Author: Thunderbirds


SARANAC LAKE, NY –  League officials made a decision on the Pro Baseball showcase  and league training camp.  With the unfortunate situation that surrounds the Country due to Covid-19 pandemic, the league is making an adjustment to make a 2020 season possible.   The annual league tryout camp will be pushed back to a  later date in the same original month of June.  Instead of event taking place in the first week of June as it has every single year,  it will likely be moved to the last week of June.

The League will continue to monitor and evaluate the situation and will comply with State regulations  to make sure that  all necessary steps are taken to be able to get back on the field.  League official have confirmed that there will be a showcase camp to help many players as all the Pro Leagues that are operating will need players ready to be signed.

“We are willing to move the camp to anywhere in the country that can accommodate us if necessary and at a date that is convenient for the showcase capability of our players. We will have this camp for the simple reason that if the high level Professional leagues are going to be having their season, then we need to be able to provide them with players as needed and that’s the key of our existence .   Our mission is to showcase the talent of the players so that they can be signed to professional contracts.   We will gladly move date and location to the safest possible place where players can show their talent and we will help many players get the opportunity they deserve.   We are going to wait until possibly May 15th when government  authorities will update us and announce if sports can happen and at that point we will determine the final camp date and location in May. But we are confident that we  will have a camp and we will have Empire Baseball this year.  It could be in New York , or Florida but it will be somewhere where baseball can be played.”

With the pro showcase camp being pushed back means  the start of the Empire Baseball League season will be pushed back to follow the camp.  Players need to be prepared to make the necessary adjustments for camp changes. Any questions  feel free to email

Camp registration deadlines are still in place . Those looking to take one of the remaining spots available,   click here and register today.

Article by Empire Media


NEW YORK, NY –   Every year during the winter, the Empire League provides a week long opportunity for returning and out of college prospects  to register for the independent pro baseball showcase camp early. This opportunity allows for players to sign up for the exciting event during a time when the league secures sponsors and supporting partners.

For this reason, the ELB provides a discounted rate where players can save  from the regular camp cost.   Players have the opportunity to lock in their camp cost for housing and meals at a more economical price  during the early registration period. 

 The 2020 Independent Pro Baseball Showcase and ELB  Spring Training camp will give you the opportunity to be scouted by confirmed MLB scouts as well as higher level independent baseball leagues. If a player is not selected by MLB or higher level independent leagues, then the player will have an opportunity to make 1 of the 6 teams in the ELB. 

All ELB rosters are made strictly from those players that attend camp.  No players will be signed to the ELB directly from outside winter leagues or other programs. 

The Empire League will have 6 teams for the 2020 season of play.  The camp will be held in the week of June 1st to June 5th. 

For those players that would like to take advantage of the discounted early bird pricing, deadline to register is January 20th. If you do not register during the  early registration period, you will have an opportunity to register during the regular registration period which goes from March 1st through April 1st. Due to the number of players requesting to participate, no player will be accepted after April 1st.   

Register today during the early registration period by clicking here. If you have any questions feel free to contact the ELB at

Article by Empire Media


SARANAC LAKE, NY – The Plattsburgh Thunderbirds have defeated the New Hampshire  Wild  in the Empire League Championship Series two games to take home the 2019 Empire  League Championship. 

The Thunderbirds took the lead in game one and never looked back. Chris Tessitore was the Pitcher of the series with 2 wins in the playoffs.

Drake Sykes made Empire League history in the wild card playoffs by hitting a 0-2 count with 2 outs , bases loaded and down by 3 runs hit a Grand Slam to keep the season going for the Thunderbirds.

Chris Tessitore got the win in the Wild Card game and also the win in game 2 of the finals where the Thunderbirds won the championship. Simon Palenchar, Hiroki Itakura and Stephen Octave led the offensive attack for the Thunderbirds.

This Championship is the Thunderbirds 2nd franchise championship in Plattsburgh.

Article by Empire Media


PLATTSBURGH, NY – The Road City Explorers needed one strike to finish off the top seeded Thunderbirds before one swing of the bat changed the results and the plans for the Explorers as they have been eliminated on a walk off grand slam.

It was a well fought game between the two teams in which the Explorers took an early 4 to 0 lead which looked to be promising for the rest of the game. However the Thunderbirds answered back after a few costly mistakes cut the lead in half with a Stephen Octave 2 RBI double.

The Thunderbirds would go on to tie the ball game with a Sacrifice Fly by Stephen Octave to score Simon Palenchar who finished the game  with 3 hits, 3 runs, 1 RBI and a stolen base. Danny Muller also had a pair of hits. 

Explorers starter Spencer Hereford was  stellar going 7.2 innings pitched allowing just 2 earned runs and striking out 7 Thunderbirds batters. Ricky Marinez led the way offensively for the Explorers with 3 hits and 2 runs score. Charles Steele had a pair of hits with 2 runs and Armando Valencia had a big 2 RBI single to get the Explorers ahead.

In the bottom of the 9th, the Explorers brought in their closer who walked two batters and a hit by pitch loaded the bases for the Thunderbirds. A couple of pinch hit moves brought in  Drake Sykes who   quickly fell behind 0-2  in the bottom of the ninth before belting a bases clearing walk off home run to send the Thunderbirds to the finals.

The finals will be held in Saranac Lake, New York at Petrova Field home of the Saranac Lake Surge. Game one is scheduled for Wednesday at  12pm, Thursday at 12pm and if necessary Friday at 12pm. Address to field is 79 CANARAS AVE, SARANAC LAKE, NEW YORK 12983

Tickets can be purchased at the gate only.

