Robert F. Julian, president of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League (PGCBL), is pleased today to announce the addition of the Batavia Muckdogs, Niagara Power, and the Ottawa-based Capital City Reds to the PGCBL lineup for the 2021 season.
With the Muckdogs, Power, and Reds joining the fold, the PGCBL features 16 teams for the upcoming season with 15 franchises scattered throughout the Empire State. The league’s footprint reaches all corners of Upstate New York from North Country to the Southern Tier, and will now connect both ends of Interstate 90 with numerous stops in Central New York, the Finger Lakes, and Mohawk Valley regions.
The PGCBL’s expansion comes shortly after the unfortunate contraction of minor league baseball, which included the disbanding of the New York-Penn League (NYPL) and the loss of professional affiliation for four cities in New York, including Batavia. However, the PGCBL and its teams are committed to providing affordable entertainment for families and competitive baseball for fans to enjoy during the summer months.
“As minor league baseball diminishes its presence in Upstate New York with the dissolution of the NYPL, I am pleased that the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League has been able to step in and continue to become a resident in former New York-Penn League venues such as Batavia and Niagara Falls,” Julian stated. “The addition of Batavia and Niagara creates a very competitive and geographically well-situation Western Division that will include Jamestown, Elmira, Geneva, Newark, Niagara, and Batavia.”
Including Batavia (Dwyer Stadium) and Niagara (Sal Maglie Stadium), the PGCBL has franchises in 11 different cities playing out of former NYPL stadiums: Elmira (Dunn Field), Geneva (McDonough Park), Glens Falls (East Field), Jamestown (Russell Diethrick Park), Mohawk Valley (Veterans Memorial Park), Newark (Colburn Park), Oneonta (Damaschke Field), Utica (Murnane Field), and Watertown (Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds).
The Batavia Muckdogs, whose lengthy history dates back to 1939, most recently served as the Class A Short affiliate for the Miami Marlins. The Muckdogs had a successful farewell campaign in 2019, as the team won the NYPL’s Pinckney Division in its last pro season. Several MLB All-Stars began their journey in Batavia, including former NL MVP Ryan Howard and Cito Gaston, who managed two World Series teams in Toronto.
Robbie Nichols, principal owner of Batavia Muckdogs, said “We are excited to continue the Batavia-Niagara Falls competition that was so much a part of minor league baseball for many decades. We plan to vigorously pursue and promote that exciting rivalry and we welcome Niagara into the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.”
The Niagara Power departed the New York Collegiate Baseball League (NYCBL) to join the PGCBL after 11 seasons. Following a brief hiatus, baseball returned to Sal Maglie Stadium in 2018 with a new organization owned and operated by Niagara University’s College of Hospitality and Tourism Management. The Power completed the best season in franchise history in 2019, winning 30 games and sweeping the NYCBL Championship Series for their first-ever title. Niagara Falls last hosted affiliated baseball in 1993 under the Detroit Tigers.
“The opportunity to join the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League follows the model the Power have created since its rebirth under the ownership of Niagara University,” said Patrick Tutka, Ph.D., a professor in NU’s Sport Management Program and the Power’s Director of Operations. “We want to provide an incredibly high quality of baseball to the community, while also providing our students with a learning laboratory in the minor league model. The PGCBL provides us with that opportunity.
“We are incredibly excited to work with the teams in the league to have a great experience for the Power going forward. The rebirth of the rivalries between Jamestown, Batavia, the Falls, and others within the former NY-Penn footprint will create exciting baseball for all.”
No stranger to the PGCBL are the Capital City Reds, who have competed against numerous teams in exhibition contests in recent years. Stationed in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, the Reds are a not-for-profit organization that hosts teams at the collegiate, U18, and U15-U16 levels, which routinely travel to the United States for tournaments and showcases.
“The Capital City Reds are also a signature addition,” Julian said. “The PGCBL is committed to providing high-quality collegiate summer baseball experience for college players, but also providing fans in our service area with very competitive baseball, preservation of the baseball stadia in which we play, and continuing to propagate the importance of the joy of the sport. The Ottawa team is owned and operated by baseball enthusiasts, who will provide quality competition and help promote baseball in Canada.”
“The Capital City Reds are very pleased to join the PGCBL,” said Roch Seguin, president and head coach of the Reds. “We look forward to competing in the 2021 season as a member of the league. We believe our affiliation with the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League is an important step in advancing baseball in Canada.”
As an affiliate member, the Reds will not play a full league schedule in 2021 and are not eligible for playoff competition. Capital City, which played against league members on an experimental basis in 2019, will travel to the United States for all games against PGCBL teams this summer.
About the PGCBL
The Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League is a 16-team summer collegiate baseball league in Upstate New York. Since its inaugural season in 2011, the PGCBL – which annually draws talent from some of the best NCAA, NAIA, and junior college programs – has quickly evolved into the premier wood bat league in the state of New York, while becoming one of the most widely respected summer leagues in the country. The PGCBL is affiliated with Perfect Game USA, the nation’s largest independent amateur scouting bureau.