had four shutout performances. As a senior in 2018, Bivens was named Second Team All-Heartland Conference and First Team All-OklahomaSports.Net after making 13 starts and posting a 7-5 record in 83.2 innings. He logged six complete games and two shutouts as he sported a 2.37 ERA with 48 strikeouts.

Bivens began his professional career in France in 2019 and was 9-3 with a 2.51 earned run average over 17 appearances (seven starts). He had four saves in the midst of 75.1 innings pitched and allowed 60 hits, walked 19 and fanned 81 hitters.

He was set to play in the Czech Republic before the pandemic halted those plans and he found himself in Washington, where he said he fell in love with the “yinzer mentality.”

“I’m not a Pittsburgh guy but I do love Pittsburgh. [I’m a] die-hard Steelers fan and seeing that [yinzer mentality] in people/teammates fires me up,” said Bivens. “I love the get your hands dirty and get to work mentality we had with the Slammin’ Sammies this year so I’m hoping we can keep that going in 2021.”

In terms of what fans can expect from him, Bivens said he’s kind of quiet on the field.

“I know what I’m there to do and I go about it like it’s expected. I don’t get overly hype because I’m simply getting my job done,” said Bivens. “But in a tight situation you can expect some attitude out of me. I’m all about team success and I love seeing my guys making plays for me while I’m on the mound or when I’m on the bench.”

He, like others before him, seem to have the Chase Big Things idea down that the Wild Things have adopted for 2021.

“Championship or bust for the Things in 2021,” he said. “We have high expectations for ourselves. I just want to do the best I can on the field and leave nothing behind for someone to question.”

Bivens joins Max Tannenbaum as pitchers officially to sign with the club for 2021 with more to be announced in the coming weeks. Overall, he’s the sixth player announced for the roster.

ABOUT THE WASHINGTON WILD THINGS

The Washington Wild Things are a professional baseball team in the Frontier League, partner league of Major League Baseball, that plays in Washington, PA. Since their inception in 2002, the Wild Things have won six division titles and earned numerous playoff appearances. Fans and media can stay aware of all the happenings in the Wild Things’ organization by following the team’s social media platforms and website, washingtonwildthings.com. For other inquiries, call the front office at 724-250-9555.

BOOMERS STADIUM TO BE RE-NAME WINTRUST FIELD

The Schaumburg Boomers and Wintrust Financial Corp. are proud to announce a new naming rights partnership that will see Boomers Stadium renamed Wintrust Field beginning in October 15, 2020; pending Village of Schaumburg final approval. 

“At Wintrust, we like to align ourselves with the organizations that make this area so unique,” said Wintrust CEO & Founder Edward J. Wehmer. “Especially those, like the Boomers, that bring so much fun to our community. It’s been a pleasure to partner with the team and we’re excited to strengthen that partnership with Wintrust Field. Between our relationships with the Cubs, the White Sox, and the Boomers, we’re the bank for Chicago baseball!” 

Wintrust has been the Boomers exclusive banking partner since Boomers’ inception Schaumburg in 2012. This expanded partnership is a six-year agreement and includes new Wintrust Field signage above the left-field videoboard, press box, and seating sections. 

“We are thrilled to enhance and strengthen our partnership with Wintrust with this naming rights agreement,” said Patrick A. Salvi, CEO and Owner of the Schaumburg Boomers. “We cannot wait to welcome our great fans to Wintrust Field in 2021.” 

The stadium, built in 1999, is owned by the Village of Schaumburg and was previously named Alexian Field from 1999 – 2010 and Boomers Stadium from 2011 to 2020.

“The village is excited that Wintrust has secured the naming rights to Boomers stadium, which further demonstrates their commitment and support to the Boomers baseball organization and the Schaumburg community,” said Schaumburg Village President Tom Dailly. “Despite these challenging times of the pandemic, Wintrust and the Boomers are looking toward the future with hope and optimism, and we join them in looking ahead to the time when we can all enjoy baseball at Wintrust Field again.”

The Schaumburg Boomers are members of the Frontier League, which recently was announced as a Partner League for Major League Baseball and are tenants of the ballpark. In a year without Frontier League baseball, the soon to be named Wintrust Field hosted drive-thru graduations, 4th of July Fireworks, and was the Taxi Squad site for the Chicago White Sox in 2020 as well as the home to several parking lot concerts and Chicago Blackhawks viewing parties. 

