Whitecaps Update 1/11/11

capslogo.jpgWinter Banquet and HOF: The Whitecaps 2011 Winter Banquet will be held on Wednesday, January 19th this year, and will be headlined by Detroit Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski. Also speaking at the event, is new ‘Caps skipper Ernie Young and alumni Will Rhymes and Brennan Boesch. This event will also feature the 2011 Whitecaps Hall of Fame ceremony which will induct current Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya, catcher Ramon Hernandez, and groundskeeper Heather Nabozny. Heather took good care of Fifth Third Ballpark in Grand Rapids before becoming the first female head groundskeeper in the Majors with the Tigers.

Alumni Moves: Former Whitecap center fielder Cameron Maybin was shipped from the Florida Marlins to the San Diego Padres for Ryan Webb and Edward Mujica. Maybin was on the Marlins opening day roster in 2009 and 2010. Maybin was sent to Florida from Detroit in the deal for Miguel Cabrera and was part of West Michigan’s 2006 Midwest League championship team. The Padres look for his range in center to be a great asset playing at Petco Park. Also on the move is pitcher Alfredo Figaro. The Tigers sold his contract to the Orix Buffaloes of the Japanese Pacific League. In eight appearances for the Tigers, he was 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA. Figaro was 10-6 with a 4.14 ERA in 23 starts for the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens in 2010.

IMG_1150.jpgTiger Fridays:
Tigers Fridays are back at Fifth Third Ballpark for this season. Former Tigers Johnny Grubb, Steve Kemp, Frank Lary, Mickey Tettleton, Dick Tracewski, Jason Thompson, and Richie Hebner will be making appearances. The dates are June 3 & 17, July 1, 22, & 29, and August 12 & 26. The team hasn’t released the dates each former Tiger will be attending, though. I hope I have a chance to make it down to meet Tettleton. He’s one of my favorite players of all time.

Non-Roster Invite: Outfielder Avisail Garcia in one of the 18 non-roster players the Tigers have invited to spring training in Lakeland, FL. Garcia has spent the last two seasons with the ‘Caps and is ranked as the Tigers ninth-best prospect by Baseball America. In 2010 he batted .281 with four home runs, 63 doubles, and 20 stolen bases. In 2009 he was a .264 hitter in 81 games in West Michigan. He’ll be at Spring Training with former ‘Caps outfielders Andy Dirks, Ben Guez, Casper Wells, Clete Thomas, and Brennan Boesch.

Fifth Third Burger on TV…Again: Last year the famous West Michigan Whitecaps Fifth Third Burger was featured on Man v. Food. This year, the giant hamburger will be featured on the Food Network’s series ‘Unwrapped’ with host Marc Summers. The show will air at 9:00 p.m. on January 22 in an episode called ‘Game Day Goodies’. I plan on tackling this monsterous burger this season, but I’ll have three hungary kids to help polish it off. In two seasons, the ‘Caps have served 3,253 Fifth Third Burgers to fans, and 761 have attempted the Challenge to eat the whole thing by themselves. A total of 483 people have won the challenge, earning a T-shirt and their pic on the ‘wall of champs’.

A Look Ahead: This should be a fun year for us at the Whitecaps games. I’m trying to get my work schedules manipulated so the kids and I can make it to Opening Day  and hopefully Star Wars day again in July. Brian will be making his debut at Fifth Third Ballpark this season, also. Below is a pic of him sporting his new hat he got for his third birthday on the 11th. I’ve also added a ‘Caps game to my baseball trip, as we’re flying back into Michigan via Grand Rapids. Why not stay and catch one more game?

briancaps.jpgPhotos property of M.I.B.

9 thoughts on “Whitecaps Update 1/11/11

  1. hooksfan

    As Jane pointed out that is a very adorable picture of Brian. I do like the Whitecaps Logo. Congrats on also cracking the MLBlogs 100 club. The one thing that I like about the Minor Leagues is you will always see a player from your League make it to The Show. We had two of our pitchers from last years squad make the jump from Double-A to the Majors. For Spring Training this year 10 fellow Corpus Christi Hooks are slated for Spring Training with the Astros. If you ever get the chance to visit South Texas let me know.


  2. ronlang44

    Mike, just curious how much you follow independent league baseball at all. We have a team, the Southern Illinois Miners, that play in the Frontier League. I know there are a few teams in that league that are in Michigan. The Traverse City Beach Bums and the Kalamazoo Kings are two teams in the league. I saw that you have visited the Beach Bums park. Anyway, just curious.



  3. Michael David

    Jeff-thanks, come up to GR and we’ll split the burger!
    Jane-thanks for the props on Brian. He’s my little baseball buddy.
    Hooksfan-good luck to the Hooks this season, and to their alumni. It’s always fun to watch them when they make the big team. I’d love to make it down that way for some games. I have a buddy in Houston, so who knows..
    Ron-I like the Indy Pro teams, too. The kids and I have been to many TC Beach Bum games, and they’re lots of fun.
    Here’s the link to a game last season:
    Kristen-Star Wars day was a blast. I hope I can make it again this year!

    Thanks all for reading..

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