Results tagged ‘ Beloit Snappers ’

Renovation Video & Photos and Details from Burlington & Beloit

Here are some quotes and comments from The Hawkeye in Burlington, Iowa on the new affiliation between the Burlington Bees and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The Angels were happy with the facilities during their visit, suggesting only small changes. One of those is improvements to the hitting tunnel, which at 10 years old needs a fresh coat of paint and new carpet.

The Bees will begin a field resurfacing next week.

Los Angeles will provide a clubhouse manager, training him through spring training before sending him to Community Field.

“That’s a big plus for us,” [Bees general manager Chuck] Brockett said.

Additionally, the Angels will pay for DirecTV in the clubhouse so players can watch the Major League club play after their own games, and send the Bees promotional items the team can give away to its fans.

“It’s a nice touch,” said Brockett.

Affiliated baseball has been around Burlington, Iowa for a long time.  Here is their list since joining the Midwest League in 1962.

The Angels started their affiliation with the Cedar Rapids Kernels in 1993 before having it end after the 2012 season.  The Angels had previously been in the Midwest League with Quad Cities (1962-1978), Danville (1982), Peoria (1983-1984), and Quad Cities again (1985-1992)

Next, reaction from the Beloit Daily News on the new affiliation between the Beloit Snappers and the Oakland Athletics.

I’m really excited about it,” said Snappers Chairman Dennis Conerton. “They are going to be a great organization to work with. I can feel that already. They are good people and experienced people which is what we are used to with the Twins. I think it’ll be a great relationship.”

The A’s are familiar with the Midwest League as they have been aligned with the Burlington Bees the past two seasons, the Kane County Cougars from 2003-2010 and Madison Muskies before that.

“They were familiar with our area and our league, obviously,” Conerton said. “They really wanted to play here and we are excited to be with them.”

The process of wooing a team is not a familiar one to the Snappers, who have had just two affiliates in their 31-year history.

This time, however, things went very smoothly.

“When we got the list of teams that had not signed a PDC, we sat down and sort of did an informal ranking of the teams in terms of what we knew,” Conerton said. “And I’m quite pleased to say that Oakland was right up there at the top of the list. They have a good farm system, and we liked that they are a relatively small market in the Major Leagues just like we are here.”

Oakland was affiliated with the Muskies from 1982-1993 and the West Michigan Whitecaps from 1994-1996.  They had been with the Burlington Bees from 1963-1974, too.

Last…you would think they could make a bigger construction vest…or a smaller announcer.

We shot another video on Wednesday that will debut next week.  Here are a few pictures to whet your appetite….Mmm, hungry…

The roof above the third base concourse is about gone.

A look from the outside.

The front looks a little different, no?

It’s probably just me, but this is what I thought of when I saw the machines doing their thing on Wednesday.

Great book for children…It’s over SIXTY years old!?!?

Remember, Reading is Fundamental.

Beloit won’t be the same

A new chapter in The Neverending Story.

 Vohs leaves Snappers after 11 years

Jeff Vohs worked his way up from intern to general manager of the Beloit Snappers in just four years, then hung onto the job for seven more seasons.

Wednesday, however, came the news Vohs will step down and leave baseball for the world of banking.

“It’s been fun,” Vohs said. “It’s always been a challenge and that’s what I liked about the job. In terms of my family, however, it was time to move on. I’m glad I’m staying in the area. Beloit has definitely grown on me.”

The Snappers also announced Wednesday that Assistant GM Matthew Bosen has been named the organization’s 10th GM in its 30-year history.

“Over the last four years, I’ve learned a great deal about the proper way to run the Snappers from Jeff (Vohs), I appreciate all the knowledge that he’s passed on to me that he’s picked up throughout his 11 years,“ said Bosen. “I’d like to thank the Board of Directors for giving me this chance to run the organization.”

I’ve know Jeff for a long time and I wish him the best of luck.

New Stadium?  Stadium news?

