The summer-collegiate Northwoods League is launching a three-site Michigan pod for play, with six teams set to compete in Traverse City, Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.
Three of the teams are existing Northwoods League teams: the Traverse City Pit Spitters, the Kalamazoo Growlers and Battle Creek Bombers. Three new teams will be on the docket: the Kalamazoo Mac Daddies (upgraded from a weekend promotion to a full team), the Great Lakes Resorters (playing out of Traverse City, in a nod to the area’s resort history and the Traverse City Resorters, a professional team in Traverse City from 1910 to 1915) and the Northern Michigan Dune Bears (playing out of Traverse City).
The pod 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, in a press statement. “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 beginning of 57 total games at Traverse City’s Turtle Creek Stadium will feature the league champion Pit Spitters taking on the Great Lakes Resorters on July 1. Tickets are limited to 500 fans per game.
The Kalamazoo Growlers and Battle Creek Bombers will be joined this season by a second Kalamazoo-based team, the Kalamazoo Mac Daddies, based out of Homer Stryker Field. 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 ballpark, including the elimination of travel outside of the state and area.
The first game of the season for the Growlers is scheduled for Wednesday, July 1 at 6:35 p.m. at Homer Stryker Field. Bombers Opening Day is slated for July 2 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 Michigan pod is the third regional-play arrangement for 2020’s Northwoods League season. Tonight is the debut of a three-team Bismarck (ND) pod, while a six-team Wisconsin/Illinois pod (Fond du Lac Dock Spiders, Green Bay Booyah, La Crosse Loggers, Rockford Rivets, Wisconsin Rapids Rafters and Wisconsin Woodchucks) launches play on July 1.
The Texas Collegiate League, Northwoods League, Coastal Plain League, Expedition League, Florida Collegiate Summer League and Midwest Collegiate League have announced play this season. The West Coast League, Prospect League, Western Canadian Baseball League, MINK League, Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League, Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League, New York Collegiate Baseball League, Ohio Valley League, New England Collegiate Baseball League, Cape Cod League and the Valley Baseball League have canceled the 2020 season. The Futures Collegiate Baseball League has announced delays to the 2020 summer-collegiate season.
With daily news about the spread of the coronavirus impacting the sports-business and facilities industries, it’s more important than ever to stay up with the latest news in the venues industry. That’s why we launched a Venues Digest newsletter focusing on coronavirus information across the ballparks, arenas, stadiums, theater and performing-arts worlds. For now it will appear daily, and for now it will be free of charge to industry professionals. Sign up here.
RELATED STORIES: TX, OK MiLB teams to host summer-collegiate play at unused ballparks; Six Northwoods League teams to launch play July 1; Coastal Plain League announces July 1 season opener for three teams; West Coast League cancels 2020 season; Expedition League to launch 2020 season June 26 with six teams; More summer-collegiate leagues to launch play; Fate of 2020 MLB season again up in the air; Players reject MLB financial plan for 2020 season resumption; Northwoods League to launch regional play, conforming with local guidelines; Northwoods League teams eye June 15 launch; California, New York govs clear way for sports in empty ballparks in June; Another alternative ballpark use during a pandemic: Fore!; Teams find alternative uses for ballparks as entertainment venues; Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League cancels 2020 season; Katz: Don’t assume Goldeyes baseball this summer; NYCBL cancels 2020 season; MINK League and Florida League update plans; Canceled: 2020 New England Collegiate Baseball League season; Expedition League postpones late-May season opening; MiLB teams warn of dire consequences due to state restrictions; Canceled: Little League World Series, regional championships; WCBL postpones 2020 season opener; Canceled: Midnight Sun Baseball Game; FCBL, TCL, NYCBL delay season start; Cape Cod League cancels 2020 season; American Association delays, scales back 2020 season; Fans prioritize safety when considering return to baseball: study; When baseball returns, will fans return as well?