Madison Mallards

The Madison Mallards are a collegiate summer baseball team based in Madison, Wisconsin that plays in the Northwoods League. Warner Park on Madison’s North side is the team's home field. The 2018 season marked the Mallards' 18th season.

Madison Mallards
Madison Mallards logo
Information
LeagueNorthwoods League (Great Lakes West 2019-pres)
(South Division 2001-2018)
LocationMadison, Wisconsin
BallparkWarner Park
Year founded2001
League championships2 (2004, 2013)
Division championships4 (2004, 2005, 2008, 2013)
ColorsGreen, silver, white, gold
                   
OwnershipSteve Schmitt
ManagementPresident: Vern Stenman
General Manager: Tyler Isham
ManagerDonnie Scott
MediaWisconsin State Journal
WOZN/WRIS-FM
WebsiteMallardsBaseball.com

History

The history of minor league baseball in Madison begins with the early success of the Madison Muskies. A Midwest League Oakland A's affiliate, the Muskies were competitive and gained a healthy following in the years following their 1982 origins. Unfortunately by 1993 the crowds had declined and the Muskies became less profitable.[1]

In 1994 the Muskies were replaced for a single season by the St Louis affiliate, Madison Hatters. 1996 began the five-year stint of the independent Madison Black Wolf, but once again low attendance and little interest plagued the team and they were forced to move to a more profitable community.[2]

In 2001, area businessman, Steve Schmitt, introduced the Madison Mallards to Warner Park. The Mallards joined the Northwoods League, which features amateur college players playing summer ball during their off-season.[3]

Success

The Mallards made it to the playoffs in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2013, 2015, and 2016. They have made four Northwoods League Championship Series appearances, which resulted in runner-up finishes in 2005 and 2008. They won the Northwoods League championship in 2004 and 2013.[4]

Ownership

In 2014, the Mallards ownership group created Big Top Baseball. Big Top Baseball is the nation's leader in summer collegiate baseball, operating four Northwoods League franchises in the state of Wisconsin. Big Top Baseball owns and operates the Madison Mallards, Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, Kenosha Kingfish, and Green Bay Bullfrogs.[5]

Stadium

Warner Park, built in 1982, currently seats 6,750 people.[6]

Dimensions

The playing surface of the field is mainly grass, and the dimensions from home plate are 308 1/3 feet to left field, 380 feet to center field and 290 2/3 feet to right field. The 440-square-foot scoreboard, installed in 2013, is located in left center field. 14 flat screen televisions can be found throughout the stadium. There is a children's playground and picnic seating close to the foul lines in left field.

Attendance

The Mallards routinely lead the Northwoods League in attendance, averaging over 6,358 fans per game in 2015 and 6,308 in 2017.[7]

Duck Blind

The club offers a promotion called the Duck Blind, a group of seats in right field which cost up to $41 and include unlimited food, soda, and beer.[8] In 2018, the Duck Blind underwent a $1 million renovation.[9]

Gallery

Madison Mallards v Duluth Huskies
Madison Mallards Opening Day (0602)
Madison Mallards - Go Mallards!

Notable MLB alumni

Notes

  1. ^ "Madison Mallards filling city's void for baseball". Bucky's 5th Quarter. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  2. ^ "Madison Black Wolf". Retrieved 2009-06-17.
  3. ^ Journal, John Maniaci -- State. "Steve Schmitt, Madison Mallards". madison.com. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  4. ^ 608-252-6473, JIM POLZIN | Wisconsin State Journal | jpolzin@madison.com |. "Northwoods League championship: Mallards rout Huskies to claim first title since 2004". madison.com. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  5. ^ Journal, Shelley Mesch | Wisconsin State Journal, Logan Wroge | Wisconsin State. "Additional seating, other upgrades at Breese Stevens Field would happen sooner under proposal". madison.com. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  6. ^ Journal, Todd D. Milewski | Wisconsin State. "Mallards: As team's standards rise, Duck Blind grows up with $1 million transformation". madison.com. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  7. ^ "2017 Summer Collegiate Attendance by Average". Ballpark Digest. 2017-08-14. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  8. ^ "If Matt Chapman Hits a Home Run in an Empty Stadium, Does It Make a Sound?". The Ringer. Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  9. ^ Popke, Michael (2017-03-30). "Duck Blind 2.0". Isthmus | Madison, Wisconsin. Retrieved 2018-05-01.