To stay up to date with all events at Wintrust Field please follow Schaumburg Boomers social media, Wintrust Field on Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter; or visit www.wintrustfield.com.

SUSSEX COUNTY HOSTING LIVE PUMPKIN CARVING SATURDAY NIGHT

Skylands Stadium, home of the Sussex County Miners, will have live pumpkin carving as part of their Jack O’ Lantern Experience this Saturday evening.

From 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM on Saturday, October, pro carving artists will display their work as part of the fall activities.  Carnival rides, a Smore’s pit, food, craft beer, and a petting zoo are among the other events.

Tickets are sold by the carload and available online only.  Both printed and e-mail tickets are accepted for entry.

The Jack O’ Lantern Experience features 6 weeks of Pure Halloween Madness. This Fall, Skylands Stadium will be decorated with over 5,000+ Jack-O-Lanterns throughout the stadium, property and surrounding corn fields! Sussex County’s Family Entertainment Destination will be set ablaze with some of the most spectacular visuals you’ll ever see. Perfect for families of all ages, date nights, and all lovers of Halloween Spirit. Our drive-thru event is safe and spacious, with distancing in mind.

Tickets are sold in 15-minute entry intervals, with the Jack O’ Lantern Experience running weekends through November 1.

 

DECORATED MANAGER BROOK HIRED TO LEAD OTTAWA

The Ottawa Professional Baseball Club, new member of the Frontier League, introduced Steve Brook as their inaugural manager on Tuesday.

Brook is one of the most accomplished managers in Frontier League history, having compiled a 542-415 (.566) record with the River City Rascals from 2010-19.  During his 10 years at the helm, Brook guided the Rascals to nine winning seasons, seven playoff berths (including six appearances in the Frontier League Championship Series), and Frontier League championships in 2010 and 2019.  The Frankfort, Illinois native’s 542 victories rank sixth all-time among Frontier League managers.

“We are thrilled to hire someone of Steve’s calibre,” said Sam Katz, co-owner of the Ottawa Professional Baseball Club.  “Our goal is to build a winning culture at all levels of the organization, and Steve’s resume speaks for itself.  He understands what it takes to succeed in the Frontier League’s competitive environment, and comes highly-recommended from his peers as both a baseball person and a man of character.  We are proud to introduce Steve as our inaugural manager, and welcome his family to Ottawa.”

After graduating from Illinois Wesleyan University (Bloomington, Illinois) with a degree in History, Brook pitched four seasons for the Rascals from 2004-07 where he was twice voted a Frontier League All-Star.  The right-hander compiled a 33-17 overall record with one save and a 4.14 ERA in 448.0 innings pitched.  After retiring as a player, Brook served on River City’s coaching staff before taking over as manager in 2010.

“I am humbled and beyond excited to lead in Ottawa for the 2021 season,” said Brook.  “The Frontier League continues to expand, and the return of professional baseball to Ottawa is something I’m very proud to be a part of.  I look forward to working within the community to bring success both on and off the field this season.  I want to thank Sam Katz and the Ottawa ownership team for the confidence and amazing opportunity.”

The 39-year-old Brook earned a Masters in Physical Education from the University of Central Missouri (Warrensburg, Missouri) in 2008, and is a Phys Ed. teacher at Fort Zumwalt South High School in Saint Peters, Missouri during the off-season.  Brook resides in Missouri with his wife, Ellen, and their two children, Nolan and Caitlin.

Brook will be available to the media via Zoom conference on Wednesday, October 7th, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

 

Steve Brook Managerial History

2010 River City Rascals – 57-38 (.600), Frontier League champions
2011 River City Rascals – 68-27 (.716), reached Frontier League Championship Series
2012 River City Rascals – 45-50 (.474)
2013 River City Rascals – 50-46 (.521)
2014 River City Rascals – 61-35 (.635), reached Frontier League Championship Series
2015 River City Rascals – 56-40 (.583), reached Frontier League Championship Series
2016 River City Rascals – 49-47 (.510), reached Frontier League Championship Series
2017 River City Rascals – 50-46 (.521)
2018 River City Rascals – 52-42 (.542), reached Frontier League playoffs
2019 River City Rascals – 54-42 (.563), Frontier League champions

In the coming weeks, the Ottawa Professional Baseball Club expects to host a name-the-team contest.  The 2021 Frontier League seasons begins next May.

