Tri-City ValleyCats
TC ValleyCats.PNG
TC ValleyCats cap.PNG
Team logo Cap insignia
Information
LeagueFrontier League (2021–present) (East Division)
LocationTroy, New York
BallparkJoseph L. Bruno Stadium (2002–present)
Year founded2002
Nickname(s)Tri-City ValleyCats (2002–present)
League championships
  • 2010
  • 2013
  • 2018
Division championships
  • 2004
  • 2006
  • 2010
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2018
Former league(s)New York–Penn League (2002–2020)
ColorsScarlet, black, tan, silver, white
         
OwnershipBill Gladstone
ManagerPete Incaviglia
General ManagerMatt Callahan

The Tri-City ValleyCats (often shortened to 'Cats) are a professional independent baseball team based in Troy, New York. The Tri-City name refers to the three nearby cities of Albany, Schenectady, and Troy which make up New York State's Capital District.

From 2002 to 2020, they were members of Minor League Baseball's New York–Penn League (NYPL) as the Class A Short Season affiliate of the Houston Astros. With MLB's reorganization of the minor leagues after the 2020 season, the ValleyCats were not selected to continue in affiliated baseball. They joined the Frontier League for the 2021 season, which was designated as an MLB Partner League that year.

Team history

Before Tri-City

Prior to their arrival in Troy, the club was based first in Little Falls, New York, as the Little Falls Mets (1977–1988), and then in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, as the Pittsfield Mets (1989–2000) and Pittsfield Astros (2001).

2002 season

The ValleyCats played their first game on the road in Lowell, Massachusetts, on June 18, 2002, against their rival the Lowell Spinners. The Spinners had a 3–1 lead going into the eighth inning, but a triple by Aneudi Cuevas down the right field line drove in three runs leading the ValleyCats to a 5–4 victory.

2006 season

A 2006 ValleyCats game
A 2006 ValleyCats game

In their 2006 season, the ValleyCats registered an attendance of 129,126 in 37 contests, averaging 3,489 fans per game. On July 4, 2006, the ValleyCats set a new all-time home attendance mark as 6,123 people attended a game against the Lowell Spinners which was later broken in the following years.

2008 season

All-Star game

The Valley Cats hosted the fourth annual New York–Penn League All-Star Game at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in 2008. The game was played between teams made up of the affiliates of National League (NL) and American League (AL) teams. The ValleyCats, affiliates of the National League's Houston Astros, were part of the NL squad. Four ValleyCats were voted to play in the game: first baseman Phil Disher, left fielder Jack Shuck, pitcher Philip Rummel, and center fielder Thomas Steele. However, Steele was injured two weeks before the game and was replaced by Tri-City third baseman David Flores. The NL All-Stars won the game on a walk-off RBI by Tri-City's David Flores. Flores was also voted MVP of the game.[1]

No-hitter

On June 21, 2008, pitchers Shane Wolf, David Miller, and Ashton Mowdy combined to throw the first no-hitter in the franchise's history. Wolf is a native of nearby Lansing. The ValleyCats won, 10–0, over the Oneonta Tigers.[2]

Attendance

On July 4, 2008, The ValleyCats broke their single-game attendance record drawing 6,630 to the ballpark, 2,130 more than the listed capacity. The ValleyCats won, 9–2, against the Jamestown Jammers.[3] The team also set a season attendance record in 2008 with 140,631 fans in attendance despite missing many games due to rain.

2009 season

The ValleyCats once again broke attendance records in 2009. Their single-game attendance record was broken again on July 4 against the Brooklyn Cyclones. A crowd of 6,838 fans attended the 2–1 ValleyCats loss.[4] They also set a new single season attendance record, attracting 145,976 fans to Joseph L. Bruno Stadium that season.[5] Tri-City finished the season in fourth place in the Stedler Division, 18 games behind first-place Lowell.[6]

2010 Championship season

After three losing seasons, the ValleyCats finally turned around to be one of the front runners in the Stedler Division. Led by manager Jim Pankovits, they were the underdog in the 2010 NYPL playoffs with a 38–36 record, and having won their division by only a half game over the Connecticut Tigers. They reached the championship series for the third time in their short history, and beat the heavy favorite Brooklyn Cyclones (51–24), two games to none.

