The Prince of West Michigan

I’m not going to over analyze the Prince Fielder signing by the Tigers any more than it has been. The papers, web sites, and talk shows have already done that to death. Some experts have the Tigers winning the Series, others have them flopping this season. Whatever. They’ll play their games this summer, and whatever happens, happens. Am I excited about the upcoming season? Of course, I am. But no more than I am or would be for any other baseball season. The reason for this post is to simply drive home the point I’ve been trying to make for the last three years I’ve been on MLBlogs…get to your local Minor League ballpark. The fact is, you really don’t know what future star you’ll be seeing. You never really know what player you might see that will play on your favorite team one day. Personally, it’s fun for me to watch MLB games on TV and say “I saw this guy play in Toledo”, or “Savannah”, oh, well, Hell…pick one. Here are some pics of Prince playing for the Beloit Snappers as a mere 18-year-old, in front of probably mostly Tiger fans at Fifth Third Ballpark. I also read that daddy Cecil was in a suite watching his son play, too. Most fans probably thought that the future Tigers would be wearing the Whitecaps uniforms. Who knew??

Photos courtesy of the Grand Rapids Press

Birthday Boy

Wow…It’s hard to believe that it’s been four years since we were blessed with Brian in our lives, and team M.I.B. became complete. Time seems to fly when you have kids, and this last whole decade has basically been a blur. This should be a fun year with Brian, as he’s finally old enough to start tee-ball. He’s excited about playing and going to all the baseball games over the summer. He talks about the Whitecaps and Beach Bums quite a bit. Happy birthday Bri!!!!!!

Brian the day we brought him home sporting his first Whitecaps jersey:

Brian at the Whitecaps last summer:

Photos property of M.I.B.

Logo of the Month: Syracuse Chiefs

Current Chiefs Logos

Affiliation: Washington Nationals

League: International League (AAA)

Home Field: Alliance Bank Stadium

Location: Syracuse, New York

Notable Alumni: A.J. Burnett, Chris Carpenter, Carlos Delgado, Ron Guidry, Roy Halladay, Fred McGriff, Denny McLain, Thurmon Munson, Dion Sanders, Hank Sauer, and Stephen Strasburg.

Fun Facts: The first stop on our baseball trip this coming season will be in Syracuse. Lots of baseball history in this town, as they’ve been sporting professional baseball since 1877 with the Syracuse Stars. The Stars fielded to Major League teams, with one in 1879 (National League) and in 1890 (American Association). Syracuse was without a team sporadically, but was mostly able to field a team either in the Eastern League or New York/Penn League. The Chiefs name can be traced back to 1934, when the Jersey City Skeeters moved to Syracuse to become the Chiefs. The current franchise came in in 1961 when the Montreal Royals, and Syracuse has had a team ever since. There have been two players in history to have four home run games under their belts. Gene Locklear did it on July 14, 1977, while Michael Aubrey hit four over the fence on May 04, 2011 against the Durham Bulls.

Logos courtesy of the Syracuse Chiefs