Great Lakes Loons
The Great Lakes Loons are a Minor League Baseball of the Midwest League and the Class A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. They are located in Midland, Michigan, and play their home games at Dow Diamond, which opened in April 2007.
|Great Lakes Loons|
Founded in 1982
Based in Midland since 2007
|Minor league affiliations|
|Major league affiliations|
|Current||Los Angeles Dodgers (2007–present)|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles (2)|
|Mascot||Lou E. Loon (2007-present)|
Rall E. Camel (2012-present)
Doodle the Eagle (2003-2006)
Rally Cat (1995-2002)
|Ballpark||Dow Diamond (2007–present)|
|Michigan Baseball Foundation|
|General Manager||Brad Tammen|
The Midwest League came to Battle Creek, in 1995 after the franchise formerly known as the Madison Hatters moved. The team was first known as the Battle Creek Golden Kazoos. Due to a trademark dispute and general fan dissatisfaction with the name (which is a nickname for the nearby city of Kalamazoo), the name was changed to the Michigan Battle Cats on March 9, 1995.
The team was affiliated with the Boston Red Sox (1995–98) and Houston Astros (1999–2002). The team changed its name to the Battle Creek Yankees after becoming an affiliate of the New York Yankees in 2003. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays took over affiliation of the team after the 2004 season, and the team name was changed to the Southwest Michigan Devil Rays.
In January 2006, the Devil Rays were sold to the non-profit Michigan Baseball Foundation and relocated to Midland, Michigan, in 2007. The team was renamed the Great Lakes Loons. A lack of interest from the Battle Creek community was the main reason for the move. Reduced ticket prices (even a night when fans were actually offered a dollar to come to that night's game) failed to pique the interest of local residents.
Naming rights for the Loons' stadium were purchased by Dow Chemical, which is headquartered in Midland. The company named the stadium "Dow Diamond." Ground was broken on the stadium on April 11, 2006, with construction taking just 367 days to complete. In September 2006, the team announced its new affiliation with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In November 2006, the Loons named Lance Parrish as the team's first manager since the move to Michigan's Tri-City Area. The first home game was played on April 13, 2007.
On September 18, 2016, the Loons clinched their first Midwest League championship following a 9–8 victory over the Seattle Mariners-affiliated Clinton LumberKings. The Loons won the championship series 3–1, following three-game series victories over the Bowling Green Hot Rods (Tampa Bay Rays) and West Michigan Whitecaps (Detroit Tigers) in the previous rounds. The Loons were managed by Gil Velazquez.
The Loons have hosted the Midwest League All-Star Game on two occasions (2008 and 2017).
|Michigan Battle Cats (1995–2002)|
|1995||75–62||4th||DeMarlo Hale||Lost League Finals|
|1997||70–67||4th||Billy Gardner, Jr.||Lost in 1st round|
|1998||79–61||2nd (t)||Billy Gardner, Jr.||Lost in 1st round|
|1999||76–62||3rd||Al Pedrique||Lost in 1st round|
|2000||82–56||2nd||Al Pedrique||League Champs|
|2001||82–55||3rd||John Massarelli||Lost in 1st round|
|2002||79–61||4th||John Massarelli||Lost in 1st round|
|Battle Creek Yankees (2003–2004)|
|2003||73–64||3rd||Mitch Seoane||Lost in 2nd round|
|2004||71–68||9th||Mitch Seoane (13–18) / Bill Mosiello (58–50)|
|Southwest Michigan Devil Rays (2005–2006)|
|2005||72–67||4th (t)||Joe Szekely||Lost in 1st round to SB|
|Great Lakes Loons (2007–present)|
|2009||81–59||2nd||Juan Bustabad||Lost in 2nd round to FW|
|2010||90–49||1st||Juan Bustabad||Lost in 2nd round to LC|
|2013||67–72||5th||Razor Shines||Lost in 1st round to SB|
|2015||68–69||7th||Luis Matos||Lost in 1st round to LAN|
|2016||65–75||6th||Gil Velazquez||League Champions|
|2018||60–77||6th||John Shoemaker||Lost in 1st round to WM|
Lou E. Loon is the team mascot and Ambassador of Fun for the team. He's an energetic bird who loves to dance at home games and make public appearances. The kids' play area at the diamond is named Lou E.'s Lookout in his honor. He often leads fans in his signature cheer, the "Funky Feather", which won "Best In-Game Promotion of the Year" in 2009 for Minor League Baseball.
"Rall E. Camel" was introduced as the team's second mascot in April 2012. He is an honorary deputy ambassador of mischief and is an ostensibly goofy addition to the staff of the Great Lakes Loons.
Great Lakes Loons roster
Notable Great Lakes Loons alumni
- Rafael Betancourt (1996)
- John Buck (1999–2000) MLB All-Star
- Walker Buehler (2016) Combined no-hitter
- Melky Cabrera (2004) MLB All-Star
- Tyler Clippard (2004) 2-time MLB All-Star
- Wade Davis (2006) 3-time MLB All-Star
- Justin Duchscherer (1997) 2-time MLB All-Star
- Dee Gordon (2009) 2-time MLB All-Star; 2015 NL batting title
- Shea Hillenbrand (1997–1998) 2-time MLB All-Star
- Kenley Jansen (2007–2008) 2-time MLB All-Star
- John Jaso (2005)
- Clayton Kershaw (2007) 8-time MLB All-Star; 5-time NL ERA title (2011–2014, 2016); 3-time NL Cy Young Award (2011, 2013–2014)
- Jason Lane (2000)
- Aaron Miles (1997)
- Roy Oswalt (1999) 3-time MLB All-Star; 2006 NL ERA title
- Lance Parrish (2007, MGR) 8-time MLB All-Star
- Carl Pavano (1997) MLB All-Star
- Joc Pederson (2011) MLB All-Star
- Chad Qualls (2001)
- Tim Redding (1999)
- Carlos Santana (2007) All-Star
- Johan Santana 4-time MLB All-Star; 3-time AL ERA title (2004, 2006, 2008); 2-time AL Cy Young Award (2004, 2006)
- Corey Seager (2014) 2-time MLB All-Star; 2016 NL Rookie of the Year
- Scott Barlow
- WLUN (sports radio station owned by the Loons)
- Dinda, J. (2003). "Battle Creek, Michigan, in the Midwest League".
- "Brad Tammen Named Loons President and GM". Ballpark Digest. February 12, 2019. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
- "Club Information". Great Lakes Loons. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved February 12, 2019.
- "New Great Lake Loons logo evokes summertime in Michigan". Chris Creamer's SportsLogos.Net News and Blog : New Logos and New Uniforms news, photos, and rumours. Retrieved 2018-12-05.
- Stephen, Eric (2016-09-18). "Loons win 2016 Midwest League title". True Blue LA. Retrieved 2018-12-05.
- Editors, Ballpark Digest (2018-06-15). "Great Lakes Loons Set New Attendance Record". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved 2018-12-05.
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