The Windy City ThunderBolts open up their season this Thursday the 19th of May at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood. For those of you who have not been out to visit them yet here is a quick history about the South Side’s “other” team.
The franchise has existed since 1995 which makes 2011 the organization’s 17th season. They currently play in the Frontier league as an independent minor league team, which means they are not attached to any major league team but any team can pick up their players. The league has 12 teams in the Midwest and is the oldest professional independent league in the country.
The ThunderBolts have recently acquired a local rival in the Frontier League with the addition of the Joliet Slammers. Hopefully this new crosstown rivalry can mesh nicely with Chicago’s other two baseball teams’ summertime battles.
The franchise has had good success through the years grabbing championships in 1998, 2007, and 2008. In 2009, they made it to the wild card qualifier and 2010 they were the East Division Champions. They have had over 30 players go onto play with major league organizations from all over the country.
The ThunderBolts play 48 home games at the ultra fan friendly Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood, IL. It is only two blocks east of Cicero Ave on the Midlothian Turnpike, just 1.5 miles south of I-294. The stadium was built in 1999 and features one of the few upper decks in minor league baseball. The schedule is filled with promotions and fireworks nights which add up to many nights of summer fun.