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Pro baseball finally comes home to Tupper Lake

A Plattsburgh Thunderbirds hopeful prepares to swing at a pitch at Empire Professional Baseball League tryouts Tuesday at the Tupper Lake Municipal Park. (Enterprise photo — Quinlan Peer)

TUPPER LAKE — The Municipal Park is finally the home of the Tupper Lake Riverpigs.

The Riverpigs were supposed to have their home debut over a year ago, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the league to shift and play in Washington, Pennsylvania. Now the wait is over. The league is currently hosting tryouts at the park, and the Riverpigs will have their opening day here on Saturday at 7 p.m. against the New Hampshire Wild.

This year the Empire Professional Baseball League will have a deeper talent pool. The coronavirus pandemic prompted Major League baseball teams to cut some Minor League teams, and the players along with them. These players are looking for a new league to play in. The EPBL has already seen some newcomers from this pool including top prospect Edward Salcedo of the Riverpigs, who played in the Kansas City Royals and Atlanta Braves farm systems.

Tupper Lake is not the only town with a EPBL team. The Surge will be returning to Saranac Lake for this season and will play on Petrova field. This will be there second season playing at Petrova as they debuted in 2019 but, were also forced to Pennsylvania last year.

With the Riverpigs yet to play a game, Municipal Park still has grown into one of the top ballparks in the area and will host the Empire Baseball League All-Star Weekend on July 16 and 17. That same weekend there will be a Little League baseball tournament in the park along with bands and shows in the nearby bandshell, all to be topped off with fireworks at the end of the night.

Riverpig pride is also enhancing another large event, Fourth of July. Tupper Lake usually hosts its Independence Day celebration on July 3 to contrast with other communities; however, the improved Municipal Park will be be the center of the celebration on July 4.

That celebration will be similar to All-Star weekend as the Riverpigs will face off against the Plattsburgh Thunderbirds at 7 p.m.. During the game there will also be live music from the Summer Sunset Series in the bandshell. Once it gets dark, the community will hold its firework display in the park.

According to village Trustee Ron LaScala, “This summer we are trying to catch lightning in a bottle” as they try to take advantage of their attraction.

Events won’t be exclusive to these dates. Throughout the summer baseball games, shows, drive-in movies and music can all be found in the park.

“Municipal Park is the jewel of Tupper Lake,” said village Mayor Paul Maroun. The Riverpigs are quite literally in the center of town as they move into their home park. Local officials believe the park and the events will bring in an audience and will grow the town as a whole.

“The Riverpigs’ games are going to benefit everyone,” LaScala said. “People can come enjoy good food from around the village or go fishing all day and then head to the ball field to watch a game.”

The Tupper Lake Riverpigs are scheduled to play 29 regular season games at Municipal Park between Opening Day on June 12 and the last day of the regular season on Aug. 3.

Schedule for Tupper Lake Riverpigs and Saranac Lake Surge

June 12: Saranac Lake Surge @ Plattsburgh Thunderbirds, 4 p.m.

June 12: New Hampshire Wild @ Tupper Lake Riverpigs, 7 p.m.

June 13: Surge @ Thunderbirds, 1 p.m.

June 13: Wild @ Riverpigs, 1p.m.

June 14: Surge @ Thunderbirds, 4 p.m.

June 14: Wild @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m.

June 15: Surge @ Thunderbirds, 4 p.m.

June 15: Wild @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m.

June 17: Surge @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m.

June 18: Surge @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m.

June 19: Surge @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m.

June 20: Surge @ Riverpigs, 1 p.m.

June 21: Riverpigs @ Thunderbirds, 4 p.m.

June 21: Surge @ Wild, 6 p.m.

June 22: Riverpigs @ Thunderbirds, 4 p.m.

June 22: Surge @ Wild, 1 p.m.

June 23: Riverpigs @ Thunderbirds, 4 p.m.

June 23: Surge @ Wild, 1 p.m.

June 24: Riverpigs @ Wild, 1 p.m.

June 24: Thunderbirds @ Surge, 4 p.m.

June 25: Riverpigs @ Wild, 1 p.m.

June 25: Thunderbirds @ Surge, 1 p.m.

June 26: Riverpigs @ Wild, 1 p.m.

June 26: Thunderbirds @ Surge, 1 p.m., 4 p.m. (two games)

June 27: Riverpigs @ Wild, 1 p.m.

June 27: Thunderbirds @ Surge, 1 p.m.

June 29: Riverpigs @ Surge, 4 p.m.

June 30: Riverpigs @ Surge, 4 p.m.

July 1: Riverpigs @ Surge, 4 p.m.

July 2: Wild @ Surge, 4 p.m.

July 2: Thunderbirds @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m.

July 3: Wild @ Surge, 4 p.m.

July 3: Thunderbirds @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m.

July 4: Wild @ Surge, 1 p.m.

July 4: Thunderbirds @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m.

July 6: Surge @ Thunderbirds, 4 p.m.

July 6: Wild @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m.

July 7: Surge @ Thunderbirds, 4 p.m.

July 7: Wild @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m.

July 8: Surge @ Thunderbirds, 4 p.m.

July 8: Wild @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m.

July 9: Surge @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m.

July 10: Surge @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m.

July 11: Surge @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m.

July 13: Riverpigs @ Thunderbirds, 4 p.m.

July 13: Wild @ Surge, 4 p.m.

July 14: Riverpigs @ Thunderbirds, 4 p.m.

July 14: Wild @ Surge, 1 p.m., 4 p.m. (two games)

July 15: Riverpigs @ Thunderbirds, 4 p.m.

July 16: Home Run Derby @ Tupper Lake, 7:30 p.m.

July 17: All-Star Game @ Tupper Lake, 7:30 p.m.

July 20: Thunderbirds @ Surge, 4 p.m.

July 20: Riverpigs @ Wild, 6 p.m.

July 21: Thunderbirds @ Surge, 4 p.m.

July 21: Riverpigs @ Wild, 6 p.m.

July 22: Thunderbirds @ Surge, 4 p.m.

July 22: Riverpigs @ Wild, 6 p.m.

July 23: Thunderbirds @ Surge, 4 p.m.

July 23: Riverpigs @ Wild, 12:30 p.m.

July 24: Surge @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m.

July 25: Surge @ Riverpigs, 1 p.m

July 26: Surge @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m

July 27: Surge @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m

July 28: Wild @ Surge, 4 p.m

July 28: Thunderbirds @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m

July 29: Wild @ Surge, 4 p.m

July 29: Thunderbirds @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m

July 30: Wild @ Surge, 4 p.m

July 30: Thunderbirds @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m

July 31: Surge @ Thunderbirds , 4 p.m

July 31: Wild @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m

Aug 1: Surge @ Thunderbirds , 1 p.m

Aug 1: Wild @ Riverpigs, 1 p.m

Aug 2: Surge @ Thunderbirds , 4 p.m

Aug 2: Wild @ Riverpigs, 7 p.m

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