Thunder Bay Border Cats

Last updated

Thunder Bay Border Cats
Thunder Bay Border Cats logo 2013.jpg
Information
League Northwoods League
Location Thunder Bay, Ontario
Ballpark Port Arthur Stadium
Founded2003 [1]
League championships2 (2005, 2008)
Division championships3 (2005, 2006, 2008)
ColorsRed, black
MascotBoomer
ManagerMike Tallari

The Thunder Bay Border Cats are a baseball team that plays in the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer baseball league. The league's only Canadian team, their home games are played at Port Arthur Stadium in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Contents

The Border Cats have been Northwoods League champions twice, defeating the Madison Mallards two games to one in both 2005 and 2008. They also were in the Northwoods League championship in 2006, but lost to the Rochester Honkers. [2]

As of 2019, the Border Cats have sent six players to the major leagues. Matt Mangini was the first to make the jump, playing 11 games for the Seattle Mariners in 2011. Shortstop Jonathan Diaz followed two years later, playing four games with the Boston Red Sox in 2013. Diaz also spent time with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2014, almost making the team out of spring training. Pitcher Blaine Hardy became a regular in the Detroit Tigers bullpen in 2014. Seth Frankoff pitched in one game for the Chicago Cubs, while A.J. Schugel spent time with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Wes Parsons is currently with the Atlanta Braves in a relief role.

The Border Cats will not play their 2021 season due to "the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic regarding the Canada-US border closure as well as outdoor gathering numbers". [3] A travel team known as the Minnesota Mud Puppies, based in the Twin Cities region, will play the Border Cats' originally scheduled 36 road games during the 2021 season. [4] The Border Cats were again left dormant for the 2022 season, with a return intended for the 2023 season. [5]

2009 All-Star Game

The 2009 Northwoods League All-Star Game was held on July 21 in Thunder Bay. This was the first time the All-Star game played in Canada. The guest speaker for the event was Ferguson Jenkins, a Canadian member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. The game was won 4-2 by the South Division squad, led by the MVP performance of Kurtis Muller, who went 3-for-5.

Notable active alumni & those reaching AAA/Majors

NamePositionPro AffiliateLevelLeagueTeamStatusMajors
Oney Guillen INFChicago White SoxAAAInternational LeagueCharlotteNot activeN
Zach Daeges OFBoston Red SoxAAAInternational LeaguePawtucket Red SoxNot activeN
Reid Mahon RHPArizona DiamondbacksAASouthern LeagueMobileNot activeN
Matt Camp OFChicago CubsAASouthern LeagueTennesseeNot activeN
Jonathan Diaz INFNew York YankeesAAAInternational LeagueScranton/Wilkes-BarreNot active2013-2015
Scot Drucker RHP--INDAmerican AssociationGrand PrairieNot activeN
Marc Maddox INFKansas City RoyalsAAAPacific Coast LeagueOmahaNot activeN
Matt Mangini INFSeattle Mariners--MLBSeattleNot active2010
Eric Wordekemper RHP--AAAMexican LeagueOlmecas de TabascoNot activeN
Craig Heyer RHPNew York YankeesAAEastern LeagueTrentonNot activeN
Jon MuellerRHPChicago CubsAAAPacific Coast LeagueIowaNot activeN
Chris Curley INFChicago White SoxAAAInternational LeagueCharlotteNot activeN
A.J. Schugel RHPPittsburgh Pirates--MLBPittsburghNot active2015-2017
Ryan Court 3BSeattle Mariners--MLBSeattle MarinersNot active2019
Matt JohnsonOFBoston Red SoxACarolina LeagueSalemNot activeN
Blaine Hardy RHPDetroit Tigers--MLBDetroit TigersActive2014-2019
Jason Vosler SSSeattle Mariners--MLBTacomaActive2021-2023
Dan Rizzie CNew York MetsAAANortheast Binghamton Rumble Ponies Not activeN
Michael Papierski CSeattle Mariners-MLBSeattle MarinersActive2022
Greg Weissert RPBoston Red SoxAAAInternationalBoston Red SoxActive2022-2023
Wes Parsons RHPToronto Blue Jays--MLBToronto Blue JaysActive2018-2019, 2023
Seth Frankoff LFArizona Diamondbacks--MLBArizona DiamondbacksActive2017, 2020-2021
Nate Nolan CChicago White SoxAAATriple A EastCharlotte KnightsNot activeN
Jacob Robson OFDetroit Tigers-InternationalToledo MudhensActive2021
Matthew Batten 2BSan Diego Padres-MLBEl Paso ChihuahuasActive2022-2023
Penn Murfee RPAtlanta Braves-MLBAtlanta BravesActive2022-2023
Brandon Williamson SPCincinnati Reds-MLBBrandon WilliamsonActive2023
Andy Weber SSArizona DiamondbacksAAAPCLReno AcesActiveN
  Reached Majors

