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Recent Rockland Boulders News

Boulders Acquire Slugger Grant Heyman

By Rockland Boulders Baseball 12/24/2018, 11:45am EST

Outfielder Part of 3-Team Deal

(Photo - Winnipeg Goldeyes; goldeyes.com)

The Boulders have acquired outfielder Grant Heyman from the Winnipeg Goldeyes of the American Association. The move was part of a three-team deal which saw Rockland send starting pitcher David Palladino to the Texas Air Hogs of the American Association, then sending Prime to Winnipeg for left-handed swinging slugger Heyman.

The 25 year-old native of Pittsford in upstate New York was a highly-touted prospect, being drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays out of Sutherland High School in the 11th round of the 2012 amateur draft. He played one year of collegiate ball at the University of Miami before moving on to the College of Southern Nevada, where he was an 8th round selection by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2014 draft.

Heyman carries a lot of motivation into the new season, having hit 19 homers in his last season of affiliated ball with Visalia in 2017, and adding 19 with Winnipeg as his sights are firmly set on having an impressive season.

Palladino, the hulking 6-8 right-hander, made 12 starts in 20 appearances for the Boulders last season, posting a 5-2 record with a 2.92 ERA, fanning 79 batters in 71 innings of work.

The Boulders start their All-Star Summer as Manager Kevin Baez takes his team into action against the defending Can-Am champ Sussex County Miners at Palisades Credit Union Park on Thursday, May 16, 2019.

Boulders to Host 2019 All-Star Game

By Rockland Boulders Baseball 12/18/2018, 11:00am EST

Can-Am vs. Frontier League, July 10th

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 18. 2018

BOULDERS TO HOST 2019 ALL-STAR GAME

Can-Am vs. Frontier League at Palisades Credit Union Park on July 10, 2019 

(Rockland County, NY) – The Rockland Boulders will host the 2019 All-Star Game between the Can-Am League and the Frontier League on Wednesday, July 10, at Palisades Credit Union Park, presented by Good Samaritan Hospital. This will mark the first time that these two Independent Professional leagues will face each other, and only the third time a Can-Am organization has hosted an All-Star game since the league’s re-formation in 2005.

Festivities will begin with a Home Run Derby on Tuesday, July 9, with the game the following evening. “We consider this a great holiday gift to our fans,” stated Boulders Team President Shawn Reilly. “It’s a rare opportunity and we’re very appreciative of the Frontier League and Good Samaritan Hospital making it possible. Many of the best independent pro baseball players in the country will be in our park, and we look forward to putting on a first-class event worthy of that talent.”

"Everyone in the Frontier League is excited to play the Can-Am League in the All-Star Game this year,” noted Commissioner Bill Lee. “We are also excited to come to Rockland and the New York market. We want to thank the Boulders organization for hosting this event. It will be tremendous for the fans to see the best players, of two of the oldest and most established Independent Leagues in the country, showcase their talents. We also believe it is great for the entire Independent Professional Baseball industry that leagues can work together."

The Frontier League consists of 10 teams from cites in Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Missouri. Formed in 1993, the circuit had 23 player contracts purchased by Major League Baseball franchises last season and their list of players to appear in the Majors includes former Boulder Stephen Cardullo, who was with the Florence Freedom in 2012 before spending three seasons in Rockland en route to a stint with the Colorado Rockies.

“The Can-Am League is pleased we will be taking on the Frontier League in the 2019 All Star Game. For 25 years the Frontier League has consistently been a formidable force on the independent baseball scene,” added Can-Am Managing Director Kevin Winn. “I want to thank Frontier League Commissioner Bill Lee and Rockland Boulders President Shawn Reilly for putting this event together. I can think of no better venue than Palisades Credit Union Ballpark to host this historic event.”

Ticket sales and additional information will be announced in upcoming weeks. The Boulders open their All-Star Summer against the defending Can-Am champ Sussex County Miners on Thursday, May 16, 2019. For season tickets and more information, please visit our box office, call 845-364-0009 or slide to rocklandboulders.com.

The Rockland Boulders partnered with Skye Design Studios (www.sdsbranding.com) to develop its 2019 All-Star identity. Based in the greater New York City area, SDS is a national leader in sport branding and identity design, with experience at all levels of collegiate, professional, and minor league sectors within the industry. 

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About Rockland Boulders and Bottom 9 Baseball, LLC

The Rockland Boulders are entering their 9th season of professional baseball in the Canadian American Association of Professional Baseball (“Can-Am League”) in pursuit of the post-season for the sixth straight year. In 2016, Rockland’s first former player reached Major League Baseball when outfielder Stephen Cardullo made his debut with the Colorado Rockies on August 26. In 2014 the Boulders won their first Can-Am League Championship.  Proud to be part of the rich history of professional baseball in the New York City region, during the 2017 season the team welcomed its 1,000,000th fan to Palisades Credit Union Park located in Rockland County, NY. In 2012 and 2014, Rockland was named the Can-Am’s “Organization of the Year.” They are owned and operated by Bottom 9 Baseball, LLC (B9B), a sports and entertainment company comprised of former executives from all levels of major and minor league sports. B9B is committed to providing superior customer service and quality, affordable family entertainment experiences for the Lower Hudson Valley and northeast New Jersey. Slide to www.rocklandboulders.com for more information.

