Tri-City ValleyCats History

The Tri-City ValleyCats History
by Malcolm MacMillan
  • Moved to NY's state capital area in 2002
  • Won NYPL championship in 2010
Outside the ValleyCats team shop is a small display honoring historical baseball figures with ties to Troy.

Located in Troy, NY, the Tri-City ValleyCats are the New York-Penn League affiliate of the Houston Astros. The term 'Tri-City' refers to the state's capital district of Albany, Troy and Schenectady. The team has been in operation since 2002 as the ValleyCats, but the franchise dates back to 1977 as an affiliate of the New York Mets. That year, the team was located in Little Falls, NY, 78 miles west of Troy and a short jaunt north of Cooperstown, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The team, known as the Little Falls Mets, won an NYPL championship in 1984 and survived until the 1988 season, then moved to Pittsfield, MA, as the Pittsfield Mets. The Pittsfield Mets lasted from 1989 to 2000. In time for the 2001 season, the Astros took over and briefly changed the team's name to the Pittsfield Astros. A year later, the club relocated to Troy and has been the ValleyCats ever since. The ValleyCats first manager was longtime Major Leaguer Ivan DeJesus, who managed the club in 2002 and 2003. They play at Joseph L. Bruno Stadium on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College.

Since the birth of the ValleyCats, the area's baseball fans have typically had a solid team to enjoy. In the club's nine years of existence in the Tri-City area, it's won Stedler Division titles in 2004, 2006 and 2010 and the NYPL championship in 2010. The 2010 run marked a turnaround for the club, which had a rocky three previous seasons, going a combined 82-140. But after winning the division with an unspectacular record of 38-36, the 'Cats beat Batavia two games to one to advance to the championship, where they knocked off the Met-affiliated Brooklyn Cyclones in two straight games.

The team's other notable moments include hosting the NYPL All-Star Game in 2008, routinely enjoying good attendance and having three pitchers combine for a no-hitter in 2008.

Notable alumni

Koby Clemens

Mark McLemore

Felipe Paulino

Hunter Pence

Ben Zobrist