Great Lakes Loons

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Great Lakes Loons
Founded in 1982
Springfield, Illinois
Based in Midland since 2007
100px 100px
Team logo Cap insignia
Current A
Minor league affiliations
League Midwest League
Division Eastern Division
Major league affiliations
Current Los Angeles Dodgers (2007–present)
Minor league titles
League titles (1) 2000
Team data
Ballpark Dow Diamond (2007–present)
Previous parks
Michigan Baseball Foundation
Manager Gil Velazquez
General Manager Paul Barbeau

The Great Lakes Loons, based in Midland, Michigan, is a Low Class A minor league baseball team, affiliated with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The team plays in the Midwest League and their home park is Dow Diamond, which opened in April 2007.


The Midwest League came to Battle Creek, in 1995 after the franchise formerly known as the Madison Hatters moved. The team was first known as the Battle Creek Golden Kazoos. Due to a trademark dispute and general fan dissatisfaction with the name (which is a nickname for the nearby city of Kalamazoo), the name was changed to the Michigan Battle Cats on March 9, 1995.

The field at C. O. Brown Stadium before a Southwest Michigan Devil Rays game

The team was affiliated with the Boston Red Sox (1995–98) and Houston Astros (1999–2002). The team changed its name to the Battle Creek Yankees after becoming an affiliate of the New York Yankees in 2003. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays took over affiliation of the team in September 2004, changing the team name to Southwest Michigan Devil Rays. In September 2006, the team announced its affiliation with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In January 2006, it was confirmed that the Devil Rays would be sold to the non-profit Michigan Baseball Foundation and relocated to Midland, Michigan. The team has been renamed the Great Lakes Loons. The main reason the team relocated was because of the lack of interest from the Battle Creek community. Reduced ticket prices (even a night when fans were actually offered a dollar to come to that night's game) also failed to pique the interest of local residents.

Naming rights for the Loons' stadium were purchased by Dow Chemical, which is headquartered in Midland. The company named the stadium "Dow Diamond." The name is a play on the company's logo, a red diamond.

In November 2006, The Loons named former Detroit Tiger Lance Parrish as the team's first manager since the move to Michigan's Tri-City Area. The first home game was played on April 13, 2007 which resulted in a loss to the Lansing Lugnuts.

The Loons hosted the 2008 Midwest League All-Star Game, in just their second season.

On August 10, 2013, the Loons hosted their biggest crowd ever at 6,189 people.[1]


Lou E. Loon is the team mascot and Ambassador of Fun for the team. He's an energetic bird who loves to dance at home games and make public appearances. The kids' play area at the diamond is named Lou E.'s Lookout in his honor. He often leads fans in his signature cheer, the "Funky Feather", which won "Best In-Game Promotion of the Year" in 2009 for Minor League Baseball.

"Rall E. Camel" was introduced as the team's second mascot in April 2012. He is an honorary deputy ambassador of mischief and is an ostensibly goofy addition to the staff of the Great Lakes Loons.


Notable alumni of the Midwest League, Battle Creek franchise include Rafael Betancourt, Justin Duchscherer, Shea Hillenbrand, Matt Kinney, Jason Lane, Aaron Miles, Melky Cabrera, Roy Oswalt, Carl Pavano, Tim Redding, Chris Reitsma, and Johan Santana. Twenty-two former Loons have made it to the major leagues. Left handed pitcher Clayton Kershaw debuted in 2008 and is now in the Dodgers' starting rotation. Víctor Gárate, another southpaw who is a now a reliever in the Washington Nationals organization made it a year later in 2009. 2010 saw a trio of past Great Lakes players make it to the show. Cleveland Indians Catcher Carlos Santana, Orioles Third Baseman Josh Bell, and Pitcher Kenley Jansen of Los Angeles all spent time in the big leagues.

Former Loons in MLB

There are 19 Loons to play at least one game in the major leagues. They are: Josh Bell, Nathan Eovaldi, Dee Gordon, Javy Guerra, Kenley Jansen, Clayton Kershaw, Josh Lindblom, Rubby De La Rosa, Jerry Sands, Carlos Santana, Steven Rodriguez, Shawn Tolleson, Josh Wall, José Dominguez, Steven Johnson, Andrew Lambo, Matt Magill, Allen Webster, and Scott Van Slyke.

