The ValleyCats open their 2017 season this week

tri-city valleycats night game

The Tri-City ValleyCats open their 2017 home season this Wednesday at The Joe against the Lowell Spinners. There will be fireworks after the game. It's part of a six-game homestand that runs through next Monday. (Their season opens on the road at Connecticut Monday night.)

The ValleyCats are a farm team for the Houston Astros in the New York-Penn League, which is the "short-season A" level. (Minor league baseball's levels go from rookie ball up to AAA.) And while that's a few steps from the majors, more than 30 one-time ValleyCats have ended up making appearances in MLB -- including Hunter Pence, Ben Zobrist, Jose Altuve, George Springer, and Dallas Keuchel.

Many of the Astros top draft picks -- especially older players out of college -- end up being assigned to the ValleyCats.

Tickets start as low as $5.75 (the most expensive are $11), so it can be relatively cheap night out. And The Joe -- Joseph L. Bruno Stadium on the campus of Hudson Valley Community College -- is a nice venue. Also: It's minor minor league baseball, so there are a bunch of promotions, wacky theme nights, and the mayors race.

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The City should take a more proactive approach based on neighborhood consensus. A prescriptive design guideline with great clarity could save lots of graves for aspiring developers and other stakeholders. The City has to be clear upfront on conditions to be met such as overall allowed building volume, easy river connection, parking, pedestrian oriented ground floor usage and etc. It not seems reasonable to expect commercial developers to build something on their own initiative to both maximize ROI and please all city residents.

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