Dow Diamond has inherited a new little friend named Glow In The Dark Turtle or GITDT (pronounced ‘git’) for short.
The flowery turtle is a part of Midland’s Summer Sculpture Series entitled ‘Totally Turtles 2010′.
Gitdt was sculped by Midland-native Patti Richardson Hill, who loved learning about art at Bullock Creek High School.
Though he lives at the park, Gitdt doesn’t get to watch any Loons games, but instead spends his time posing for passers-by.
When the summer finally concludes, Gitdt will be auctioned off at Midland’s Gala Public Auction, which is scheduled to take place on Thursday, September 23 at the H Hotel downtown.
According to his name, Gitdt glows during the night time. So while you’re making your nightly stroll downtown, don’t forget to stop by Dow Diamond to witness the turtle’s more phosphorescent properties.
While this isn’t the Loons first run-in with a turtle, we are pleased to have little Gitdt acting as Dow Diamond’s 24/7 gatekeeper.
Glow in the Dark Turtle is just 1 of 3 turtles designed by Hill, and 1 of 18 in the series. To learn more about the Scuplture Series just walk down Main Street, where a majority of the turtles reside, or pick up one of these pamplets (right) floating around the city.
Overshadowed by the Loons playoff berth, the Midwest League All-Star break, and Dow Diamond’s quest for 1 million fans, was the Carlos Santana story.
Former 2007 Loons catcher, Carlos Santana, became the third former-Loon to reach the major leagues. Santana made his major league debut with the Cleveland Indians on June 11 and then belted his first home run the next day off J.D Martin of the Nationals.
Very soon, Santana will have his photo placed in the hallway next to the Loons clubhouse, where he will join Clayton Kershaw and Victor Garate.
Through 15 games with the Tribe, Santana boasts a .333 average (16×48) with seven doubles, four homers and 14 RBI.
From the Nest would like to congratulate Sue Merry from Sanford, MI, who became the Great Lakes Loons one millionth fan on Friday, June 25.
For her accomplishment, Merry was presented with a diamond valued at $5,000 courtesy of the Dow Chemical Company as well as a commenmorative Loons jersey. Sue threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Loons relief pitcher Steve Smith.
After the pregame ceremonies, it was time for Merry to meet the press. She was taken up to the press box at Dow Diamond to field any questions the media had. Also present at the press conference was Merry’s husband Michael, Loons President/General Manager Paul Barbeau and MBF President/Founder Bill Stavropoulos.
Happy 19th Wedding Anniversary to Michael and Sue!!!
Earlier this week Fort Wayne hosted the 2010 Midwest League All-Star Game and Home Run Derby. Above is a photo collage of the field on Day One, prepped for the Little League Derby that took place first.
Loons slugger Jerry Sands hit two home runs in the Derby, but needed four to qualify for the second round. Wisconsin’s Khris Davis was crowned the Derby Champion after hitting 25 over three rounds.
A collection of little leaguers were denied the chance at fielding a pop-fly when Sands lifted this pitch to the grass berm in left-center. Sands other home run was drilled onto the streets outside of the TinCaps Parkview Field.
Loons shortstop Christian Lara fields groundballs during batting practice on Tuesday before the big game. Lara, batting first for the Eastern Division, went 2-for-3 with two runs.
What would a Dodgers blog be without a picture of Manatee Ramirez of the ZOOperstars. On the right, Lara shows off his trophy from his win in the infield skills competition.
The five Loons not in the starting lineup stand in the base path during the pregame ceremonies. From left to right: Luis Vasquez, Will Savage, Allen Webster, Angelo Songco and Rafael Ynoa.
After the game, Sands was named the MiLB.com Top Star MVP for his two-run jack in the first inning, redeeming his low HR output in the Derby the day before.
And at the very end of the night, after the Eastern All-Stars won 6-2, the TinCaps promotion team dumped several plush baseballs outside of the dugouts, which the players swarmed to. Here, Ynoa winds up for a toss into the crowd of 6,026 in attendance.
