The Frontier League and Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball (Can-Am) will team up for this year’s All-Star Game in Rockland County, New York today.
This will mark the first time these two Independent Professional leagues will face each other. This is only the third time a Can-Am organization has hosted an All-Star Game since the league’s re-formation in 2005.
The game will be played at the Palisades Credit Union Ballpark located in Pamona, New York. The gates will open at 5:30 p.m. with first pitch coming around 7 p.m.
Three Southern Illinois Miners will be making the trip from Marion to Rockland County. Third baseman Gianfranco Wawoe, catcher Andy Cosgrove and right-handed starter Chase Cunningham are All-Stars.
Cunningham is making his second trip to the All-Star Game, while the other three aforementioned will be making their first All-Star appearances.
Getting players rested and healthy for the second half of the season is at the top of Miners coach Mike Pinto’s list.
“This is a much-needed break for all these players and coaches, so getting time to rest and recover is very important,” said Pinto. “We dealt with a lot of injuries during the first half of the year, but some time off should help get guys back to full health.”
Cunningham earned his second nod in part to his league leading 73.0 innings pitched and 2.96 ERA. Wawoe (.306) carved his names on the ballet with the first and third highest batting averages in the league. Cosgrove (.292) is hitting consistently with the second-highest batting average among catchers.
Managing the Frontier League All-Star team will be Dennis Pelfrey of the Florence Freedom. Pelfrey has coached his team to a league-best 35-17 record that sits comfortably atop the West Division. Pelfrey managed the 2017 Frontier League All-Star Game and will be accompanied by Freedom hitting coach Drew Martinez, and Freedom bench coach Mike Morris.
Pelfrey will work around some friendly faces, as six Freedom players will be recognized in the All-Star Game. The Miners and Evansville Otters are second with four and followed by the River City Rascals with three. The Schaumburg Boomers, Washington Wild Things, Joliet Slammers and Gateway Grizzlies will each have two, and then the Windy City Thunderbolts and Lake Erie Crushers will have one each respectively.
The Frontier and Can-Am leagues worked together this offseason to organize the event and will be presented by Good Samaritan Hospital. The Frontier League commissioner Bill Lee and Rockland Boulders President Shawn Reilly are responsible for putting the event together.
Lee is in his 26th season as commissioner, while Reilly will be the host of the All-Star Game.