Lansing Lugnuts vs. Clinton Lumber Kings (Midwest League)
Cooley Law School Stadium-Lansing, MI: No trip back to Michigan would be complete without us stopping by one of our old ballparks to see a game, and this particular game I’ve been looking forward to since it announced it back in February. The Lugnuts were paying homage to one of Lansing’s favorite sons, the late, great Burt Reynolds! As with many kids growing up, I didn’t just love baseball, but I love cars. And what better car than the Pontiac Firebird driven by The Bandit. I bought my second Firebird in 2017, and Brian instantly fell in love with it. Since then he’s watch the Smokey and the Bandit films many times over, and we have a nice collection of die cast Firebirds. Now we have a Burt Reylonds/Bandit bobble head to add to our collection.
We got in line early, as we didn’t want to miss out on the free giveaway. I credit Brian for this, as it was his idea to skip dinner and get in line, as he really new what this game meant to me. After we received our bobble heads, we were bombarded with people trying to buy them from us immediately, with offers up to $30 (of course they’re all selling on eBay for $100-$200). I really had to convince Brian to hold on to his! We hit the gift shop to get our Lugnuts/Bandit shirts and then got ready for the game. Lansing had a 1977 Trans Am drive around the field, also, in a tribute to Burt, and the Lugnuts whore special Bandit jerseys, as seen below.
During all of this car excitement, we also were able to watch a really good baseball game. Lansing jumped out to a three run lead, but Clinton battled back to send the game into extra innings. Ryan Gold led the offense for the Lugnuts, knocking in two runs on one hit, while Tanner Kirwir went 2-5 with two runs scored. Cre Finfrock took the loss for Lansing, giving up two runs in the 10th. Final (10): Lugnuts 4, Lumber Kings 5.
Video and photos property of Minoring In Baseball
This summer, the Great Lake State will be opening it’s very own Baseball Hall of Fame. The location will be at the Lansing Lugnuts’ Cooley Law School stadium, in left center field on the outfield wall. The idea came last year, when the Lugnuts started a $26.5 million renovation to their ballpark. Lugnuts owner Tom Dickson helped to conceive the idea, realizing there is no such place yet.
“We said, why don’t we do it,” Dickson told MLive.com. “Sometimes it’s amazing what you stumble upon with a little but of luck.”
The Michigan Baseball Hall of Fame will start with 10 members in its inaugural class. It will include plaques with images of the inductees, as well as the when and why they were inducted. The Hall will include players and coaches native to Michigan, as well as those who came to our state and ‘contributed significantly and positively within the national pastime.’ The Hall won’t be limited to just major league players, either, and could include a little league team, high school or college players, and coaches.
“We’re looking for people who have made an outstanding contribution to baseball in the state of Michigan across all levels”, stated Dickson.
There is a very impressive selection committee in place, looking to seek out the worthy candidates from our state. Along with some of the great players from the Detroit Tigers, I would love to see pitcher Jim Abbott selected, as he was one of my favorite players growing up. Michigan also has a great history of amateur baseball, as the very first College World Series was played in Kalamazoo, and the Stan Musial World Series being played in Battle Creek. C.O. Brown and Arch Flannery would be good bets, also, as they were responsible for bringing the series to BC back in 1937. I definitely can’t wait until June 27th, when the Michigan Baseball Hall of Fame opens its doors.
Logo courtesy of Michigan Hall of Fame/MLive.com