Article by Empire Media


PLATTSBURGH, NY –  The New Hampshire Wild closed out the season defeating the Top seeded Plattsburgh Thunderbirds by a score of 5 to 3 at Chip Cummings Field in Plattsburgh, New York.

With the win, the Wild clinched the South Caribe Division crown and will head into the playoffs as the 2nd overall place in the standings. The game was however meaningless for the Thunderbirds as the team had already clinched the North Country Division and Top overall seed.

The playoffs will consist of one elimination game followed by a best of 3 series to determine the Empire League Champion.

The Thunderbirds will face the number 4 seed in the Wild Card Playoff single elimination game.

Playoffs begin tomorrow August 5th with the New Hampshire Wild playing the number Puerto Rico Islanders at 11:30am followed by the Road City Explorers against the Plattsburgh Thunderbirds at 4:00pm at Chip Cummings Field.

Tickets for playoffs can be purchased only at the gate of the stadium an hour prior to game time.

Article by Empire Media


The Empire Professional Baseball League has announced the participants for the 2019 Empire League All Star Game and Home Run Derby that will take place on July 21st in Saranac Lake, New York.

For the players list, visit the  All Star Game link to view the finalist for the Home Run Derby and the All Star Game.

In that list, 10 Thunderbirds have been selected which include Simon Palenchar, Danny Muller, Johann Paniagua, Taylor Olmstead, Cas Silber, Dimitri Nunez, Andrew Kramer, Drake Sykes and Kezlin Douglas.

The Home Run Derby will consist of 6 players from the 6 Empire League teams each representing their team. They will compete in a Bracket round 1 in which the 3 winners will advance into the final round swing off. Each player will have 10 outs in every round to hit as many Home Runs as possible.  Kids will be allowed to chase fly balls in the outfield if registered 2 hours prior to the Home Run Derby.  Derby will begin at  1pm and will be followed by the All Star Game.

After the All Star Game, there will be a Tap Take over Annual All Star Night Celebration at Hotel Saranac honoring our veterans in which proceeds will benefit non profit charities starting at 5:30pm. Fans, family and friends are all invited Join us for a celebration  night to remember for a good cause.

Tickets for the All Star Game will be available only at the gate at the Saranac Lake Surge field.  Admission is $10 for adults and Children are free. Get there 2 hours prior to the game for batting practice, autographs, photo opportunities and to witness balls flying into Saranac Lake.

Article by Empire Media


PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK – The Plattsburgh Thunderbirds right fielder Zach Sullivan, who made a big name for himself in the Empire League and in the CanAm League with his spectacular defense and consistent offense, has been moved to the York Revolution of the Atlantic League. The highest level of independent professional baseball.

The 6 foot 2 210 pound 23 year old outielder from Corning, New York was drafted in the  14th Rd by the Miami Marlins. In 58 plate appearances,  Sullivan is first in the Empire League in Home Runs with 6 and 2nd in RBIs with 20.  In 13 games, he was hitting .365

Sullivan will join teammate Sam Burton in Jersey as the Revolution will face the Somerset Patriots this week.

Article by Empire Media


PLATTSBURGH, NEW YORK – The Plattsburgh Thunderbirds closer Sam Burton, who was dominant in the CanAm Series with the Empire League Grays Interleague team, has been moved to the York Revolution of the Atlantic League. The highest level of independent professional baseball.

Burton, started the year as the 3rd starter in the first place Plattsburgh Thunderbirds rotation before moving to the closer role. He will continue that reliever role with the York Revolution when he arrives to play against the Somerset Patriots in Atlantic League play Tuesday Night.

Article by Empire Media


PLATTSBURGH, NY – As the Empire League prepares to play in the CanAm Series, they will be without their game one starter Cas Silber who is currently changing his gps destination from New Jersey to New Britain , Connecticut.

Silber, right handed starting pitcher for the first place Thunderbirds, is now headed to New Britain to play for the New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League. Silber will be starting tomorrow at 7pm in Connecticut.

In 2 starts, Silber won 2 games  in 12 innings of work striking out 21 batters. Silber topped out at 91 mph for the Thunderbirds and will look to continue his career at the highest level of Independent baseball in the Atlantic League.

Article by Empire Media


PLATTSBURGH, NY – The Plattsburgh Thunderbirds pulled off a never before seen in franchise history come from behind victory to sweep the cross town rivals of Saranac Lake Surge. The team  not only came back from a large 9 run deficit, which is the biggest in franchise history, but, the team has also tied the Empire Leagues longest winning streak  of 9 set back in 2017. 

The Surge  took an early 8 to 0 lead with strong performances by Skylar Mercado  who hit a solo shot to left, and a 3 for 3 day for Stephen Octave behind the dish. Chikara Igami was more then stellar going 4 innings allowing just 1 earned run while striking out 3 batters. 

The story for the Thunderbirds could not be made up. They chipped away to score a total of 12 runs after a big fly from right fielder Zach Sullivan  who went 4 for 5 in the game.  Kezlin Douglas was a superstar on the mound tonight tossing 5 full innings allowing just one run and striking out 5 batters.

This Thunderbirds win means a sweep of the mayors series  by the Plattsburgh Thunderbirds. Both teams will break for CamAm league series and will continue play on Thursday July  4th.

Article by Empire Media