FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 11, 2023
Contact: Steve Balsan, New York Boulders
BOULDERS ACQUIRE LOCAL PRODUCT TOM WALRAVEN
Pine Bush, NY, Native Expected to Solidify New York Infield
Rockland County, NY– The New York Boulders have acquired infielder Tom Walraven from the Gary SouthShore RailCats of the American Association in exchange for relief pitcher Matt Leon. A native of Pine Bush, NY, Walraven provides a solid bat and great versatility to the Boulders’ quest to return to the Frontier League playoffs, regularly playing second base, shortstop, and third base during his career.
Walraven spent his first three professional seasons in Gary, Indiana, after an exceptional collegiate career at the University of New Haven. During his college days, Walraven posted an impressive .327 batting average with an .857 OPS and All Conference honors, providing a taste of what was to come.
His offensive production continued with the RailRiders, as he has now played 220 games at the professional level, batting .282 overall with an .807 OPS, while adding 28 homers and 132 RBI, adding strong glove work in committing just 10 errors over the past two seasons.
But according to New York Manager TJ Stanton – entering his third season – Walraven’s addition is about much more than numbers. “With all he can do, I think his greatest impact might be in the clubhouse,” said Stanton, whose Boulders ended the 2022 season with 12 consecutive wins to capture a Wildcard berth.
“When I was asking around, the reports were that his reputation is sterling. He’s widely considered a leader that's tough as hell and plays the game as hard as anyone.” That blends perfectly with the culture fostered by Stanton, but also by the New York Boulders organization as a whole.
“We’ve taken a lot of pride in bringing the best available professional talent from across the country to play at Clover Stadium,” noted Team President and General Manager Shawn Reilly. “With that said, bringing in local talent has also been a focus, and Tom checks all the boxes of players who fit the Boulders mold.”
Leon heads to the Midwest coming off a solid first season in Independent baseball, compiling a 5-1 record with a 1.80 ERA. Used primarily as a middle reliever, Leon earned more consequential innings during the final weeks of the 2022 season.
The Boulders’ third season in the Frontier League will see the team play a 96-game schedule that features 51 home dates. Highlights of the 2023 home schedule include games on the Fourth of July holiday, Fathers’ Day on June 18th; and nine Saturday home dates. Opening Day is set for May 11 as the long-time rival New Jersey Jackals pay a visit for a three game series, while the regular season will conclude on Sunday, Sept. 3, when they wrap up a three-game set at Clover Stadium with the Jackals.
Information regarding season tickets and packages for the Boulders’ 2023 season is available by calling 845-364-0009 or sliding to www.NYBoulders.com.
Debuting in 1993, the Frontier League is the largest and longest-running of the modern independent leagues and features teams stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River and from the Ohio River to the St. Lawrence Seaway. In September of 2020, the Frontier League reached an agreement to become a “Partner League” with Major League Baseball.
As a “Partner League,” the Frontier League and its teams will meet on a regular basis with MLB representatives to discuss joint marketing and promotional opportunities, as well as collaborate on initiatives to provide organized baseball to communities throughout the United States and Canada.
More information can be found at www.frontierleague.com.
About the New York Boulders and NYB, LLC
The New York Boulders are entering their 12th season of Professional Baseball as part of the Frontier League and are in pursuit of a post-season appearance for the eighth time in the past nine seasons. Founded as the Rockland Boulders in 2011, the franchise rebranded as the New York Boulders in advance of the 2020 season. In 2014, the Boulders won the Can-Am League Championship and hosted the Frontier vs. Can-Am All-Star Game in 2019. 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 Clover Stadium located in Rockland County, NY. In 2012 and 2014, Rockland was named the Can-Am’s “Organization of the Year.” The Boulders are owned and operated by NYB, LLC, a sports and entertainment company comprised of former executives from all levels of major and minor league sports. NYB is committed to providing superior customer service and quality, affordable family entertainment experiences for the New York Metropolitan area, Lower Hudson Valley and northeast New Jersey. Slide to www.nyboulders.com for more information.