For more information, please contact Regan Katz rkatz@goldeyes.com

STEVE MARINO RETIRES FROM SOUTHERN ILLINOIS COACHING STAFF

The Southern Illinois Miners announce that hitting and third base coach Steve Marino is retiring from the coaching staff to pursue a career in law enforcement with the Illinois State Police.

A Long Island, New York native, Marino came to the Miners initially as a free agent signing in 2014, his third season as a professional. He proceeded to become one of the most-instrumental players in recent team history, helping lead Southern Illinois become the second franchise in Frontier League history to win three straight division titles (2014-16) and the first in league annals to win 60 or more games in three consecutive seasons. After hitting a memorable walk-off home run to clinch the East Division title for the club in 2015, he was the league’s Postseason All-Star third baseman in 2016, batting .288 with career-best totals of 23 doubles, 16 home runs, and 79 RBIs. For his career, Marino played in 282 of a possible 288 regular season games, all at third base, and was named the first (and, to date, only) captain of the Miners in 2016.

After beginning his coaching career the following season at his alma mater, Stony Brook University in New York, Marino returned to the Miners in 2018 as the team’s hitting coach, where he served for the last two seasons. In 2019, under Marino’s guidance, the Miners finished with a Frontier League-best 824 hits as well as the league’s second-highest team batting average (.258). Southern Illinois also ranked second in the circuit in doubles (163) and fourth in runs scored (440) that year, while only two teams struck out fewer times.

“Playing, coaching, and working for the Miners organization have been years of my life that I will cherish forever,” Marino said. “I can’t thank the front office staff, players I’ve coached, the incredible teammates I’ve had, and especially the wonderful fans enough for an amazing journey in professional baseball that they all made so special for me. The relationships I’ve made with all of them are not only ones I’ll never forget, but ones I intend to continue for a very long time. I would like to send a special thank-you to Mike Pinto, who gave me an opportunity- first as a player, then a coach, and eventually a member of the front office. His mentorship, guidance and friendship over the years are going to help me in the next chapter of my life.”

“I will certainly miss putting on a Miners uniform every summer, but I am very excited and honored to move into a career that helps serve and protect the great people of Illinois,” Marino added. “I have always had a great respect for law enforcement throughout my life, and I will take the responsibility of working in that line of duty very seriously. I will always support and root for the Miners, and look forward to cheering on the team alongside the many fans that supported me for so many years.”

“Steve will be greatly missed by all of us at Rent One Park,” said Miners manager Mike Pinto. “Since he first became part of the Miners family back in 2014, Steve has been the epitome of what we have wanted in a Miner- first as a dominant player, being an offensive and defensive force for the team, but also as a leader. Steve was a leader of the ‘Miners Way,’ how we want players to represent us and perform. It’s the reason he was the first and only captain in Miners history. His walk-off home run to win the division title in 2015 is etched in our minds forever. He moved into the coaching ranks with us and continued to be a leader and teacher with our hitters. Working in the front office, he helped us to bring schools and teams to Rent One Park for tournaments.

“More importantly, Steve is family,” Pinto added. “I respect and appreciate his decision (to retire). The best compliment I can give is that if I were in need of law enforcement to protect my life and family, there is no one I would want more on that job than Steve Marino. I wish him and Maggie nothing but wonderful things ahead.  He will always be part of the Miners family.”

The Southern Illinois Miners are the Frontier League’s most-successful franchise since debuting in 2007, winning the 2012 Frontier League Championship as well as division titles in 2010, 2014, 2015 and 2016. They have been awarded the Frontier League Organization of the Year award three times since their inception, and also set a new Frontier League attendance record in their inaugural season. In addition, they have sent 59 players to MLB organizations in their 13 years of operation. For ticket information, contact the box office at (618) 998-8499. For additional information, visit our website at www.southernillinoisminers.com.

T.J. STANTON NAMED MANAGER OF NEW YORK BOULDERS

The New York Boulders have named T.J. Stanton as the team’s new manager for the 2021 season.

Stanton brings a wealth of experience as both a manager and a player to Rockland.