Clayton Kershaw

Kershaw was born March 19, 1988, in Dallas, Texas. He did not attend college and was drafted 7th overall in the 2006 MLB draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is 6'3", 215 lbs. and bats and throws left-handedly. His MLB debut came on May 25, 2008 against the Cardinals, pitching 6 innings, allowing two earned runs on 5 hits, while fanning 7. He has pitched in 113 games in the majors, starting all but 2, has had 6 complete games, 3 shutouts, and has thrown 681.2 innings. He has allowed 238 runs, 14 unearned, on 540 hits, 44 being home runs. He has fanned 709 batters, almost three times his 249 bases on balls. He is 43-28. On average, he throws 101 pitches per start, has a WHIP ((walks+hits)/innings pitched) of 1.19, and an ERA of 2.96, allowing a batting average of .218. This season, he became the fourth pitcher in the divisional era (since 1969) to have consecutive seasons of 200 strikeouts before the age of 24, behind only Dwight Gooden, Frank Tanana, and Bert Blyleven. He is first in the National League in wins, strikeouts, and innings pitched, and second in ERA, WHIP, win percentage, and complete games, this season.

Josh Lindblom

Lindblom was born June 15, 1987, in Lafayette, Indiana. He went to college at Purdue and was drafted 61st overall in the 2008 MLB draft. He is 6'4", 239 lbs. and bats and throws right-handed. His MLB debut was on June 1, 2011, against the Colorado Rockies. He threw one inning, allowing no earned runs on two hits. He has pitched in 17 games, zero starts, complete games, or shutouts, and 20.1 innings. He has allowed 5 runs, all are earned, on 13 hits, with zero home runs allowed. He has a 2:1 ratio of strikeouts to bases on balls, being 14 to 7. He is 1-0, with zero saves, one hold, and one blown save. He has a WHIP of 0.98 and an ERA of 2.21.

Dee Gordon

Current roster

Great Lakes Loons roster
Players Coaches/Other


  • 33 Imani Abdullah
  •  7 Isaac Anderson 10px
  • 41 Brian Bass
  • 11 Michael Boyle
  • 36 Adam Bray
  • 30 Kevin Brown
  • 51 Marcus Crescentini
  • 22 Victor Gonzalez
  •  8 Garrett Harrison
  • 44 Wes Helsabeck 10px
  • 23 Alexander Hermeling
  • 52 Nolan Long
  • 45 Gavin Pittore
  • 16 Chris Powell
  • -- Bernardo Reyes 10px
  • 19 Dennis Santana
  • -- Derrick Sylvester 10px
  • -- J. D. Underwood ‡
  • 43 Ivan Vieitez 10px


  • 37 Jake Henson 10px
  • 35 Garrett Hope
  •  1 Brant Whiting


  •  3 Brendon Davis
  • 10 Nick Dean
  •  6 Omar Estevez
  •  5 Cristian Gomez
  • 40 Matt Jones
  • 28 Edwin Rios


  • 24 Deivy Castillo
  • 14 Gage Green
  •  9 Logan Landon
  • 15 Ariel Sandoval



10px 7-day disabled list
* On Los Angeles Dodgers 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated May 31, 2016
More MiLB rosters
Los Angeles Dodgers minor league players

Year-by-year record

  • Michigan Battle Cats (1995–2002)
  • Battle Creek Yankees (2003–2004)
  • Southwest Michigan Devil Rays (2005–2006)
  • Great Lakes Loons (2007 – present)
Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1995 75–62 4th DeMarlo Hale Lost League Finals
1996 60–78 11th Tom Barrett
1997 70–67 4th Billy Gardner, Jr. Lost in 1st round
1998 79–61 2nd (t) Billy Gardner, Jr. Lost in 1st round
1999 76–62 3rd Al Pedrique Lost in 1st round
2000 82–56 2nd Al Pedrique League Champs
2001 82–55 3rd John Massarelli Lost in 1st round
2002 79–61 4th John Massarelli Lost in 1st round
2003 73–64 3rd Mitch Seoane Lost in 2nd round
2004 71–68 9th Mitch Seoane (13–18) / Bill Mosiello (58–50)
2005 72–67 4th (t) Joe Szekely Lost in 1st round
2006 62–77 12th Skeeter Barnes
2007 57–82 12th Lance Parrish
2008 54–85 Last Juan Bustabad
2009 81–59 2nd (t) Juan Bustabad Lost in 2nd round
2010 90–49 1st Juan Bustabad Lost in 2nd round
2011 72-67 4th John Shoemaker
2012 67-73 6th John Shoemaker
2013 67-72 5th Razor Shines


See also

  • WLUN (sports radio station owned by the Loons)


External links