Great Lakes Loons

Great Lakes Loons
Founded in 1982
Springfield, Illinois
Based in Midland since 2007
Team logoCap insignia
Current Class A[1]
Minor league affiliations
League Midwest League
Division Eastern Division
Major league affiliations
Current Los Angeles Dodgers (2007–present)
Minor league titles
League titles (2) 2000, 2016
Team data
Ballpark Dow Diamond (2007–present)
Previous parks
Michigan Baseball Foundation
Manager Gil Velazquez
General Manager Paul Barbeau

The Great Lakes Loons, based in Midland, Michigan, is a Low Class A minor league baseball team, affiliated with the Los Angeles Dodgers. The team plays in the Midwest League and their home park is Dow Diamond, which opened in April 2007.


The Midwest League came to Battle Creek, in 1995 after the franchise formerly known as the Madison Hatters moved. The team was first known as the Battle Creek Golden Kazoos. Due to a trademark dispute and general fan dissatisfaction with the name (which is a nickname for the nearby city of Kalamazoo), the name was changed to the Michigan Battle Cats on March 9, 1995.

Home of the Great Lakes Loons, Dow Diamond is located in Midland, Michigan.

The team was affiliated with the Boston Red Sox (1995–98) and Houston Astros (1999–2002). The team changed its name to the Battle Creek Yankees after becoming an affiliate of the New York Yankees in 2003. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays took over affiliation of the team in September 2004, changing the team name to Southwest Michigan Devil Rays. In September 2006, the team announced its affiliation with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

In January 2006, it was confirmed that the Devil Rays would be sold to the non-profit Michigan Baseball Foundation and relocated to Midland, Michigan. The team has been renamed the Great Lakes Loons. The main reason the team relocated was because of the lack of interest from the Battle Creek community. Reduced ticket prices (even a night when fans were actually offered a dollar to come to that night's game) also failed to pique the interest of local residents.

Naming rights for the Loons' stadium were purchased by Dow Chemical, which is headquartered in Midland. The company named the stadium "Dow Diamond." The name is a play on the company's logo, a red diamond.

In November 2006, The Loons named former Detroit Tiger Lance Parrish as the team's first manager since the move to Michigan's Tri-City Area. The first home game was played on April 13, 2007 which resulted in a loss to the Lansing Lugnuts.

The Loons hosted the 2008 Midwest League All-Star Game, in just their second season.

On August 10, 2013, the Loons hosted their biggest crowd ever at 6,189 people.[2]

Dow Diamond will host the All-Star Game again in 2017.[3]


Lou E. Loon is the team mascot and Ambassador of Fun for the team. He's an energetic bird who loves to dance at home games and make public appearances. The kids' play area at the diamond is named Lou E.'s Lookout in his honor. He often leads fans in his signature cheer, the "Funky Feather", which won "Best In-Game Promotion of the Year" in 2009 for Minor League Baseball.

"Rall E. Camel" was introduced as the team's second mascot in April 2012. He is an honorary deputy ambassador of mischief and is an ostensibly goofy addition to the staff of the Great Lakes Loons.


Notable alumni of the Midwest League, Battle Creek franchise include Rafael Betancourt, Justin Duchscherer, Shea Hillenbrand, Matt Kinney, Jason Lane, Aaron Miles, Melky Cabrera, Roy Oswalt, Carl Pavano, Tim Redding, Chris Reitsma, and Johan Santana. There have been 41 former Loons have made it to the major leagues. Left-handed pitcher Clayton Kershaw debuted in 2008 and is now in the Dodgers' starting rotation. In 2010, a trio of past Great Lakes players made it to the show. Cleveland Indians catcher Carlos Santana, Orioles third baseman Josh Bell, and pitcher Kenley Jansen of Dodgers all spent time in the big leagues. Dee Gordon won the 2015 National League Batting Title.

Other notable former Loons include Nathan Eovaldi, Dee Gordon, Javy Guerra, Dean Kremer, Andrew Lambo, Josh Lindblom, Matt Magill, Rubby De La Rosa, Steven Rodriguez, Jerry Sands, Shawn Tolleson, Josh Wall, José Dominguez, Allen Webster, and Scott Van Slyke.[4]

Current roster

Great Lakes Loons roster
Players Coaches/Other


  • 33 Imani Abdullah
  • 36 Yadier Álvarez
  • 15 Walker Buehler
  •  7 Leonardo Crawford
  • 52 Caleb Ferguson
  • 23 Tony Gonsolin
  • 24 Victor Gonzalez
  • -- Garrett Harrison
  • 41 Andrew Istler
  • 35 Karch Kowalczyk
  • 45 Dean Kremer
  • -- Lenix Osuna
  • -- Jeff Paschke
  • -- Chris Powell
  • 19 Dennis Santana
  • 11 Jordan Sheffield
  • 28 Shea Spitzbarth
  • -- J. D. Underwood ‡
  • 43 Ivan Vieitez


  • 30 Steve Berman
  • 37 Jake Henson


  •  3 Brendon Davis
  •  6 Omar Estevez
  • 13 Ibandel Isabel
  • 40 Matt Jones
  • 16 Zach McKinstry


  • 14 Gage Green
  •  1 Saige Jenco
  •  9 Logan Landon
  • 27 D. J. Peters
  •  8 Luke Raley
  • 10 Darien Tubbs



7-day disabled list
* On Los Angeles Dodgers 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated October 1, 2016
More MiLB rosters
Los Angeles Dodgers minor league players

Year-by-year record

Michigan Battle Cats (1995–2002)
Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1995 75–62 4th DeMarlo Hale Lost League Finals
1996 60–78 11th Tom Barrett
1997 70–67 4th Billy Gardner, Jr. Lost in 1st round
1998 79–61 2nd (t) Billy Gardner, Jr. Lost in 1st round
1999 76–62 3rd Al Pedrique Lost in 1st round
2000 82–56 2nd Al Pedrique League Champs
2001 82–55 3rd John Massarelli Lost in 1st round
2002 79–61 4th John Massarelli Lost in 1st round
Battle Creek Yankees (2003–2004)
Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
2003 73–64 3rd Mitch Seoane Lost in 2nd round
2004 71–68 9th Mitch Seoane (13–18) / Bill Mosiello (58–50)
Southwest Michigan Devil Rays (2005–2006)
Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
2005 72–67 4th (t) Joe Szekely Lost in 1st round to SB
2006 62–77 12th Skeeter Barnes
Great Lakes Loons (2007 – present)
Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
2007 57–82 12th Lance Parrish
2008 54–85 Last Juan Bustabad
2009 81–59 2nd (t) Juan Bustabad Lost in 2nd round to FW
2010 90–49 1st Juan Bustabad Lost in 2nd round to LC
2011 72-67 4th John Shoemaker
2012 67-73 6th John Shoemaker
2013 67-72 5th Razor Shines Lost in 1st round to SB
2014 66-73 4th Bill Haselman
2015 68-69 7th Luis Matos Lost in 1st round to LAN
2016 65-75 6th Gil Velazquez League Champions


See also


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