The champagne, the goggles, the soaked jerseys…we’ve all seen it on TV. But it’s usually the Major League clubs that we watch. So what about in the minors? Are things the same? What really goes on in the clubhouse after a win? Well, here’s what happened in the Loons clubhouse following Wednesday night’s 4-3 win over the South Bend Silver Hawks.
To get the full account we’ll need to start where the celebration did, which was on the field after the newest Loon, outfielder Stetson Banks, caught the final out to seal the deal and give the Loons their first-ever postseason berth prior to the All-Star Game. The players rushed the mound, throwing hats, gloves and sunglasses along the way, as if they were graduation caps.
Bound All-Star Luis Vasquez, No. 40 seen jumping for joy, was on the mound to close it out for the Loons Wednesday night and tossed a hitless ninth inning, three up three down, to allow the celebration to commence as soon as possible. He earned his 13th save of the year and is tied for second league-wide.
Seeing how the win was a come-from-behind effort, Jerry Sands helped continue the Loons tradition and gave Manager Juan Bustabad a shaving cream towel to the face. A well-deserved gesture for the skipper that has his men at 41-24 with four games to go.
The team’s harassment of Busty continued as pitchers Allen Webster and Josh Wall surprise him from behind as he gave his playoff-clinching speech to the 3,435 in attendance at Dow Diamond.
And with the blink of an eye, the diamond was left all alone, with only dirty belongings from Loons players remaining, traded in without shame for the champagne that beckoned from the clubhouse.
That’s when the long-time baseball tradition took place. All of the players, coaches and trainers got involved in distributing the iced beverages, with the single goal of making sure that no one in the room was left without that cold and sticky feeling.
Bustabad managed to quiet down the group, only briefly, in order to give another speech to his guys. He mainly reminded them that the prize wasn’t the berth, but the eventual championship, and getting that ring at the end of the year. Cheers were coaxed, followed by more dousing.
Like any good party, when all of the liquids were depleted, a dance party broke out. Here shortstop Christian Lara encourages Jerry Sands to keep up the jig.
The final action of the night had Bustabad fulfilling his promise to his players. He told them earlier in the season that he would let them shave his trademark mustache when they clinched a playoff spot. Rubby de la Rosa did the honors, while Busty’s kid joined in on the mohawk craze at the hands of third baseman Brian Ruggiano.
The Loons will have to regroup on Thursday, as they close out the series with South Bend, before heading to Dayton for their last series of the first-half.
Last Monday, June 7, the Great Lakes Loons used their off-day to hit the links at the beautiful Bucks Run Golf Club with a number of friends from the Great Lakes Bay Region for the second annual ’Swing with the Loons’. The event is one of the Michigan Baseball Foundation’s major fundraisers and pairs each participating group with one Loons player for 18-holes of golf.
The following is a photo recap of the event:
Loons closer Luis Vasquez approaches this steep shot, getting special instructions from Larry Barco, one of his teammates in the MidMichigan Health group.
After a few swings and misses, Vasquez surrenders his club to the group, while laughing at his lack of skill. It’s ok though, because he’s got 11 saves and a 1.54 ERA.
Here, catcher Gorman Erickson and the Fabiano group follow one of their teammates tee-shots at one of the courses four par threes, all of which had a special hole-in-one prize waiting to be claimed.
On the Hole Four tee-box, Bob Rathbun soft tosses a golf ball to Loons slugger Jerry Sands who takes a swing under the beautiful skies. The ball landed in the water, but spirits remained high for the Chemical Bank team, who eventually finished second overall.
At the end of the day, it was pitcher Jordan Roberts and the Bierlein team who finished the day with the lowest score.
In second place was Jerry Sands and the Chemical Bank Team.
The third place finishers were the Fisher Companies Team, accompanied by Loons DH/1B Jaime Ortiz.
Thanks again to everyone involved in the event, it was a tremendous success!