External links

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The Battle Creek Bombers are a baseball team that plays in the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer baseball league. All players on the team must have NCAA eligibility remaining in order to participate. Their home games are played at the C.O. Brown Stadium in Battle Creek, Michigan. The team is currently owned by the Northwoods League.

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Forward Madison FC

Forward Madison FC is an American professional soccer team based in Madison, Wisconsin. The team was founded in 2018, and will play its inaugural season in 2019, competing in the third division of the US soccer league system, USL League One. The team will play their home matches at Breese Stevens Field.

Gary McClure

Gary McClure in a former American college baseball coach, formerly serving as head coach of the Austin Peay Governors baseball program. He was named to that position prior to the 1988 season. With 847 wins, McClure is the winningest coach in Austin Peay baseball history, as well as the winningest coach in Ohio Valley Conference baseball history.McClure played two years at Southeastern Community College in Iowa before completing his eligibility at Cumberland. He then completed his degree at Austin Peay, and served as a student assistant coach. With the retirement of then-coach Billy Merkel, McClure was hired as head coach just two years removed from his playing days. Under McClure, the Governors won thirteen regular season and tournament OVC titles. They appeared in six NCAA Regionals. McClure has coached six major league players (Jamie "Cat" Walker-Royals, Tigers, Orioles), (George Sherrill-Mariners, Orioles, Dodgers, Braves) (AJ Ellis-Dodgers, Marlins, Padres), (Shawn Kelley-Mariners, Yankees, Nationals), (Matt Reynolds-Rockies, Diamondbacks, Giants), (Ryan Harper-Mariners). McClure was inducted into the Austin Peay Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012. McClure has been a candidate for several major conference coaching vacancies, most recently at Iowa. He withdrew his name from consideration for the Iowa position in the summer of 2013, electing to remain at Austin Peay.McClure was hired by the Battle Creek Bombers of the North Woods League in 2016 where his team finished with a record of 40-33 while going 21-16 in the second half. They made the playoffs for only the second time in the teams ten year history.They beat the Madison Mallards in the first round and then lost in the Semi finals to the eventual 2016 champion (Rapids Rafters).

In 2017 McClure was hired by the Kokomo Jackrabbits.

Kalamazoo Growlers

The Kalamazoo Growlers are a baseball team based in Kalamazoo, Michigan that plays in the Northwoods League, a summer collegiate baseball league. The Growlers were founded in 2013 and played their first game on May 28, 2014, losing to the then defending league champion Madison Mallards 6-2. The Growlers played their first home game on May 30, 2014, beating the Battle Creek Bombers 13-3. The team plays its home games at Homer Stryker Field.

Kenosha Kingfish

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Madison Muskies

The Madison Muskies were a Class A minor league baseball team that played in the Midwest League from 1982 to 1993 in Madison, Wisconsin.

In 1993, the team relocated to Comstock Park, Michigan and became today's West Michigan Whitecaps. The Muskies were an affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. The team, which was founded by Madison entrepreneur Ed Janus played at Breese Stevens Field and Warner Park.

The debut Muskies team had a league-best 87-52 record, 6.5 games ahead of the Appleton Foxes in the North Division, however, they lost the Midwest League championship to the Foxes 2 games to 1. Romano, a Muskies outfielder, was the Midwest League Most Valuable Player in 1982. In 1991, they made their second and last championship appearance, this time losing to the Clinton Giants 3 games to 0.The Muskies played their last home game in Madison against the Foxes in 1993. In a driving rainstorm, with Appleton leading 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Foxes' pitcher slipped on the mound and his manager requested that the game be called. After a second slip, the umpire called the game, ending the Muskies' Madison tenure in anticlimactic fashion: Madison's final home game ended with one out in the bottom of the ninth, with the potential tying run coming to bat.

They finished their 12-year run in Madison with an 860-786 record, .522 winning percentage, including three division titles and four second-place finishes.

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The Milwaukee Blitzdkrieg are an all-men's flat-track roller derby league located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Blitzdkrieg, founded in 2009, are the first all-men's roller derby league established in Wisconsin.

