Another minor league update

This one comes from Chris Haydock, our assistant director of player development (and a fellow Indiana University graduate, I might add).

Greetings from Detroit! Just checked into an airport hotel on my way back to Los Angeles after a terrific trip to our new affiliate in Midland, MI (the Great Lakes Loons).

I was very fortunate to have our very own Hall of Fame Manager, Tommy Lasorda along on the trip.  Tommy and I flew in to help the Loons christen their brand new ballpark (The Dow Diamond). The ballpark itself cost close to $33 million dollars, and was paid for and built entirely by the various foundations of the Dow Corporation (home base is Midland, MI). The team has been set up as a non-profit entity, with all proceeds going directly back to the community.

The entire community in central Michigan is thrilled to have minor league baseball come to town. The enthusiasm and support on Opening Night reminded me of a College Football Saturday. All of the local stores had “Go Loons” signs in their windows, local churches had messages of support on their billboards, and every citizen seemed to have either a Loons sweatshirt, cap or pin on. The City closed down Main St. on Friday afternoon (Opening Day), and held a festival with live bands and foods to commemorate the event.

Tommy again showed why he’s baseball’s greatest ambassador, taking hundreds of pictures and signing autographs for each and every fan that asked him. In addition to throwing out the First Pitch with representatives of Dow, Tommy addressed the packed ballpark and received a thunderous ovation when he referred to mid-Michigan as “the heartbeat of America”.

Although we did not come through with a win (losing 6-2 to the Lansing Lugnuts), our players played hard and showed flashes of why we think this is going to be a special club. Team Manager (and local hero) Lance Parrish and his staff have already done a great job preparing our young players for the upcoming season. For many of them, this will be their first full season (140 game schedule) experience. The season will be a grind, but is just another necessary step in their development as Major League players.

Looking forward to getting back to L.A. tomorrow, but wanted to send our best wishes to all of our great Dodger fans across the country!

8 Comments

There’s something very special about watching the kids play – win or lose. The dynamics and attitudes are different. I remember seeing the Area 51s in the baking heat of a dry summer night. I saw Kemp getting back into the swing of things, I saw Loney knocking the ball around like there was no tomorrow (and pitching a minor hissy fit at first base coach Steve Yeager because he had only hit a base hit).

I’ve never been to Vero and am looking forward to the new Glendale facility – only an 8 hour drive away!

I see Manny Mota is doing some coaching for some highschoolers around SoCal. Manny’s one of my all time favorites. Right after I got out of the service, I saw Manny and Maury Wills (another one) team up to beat the Big Red Machine late in the game, and who can forget those big pinch hits in the 70′s. I know Josh is a busy fellow, so maybe Manny can also do a guest spot on the blog???????

Looks like some of our struggling Dodgers are showing signs of breaking out of their slumps. No doubt there is some wishful thinking involved on my part, but we could be on the verge of something fun.

mitleid good points, One thing I always get a kick out of is the names of some of the minor league teams. Loons Vs Lugnuts. classic.

Great to hear about our up and coming players.Josh, Can you tell us anything about the MRI results on Schmitty?

i made my annual trek from provo, utah to dodger stadium last saturday night (the night we lost to san diego, unfortunately), but it was still a great time. parking was definitely improved–much more efficient, organized, and streamlined. the concession stands seemed shorter, too. despite the loss it was a great time. nothing (and i mean nothing) beats a night a dodger stadium. here’s hoping i can make it down there again before the year’s over!!

by the way, we’ve got the best record in baseball. :)

Why are the hours in between Dodger games so boring?

26 hours ’til I see them at Coors (but who’s counting?)…I hope I don’t get too bored before then.

Glad to have you carrying the torch for us up at Coors Field puppyhead01!

GO DODGERS!

I’ll be there in my old Gagne t-shirt (my new Martin shirt hasn’t arrived yet) – even if it’s as cold as they say it should be :)

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