Can-Am/Frontier League All-Star Facts

  • This is the fifth All-Star Game that the Can-Am League has participated in (2005, 2006, 2014, 2016, 2017). The Can-Am League is 2-2 all-time in those games, with one game using players for both teams (2014).
  •      2005: Can-Am League defeated Central League (American Association predecessor), 3-2, at Brockton
  •      2006: American Association defeated Can-Am League, 5-3, at El Paso
  •      2014: Can-Am League players were on both North (QUE/TR) and South (NJ/ROCK) teams in the American Association all-star game - South won, 7-0, at Winnipeg
  •      2016: Can-Am League players played on the South team in the American Association all-star game - North won, 6-1, at St. Paul 
  •      2017: Can-Am League defeated American Association, 3-2, at Ottawa
  • In those five games, Can-Am League teams Ottawa and Brockton (2005-2011) hosted All-Star games in 2017 and 2005 respectively.
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  • The Frontier League All-Star Game has taken place since 1993 with the format being East Division vs. West Division. In 2018, the league changed the game’s format to Rookies vs. Veterans.
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  • Can-Am League Teams (6): New Jersey Jackals (NJ), Ottawa Champions (Canada), Quebec Capitales (Canada), Rockland Boulders (NY), Sussex County Miners (NJ), Trois-Rivieres Aigles (Canada)
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  • 2018 Cam-Am League Champion: Sussex County Miners (63-38 Reg. Season), Runner-up: Quebec Capitales (58-44 Reg. Season)
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  • Frontier League Teams (10): Evansville Otters (IN), Florence Freedom (KY), Gateway Grizzlies (IL), Joliet Slammers (IL), Lake Erie Crushers (OH), River City Rascals (MO), Schaumburg Boomers (IL), Southern Illinois Miners (IL), Washington Wild Things (PA), Windy City Thunderbolts (IL).
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  • 2018 Frontier League Champion: Joliet Slammers (54-42 Reg. Season), Runner-up: Washington Wild Things (54-42 Reg. Season).

 

Players who played in both the Frontier and Can-Am Leagues who made it to MLB

  • Stephen Cardullo – London Rippers/Florence Freedom (2012), Rockland Boulders (2013-2015): Colorado Rockies (2016-2017)
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  • Steve Delabar – Florence Freedom (2008), Brockton Rox (2008-2009): Seattle Mariners (2011-2012), Toronto Blue Jays (2012-2015), Cincinnati Reds (2016)
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  • Robert Stock – Normal CornBelters (2015), New Jersey Jackals (2016): San Diego Padres (2018)
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Current Frontier League or Can-Am League Managers who have coached in both leagues

  • Brooks Carey – Normal CornBelters (2013-2017), New Jersey Jackals (2018-Present)

Kevin Baez Named New Boulders Manager

By Rockland Boulders Baseball 11/27/2018, 11:00am EST

Veteran Brings Championship Pedigree

(Rockland County, NY) – The Rockland Boulders have named Kevin Baez as the team’s new manager for the 2019 season. Baez brings a wealth of experience as both a manager and a player to Rockland along with many personal and professional ties to the New York metropolitan area.

Baez managed 1,087 games with the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League over the last eight seasons, posting a 571-516 record with two league titles (2012 and 2013) and six trips to the championship series, including each of the past the three seasons. 

He attended nearby Dominican College and was a 7th round pick in 1988 draft by the New York Mets. He appeared in 63 games over the course of three Major League seasons for the Mets. He continued his playing career primarily at the AAA level over the next decade before joining Long Island in 2002 where he helped the Ducks capture the Atlantic League Championship in 2004.

The Boulders new manager resides on Long Island with his wife, Marianne, and children, Kevin and Vincent. He was born and raised in Brooklyn and made his Major League debut for the Mets at Shea Stadium on September 3, 1990.

Baez, 51, becomes the third manager in the Boulders history, following Dave LaPoint (2011-12) and Jamie Keefe (2013-18). Keefe spent six seasons at the helm in Rockland with a 344-260 record in Rockland, highlighted by the team’s lone Can-Am League Championship in 2014.

“Managers with the pedigree and success of Kevin Baez do not become available very often,” noted Team President Shawn Reilly. “We’re very fortunate to have the opportunity to bring him to Rockland. From our very first day, the Boulders have been not only committed to winning, but the expectation is also to compete annually for the championship. As an organization we are always striving to reach the next level of success and I am confident that Kevin is the person who will take us there. Our time with Jamie has been wonderful with many great memories for our fans. I know he has great opportunities ahead of him and we wish him and his family the best.”

“From everything I’ve heard over the years, this is a great organization to be a part of,” stated Baez, “but seeing how beautiful (Palisades Credit Union Park) is and meeting the staff, it just seems like a perfect fit. Management wants a franchise that sets the standard for independent pro baseball and I’m excited to be a part of that.”

Several familiar faces on the Boulders staff will help ease Baez’s transition as the team has announced the return of Director of Player Development Kevin Tuve, Bench Coach Andrew Romanella, and Trainer Lori Rahaim, though the organization is currently in search of a pitching coach for the upcoming season.

Fans are invited to a Meet the Manager Reception next Thursday, December 6, at 6:30 pm at Palisades Credit Union Park. The event is open to the public and admission is free.

The Boulders open their new era against the defending Can-Am champ Sussex County Miners on Thursday, May 16, 2019.  The promotions schedule and other exciting announcements will follow in the coming weeks. For tickets and more information, please visit our box office, call 845-364-0009 or slide to rocklandboulders.com.

Photo Caption: Marcus Nidiffer hits during a game in July 2018. He had three hits at the Sussex County Miners on Thursday. (Photo Credits: Drew Wohl, Rockland Boulders)
Photo Caption: Marcus Nidiffer hits during a game against the New Jersey Jackals in Rockland on August 14. He hit two three-run home runs at the Sussex County Miners on Wednesday as part of an 8-7 Boulders win. (Photo Credits: Drew Wohl, Rockland Boulders