2015 season

The second no-hitter in ValleyCats history was thrown on August 6, 2015. Pitchers Kevin McCanna, Ralph Garza, and Zac Person combined for the road win against the Aberdeen IronBirds at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium, 5–0.[7]

2021 and beyond

After the cancelled 2020 minor league season, Major League Baseball took direct control of Minor League Baseball and discontinued short-season play. The ValleyCats were not among the teams invited to continue in affiliated baseball.[8] On January 7, 2021, the team announced that it would be joining the Frontier League, an independent MLB Partner league, for the 2021 season.[9] However, the 2021 season turned out to be a disappointing one for the ValleyCats as they missed the playoffs.

Mascots

Left to right: Sammy, Ribbie, and SouthPaw
Left to right: Sammy, Ribbie, and SouthPaw

The ValleyCats have several mascots, the three most prominent being SouthPaw, his grandfather, Pappy, and his best friend, Ribbie. SouthPaw is a jersey-wearing cat, representing the "ValleyCat", the team's nickname. Another fan-favorite is Sammy Baseball who wears a patriotic costume and resembles Uncle Sam, reputedly derived from Samuel Wilson who operated a meat packing plant in Troy. The Tri-City Mayors, large caricature heads representing the current Mayors of Troy, Albany, and Schenectady, race (and dance) on a nightly basis at the ballpark. Ketchup, Mustard, and Relish mascots participate in a hot dog race. Other mascots include Spiedie the Chicken, Zoggy the Dinosaur, and Rowdy the River Rat, obtained when the Albany River Rats moved to Charlotte, North Carolina.[10]

Season results

Season League Manager Record
2002 NYPL Iván DeJesús 27–48, 4th place Stedler
2003 NYPL Iván DeJesús 44–32, 2nd place Stedler
2004Finalist NYPL Gregg Langbehn 50–25, 1st place Stedler
2005 NYPL Gregg Langbehn 34–42, 3rd place Stedler
2006Finalist NYPL Gregg Langbehn 43–31, 1st place Stedler
2007 NYPL Pete Rancont 27–47, 4th place Stedler
2008 NYPL Pete Rancont 28–45, 4th place Stedler
2009 NYPL Jim Pankovits 27–48, 4th place Stedler
2010League champions NYPL Jim Pankovits 38–36, 1st place Stedler
2011 NYPL Stubby Clapp 33–42, 3rd place Stedler
2012Finalist NYPL Stubby Clapp 51–25, 1st place Stedler
2013League champions NYPL Ed Romero 44–32, 1st place Stedler
2014Finalist NYPL Ed Romero 48–28, 1st place Stedler
2015§ NYPL Ed Romero 42–33, 1st place Stedler
2016 NYPL Lamarr Rogers 38–38, 3rd place Stedler
2017 NYPL Morgan Ensberg 34–39, 3rd place Stedler
2018League champions NYPL Jason Bell 42–33, 1st place Stedler
2019 NYPL Ozney Guillen 32–42, 4th place Stedler
2020 Season not played due to COVID-19
2021 Frontier Pete Incaviglia 50–46, 2nd place Atlantic
2022 Frontier Pete Incaviglia --
NY–Penn League champions (League champions) NY–Penn League finalists (Finalist) Stedler Division champions (§) Wild Card winner (*)

