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Frontier League Baseball Teams

By Edited Nov 23, 2015 0 0

Windy City Thunderbolts

Location: Crestwood, Illinois

Stadium: Standard Bank Stadium, capacity 3,200, stadium offers upper deck seating

General: Formerly the Cook County Cougars. The Thunderbolts have three division titles and three championships. Manager Mike Kashirsky was drafted by the White Sox in 1999 and played 15 games for their rookie level team before pursuing a managerial career.

Joliet Slammers

Location: Joliet, Illinois

Stadium: Silver Cross Field, capacity 6,016,

General: The Joliet Jackhammers were recently sold, bought and renamed the Slammers. 2011 is the first season the team is playing under their new name. As the Jackhammers the team had one division title and no championships.  Manager Bart Zeller played one major league game for the St. Louis Cardinals as the catcher in 1970. Coach Carmen Pignatiello played pro ball from 2000 to 2009 including six games at the major league level. Former major league pitcher Billy Petrick pitches for the Slammers.

Traverse City Beach Bums

Location: Traverse City, Michigan

Stadium: Wuerful Park, 3,518 capacity.

General: The Beach Bums have one division title (1996) and two league titles ('01, '02). Manager Gregg Langbehn played 263 minor league games with affiliates of the New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers and Boston Red Sox. 

Lake Erie Crushers

Location: Avon, Ohio

Stadium: All Pro Freight Stadium, 5,000 capacity

General: The Crushers have been playing since 2009 when they won the League Championship. Manager John Massarelli played in the minor leagues for 10 years, making it to the AAA level. He played on minor league affiliates of the Marlins, Padres, Astros and Indians.

Rockford River Hawks

Location: Loves Park, IL

Stadium: Road Ranger Stadium, capacity 4,246

General: The RiverHawks organization has undergone numerous name and location changes. From 1993-1995 they were known as the Portsmouth Explorers out of Portsmouth Ohio. From 1996 to 2001 they were the Springfield Capitals out of Springfield Illinois. The Capitals won the Frontier League championship in 1996 and 1998, both times defeating the Chillicothe Paints. Ever since 2002 they have been the Rockford RiverHawks. As the Rockford RiverHawks they have won the League Championship one time, in 2004 against the Evansville Otters.

Washington Wild Things

Location: Washington, Pennsylvania

Stadium: CONSOL Energy Park, capacity 3,200

General: From 1997 to 2001 the Wild Things were the Canton Crocodiles. Since 2002 they have been known as the Wild Things. Under this team name they have won their division 5 out of 9 years.

River City Rascals

Location: O'Fallon, Missouri

Stadium: T.R. Hughes Ballpark

General: From 1993 to 1996 the organization was known as the Zanesville Greys and they played in Zanesville, Ohio. The organization didn't begin play again until 1999 and since then the team has won three division and two league titles. Steve Brook is the current coach of the Rascals after pitching for them from 2004 to 2007.

Southern Illinois Miners

Location: Marion, Illinois

Stadium: Rent One Park, capacity 7,000

General: The Miners started out in 2007 at Rent One Park. The baseball field was built for the Miners and is very accommodating. In 2010 the Miners won the division title and also set a league record with 20 consecutive wins. The Miners have set league attendance records for total admitted in a season and highest average per game attendance.

Normal Cornbelters

Location: Normal Illinois

Stadium: The Corn Crib (sponsored by the Illinois Corn Marketing Board), capacity 7,000

General: Former major league manager Hal Lanier is the Cornbelters first ever manager. He is probably the most accomplished Frontier League manager. The Cornbelters just joined the Frontier Leagues West Division in 2010 and have finished both seasons under .500.

Florence Freedom

Location: Florence, Kentucky

Stadium: Champion Window Field, capacity 4,500

General: The Freedom began play at Champion Window Field in 2004. Initial ownership was involved in numerous lawsuits related to unpaid contract labor for the ballpark. In 2004 the team wass sold to a new owner.  Since their inception the Freedom have not finished a season above third place in their division. Fran Riordan, a four year veteran of the Frontier League, is the Freedom manager.

Gateway Grizzlies

Location: Sauget, Illinois

Stadium: GCS Ballpark, capacity 6,000

History: The Frontier League welcomed the Grizzlies to the West Division in 2001. It must be mentioned that the ballpark sells "Baseball's Best Burger"; which is a bacon cheeseburger with Kirspy Kreme donuts for a bun. (ugh) It was either the team, the burger, or both that led the Grizzlies to become the first team ever in the Frontier League to host over 200,000 fans in a season. The past two seasons, the Grizzlies have finished out of the running for West Division champs.

Evansville Otters

Location: Evansville, Indiana

Stadium: Bosse Field, capacity 5181

General: The Otters are one of the Frontier Leagues oldest teams, joining in 1993 (then as the Lancaster Sounds). Long time Independent League manager Andy McCauley is manager of the Otters. For the past few years the Otters have not provided their division with much competetion. Bosse Field is their claim to fame, being in service to minor league baseball teams since the early 1900's. 



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