Home / News / Cicadas, Expansion Talk and Holidays in June: Ten Things to Know in the American Assoc. This Week

Cicadas, Expansion Talk and Holidays in June: Ten Things to Know in the American Assoc. This Week

Zach Keenan, Lincoln Saltdogs

The American Association of Professional Baseball (@AA_Baseball) season continues with a full slate of series this weekend, all available for free live viewing at aabaseball.tv.

Here are 10 Things to Know about the AAPB this week:

  • The colorful cicadas may be an annoyance to some, but the Kane County Cougars aren’t one to brood. Instead, with the 13-year and 17-year cycles converging (we’re not entomologists, but we play them on AABaseball.tv), tonight is Kane County Cicadas Night at Northwestern Medicine Field vs. the Kansas City Monarchs. The team will wear special Cicada-themed jerseys which will be auctioned off for charity, and the first thousand fans receive a custom insect swatter.
  • Juneteenth, Father’s Day, Flag Day, Pride Month and National Cucumber Day (ok, that one might be a stretch) are all celebrated across the country in June. But two AAPB teams have a couple of other ideas… Halloween (Chicago Dogs, Saturday) and Halfway to Christmas (Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, Tuesday) will bring those popular holidays back a few months early.
  • On Tuesday, the AAPB announced another in a series of key corporate partnerships, this one with MOBILEMONEY, now the official cashless payment solutions provider to the league and its member clubs.
  • Sometimes a change of position can make all the difference. The Kansas City Star and Yahoo! Sports have the story of Monarchs outfielder-turned-pitcher Nate Tellier, a .342 hitter in college whose coach suspected – rightfully so – that the mound might be a better route for the righthander in the pros. So far, so good, as he’s posted a 2.11 ERA over 17 innings at press time.
  • Big things are happening around the AAPB, and the time might just be right to grow the footprint, which now currently extends to 12 team across 10 states. Commissioner Joshua Schaub recently discussed the prospects for expansion at Fargo’s Valley News Live, potentially doubling the number of franchises by 2028-29..
  • Another 10Things, Another Homecoming as Winnipeg native Ben Onyshko signed with the hometown Goldeyes last week. The 27-year-old lefty was originally selected by the Seattle Mariners out of Steston (Fla.) Univ, reaching AAA Tacoma. He started his Goldeyes career with two innings of hitless relief on Friday to help preserve a win over Sioux City.
  • The Gary SouthShore RailCats along with other businesses sponsored a luncheon for local businesses and leaders for clean air initiatives for Northern Indiana last week. The luncheon awarded three college scholarships to local students in the areas and recognized four businesses making voluntary efforts to improve clean air quality in 2023.
  • In a few alumni moves:
    • Kane County outfielder Je’Von Ward had his contract purchased by Toronto and homered in his first game with Single-A Vancouver on Saturday.
    • Now former Kansas City Monarch Blake Rutherford is heading to Mexico to play for Toros de Tijuana in the Mexican Baseball League. Rutherford, a former MLB player, originally drafted in the first round to the New York Yankees in 2016, but finally made his big league debut in 2023 with the Washington Nationals. This season with the Monarchs, he posted a .328 batting average, .911 OPS, and launched three home runs.
    • After hitting .331 in the Low-A Florida State League, infielder Payton Eeles (Chicago ’23) was promoted to Cedar Rapids, the Twins’ High-A affiliate.
  • The Record Watch department has its eyes on Fargo’s Izzy Alcantara, who has 30 stolen bases through his team’s first 33 games. The AAPB record is 71, set by the Milwaukee Milkmen’s Bryan Torres last season. Torres continues to rake with the Cardinals’ AA affiliate in Springfield, hitting in eight straight games last week to boost his average to .329 with 16 stolen bases at press time.

About Jerry Milani

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Jerry Milani is a writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 30 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and as a freelance professional. His PR clients have included Wizard World and FAN EXPO, which produce pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America, USA Wrestling, the National Lacrosse League, Strat-O-Matic Media, the Pacific Life Open and Pilot Pen Tennis tournaments and dozens of others. Milani is also the director of athletic communications for Caldwell University. He is a proud graduate of North Rockland High School and Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at Jerry (at) JerryMilani (dot) com.

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