Could your bobblehead collection use a new face? If so, then be sure to be at Dow Diamond on Thursday September 2nd, for your very own Norm Cash bobblehead, pictured here.
Norman Dalton Cash
Height: 6’0″ Weight: 185 lb
Bats: Left Throws: Left
Born: November 10, 1934
Birthplace: Justiceburg, TX
College: Sul Ross State University
Norm Cash originally signed with the Chicago White Sox as an amateur free agent in 1955. By 1959, Cash had worked his way up through the minor leagues and had played in 71 games for the White Sox. Just before his third major league season, Cash was traded from the Cleveland Indians to the Tigers for infielder Steve Demeter. The move to get Cash would prove to be a good one, as the hard-hitting lefty spent the next 15 years of his career manning firstbase for the Tigers.
Cash had his best season in 1961, finishing with a .361 batting average, .487 on-base percentage, .662 slugging percentage, and 41 home runs (the most ever in a single-season by a Tigers lefty). Cash played 1,912 games at first base and currently holds the Tigers all-time high, nearly 900 games ahead of the next closest.
The formidable first baseman was an integral part in the Tigers 1968 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Down one game to none, Cash helped the Tigers break away with a solo home run in the sixth inning, leveling the series. The Cardinals won games 3 and 4, but the Tigs battled back to win the final three games, fueled by mutliple RBI-knocks by Cash.
Be one of the first 1,000 fans to enter Dow Diamond on September 2nd to receive your Norm Cash bobblehead. Thursday’s bobblehead night is the final part of the six-part 2010 Tigers Legends Series, brought to you by our friends at MidMichigan Health.
The ballpark construction broke ground in May of 1993, in a time when Jurassic Park was preparing for its record-setting release in theaters and Whitney Houston’s soundtrack to The Bodyguard was tearing up the Billboard charts.
Originally named Old Kent Park through 2001, the ballpark opened on April 12, 1994. It’s a pitcher-friendly park where home runs go to die. The 317′-402′-327′ outfield dimensions seem harmless, but it’s the unmarked 375′ power alleys that keep the baseballs in the park.
The ballpark feels older with its wood-siding in the upper decks and the classic baseball pennants flapping overhead, but delivers the same product of Midwest League baseball, with the occasional drop-in of a rehabbing major leaguer [Brandon Inge and Carlos Guillen in 2010].
The Whitecaps clubhouse sits on the third-base side of the stadium. There isn’t much there, but dreams of a bigger weight room and second washing machine are in order.
It’s hard to miss the giant flagpole at Fifth Third Ballpark, ready to take on the most threatening Lake Michigan winds. Sources say the flagpole, at one time and may still, serves as a cell phone tower, thus explaining its exaggerated girth.
The Whitecaps are strong proponents of alternative jerseys, as seen here sporting purple uniforms to support cancer research.
In the outfield sits the Pepsi Stadium Club, which is the most upscale group area in the park. The Club has an upper deck seating area, as well as an indoor climate-controlled group area, complete with six flat screen TVs, a private bar area, and a Whitecaps game just out the windows.
The Stadium Club can accommodate up to 250 fans and is available for rent on all 70 game days.
The most unique-to-Michigan part of the park is the lighthouse attached to the Pepsi Stadium Club. Michigan has over 115 lighthouses peppering the coast, and may as well include this non-functional beauty at Fifth Third Ballpark.
Outside of the press box and suite level, the Whitecaps boast the years of their Midwest League Championship seasons (1996, 1998, 2004, 2006, 2007) alongside the retired Whitecaps logo.
Among the 6,506 fixed seats, the park features four seats from Tiger Stadium located behind home plate. Every Tigers fan in the area must sit in these seats at least once to pay their respects. The maximum capacity of Fifth Third Ballpark is 10,071.
Fifth Third Ballpark has 24 suites and an assortment of deck, patio, and private areas for groups. This deck area in right field is prime seating for those hoping to catch home runs.