Stanton replaces Kevin Baez, who took over as manager of the Boulders prior to the 2019 season. Stanton will lead the Boulders as they enter a new chapter in franchise history in their inaugural season in the Frontier League.

Stanton managed the Trois-Rivieres Aigles of the Can-Am League over the last three-plus seasons and was named the CanAm League’s Manager of the Year in 2019.

“I am very excited to name T.J. Stanton the new manager of the New York Boulders,” Boulders Team President Shawn Reilly said. “I’ve always been impressed with T.J. and the quality teams he fielded in Trois-Rivieres.”  He continued, “Frankly, I was tired of losing to him over the last few seasons, so we hired him to bring that winning culture back to the Boulders.”

Reilly added, “I am very confident he will quickly create championship caliber teams and reestablish the Boulders as the premier team in the Frontier League.  We expect nothing less for our fans and supporters.  That is our goal each and every season.  I am very confident T.J. will get us there.”

A righthanded pitcher, Stanton was a 27thround draft pick of the Atlanta Braves in 2002 out of Lake City Community College (Gateway College) in Florida. Two years later, in 2004, he was named an All-American at the University of North Florida. His professional playing career lasted from 2004 to 2014, suiting up with six independent teams, as well as minor league affiliates of the Los Angeles Angels.

Stanton, 39, becomes the fourth manager in the Boulders history, following Dave LaPoint (2011-12), Jamie Keefe (2013-18) and Baez (2019-20). Keefe remains the lone manager to bring a championship to Rockland County, winning the Can-Am League crown in 2014.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity to manage for the finest organization in the Frontier League,” Stanton said. “With such a beautiful stadium and amazing fanbase, I hope to continue the tradition of great success that we all have grown accustomed to.”

Stanton’s coaching career began with the Quebec Capitales of the Can-Am League in 2011 when he served as a player-coach. He assumed the reins as manager of the Garden State Grays (Can-Am League) in 2015 but returned to Quebec as their pitching coach the following year.

In the second half of the 2016 season, he was tabbed to manage the Aigles, going 12-27 down the stretch. He remained in Trois-Rivieres through the end of the 2019 season, posting marks of 53-49 and 58-36 in his final two years, placing fourth and second and losing in the first-round of the playoffs in each year.

His work in 2019 earned him the league’s Manager of the Year award. That season, the Aigles’ offense led the Can-Am League in nearly every offensive category, including runs, doubles, home runs, RBI, walks, on-base percentage, slugging, and OPS.

Over his final two years at Trois-Rivieres, he posted a .555 winning percentage (115-92). The 115 wins are a record for a two-year span in Aigles’ history.

In his baseball career, Stanton has been a part of six championships as either a player or coach.

More information about the New York Boulders can be found by sliding to www.nyboulders.com; while information on the Frontier League can be located at www.frontierleague.com.

BOSSE FIELD TO HOST “FIELD OF DREAMS” MOVIE NIGHT

Historic Bosse Field will host ‘Field of Dreams’ Movie Night on Friday, Oct. 16, showing the classic baseball film. The showing of the movie will start at 7 p.m., and the gates will open at 6 p.m.

Tickets for admission can be purchased online at evansvilleotters.com. Ticket proceeds will benefit Youth First. Tickets require a minimum purchase of 2 per group, maximum of 6 per group.

Seating will be in marked spots on the field. Each ticket group purchase secures your reserved spot on the field that evening. You are welcome to bring your own blankets and/or lawn chairs.

Masks are required in the stadium except when seated in your reserved spot.

Bosse Field is a spacious, open-air facility that allows for safe social distancing.

Come enjoy an evening at Bosse Field to watch ‘Field of Dreams!’ Get your tickets now!

SCHAUMBURG LIVE FROM THE LOT THIS WEEKEND

Andrew McMahon’s Drive-In Through A Dream

Plus special guest Melody Federer

October 2, 3 and 4, 2020

Live From The Lot

SCHAUMBURG BOOMERS STADIUM CELEBRATING 15TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE JACK’S MANNEQUIN ALBUM EVERYTHING IN TRANSIT

Pre-Sale tickets go on sale Tuesday, September 15 at 10am. Sign up for the mailing list now at andrewmcmahon.com.

