West Michigan Whitecaps

The West Michigan Whitecaps are a Class A Minor League Baseball team, affiliated with the Detroit Tigers, that plays in the Midwest League. Their home games are played in Comstock Park, Michigan, a suburb of Grand Rapids.

West Michigan Whitecaps
Founded in 1994
Comstock Park, Michigan
Team logoCap insignia
Class-level
CurrentClass-A[1] (1994–present)
Minor league affiliations
LeagueMidwest League (1994–present)
DivisionEastern Division
Major league affiliations
CurrentDetroit Tigers (1997–present)
PreviousOakland Athletics (1994–1996)
Minor league titles
League titles (6)
  • 1996
  • 1998
  • 2004
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2015
Division titles (6)
  • 1996
  • 1998
  • 2004
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2015
Team data
NicknameWest Michigan Whitecaps (1994–present)
BallparkFifth Third Ballpark (1994–present)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Lew Chamberlin and Denny Baxter
ManagerBrayan Peña
General ManagerJim Jarecki

Franchise history

The Midwest League came to the Grand Rapids area in 1994 upon the arrival of the former Madison Muskies. The Whitecaps were brought to West Michigan by local businessmen Lew Chamberlin and Dennis Baxter. The Whitecaps were affiliated with the Oakland Athletics before they joined the Tigers' farm system in 1997.

Their home ballpark is Fifth Third Ballpark in Comstock Park. Before the 2002 season it was known as Old Kent Park; the name was changed when the park's title sponsor, Old Kent Bank, was purchased by Fifth Third Bank. Fifth Third also sponsors a ballpark in Dayton and one in Toledo, Ohio. The team's official mascots are Crash the River Rascal, Roxy the River Rascal and Franky the Swimming Pig.

The franchise's attendance record of 547,401 was set in 1996.

Several league and team records were set during the 2006 season. The team posted the second best record in franchise history, going 89–48, including going 23–6 in July. Michael Hollimon hit 3 home runs in one game. Cameron Maybin hit 2 grand slams in the season. Michael Hernandez became the first person ever in the history of the Midwest League to hit for the cycle twice. The Whitecaps went on to defeat the Kane County Cougars in four games to win their fourth Midwest League Championship.

In 2009, the team drew the attention of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine after a 4-pound, 4,800-calorie hamburger called the Fifth Third Burger was placed on the menu of the team's concession stand. It was so named in part for the ballpark sponsor and part for its 1.6666 (or 5/3) pounds of meat. The Committee requested that the team put a label on the burger indicating that it was a "dietary disaster".[2] To date, more than 100 fans, or about a half of the people who have attempted the challenge, have conquered the burger and earned a commemorative T-shirt. On July 15, 2009, Travel Channel's "Man v. Food" and its host Adam Richman came to Fifth Third Ballpark to attempt to conquer the burger in an episode of the popular show. The episode aired on September 30, 2009, wherein he successfully met the challenge. In 2012, The Whitecaps installed a new scoreboard and high resolution video display screen which was installed by TS Sports out of Dallas, Texas.

On January 3, 2014, a fire started in one of the suites. It spread and caused extensive damage, close to one half of the suites and 1st base concourse were destroyed.[3] Thanks to extensive work, the park was restored and up and running by opening day.[4]


Regular season

SeasonWLPct.
19947465.532
19956769.492
19967761.557MWL Champions
19979239.702
19988357.593MWL Champions
19996872.485
20008852.629
20016572.474
20028357.593
20036773.478
20046970.496MWL Champions
20057370.510
20068948.649MWL Champions
20078357.593MWL Champions
20087376.532
20098357.593
20106277.446
20117069.504
20127268.514
20136970.496
20148258.586
20157564.540MWL Champions
20167165.522
20179145.669
20186970.496

Postseason success

The Whitecaps have won the best-of-5 Midwest League championship six times in six opportunities. They defeated the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 1996, the Rockford Cubbies in 1998, the Kane County Cougars twice (2004 and 2006), the Beloit Snappers in 2007, and the Cedar Rapids Kernels in 2015. West Michigan is 55–32 all time in playoff games.