“The Board keeps working on that project,” Vohs said. “I’ve always focused on what needs to be done here. Since we have a small front office, we can’t commit time to that project and make sure we stay viable in our current ballpark situation. I hope things get better in the economy and something gets done with a new stadium. But Matt will have to do the same thing I did — focus on Pohlman Field.”

In other news, I see that winter baseball has begun in Venezuela.

Ex-Rattlers in action so far are:

Lara:
Alex Liddi (’08)
Oswaldo Navarro (’05)
Michael Saunders (’06)
Luis Valbuena (’06)

Zulia:
Carlos Maldonado (’99)
Austin Bibens-Dirkx (’06)

Magallanes:
Lorenzo Cain (’09)
Bryan LaHair (’04)

Caribes:
Mike Wilson (’05)

Busy day in the IBAF World Cup on Thursday with doubleheaders all around.

Canada 7, Venezuela 0

Canada:
Brock Kjeldgaard (’09): 1-for-3, RUN, 2 RBI, HR

Brock Kjeldgaard is greeted at home plate after another homer in the World Cup

Canada 4, South Korea 0

Canada:
Kjeldgaard: 0-for-3

Netherlands 2, Australia 1

NED:
Kalian Sams (’07): 0-for-3

Netherlands 4, Cuba 1

NED:
Sams: 1-for-3, RUN, 2 RBI, HR

Kalian Sams (No. 35) is congratulated by his teammates after a home run against Cuba...HOME RUN...AGAINST CUBA!!

 

According to this, the Dutch are through to the Gold Medal game.  Either Canada or Cuba will face them for the Championship.  How big of a deal is that?  According to this…The Netherlands is the first team from Europe in 73 YEARS to compete for the Gold Medal at the IBAF World Cup…73 YEARS!

ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE:

Surprise 6, Phoenix 2

SUR:
Nathan Adcock (’08): 3IP, H, 0R, BB, 7K

Mesa 6, Peoria Javelinas 3

PEO:
Scooter Gennett (’10): 0-for-4, RUN
Daniel Meadows (’09): IP, 2H, R, 2BB

No truth to the rumor that you havent heard…

I have google alerts set up for all the teams in the Midwest League.  Sometimes that makes for a lot of emails with nothing in them.  Other times you see something that is very interesting.

Today was one of those interesting days.  And on top of that, it makes me want to hear more.

First here is this bit from a Charley Walters column from the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

DON’T PRINT THAT

The Twins say there is absolutely no truth to rumors that their Class A Beloit Snappers club is moving from Wisconsin to St. Paul if the city gets a new ballpark to share with the independent league Saints.

Huh? What?

A quick google search finds this blog post at the Star Tribune from March…2010!?.  It is by Michael Rand and is described as ‘Commenter Clarence Swamptown is back with his increasingly popular feature “Clearance Clarence,” which is basically an unfiltered plunge into his soul.’  I think that this is a take Mike Royko’s old Slats Grobnik character.  The part about the Beloit Snappers that Walters shoots down is right here:


I would not support public funding for a new Saints ballpark (or renovating Midway Stadium) unless they somehow partner with the Minnesota Twins to become a Twins farm team.

I realize that this is a very odd and selfish condition, but there is no reason why the Beloit Snappers (the Twins’ Low-A affiliate) cannot be moved to St. Paul. The Saints’ sell three times (!) more tickets each year than Beloit (Beloit sold 83,480 tickets in 2009.  St. Paul sold 267,398.).

Beloit currently plays in a league with teams from Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa,- so moving the team to St. Paul would not require a league change.  Aaron Hicks, the Minnesota Twins top prospect, is likely to start this season in Beloit.  I would drive to St. Paul to watch Aaron Hicks play.  The St. Paul Saints are good baseball players, but most Minnesotans live within 10-minutes of an amateur baseball field.