And that concludes FTN’s tour of Fifth Third Ballpark, the home of the West Michigan Whitecaps. It’s a two hour drive from Dow Diamond, spanning 105 miles, but is one of the easiest road trips to make in support of your Great Lakes Loons.
With a different bus ride every week, baseball players have to find ways to spend their time, and for Loons relief pitcher Andy Suiter, reading is one of those ways. And now FTN presents the first ever Loons Book Review.
Book Title: Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman
Author: Jon Krakauer
Why did you choose this book?: The book was recommended by an old high school teammate, now playing for Toronto’s Double-A affiliate. Throughout the offseason, he told me how reading books helped him keep his mind stimulated throughout a long season of baseball. I started trying it out this season and I’ve found that it too helps me take my thoughts away from the grind. Where Men Win Glory was his first recommendation.
What is the book about?: The book is about the true story of Pat Tillman’s inspirational life and tragic death. He was a football player and family man who gave up both to become an Army Ranger, led to fight for his country after the terrorist attacks on 9/11. It highlights the story of a man who lived life with principle.
Becoming a US Army Ranger was the toughest decision of his life, but his family and the love of his life, Marie, both supported him, and he and his brother set off for months of training before being deployed to Afghanistan. The physical demands of training were tough, but more so was the mental grind of being away from his family and his girlfriend. At times he felt as though he was being selfish by putting his own principles ahead of those closest to him, thinking he had abandoned Marie. But he stayed true to his obligation, finished his training, and was deployed.
At the beginning of his stint in Afghanistan, he often felt as though his potential was being wasted as he constantly sat and watched more experienced rangers being sent on missions. That all changed when Tillman was sent out on his first mission. He was killed in battle by one of his own. The book details the United States military and government’s poor handling of the dissemination of the truth about Pat Tillman’s death and the impact it had on his family and friends.
Could you relate to anyone in the book?: For me, the book told a story of a true hero. I learned how much of a waste it was for Tillman, who had so much potential, to die the way he did. His values and principles were solid foundations for him to be whoever he wanted to be, if only he was able to live a longer life. He is an inspiration to me. If I make it to the major leagues, this book reaffirms that becoming a major league athlete can be a great platform for me to do amazing things for others and for our world.
If this book had an ERA, what would it be?: I have yet to read a book that I could say is much better than this one. Jon Krakauer is a great writer with a tragic yet inspiring story to tell. The book deserves a 0.75 ERA (or 4.5 out of 5 on a normal scale).
Who would you recommend this book to?: Parents who want to instill the most important values and principles in their children. Anyone who has a friend or family member overseas. Somebody who questions our government and military, though I would also recommend this to the American patriot. Somebody who enjoys good writing and non-fiction. Somebody who wants to be inspired and see somebody living a life with a purpose.
Reaching 700 wins in his managerial career means one thing to Loons skipper Juan Bustabad, who reached the achievement Tuesday night at Dow Diamond with a 9-3 win over the West Michigan Whitecaps.
“It means that I’ve been around for awhile,” Busty said jokingly after the game.
Busty may not have anticipated reaching his 700th win in Midland after a below .500 first year as Loons manager.
“The first year was kind of rough because I wasn’t used to the wins and losses (54-85),” he said. ”I’ve always been on the winning side pretty much my entire career. So it was tough. We just never clicked, never got it together, and then the following year (2009), we put a team together that had good chemistry.
“Everybody was on the same page, everybody wanted to win for the team and for the fans, you know it was a great year. And this year, here we are again, with the same chemistry as last year having a lot more fun.”
Following the game, Loons relief pitchers Steve Smith and J.B. Paxson had the honors of dousing Bustabad with Powerade. Soon after that, outfielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez gave him the celebratory shaving cream towel to the face.
Galvez said the guys were trying to do their part to get Busty his 700th win, and Galvez did his by going 3-for-4 with two RBI.
