Posted In: Sports, Local Sports, Great Lakes Loons,   From Issue 710   By: Thomas Baird

02nd September, 2010     0

What a year it has been for the Midland based Great Lakes Loons in 2010. After a second place finish in the first half the Loons have stormed out of the gate after the All-Star break to a first place run for the second half. This has put the Loons in the Midwest League playoffs for the second time in Loons history.

The Midwest League playoffs will start away from home against a yet to be determined opponent.  However the first home playoff game will be on Thursday September 9, 2010 at 7:05p.m. at the Dow Diamond.  The Loons have set a franchise record with wins this year with 84 victories at press time and are looking to go over the 90 win mark by the end of the season on Labor Day.  The final series of the season at the Dow Diamond over Labor Day weekend will see the Loons taking on the Bowling Green Hot Rods.  These games expect to be sellouts to complete a very good season attendance wise for the Great Lakes Loons.  The Loons have been averaging close to 4,000 fans per game and should top the 250,000 fans for the 2010 season.

The Loons manager Juan Bustabad has been named the Midwest League's Manager of the Year after passing the 700 wins in his career in late August.  One of the tough things to see this season is the promotion of several of the top rated players on the Loons.  We have now seen other Major Leagues clubs making trades with the parent club Los Angeles Dodgers and wanting to have the prospects coming from the Great Lakes Loons.  Midwest League All-Star game MVP Jerry Sands was called up after the All-Star break in July.  Two pitchers Brett Wallach and Elisaul Pimentel have been dealt in trades by the Dodgers to other major league organizations.

However the Loons have kept right on winning going into late August with the best record in the second half at 40-18 and the best record in all of professional baseball the entire second half.  The Great Lakes team has also seen a successful promotion this year involving the Detroit Tigers with bobble-head giveaways and former Tigers coming in and doing autograph sessions.  The fireworks that have followed every Friday and Saturday game have been extremely popular at the clean and fan friendly Dow Diamond all season long.

The excitement is building for the Midwest League playoffs to start with the Loons making a long run in 2009.   Manager Juan Bustabad likes the Loons chances in 2010 "This team is coming together and playing like the team can.  They pick each other up and don't rely on any one player."

Several Loons have had outstanding seasons and will be named to the Midwest League season ending All-Star team.  Outfielder Brian Cavazos-Galvez is simply crushing the ball this season leading the team in Home Runs and RBI's.  The starting pitching staff has been led by Allen Webster, William Savage, Matt Magill and Nick Gaudi to give the Loons the best overall record in the Midwest League.

This has already been a season to remember in Great Lakes Loons history; but now the important part of the year is whether they will make a long run in the playoffs and bring home a Championship trophy to Midland.


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