Year-by-year records

YearLeagueDiv.WLW%ManagerPlayoffs
2003 Northwoods League North3133.484Mitch Dunn--
2004 Northwoods League North3232.500Mitch Dunn--
2005 Northwoods League North4424.647Chad MillerWon championship
2006 Northwoods League North2938.433John HerreraLost final
2007 Northwoods League North2840.412Jared Manske--
2008 Northwoods League North4226.618Devin McIntoshWon championship
2009 Northwoods League North2741.397Joel Barta--
2010 Northwoods League North3138.449Mike Steed--
2011 Northwoods League North2940.420Mike Steed--
2012 Northwoods League North3237.449Andy Judkins--
2013 Northwoods League North2149.300Dan Holcomb--
2014 Northwoods League North2349.319John Hernandez--
2015 Northwoods League North3338.465Danny Benedetti--
2016 Northwoods League North2151.282Danny Benedetti--
2017 Northwoods League North2743.386Mitch Feller--
2018 Northwoods League North2250.306Mitch Feller--
2019 Northwoods League Great Plains East2447.338Eric Vasquez--
2023 Northwoods League Great Plains East2741.397J.M. Kelly--
TOTAL Northwoods League North/Great Plains East523718.421----

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Frontier League</span> Baseball league in the United States and Canada

The Frontier League is a professional baseball league based in the East North Central and Mid-Atlantic United States, and Central Canada. It operates as one of four Major League Baseball (MLB) Partner Leagues in the American independent baseball league system. Founded in 1993, the Frontier League is the oldest extant independent baseball league in North America to have never organized under the Minor League Baseball system.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Northern League (baseball, 1993–2010)</span>

The Northern League was an independent minor professional baseball league. It was not affiliated with Major League Baseball or the organized minor leagues. The league was founded in 1993 and folded after its 2010 season when financial stability became a problem. The three teams remaining in the league when it folded joined with the remaining teams in United League Baseball and the Golden Baseball League to form a new independent organization called the North American League.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Minnesota Thunder</span> Soccer club

Minnesota Thunder was an American professional soccer team based in Minnesota, United States. Founded in 1990, the team played in the USL First Division (USL-1), the second tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, until 2009. The team played its home games at the National Sports Center in nearby Blaine, Minnesota for its final two seasons. The team's colors were navy blue, light blue, silver, and white.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">United Hockey League</span> 1991–2010 North American ice hockey league

The United Hockey League (UHL), originally known as the Colonial Hockey League from 1991 to 1997 and last known as the International Hockey League from 2007 to 2010, was a low-level minor professional ice hockey league, with teams in the United States and Canada. The league was headquartered in Rochester, Michigan, and, in its last year, consisted of seven teams. It folded in 2010, with most of its teams joining the Central Hockey League. The Central Hockey League teams still operating in 2014 were then added to ECHL. The only former CoHL/UHL/IHL teams still active as of 2022 are the Fort Wayne Komets and Kalamazoo Wings.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tri-City ValleyCats</span> Professional minor league baseball team in Troy, New York

The Tri-City ValleyCats are a professional baseball team based in Troy, New York. The ValleyCats compete in the Frontier League (FL) as a member of the East Division, and play their home games at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium.

The Madison Mallards are a collegiate summer baseball team based in Madison, Wisconsin that plays in the Northwoods League. Warner Park on Madison's Northside is the team's home field.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Northwoods League</span> Collegiate summer baseball wooden bat league

The Northwoods League is a collegiate summer baseball wooden bat league. All players in the league must have NCAA eligibility remaining in order to participate. The league is amateur, and players are not paid, so as to maintain their college eligibility. Graduated senior pitchers are also eligible to play in the Northwoods League. Each team may have four of these players at a time.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">St. Cloud Rox (collegiate summer baseball)</span>

The St. Cloud Rox are a baseball team that play in the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer baseball league. Their home games are played at the Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Eau Claire Express</span> Wisconsin collegiate summer baseball team

The Eau Claire Express is a collegiate summer baseball team playing in the Northwoods League. Their home games are played at Carson Park, in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">New England Collegiate Baseball League</span> U.S. collegiate summer baseball league

