TROY — The Tri-City ValleyCats will be playing in a new league this year.
The ValleyCats announced Thursday that they will compete in the independent Frontier League. Tri-City played in the New York-Penn League, but that league dissolved recently when Major League Baseball contracted the Minor League Baseball system. The ValleyCats, who were affiliated with the Houston Astros, were left out of the restructured MiLB system.
“We are excited to join the Frontier League and eager to start this new chapter in ValleyCats baseball. We feel that this opportunity is the best fit for our fans, franchise, and facility as we look to the future,” ValleyCats president Rick Murphy said in a statement. “We would also like to thank Commissioner Bill Lee, the entire leadership of the Frontier League, and the fifteen other teams for welcoming us as new members.”
The Frontier League plays a 96-game schedule, which will include 48 home games for the ValleyCats at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium. The league features 16 clubs stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from the Ohio River to the St. Lawrence Seaway. The season is set to begin in mid-May, with a complete schedule to be announced at a later date.
“We are honored and excited to welcome the Tri-City ValleyCats to our League,” Lee said in the press release. “They enjoy a tremendous reputation in professional baseball for their strong ownership and exemplary management. The ValleyCats also have a great fan base. We are anxious for their fans to see Frontier League baseball. 2021 could not start better for the Frontier League than to have the ValleyCats join our family.”