“We definately knew this win was big for him personally,” Galvez said. ”And for the team for our franchise record, we wanted to get it at home so that we could celebrate a little bit like we did and it feels nice.”
As Galvez said, the 82 wins for the Loons this season sets a new franchise record for most wins in a single season, surpassing the mark set in 2009 of 81-59.
Earlier in the day, Bustabad was voted by his fellow managers around the league as the Midwest League Manager of the Year. After hearing the news at batting practice, Bustabad was very humble and cited all of the others involved in getting the 2010 Loons to the 81-44 record they had before big number 700.
“[It's] all the hard work the team puts together, because without them I really cannot do it. And the staff I have, they’ve been great. Michael Boughton has done a great job with the hitters and Chuck Crim with the pitchers; Zach [Hoffman] with getting the guys healthy on the field. And then Eric [Wood] getting the kids stronger everyday, so they can go through the grind everyday, all 140 games. And Neil [Rosenbloom] our video guy too has been very helpful.”
Bustabad is enjoying the success of his team and hopes to continue his winning ways.
“Hopefully I can get to 1,000,” he said. ”And hopefully before that, I’ll be in the big leagues. That’s my goal, to be a big league manager or a big league coach. That’s always been my dream and that’s why I work hard every day and hopefully the day will come.”
Bustabad’s next adventure begins on Wednesday, September 8, for the start of the Midwest League postseason. If the playoffs were today, the Loons would play the Fort Wayne TinCaps.
Busty left Tuesday night, with a stunning record of 700-549.
Congrats to our favorite Loons skipper!
MIDLAND, MI - For the 300 or so people in attendance at the fourth annual Sponsor Fantasy Camp Tuesday night, some pretty entertaining baseball was witnessed. The entertainment value didn’t come from the home run blasts or smooth defensive plays one might come to expect at a Loons game, but from quite the opposite.
Though the players gracing Dow Diamond were better known for their skills in sales, waiting tables and optometry, the two teams were an even match and kept it close all evening.
The away team, representing 11 of the Loons sponsors and led by Loons skipper Juan Bustabad, jumped out to an early 4-0 lead over the home team in the first couple of innings.
“There was no doubt in my mind that we were going to win,” Bustabad said after the game. “You could tell by looking at them that we had a healthy crop that came ready to play. I can’t say the same for our opponent.”
The home team brought together nine of the Loons sponsors and were led by Loons hitting coach Michael Boughton.
“That’s the first team I’ve coached that could turn a Dow Corning-Holiday Inn-Chemical Bank double-play with such ease,” Boughton said. “I thought we had a real chance.”
In the third inning, Bustabad’s team produced the play of the game. With two runners on base, Ryan Longoria, representing the Midland Community Center, drove a liner to the warning track for an inside-the-park home run to put his team up 7-2. With the three-run shot, Longoria was named the MVP of the sponsor game.
Bustabad’s team finished the six-inning affair leading 8-5 in runs and 11-8 in hits, surprisingly no errors were recorded. For additional coverage from WNEM’s own Scot Johnson, who was positioned at catcher, follow the link here and search for ‘bat’ in the search bar below the video.
So I was browsing through some microfilm this weekend and stumbled across an old article recapping an “exciting, if somewhat bizarre, 11-inning baseball game”, where among the 1,168 fans in attendance, those wearing red socks got in free.
But the relevant part is when it relays a highlight of current Loons Manager Juan Bustabad. Prior to his managerial career, Busty was a budding #1 draft pick by the Boston Red Sox.
Here are the relevant paragraphs of the Telegraph Sports article, ran in 1984 by Gary Fitz, which I present to you as ‘Juan Bustabad and the New Britain Red Sox versus Bobby Bonilla and the Nashua Pirates.’
“Fans were treated to a bit of the bizarre in the top of the ninth. With one out, Red Sox shortstop Juan Bustabad hit a rocket back to Wheeler. The ball deflected off the Nashua pitcher and headed toward Clack, only to take an extraordinarily bad hop and nail clack in the throat.