Postseason results

Fast facts

Current roster

Active (24-man) roster Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 14 Neil Abbatiello ‡
  • 22 Kyle Arjona
  • 18 Trey Cochran-Gill
  •  4 Jose Cruz
  • 34 Jake Dexter
  • 24 Austin Faith
  •  3 Joey Gonzalez
  • 37 Brett Hanewich
  • 21 Adam Hofacket
  • 44 Oddy Nunez
  • 38 Olbis Parra
  • 72 David Stiehl ‡
  • 35 Brac Warren
  • 25 Ryan Williamson



 

Catchers

  • 88 Daniel Angulo ‡
  •  6 Austin Bernard
  • 81 Ciaran Devenney ‡
  • 19 Austin Elder
  • 69 Tyler Krabbe ‡

Infielders

  •  9 Brantley Bell
  • 16 Joe Campagna
  • 27 Cito Culver
  •  7 Jace Mercer
    Injury icon 2.svg
  • 13 Pavin Parks
  • 10 Mitch Piatnik
  • 48 Brad Zunica

Outfielders

 

Manager

Coaches

  • 36 Joe Gannon (pitching)
  • 25 Thomas Incaviglia (hitting/bench)

Injury icon 2.svg
Disabled list
‡ Inactive list
§ Suspended list

Roster updated August 6, 2022
Transactions

Notable alumni

Former/Current notable baseball players who played for the ValleyCats as a minor league affiliate, the year they played for the ValleyCats, and the team they debuted with (If debuted yet).

Former/Current notable baseball players who played for the ValleyCats in the Frontier League, the year they played for the ValleyCats, and the team they returned with.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Flores sends All-Star fans home happy". New York–Penn League. August 20, 2008.
  2. ^ "Three ValleyCats Combine for First No-Hitter in Franchise History". Tri-City ValleyCats. June 21, 2008.
  3. ^ "ValleyCats Bats Explode In Front of Record Crowd". Tri-City ValleyCats. July 5, 2008.
  4. ^ "'Cats Shatter Single Game Attendance Record". Tri-City ValleyCats. July 4, 2009. Archived from the original on January 9, 2022.
  5. ^ "ValleyCats Set Season Attendance Record for Sixth Consecutive Season". Tri-City ValleyCats. September 1, 2009. Archived from the original on January 9, 2022.
  6. ^ "2009 New York–Pennsylvania League". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference. Archived from the original on April 19, 2021. Retrieved September 8, 2009.
  7. ^ "New York-Penn League No-Hit Games". New York–Penn League. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved February 17, 2017.
  8. ^ Singelais, Mark (December 9, 2020). "ValleyCats lose bid to affiliate with Major League Baseball team". Times Union. Retrieved December 12, 2020.
  9. ^ Schott, Ken (January 7, 2021). "ValleyCats will join Frontier League". Daily Gazette. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  10. ^ "ValleyCats adopt Rowdy the Rat". Tri-City ValleyCats. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  11. ^ "2008 Affiliated Attendance by Total". Ballpark Digest. June 26, 2009.
  12. ^ "2009 Affiliated Attendance by Total". Ballpark Digest. September 23, 2009.
  13. ^ "2010 Affiliated Attendance by Total". Ballpark Digest. September 10, 2010.
  14. ^ "2011 Affiliated Attendance by Total". Ballpark Digest. September 12, 2013.
  15. ^ "2012 Affiliated Attendance by Total". Ballpark Digest. September 7, 2013.
  16. ^ "New York–Penn League Attendance - 2013". Minor League Baseball.
  17. ^ "New York–Penn League Attendance - 2014". Minor League Baseball.
  18. ^ "New York–Penn League Attendance - 2015". Minor League Baseball.
  19. ^ "New York–Penn League Attendance - 2016". Minor League Baseball.
  20. ^ "New York–Penn League Attendance - 2017". Minor League Baseball.
  21. ^ "New York–Penn League Attendance - 2018". Minor League Baseball.
  22. ^ "2019 Affiliated Attendance by Average". Ballpark Digest. September 9, 2019.
  23. ^ "Summer 2021 - Attendance". Pointstreak. September 12, 2021.