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New for 2012: Lakeshore Chinooks

Northwoods LeagueA Mequon (Wis.) team co-owned by former Milwaukee Brewers greats Robin Yount and Bob Uecker, the Lakeshore Chinooks, will be entering the summer-collegiate Northwoods League in 2012.

The team will play at Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon, located north of Milwaukee. The team will be owned by Kapco Inc. of Grafton; Kapco is also building a new ballpark on land provided by the university, with the school’s baseball team slated to play at the field as well. Yount will be on board as a minority investor. There’s some history there: his nephew, Austin Yount, played for the St. Cloud River Bats in 2005.

One issue: the addition of a new team alters the league lineup for 2012. If the league were to go down a team, the logical team to go would be the Brainerd Area Lakes Lunkers; owner Joel Sutherland has put in a valiant effort to keep baseball alive at Mills Field, but the market has not responded favorably. Another possibility: the Battle Creek Bombers (which is owned by the league) has no lease at C.O. Brown Stadium for 2012 and beyond, and city officials there reportedly are looking at a fairly substantial rent increase. While there are prospects for other Northwoods League teams in Michigan in coming years — both Kalamazoo and St. Joseph have been mentioned as potential homes — it’s hard to see a continued situation where Battle Creek is the lone team outside the league’s Minnesota/Wisconsin/Iowa/Ontario footprint.


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