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NWL to Bring Back Minnesota Mud Puppies for 2022

Mud Puppies will replace the Thunder Bay Border Cats as the visiting team for season

Rochester, Minn. – The Northwoods League has announced today that the Minnesota Mud Puppies will take the place of the Thunder Bay Border Cats as the visiting team in the Great Plains Division for the 2022 season.

The Minnesota Mud Puppies are unique in that for the second season they will only play a 36-game road schedule, picking up the road games that would have been scheduled for the Thunder Bay Borders Cats.  The team will be based out of the Twin Cities region of Minnesota, with all players living or staying locally with family.

“This was a difficult decision to make, playing the 2022 season without the Thunder Bay Border Cats,” said Northwoods League President/Commissioner Ryan Voz. “They have a rich tradition in the League.”

“We were expecting the Mud Puppies to be a one-year stop-gap in 2021, however with the ongoing impact and uncertainty of international travel requirements, the decision was made to bring them back for 2022.”

The Mud Puppies travel team will continue to give college players an opportunity to play high level summer collegiate baseball. The Mud Puppies will appear in division standings but will not be eligible for the playoffs. Mud Puppies players are eligible for mid-season and post-season All-Star honors, selection for the Major League Dreams Showcase, and being ranked among League leaders.  They will also have access to their personal Trackman data like full-time players.

The Mud Puppies were an original team that started in the Northwoods League in 1994 in Dubuque. They would play in Dubuque until the 1997 season when they moved to St. Cloud and became the River Bats. The first Alumnus of the NWL to reach the Big Leagues. Jeff Weaver, a former Dubuque Mud Puppy pitcher, made his first start for the Detroit Tigers on April 14, 1999, against the Minnesota Twins.

The players from the Thunder Bay team have been made available to the other 21 NWL teams to be signed for the 2022 season.

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The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 28th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 270 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (NYM), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and 2019/2021 Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and 2021 All-Star, MLB Gold Glove winner and 2019 Second Team All-MLB shortstop Marcus Semien (TEX). All league games are viewable live for FREE via the Northwoods League website at watchnwl.com. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or download the Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.