The New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL) is a 13-team collegiate summer baseball wooden bat league founded in 1993 and sanctioned by the NCAA and Major League Baseball. Each NECBL team plays an eight-week, 44-game schedule during June and July, with a playoff in early August. Like the Cape Cod Baseball League and other amateur leagues, the NECBL is a showcase for top college-level players, giving professional baseball scouts a chance to see prospective pros playing against each other. Along with the Cape Cod Baseball League, Northwoods League, and Coastal Plain League, it is considered one of the top summer leagues in the country and is a part of the National Alliance of College Summer Baseball. In 2019, the Collegiate Summer Baseball Register ranked the NECBL as the 2nd best collegiate summer baseball league, behind only the Cape Cod League.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Robb Quinlan</span> American baseball player

Robb William Quinlan is an American former Major League Baseball utility player who played first base, third base, corner outfield, catcher and designated hitter for the Anaheim Angels / Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim between 2003 and 2010.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">American Association of Professional Baseball</span> Baseball league

The American Association of Professional Baseball is an independent professional baseball league founded in 2005. It operates in the central United States and Canada, mostly in cities not served by Major League Baseball teams or their minor league affiliates. Joshua Schaub is the league commissioner. League offices are located in Moorhead, Minnesota. Though a separate entity, the league shared a commissioner and director of umpires with the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball during that league's existence. The American Association of Professional Baseball has 501(c)(6) tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service. In 2020, as part of MLB's reorganization of the minor leagues, the American Association, together with the Atlantic League and the Frontier League, became an official MLB Partner League.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nelson Cruz</span> Dominican baseball player (born 1980)

Nelson Ramón Cruz Martínez Jr. is a Dominican-American former professional baseball designated hitter and right fielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Milwaukee Brewers, Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, Minnesota Twins, Tampa Bay Rays, Washington Nationals, and San Diego Padres. Cruz is a seven-time MLB All-Star. Known for his power hitting, he has won four Silver Slugger Awards and two Edgar Martínez Awards.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Rene Tosoni</span> Canadian baseball player

Rene Michael Tosoni is a Canadian former professional baseball outfielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Minnesota Twins in 2011 and has also played in International competitions with the Canada national baseball team. He is 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and weighs 194 pounds (88 kg). He bats left-handed, yet plays his position right-handed.

The Brainerd Lakes Area Lunkers were a baseball team that played in the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer baseball league. Their home games were played at Mills Field in Brainerd, Minnesota.

The St. Cloud Rox were a professional minor league baseball team that existed from 1946 to 1971 in St Cloud, Minnesota, playing in the Northern League for the duration of the franchise.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Craig Heyer</span> American professional baseball pitcher (born 1985)

Craig D. Heyer is an American professional baseball pitcher. Prior to becoming a professional, Heyer played college baseball at the College of Southern Nevada and University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Duluth–Superior Dukes</span>

The Duluth–Superior Dukes were a professional baseball team based in Duluth, Minnesota. The Dukes were a charter member of the modern Northern League, which started play in 1993. The Dukes played their home games at Wade Stadium. After the 2002 season, the Dukes were moved to Kansas City where they were renamed the T-Bones.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Traverse City Pit Spitters</span> Collegiate summer baseball team in Traverse City, Michigan

The Traverse City Pit Spitters are a baseball team in the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer baseball league, and began play in the 2019 season. Based out of Traverse City, Michigan, the Pit Spitters play their home games at Turtle Creek Stadium in nearby Blair Township. The team began play at Turtle Creek Stadium in 2019 after the park's former tenant, the Traverse City Beach Bums of the Frontier League, ceased operations at the end of the 2018 season.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Owen Miller</span> American baseball player (born 1996)

Owen Robert Miller is an American professional baseball infielder and outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has previously played in MLB for the Cleveland Indians / Guardians. Miller was selected by the San Diego Padres in the third round of the 2018 MLB draft. He made his MLB debut in 2021 with the Indians.

References

  1. Millea, John (July 27, 2004). "Fielding big dreams". Star Tribune .
  2. Milewski, Todd (August 22, 2005). "Mallards Dethroned By Late Run". The Capital Times . Retrieved January 3, 2007.
  3. Reichard, Kevin (March 5, 2021). "Thunder Bay drops out of 2021 Northwoods League season". Ballpark Digest. August Publications.
  4. "Minnesota Mud Puppies". Northwoods League. Retrieved June 9, 2021.
  5. "2022 Season Update". December 7, 2021.