2013 was quite a year for the Lakeshore Chinooks. The organization was successful on and off the field with the help of our fans, sponsors, host families, players and coaches, staff, and the community. We would like to thank everybody who sent us their most memorable moment from the 2013 season. Let’s now take a look at the top moments of 2013:
The Chinooks Honor Bruce Froemming
On June 19th, the Lakeshore Chinooks honored the legendary MLB umpire and Milwaukee native, Bruce Froemming. The day consisted of a video tribute to Bruce, a memorable pre-game speech and first pitch by the man himself, and most importantly, a Bruce Froemming bobblehead giveaway!
“Rudy” Visits Kapco Park
While filming a new movie in Milwaukee, actors Sean Astin (star of the films Rudy and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) and Chris Mulkey (Friday Night Lights, Captain Phillips) dropped by Kapco Park to take in a Chinooks game. The two participated in the Chinooks pre-game warm ups, sang God Bless America, threw out the first pitch, and spent some time meeting Chinooks fans.
Five Chinooks Make All-Star Team
Lakeshore was well represented at this year’s All-Star Game in Eau Claire with five players making the South Division roster. Ryan Krill, Sawyer Polen, Mike Hollenbeck, Tyler Thicke, and Kyle Bouman all got the chance to showcase their talent during the annual event.
Home Opener Starts Off With A Bang
The Chinooks wasted no time putting runs on the board during their home opener on May 30th. Lakeshore’s first two batters of the night, Mikole Pierce and Sawyer Polen, each went deep with home runs in front of the Chinooks opening day crowd.
Fans Pack Kapco Park
On July 13th, 2,295 Chinooks fans made their way out to Kapco Park. The attendance would go on to be Lakeshore’s third largest crowd in team history. Fans were joined by members of the 501st Wisconsin Garrison for the 2nd annual Star Wars Day!
Top 10 Moments of 2013
10. Valach’s Opening Day Walk-Off
Opening day ended in dramatic fashion at Kapco Park on May 30th. In the bottom of the 10th inning, Chinooks 3B Brant Valach launched a two run homer giving Lakeshore the walk-off win against the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters.
9. Longest Game in Northwoods League History
Starting on June 22, the Chinooks and the Madison Mallards made Northwoods League History after playing a marathon 21 inning game that lasted over 5 ½ hours. The game was postponed after 16 innings due to city ordinance in which the stadium lights had to be turned off. The game continued three weeks later on July 12, in which Madison came out victorious.
8. Draft Day 2013
13 Chinooks players, past and present, punched their ticket to the next level as they were selected in the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft. You can read about the Chinooks draft results here.
7. Back to Back Playoff Home Runs
During the Chinooks first ever playoff game, Chinooks outfielder Mike Papi crushed a home run followed up by a home run by 1B Aaron Machbitz. Lakeshore would go on to win the contest 15-0.
6. Sawyer “Iron Man” Polen
The grind of a Northwoods League season can be grueling, but obviously not for Chinooks SS Sawyer Polen. Polen started every Chinooks game during the 2013 season including all 70 regular season games, three playoff games, and even the Northwoods League All-Star Game.
5. Bouman Throws 8 Innings of No Hit Baseball
All-Star pitcher Kyle Bouman put on quite a show during the May 31st matchup against Green Bay. Bouman went 8 innings, allowing no hits and striking out 6 Bullfrogs. His effort is the Chinooks’ most dominant pitching performance to date.
4. Krill’s Walk-Off Home Run
On July 15th, the Chinooks headed to the bottom of the 9th inning trailing the Woodchucks after having just surrendered the lead. With one man on, All-Star Ryan Krill launched the first pitch he saw over the right field fence giving Lakeshore a walk-off victory.
3. Commissioner Selig’s First Pitch
Major League Baseball’s highest ranking official, Commissioner Bud Selig, made a special appearance at Kapco Park on opening day. The former Milwaukee Brewers owner was presented a custom Chinooks jersey and threw out the ceremonial first pitch to his former franchise player and Chinooks minority owner, Robin Yount.
2. Chinooks First Playoff Game and Win
After clinching a playoff spot less than 24 hours earlier, the Chinooks played in their first playoff game in team history. In front of a crowd of 1,500 Chinooks die-hards, Lakeshore put on an offensive clinic and took Game 1 from the Madison Mallards 15-0. It marked the first playoff win in team history.
1. Chinooks Clinch 2nd Half Title & Playoff Berth
Everything came down to the final game of the regular season in Madison. The Chinooks had a record setting offensive day by scoring a franchise high 17 runs to go on and beat the Mallards, who they would meet in the next day in the first round of the playoffs. With the win, Lakeshore clinched the 2nd half of the south division and their first ever playoff berth.