I can hit the Miesville Mudhens’ ballpark with a well-struck six iron from my backyard.  I enjoy going to St. Paul Saints games because it’s a fun and unique atmosphere (pigs, TRAIN, etc.), but I do not need to drive to St. Paul to watch a slightly elevated brand of town-team baseball.

The Twins should want a farm team in their backyard, if only to increase the average fan’s connection to their young players.  It seems like a natural partnership.

Note: I had to add in paragraph breaks to make that readable.  Also note: the author forgot about the teams in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.  But I’ll let it slide because the more I read this column, the more I think that it is a bad parody of blog commenters.

Something else must have popped up recently that brought this issue to the forefront again.  But, I can’t find it.  As for reasons why the Snappers aren’t leaving Beloit any time soon….I don’t have enough room on this blog or time left in the offseason.

The Neverending Story Continues again

Snappy.jpg

Snappers ponder downtown site


Beloit Snappers officials were among those listening intently
Thursday as author and University of Notre Dame Professor Philip Bess
spoke on the value of urban baseball stadiums during a City Center
seminar.

Bess, author of “City Baseball Magic” and a key advisor
in the “Save Fenway Park” movement a few years ago, said the merits of
an urban stadium — whether in a Major League setting in Boston or
Chicago or a minor-league one in Beloit — can’t be overlooked.


His message obviously struck a chord.


“He was invited here because he says if you are interested in a
city center or urban ballpark, there are issues or principles you need
to consider,” said Jeff Adams, Professor of Economics at Beloit College
and member of Beloit 2020. “He gave us a lot of things to think about
in the context of what makes for a great city. I loved his lecture.”


The
seminar by Bess was particularly relevant since Snappers Chairman of
the Board Dennis Conerton revealed the Snappers are now considering a
downtown site for the new stadium they hope to build to replace outdated
Pohlman Field.


Conerton said the site is available on a 20-acre tract of land on the Ironworks campus alongside the Rock River.

“We
went from having no site and no funding to a site in the Gateway
without funding to two sites without funding,” Conerton said. “At least
we have options to evaluate and people are talking.”

I really do want this to be done and in a positive manner for the Snappers.

Conerton said the possibility of a downtown ballpark fosters a number of new questions, not the least of which is funding.

“Funding
is an element of the process we’re going through,” he said. “Is it
better funding potential at this site, the Gateway site, or does it make
any difference? We also have to look at income potential, sponsorship,
naming rights, all kinds of things.


“We’re on a short time frame. We’ve brought in a consultant to analyze both sites and we’ll get an objective opinion.”


Eight Imperatives
of a Downtown Ballpark from Mr. Bess:

1. Think always of ballpark design in the context of urban design.



2. Think always in terms of mixed-use neighborhood rather than entertainment zone or cultural district.

3. Let site as much as program drive the ballpark design — not exclusively, but more.

4. Treat the ballpark as a civic building.

5. Make cars adapt to the culture and physical form of the neightborhood instead of the neighborhood adapting to the cars.

6. Maximize the use of pre-existing on- and off-street parking, and distrubute rather than concentrate any new required parking.

7. Create development opportunities for a variety of activities in the vicinity of the ballpark, including housing and shopping.

8.
Keep the ballpark footprint smaller and more neighborhood-friendly by
locating non-ballpark specific program functions in buildings located
adjacent to rather than within the ballpark. For example, team offices.

It is mentioned that Professor Bess has worked on Fenway Park preservation.  He also worked on designing a downtown site to replace Milwaukee County Stadium, Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, and Old Comiskey Park in Chicago.

I will leave the final word to Jeff Vohs, the GM of the Snappers, who brings up a couple of good points regarding a downtown stadium:

“Our surveys have shown that a large percent of our attendance is
from outside Beloit,” he said. “So is our sponsorship. If the park is
downtown, how does that impact our long-term viability? Would people
drive into Beloit to see a game? How would traffic be handled on a
fireworks night downtown? How about parking? Those are all things we
need to consider.”

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