Every year, Loons players embark on a 140-game journey through the Midwest. They come prepared, with all the proper baseball equipment and conditioning drills necessary to survive the grind. But while their physical strengths have been jogged at Spring Training, their mental strengths have not been fully tested until competing in Loons Trivia, as featured on ESPN1009.com’s Crunch Time.
Loons Trivia, debuting this season, is a 16-man tournament that determines which Loon is the smartest, in both a random knowledge and trivia strategies sense. To establish the initial seeding of the tournament, each player took the following test and received one point per correct answer. See how many points you can score.
- Name as many actors in Oceans 11 as you can in 20 seconds.
- Name America’s first Vice President.
- The 2003 Boston Red Sox had eight players finish the season with 85+ RBI. Name them.
- Name as many countries (sovereign states) as you can in South America.
- Name the original Beatles.
- Identify the colleges of these sportsmen: Daniel Bard, John Shoemaker, Ryan Zimmerman, Andre Ethier, Tom Seaver, Nick Swisher, Skip Schumacher.
- Name the scientific element: Na, K, H, Al, Fe.
- Name the home venue of the following sports teams: Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Kings, Denver Nuggets, Manchester United, (variants) Name the Centre Court at the Australian Open; the Speedway of the Indianapolis 500
- Name the state capitol of the following states: California, Delaware, Texas, Maine, Florida
After a late night of grading test scores, the bracket was set. Now a few months since its start, we are down to the Final Four, featuring Scott Schebler (3), Jesse Bosnik (4), Kevin Taylor (9) and Pratt Maynard (15). The semifinal between Scott and Pratt will debut on Crunch Time, Thursday, July 19. Until then, watch how Scott defeated Loons catcher Andrew Edge in the quarters.
To continue the show, as hosted by ESPN 100.9-FM’s Jared Sandler, watch parts two and three on Crunch Time.
And if you just looove brackets, then spend some time today voting for Loons pitcher Duke von Schamann in the Moniker Madness bracket.
With Christmas in July Night coming up on Monday the 16th, now might be the perfect time to introduce everyone to the Loons newest friend. Now you may remember Dow Diamond’s pet turtle from 2010, or even the runaway troll. Well, now the front lawn is accompanied by ‘Snow Catcher’ the snowman! S.C. comes to us as a part of the Midland Summer Sculpture Series, an annual sculpture planting organized by Midland’s Downtown Development Authority.
Snow Catcher was constructed by Saginaw-native Michael Wren of Wrensong Studio. While S.C. is equipped with a catcher’s mitt and ball cap, Loons catchers Jan Vazquez and Pratt Maynard won’t have to worry about this little guy competing for playing time. S.C. will remain on the front lawn during Loons games for various photo opps.
Since a snowman in sports often refers to the number eight, we’ve compiled this list of Loons stats related to the snowman. All stats are from the 2012 season through July 10, after 88 games.
- The Loons have scored 8 runs or more in 8 games, twice reaching the number on the button nose.
- Four Loons have had a hit-streak of 8 games or more: James Baldwin (9), O’Koyea Dickson (9 & 10), Jesus Arredondo (10) and Joe Winker (10).
- James Baldwin has the most starts (70) in center field: the scorer’s 8.
- Three Loons have home runs in the 8th inning: Angelo Songco (6/6 two-run), Pedro Guerrero (6/10 solo), and Jame Baldwin (7/9 solo).
- Jesse Bosnik has the most home runs when batting 8th, with three.
- Two Loons have tossed 8 or more strikeouts in a single game: Jarret Martin (8 & 11) and Ryan O’Sullivan (see next).
- Ryan O’Sullivan (featured in our poster giveaway this week) is the only pitcher to throw 8 innings in a single game, during which he tossed 8 strikeouts.
As the 8th month of the year approaches, the Loons will look to improve upon their 2012 record of 43-47. As they do, be sure to take a trip around Midland to see Snow Catcher and the 15 other snowmen before they are auctioned off to the public on Thursday, September 20, at the H Hotel in Midland.
Before kids had their hands on the final Harry Potter book (July 21) and before adults had their hands on the iPhone (June 29), Dow Diamond opened its doors for the very first Loons game (April 13). 2007′s team was managed by former Tiger Lance Parrish, who coached the team to an inaugural record of 57-82. Despite some of their onfield struggles, this Loons team will always hold the franchise’s significant firsts, listed in the clipping to the right.
Of the 13 Loons that have reached the big leagues, seven are from the 2007 Loons team. The most notable member is 2011 NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw (who also recorded the Loons first strikeout), accompanied by Carlos Santana, Josh Bell, Kenley Jansen, Trayvon Robinson, Scott Van Slyke and Elian Herrera.
As a part of the Loons ongoing 5th Anniversary Celebration, From the Nest has tapped into the Loons highlight vault to bring forth the 10 best plays from the year. Whether it’s Rick Taloa’s splits maneuver to complete a 6-3 ground-out, or footage of a historic Loons-first, this video should bring you back to the days before apps.
Now we need your thoughts! Which play do you think is the best? Let your voice be heard! Vote here on the blog or on the Loons Facebook. The top vote-getter will be revealed on the videoboard at Dow Diamond in the season’s final weeks.