NWL Baseball to Return to Southwest and Northern Michigan
Kalamazoo, Battle Creek and Traverse City to form the Michigan pod
Rochester, Minn. – The Traverse City Pit Spitters, Kalamazoo Growlers and the Battle Creek Bombers in cooperation with the Northwoods League, announced today that baseball will be played in Traverse City, Kalamazoo and Battle Creek this summer.
The league, “Michigan pod of the Northwoods League” for 2020, will consist of the North Division (Pit Spitters, Resorters, Dune Bears) and the South Division from the Kalamazoo area (Kalamazoo Growlers, Kalamazoo Mac Daddies, Battle Creek Bombers). The season concludes with a three-day playoff schedule on September 3rd, 4th and 5th to crown the champions of the Michigan pod of the Northwoods League.
“With the approval of the Northwoods League, we’ve created two new teams that will compete with the Pit Spitters this summer,” said Joe Chamberlin, Pit Spitters CEO. “All three teams promise some talented, collegiate-level players. You can bet we’ll bring baseball, fun, and quality entertainment that the region is starving for.”
The first of the new Traverse City teams for 2020 is the Great Lakes Resorters. This name is being used as a nod to the history of baseball in Traverse City. The Traverse City Resorters were a professional team in Traverse City from 1910 to 1915. The second new team will be the Northern Michigan Dune Bears.
The beginning of 57 total games at Turtle Creek Stadium will feature the league champion Pit Spitters taking on the Great Lakes Resorters on July 1. Pit Spitters championship rings, courtesy of 4Front Credit Union, will go to the first 250 fans on July 1 and July 2. Tickets are limited to 500 fans a game and will go fast.
As for the future of the two new teams, Graham believes fans could see them return. “I’d be sure to purchase some of the merchandise,” Graham smiled. “It not only has significant historic value, but you might get to wear it once or twice next summer, too. You never know.
The Pit Spitters submitted detailed readiness plans to the league that include employee protocols, temperature screenings, new sanitation standards and more. The comprehensive readiness plan can be viewed on the club’s website. The Pit Spitters worked closely with the Grand Traverse County Health Dept, Grand Traverse Sheriff and Blair Township to develop the plans.
The Kalamazoo Growlers and Battle Creek Bombers will be joined this season by a second Kalamazoo-based team, The Kalamazoo Mac Daddies will also use Homer Stryker Field as their home field. The Mac Daddies, originally planned to be a Growlers’ promotional re-brand, are the first and only sports team to be named after America’s favorite side dish, macaroni and cheese.
There will be a 60-game schedule (40 home games in Kalamazoo, 20 in Battle Creek) with the same rules and regulations as normal NWL play. Players and coaches will have increased safety measures in and out of the stadium including the elimination of travel outside of the state and area.
Homer Stryker Field and C.O. Brown Stadium will open with reduced capacities and new policies to maintain a safe environment for fans, players and staff. These policies can be found, in detail, on the Kalamazoo Growlers’ and Battle Creek Bombers’ websites.
The first game of the season for the Growlers is scheduled for Wednesday, July 1st at 6:35pm at Homer Stryker Field. Bombers Opening Day is slated for July 2nd at 6:35 at C.O. Brown Stadium.
“We’re excited to get the baseball season started in a safe and fun environment,” said Brian Colopy, Managing Member for the Growlers and Bombers. “All three teams will be loaded with incredibly talented local college players who are eager to play ball and our front office is prepared to put on a fantastic experience for everyone that comes through our gates”
“Even the names of the assorted teams that will be playing in Michigan during this unique season of Northwoods League baseball tell you the teams are ready to responsibly bring a brand of fun to the state that has been sorely missed this year,” said Northwoods League President and Commissioner Gary Hoover. “Striking a balance between their serious efforts to provide safe environments for fans, players and personnel, while they simultaneously convey some much-needed whimsy describes exactly what fans should expect to experience from these teams when they come to the Michigan ballparks this summer.”
The Northwoods League offers a one-of-a-kind feature in Summer Collegiate Baseball by providing a 4-camera HD video operation in all of its ballparks to capture all the on-field action. Fans everywhere wishing to get a head start on exciting Northwoods League action can take advantage of a free 3-day trial of the video streaming service June 15-17 that will show North Dakota “pod” games played in the Bismarck Larks’ “nest” – Bismarck Municipal Ballpark. Games are viewable on PC or on mobile devices, tablets, and select smart TV services.
The Eau Claire Express are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the proven leader in the development of elite college baseball players. Having completed its’ 26th season, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 230 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time All-Star and 2016 Roberto Clemente Award winner Curtis Granderson, three-time Cy Young Award winner and World Series Champion Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and World Series Champion Chris Sale (BOS). As well as 2019 Rookie of the Year and Home Run Derby Champion Pete Alonso (NYM) and MLB All-Star Jordan Zimmermann (DET). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League website. All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.eauclaireexpress.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Express as your favorite team.