General On-Sale Wednesday, September 16 at 10am.

Ticket Prices $350.00 & $200.00

Presented by Nederlander Concerts / Bucket Listers / Duff Entertainment

Limit 6 people per car.  Each car will have their own “zone” located to the left side of their car. All guests must have a face mask for usage if they have to leave their vehicle zone. Fans can set up chairs to the left side of their cars. Dancing is encouraged (to the left of your car)! Food, beverage, and alcohol are available for purchase onsite. Drink responsibly! RVs and oversized vehicles are unfortunately not allowed.

VIP: First 5 rows + dedicated food & beverage service right to your car zone + close proximity to restrooms

For additional information regarding Live From The Lot visit https://www.duffentertainment.com/livefromthelot

 

PENNSYLVANIA NATIVE NICK WARD JOINS WILD THINGS

Another Tuesday has come around, and the Washington Wild Things have announced another addition to the 2021 roster, as today the team announced the signing of infielder Nick Ward, a former standout for West Chester University and Pennsylvania native. Ward most recently starred for the Steel City Slammin’ Sammies in 2020 Washington pod play.

Ward, a Kennett Square, Pennsylvania native, had a pod-leading .373 batting average this summer, which went along with five doubles, a triple and four home runs. Ward drove in 12, walked 12 times and sported an on-base percentage of .481 in 18 games. He also stole four bases for the Slammin’ Sammies, who were the pod’s No. 1 seed in the playoffs after a pod-best 13-5-1 record in the regular season slate.

“It is refreshing to have players like Nick on roster,” said president and general manager Tony Buccilli. “He is acutely aware of his strengths as a player and is willing to stay within himself to be productive. We expect Nick to be one of the premier middle infielders in the Frontier League in 2021.”

Ward said the opportunity to play this summer and get familiar with the organization was a big reason he decided to sign again.

“I love everything that the Wild Things Organization is about from management on down,” said Ward. “They’ve created a great environment for the team to be as successful as possible while also allowing the players to enjoy it.”

Ward earned 11 varsity letters between baseball, ice hockey and golf while at Unionville High School before matriculating to Virginia Commonwealth University for his freshman season. He appeared in a limited number of games and was 3-for-5 at the plate with two RBI in six plate appearances.

He would then transfer to West Chester, which plays in the PSAC with schools like Slippery Rock and Cal U of PA, where he shined. Ward, in three seasons, slashed .337/.437/.553 with 15 home runs, 121 runs batted in, 28 doubles, nine triples and he reached via walk or hit by pitch 22 more times than he struck out (102-80) over the three years with the Rams.

West Chester won the DII national title in 2017. In 2018, his senior year, he was named NCBWA Honorable Mention All-American, CCA Honorable Mention All-American, First Team All-PSAC, NCBWA First Team All-Atlantic Region, D2CCA All-Atlantic First Team and Atlantic-ABCA/Rawlings All-Region First Team. He also was third nationally in runs scored.

He was drafted in the 34th round of the 2018 MLB Draft out of West Chester by the Oakland Athletics. He split time between two teams, the Arizona Athletics (Rk) and Nashville (PCL, AAA) in 2018, before doing the same but with Beloit (MIDW, A-) and Vermont (NYPL, A-) in 2019. He played 48 of his 50 games in 2018 with the Arizona League club, hitting .273 with 13 extra-base hits and 27 RBI. In 2019, 85 of his 98 games came with the Beloit Snappers. His offensive production dipped a bit, but he still drove in 40 runs in total and collected 21 extra-base hits. He also only made one error in 2018 in 29 games at second base.

Now it is onto 2021, where Ward said his goals are simple. He wants to play well and bring the Wild Things a ring, “period.”

“I’m going to play hard every night and give everything I have,” he said. “I pride myself on playing the game the right way and having a lot of fun doing it.”

The Washington Wild Things are a professional baseball team in the Frontier League, partner league of Major League Baseball, that plays in Washington, PA. Since their inception in 2002, the Wild Things have won six division titles and earned numerous playoff appearances. Fans and media can stay aware of all the happenings in the Wild Things’ organization by following the team’s social media platforms and website, washingtonwildthings.com. For other inquiries, call the front office at 724-250-9555.

California Winter League

 

Frontier League Transactions