On Sunday, June 6, the Loons concluded their longest homestand of the season. A 10-game stretch filled with entertainers, fireworks, goats, bikes, a little rain, and a Loons record of 6-3 against their opponents. Here is a photo summary of the past week-and-a-half’s fun at Dow Diamond.
Game One: Several fans were in attendance for Friday night’s Fireworks Loontacular, powered by Dow Corning. Here, Loons fans hold up K-cards after each strikeout, as part of Deloitte’s K’s for Kids Program that benefits five local organizations by donating $5 every time a Loons pitcher throws a strikeout this season.
Game Four: Eight randomly selected families from the crowd participate in round one of the Picnic Olympics. Though everyone at the park had money on the Johnson family, the brackets was busted due to rain showers.
Game Five: After a long series of High School Spirit Nights, the judges gave Midland High School the Top Prize. There to accept the award from Lou E. was Principal Mike Frazee and Student Council Secretary Peter Shahin. It was also Faith Night at the park and $1 Family Feast Night, presented by Chemical Bank.
Game Seven: The first bobblehead night of the year had Loons staffers giving away miniature Cecil Fielders. June 4 was the first of a six-part Tigers Legends Series presented by MidMichigan Health. Up next is the Mickey Lolich appearance on June 17.
It started at the beginning of the Loons 10-game homestand on May 28, when Brian Cavazos-Galvez busted out the Fro-Hawk. Then Galvez took the scissors to outfielder Blake Smith’s hair to create his Faux-Hawk. Now one week later, almost half of the Great Lakes Loons wear the bold hair-style and, though it didn’t start that way, has become a symbol of their push for a mid-season playoff berth.
Blake Smith filled-in From the Nest about the goings-on in the clubhouse. He claimed that catcher Gorman Erickson, donning a subtle faux-hawk of his own, is the main hair stylist for the team and made a collective decision with Galvez to go with the Fro-Hawk.
“It started off as a little fun,” he said. “But now I think it’s turned into something, you know, guys are starting to hit.”
While Smith sees a growth in on-field production, a few Loons remain reluctant.
“There’s still a little resistance, a few people aren’t buying into it all the way, but hopefully the other mo-hawkers can convince them.”
“JT [Wise] was a little hard to get,” Smith explained. “Because he had that big mop of hair, but yea, we got it on him, and you know I think that’ll help change the others’ thoughts.”
For now, pitcher Andy Suiter and infielder Austin Yount stand tall with locks of flowing hair, but may soon look like their surrounding teammates J.T. Wise and Steve Smith.
To this point the following players have made the ‘Move to Mo’: Brian Cavazos-Galvez, Blake Smith, Gorman Erickson, Rafael Ynoa, J.T. Wise, Luis Vasquez, Jerry Sands, Steve Smith, Andy Suiter and Brett Wallach.
Could your bobblehead collection use a new face? If so, then be sure to be at Dow Diamond on Thursday June 3, for your very own Cecil Fielder bobblehead, pictured here.
Cecil Grant Fielder
Height: 6’3″ Weight: 230 lb
Bats: Right Throws: Right
Born: September 21, 1963
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA
College: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Fielder was originally selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 4th round of the 1982 draft and became a member of the Detroit Tigers in 1990, making an immediate impact by totaling a career-high 51 home runs in his first season for a .277 batting average.
In his seven years with the Tigers, Fielder totaled 947 hits, 141 doubles, 245 home runs and 758 RBI for a batting average of .258 over 982 games.
Among the Tigers all-time roster, Fielder ranks 5th in home runs with 245, 7th in slugging percentage with .478, and is tied for the second-most home runs in a single season with 51. The 1B/DH represented the Tigers three times as an American League All-Star. Fielder holds the Tigers all-time record for most home runs in the month of April, hitting 10 in 1996.
Be one of the first 1,000 fans to enter Dow Diamond on June 3 to receive your Cecil Fielder bobblehead. Thursday’s bobblehead night is part one of the six-part 2010 Tigers Legend Series and is brought to you by our friends at MidMichigan Health.