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www.mybaycity.com September 3, 2008
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Great Lakes Loons End Season on a High Note With Win Over Fort Wayne

Loons shut out Wizard 3-0 at Dow Diamond

September 3, 2008       Leave a Comment
By: MyBayCity Staff

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SPECIAL TO MYTRICITY NEWS: BY TOM BAIRD

Main Entrance -- Dow Diamond
(MyBayCity Photo by Tom Baird)

What looked to be a promising season for the Midland based Great Lakes Loons failed to deliver on the exciting team on the field.

After a record setting first season in attendance and excitement, the Great Lakes Loons drew strong crowds through out the entire 2008 season.

The highlight of the season was the Loons hosting the 2008 Midwest League All-Star Game on Tuesday June 17, 2008. The 3-day affair drew records crowds and was well received in the Tri-Cities.

Melissa & Trevor David (Bay City) with family and children taking in a Great Lakes' Loon Game.
(MyBayCity Photo by Tom Baird)

Troy Tuck & wife Julie (Coleman) pick up beverages between innings.
(MyBayCity Photo by Tom Baird)

With a new manager in tow replacing the very popular former Detroit Tiger Lance Parrish was Juan Bustabad. He came in highly touted from the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. Bustabad had been a Minor League manager for the past 11 seasons and the last 7 with the Los Angeles Dodgers' system. With some familiar named players returning and some new prospects returning, many were thinking and hoping that the Loons would make a run for the playoffs.

In the Midwest League, 8 of the 14 teams can qualify for the season ending playoffs. However that didn't happen for the Loons in 2008. They play a 140 game schedule in the Midwest League starting the first week of April and ending traditionally on Labor Day.

The Loons concluded this season with a 54-85 record -- a tad worse than the first season's 57-82 record. The Loons however did finish the season on a positive note with a 3-0 shutout victory over the Fort Wayne Wizards in front of a sellout crowd.

The Loons finished the season with 10 straight sell-outs and 22 for the season. Overall attendance was down a little from the record setting first season with over 324,000 people watching the Great Lakes Loons.

FINAL GAME - Mr. & Mrs. Bill Joslin (left) along with Yvonne & Terry Lynch (right) take in the last game of the season. Terry Lynch is a former Northwood University baseball player.
(MyBayCity Photo by Tom Baird)

Supervisor Adam Wiess (left) checks in with Section Leader Brian Clennan.
(MyBayCity Photo by Tom Baird)

Some of the standout performers this season were Andrew Lambo who was promoted to Double A Jacksonville for the last week of the season. He was hitting .288 and had 15 home runs in addition to being selected to the Midwest League All-Star game right at Dow Diamond.

Other top hitters for the Loons in 2008 were Jaime Ortiz with 13 home runs, Jovanny Rosario with a .268 batting average and Erik Kanaby who also hit .270 in 121 games. The top hurler for the Loons was Given Kutz with a 4-6 record and 4.29 era.

Class A ball is often the first professional experience for most of these players. They range in age from 19 years old to 23/24 years old. The Loons agreed to a new contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the big league organization promised to supply the Loons with better talent.

There were some exciting games played at Dow Diamond this year. But one looks to the future seasons with having better talent on the field. The Loons drew big crowds for the first 2 seasons thanks to a talented front office staff that promoted the team in a great fashion to bring in record crowds. Now the team will have to produce on the field to keep the crowds coming in.

In 2009, if the Great Lakes Loons contend for a playoff spot, things will be rocking in downtown Midland.

LASTING MEMORY - The Loons defeated the Fort Wayne Wizards on the final day of the season.
(MyBayCity Photo by Tom Baird)

GOOD EATS - Young fans enjoy a snack at the Northern Pavilion.
(MyBayCity Photo by Tom Baird)

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