Oakland Athletics affiliation

YearRecordResultsOpponents
19940–2Lost in First RoundRockford (0–2)
19953–3Lost in Second RoundKane County (2–1), Michigan (1–2)
19967–2Won ChampionshipLansing (2–1), Rockford (2–0), Wisconsin (3–1)

Detroit Tigers affiliation

YearRecordResultsOpponents
19970–2Lost in First RoundFort Wayne (0–2)
19987–2Won ChampionshipMichigan (2–1), Clinton (2–0), Rockford (3–1)
20001–2Lost in First RoundDayton (1–2)
20023–2Lost in Second RoundDayton (2–0), Lansing (1–2)
20047–3Won ChampionshipLansing (2–1), South Bend (2–0), Kane County (3–2)
20052–2Lost in Second RoundFort Wayne (2–0), South Bend (0–2)
20067–2Won ChampionshipFort Wayne (2–1), Lansing (2–0), Kane County (3–1)
20077–2Won ChampionshipLansing (2–0), South Bend (2–0), Beloit (3–2)
20141–2Lost in First RoundFort Wayne (1–2)
20157–3Won ChampionshipFort Wayne (2–0), Lansing (2–1), Cedar Rapids (3–2)
20163–3Lost in Second RoundSouth Bend (2–1), Great Lakes (1–2)
20171-2Lost in First RoundDayton (1-2)
20182-2Lost in Second RoundGreat Lakes (2-0), Bowling Green (0-2)

Managers

Since 1994, the Whitecaps have had nine managers. In 2007, former Tigers' third baseman Tom Brookens became the fifth manager in the history of the Whitecaps.

Listed here are each manager and their won/loss record:

Detroit Tigers affiliation

Roster

West Michigan Whitecaps roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

  • 19 Gio Arriera
  • 26 Kory Behenna
  • 28 Michael Bienlien
  •  4 Yaya Chentouf
  • 22 Maddux Conger
  • -- Drew Crosby
  • 35 Sandel De La Cruz
  • -- Carlos Guzman
  • 12 Wilkel Hernandez
  • 31 Zack Hess
  • 17 Chance Kirby
  • 30 Robert Klinchock
  • 38 Carson Lance
  • 34 Angel Reyes
  •  8 Jesus Rodriguez
  • 10 Zac Shepherd
  • 39 Hugh Smith
  • 24 Jared Tobey
  • 29 Jose Vasquez
  •  6 Robbie Welhaf
  • 32 Adam Wolf

Catchers

  • 37 Cooper Johnson
  •  7 Sam McMillan

Infielders

  • 15 Corey Joyce
  •  9 Jack Kenley
  • 14 Andre Lipcius
  • 11 Zach Malis
  • 27 Wenceel Perez
  • -- Reynaldo Rivera ‡

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches


7-day injured list
* On Detroit Tigers 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated October 2, 2019
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB  Midwest League
Detroit Tigers minor league players

Former Whitecaps in the majors

Below is a list of West Michigan Whitecaps who have played in the major leagues.

Oakland Athletics affiliation (1994–1996)

Detroit Tigers affiliation (1997–present)

Broadcasting

In February 2019, the Whitecaps extended their broadcasting contract with Cumulus Media, but switched radio frequencies to air games on the newly-launched "The Ticket" for the 2019 season with radio simulcast on four stations: 106.1-FM and 1340-AM in Grand Rapids, and 99.1-FM and 1490-AM in Muskegon.[5] Select games are aired in Holland, Michigan, on WHTC on 1450-AM and 99.7-FM. Dan Hasty is the Voice of the Whitecaps and also serves as the Host of the Detroit Tigers' Road to Detroit podcast,[6] as well as serving as radio voice of Men's Basketball for the University of Detroit Mercy.[7]

See also

  • Category:West Michigan Whitecaps players

References

Notes

Sources

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.