“Bustabad rounded first and headed for second, while right fielder Ken Ford retrieved the ball. Ford’s throw was in the dirt and wound up in foul territory beyond third base. Bustabad tried to come all the way home, but Fryer gunned him down with a perfect throw to Goldthorn.
“[At the change of innings] Clack, who probably should have taken the night off, followed with a smash up the middle which should have ended the game. But Bustabad dove, came up with the ball and flipped to second for a force out.”
That’s all that is said about Busty, but if you would like to read how New Britain ended up winning as well as the manager’s post-game outburst, click here for the complete story. (I don’t know why, but it links you to the story jump, the beginning of the article is one page over). Enjoy.
It’s hard to believe that it has been a whole year since we were last under the Michigan sun, kicking back on the field of Dow Diamond and enjoying some sweet tunes from our friends Flo Rida and Sean Kingston. But here we are, days away from WIOG’s Lizard Fair 2010!
Because there is a lot on slate for Saturday, From the Nest has compiled this Guide to Lizard Fair 2010 to make sure that you are 100% prepared for the mayhem Liz-Fair is bringing.
FTN’s Guide to Lizard Fair 2010:
If there is one thing to know prior to Lizard Fair, it’s to arrive early! Last year we had some crazy long lines at the front and back gates, with young rockers vying for the closest seat they could find. You camped out for Lizard Fair tickets earlier this year, why not camp out for premium seating?
Schedule of Events:
3:30 PM: Dow Diamond gates open.
5:15 PM: Opening Act
10:05 PM: Boy Like Girls
showtimes are estimated
Boys Like Girls ? I YAZ
Kevin Rudolf ? White Tie Affair
Shontelle ? Burnham ? Finding Clyde
We had the chance to talk with a couple of the artists and we asked them what fans should expect from their upcoming Liz-Fair sets, here’s what they said.
I YAZ: “Ahh man, [I'm bringing] nothing but high energy. That’s what I like to do. The more energy they give me, the more energy I’m going to give back. I might even crowd surf you know?”
KEVIN RUDOLF: “Complete mayhem, despite how we produced the record, we definitly rock it out more. I’ve got a live band and all my friends play with me and we definitly rock out all of our records and do rock versions of all of our songs. Making it live and making it exciting.”
What to Bring:
Sunglasses – As of Tuesday, the weather forecast for Liz-Fair is sunny skies and a high of 90. So protect those eyeballs and enjoy the show.
Dancing Shoes – Where there’s music, there’s dancing. Whether it’s the forced clap-your-hands-to-the-beat or the do-it-yourself freestyle shimmy, you’re going to want to be ready to get down on a moment’s notice and wearing your penny loafers ain’t gonna get it done. Be smart! Who knows, maybe you’ll get called up on stage to shake your groove thing.
Camera – Memory fades, photos do not. How else are you going to document the action and prove to your friends that you were there when….[Liz-Fair 2009 example: Flo Rida made it rain].
Liz-Fair Food Options:
If you have ever been to a Loons game, you know the great variety of food available for consumption at Dow Dimaond. And we’re not holding back for Lizard Fair. All of the typical concert foods will be offered: brats, burgers, BEER, fries, peanuts, cotton candy, you name it. But for the more refined concert-going epicurist, Dow Diamond offers the new Michigan Cherry Wrap and the chance to go greek with a gyro topped with Tzatziki and onions on warm flatbread. Delish!
The Seating Grid:
The tickets are selling quick, so if you don’t have yours already locked away in a safe somewhere, I suggest you act now. Great seats are still to be had in Sections B and E. Do note: If you are wanting to make the lap around Dow Diamond on Saturday, be sure to do so prior to the first act, before the walkway to centerfield becomes off limits.
Feeling inspired? Buy your Lizard Fair 2010 tickets here.
Tune into 102.5 WIOG, Mid-Michigan’s official concert station, for the latest Lizard Fair updates. And as always, keep rockin’!