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MAY 05 - MAY 12, 2015

Second Pro Baseball Team to Play Part of Season at Sal Maglie Here

By Mike Hudson

May 05, 2015

Sal Maglie Stadium is located in Hyde Park and is one of the features of the city's largest park.
1956 Roy Campanella Sal Maglie Brooklyn Dodgers
The Niagara Falls Power players pray on field. The Niagara Falls Power was the brainchild of Grand Island businessman Cal Kern, who partnered with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to bring the club to Niagara Falls. The team has made the New York Collegiate League playoffs in three of the past four seasons, bringing home the Western Division Championship in 2012.
Several veterans of the club are playing professionally in the minor leagues, including relief pitcher Rohn Pierce, from North Tonawanda, who is currently playing with the Clinton LumberKings
a Midwest League Class A minor league baseball team based in Clinton, Iowa, USA, affiliated with the Seattle Mariners.
The Road City Explorers will play seven games at Sal Maglie Stadium and are known to draw a crowd.

Sal Maglie Stadium will become the home of a second semi-professional baseball team later this month when the Road City Explorers of the newly formed East Coast Baseball League begin a series of seven games there on May 20.

Sal Maglie is also home to the Niagara Power of the New York Collegiate Baseball League. The Power will launch its season here on June 2, with a home opener against the Geneva Twins. But while the Power is made up of college athletes on summer break from school, the Road City Explorers, and the East Coast Baseball League they are a part of, are a step up, professionally.

"You'll have guys here who have been affiliated with Major League Baseball teams who, for whatever reason, find themselves now trying to get back to that level," said local baseball entrepreneur and stadium operator Ray Ward. "And the guys on the visiting teams will be of the same caliber, with that kind of experience."

The teams are unaffiliated, Ward said, and the Explorers franchise has yet to find a permanent home. In addition to the games with team will be playing in Niagara Falls, they'll also play parts of their schedule in Dubois and Johnstown, Pa., he added.

p> Colin Cummings, who is serving as interim general manager for the team and is also associated with the Niagara Wild, an East Coast League team that plays its games in Welland Stadium across the river in Ontario, said the Explorers hope to have a permanent home by the end of this season. And they hope that home might be Niagara Falls N.Y.

To that end, he said, the league has been in talks with the city, and particularly with Corporation Counsel Craig Johnson, about the stadium.

"Would we like to be a permanent fixture at Sal Maglie?" he asked. "You bet we would."

Cummings said that, initially, the league tried to work out a deal that would have had the team playing the seven games in May, as well as its July and August schedule at the stadium, but scheduling conflicts with the Power prevented it. The Power has been playing at Sal Maglie since the 2008 season, making it one of the longest running non-scholastic teams to play here.

"I think we're off to a good start here, and we'll see where it goes," the Canadian said optimistically.

Ward said that the players being signed now to participate in the summer season are of the caliber a fan might expect in Single-A or AA minor league play.

"These are players who have a legitimate shot (at making the major leagues)," Ward said.

And Niagara Falls, with its rich baseball tradition, is the ideal place for them to begin their climb to the top, he added.

"You've got a stadium where Johnny Bench played, Rick Honeycutt pitched, one that saw thousands of professional baseball games over the years," Ward told the Niagara Falls Reporter. "It's a great fit."





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