Northwoods League

The Northwoods League is a collegiate summer baseball league comprising teams of the top college players from North America and beyond. All players in the league must have NCAA eligibility remaining in order to participate. Players are not paid, so as to maintain their college eligibility. Graduated senior pitchers are also eligible to play in the Northwoods League. Each team may have four of these players at a time.

Teams are run similar to a professional minor league teams, providing players an opportunity to play under the same conditions, using wooden bats and minor league specification baseballs. Teams play 72 games scheduled from late May to mid-August. The season itself is broken into two halves, with the winners of each half in each of the two divisions, along with two other wild card teams with the next best records, playing against each other to determine a divisional champion. The divisional champions then meet in a best-of-three playoff for the league championship.

Established in 1994, the Northwoods League was the first for-profit summer collegiate baseball league. It has more teams, draws more fans, and plays more games than any other summer collegiate baseball league. The Northwoods League drew over 1.1 Million fans for the fourth consecutive year in 2017, far outdistancing its closest rival in the summer collegiate baseball world. In fact, the Northwoods League drew more fans than three of the four short-season affiliated professional leagues in 2017. Many of the teams in the league play in ballparks formerly occupied by professional clubs from the Midwest League, Prairie League, Northern League, and Frontier League. The wooden bat circuit allows communities deemed too small for professional ball to continue to enjoy high quality, competitive baseball during the summer months. The Northwoods League was the first summer collegiate baseball league to broadcast on the ESPN network, and currently webcasts all of its games.

The teams are located in the Northwoods region of the Upper Midwestern United States and Northwestern Ontario, mostly in the U.S. states of Minnesota (five teams) and Wisconsin (nine teams); also with three teams in Michigan and one team each in Iowa, Illinois, North Dakota, Indiana and Ontario.

Over 200 league alumni have gone on to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) with 91 alumni entering the MLB ranks from 2013 to 2017. Alumni Max Scherzer, the 2017 National League Cy Young Award winner and American League runner-up Chris Sale faced each other as the starting pitchers in the 2017 and 2018 Major League Baseball All-Star Games.

Rockford Rivets

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The Thunder Bay Border Cats are a baseball team that plays in the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer baseball league. The league's only Canadian team, their home games are played at Port Arthur Stadium in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

The Border Cats have been Northwoods League champions twice, defeating the Madison Mallards two games to one in both 2005 and 2008. They also were in the Northwoods League championship in 2006, but lost to the Rochester Honkers.As of 2014, the Border Cats have sent three players to the major leagues. Matt Mangini was the first to make the jump, playing 11 games for the Seattle Mariners in 2011. Shortstop Jonathan Diaz followed two years later, playing four games with the Boston Red Sox in 2013. Diaz also spent time with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2014, almost making the team out of spring training. Pitcher Blaine Hardy became a regular in the Detroit Tigers bullpen in 2014.

WOZN (AM)

WOZN ("The Zone") is a sports talk radio station licensed to and serving Madison, Wisconsin. Owned and operated by Mid-West Family Broadcasting, WOZN broadcasts on 1670 AM, and is also simulcast on low-powered repeater W244DR (96.7 MHz).

WRIS-FM

WRIS-FM (106.7 FM) is a radio station licensed to Mount Horeb, Wisconsin and serving the Madison market. The station is owned by Mid-West Family Broadcasting and airs an alternative rock format as "The Resistance 106.7." WRIS-FM broadcasts from a tower near Barneveld, Wisconsin, about 25 miles west of Madison.

WTLX

WTLX (100.5 MHz "100.5 FM ESPN") is a commercial FM radio station, licensed to Monona, Wisconsin and serving the Madison metropolitan area. The station is owned by Good Karma Broadcasting, LLC, and runs a Sports Talk radio format as a network affiliate of ESPN Radio. Studios and offices are on North Pinckney Street in Madison. The transmitter is off Tower Road, using an antenna on the water tower at the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison.

WXXM

WXXM (92.1 MHz) is a commercial FM radio station licensed to Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and serving the Madison metropolitan area. The station is owned and operated by iHeartMedia, and currently broadcasts a classic hits format. The station is famed for its runs as an alternative rock station during the 1980s and 1990s and as a progressive talk station in the 2000s and 2010s. WXXM's studios and offices are located on Fish Hatchery Road in the Madison suburb of Fitchburg, and has a transmitter located off Brooks Drive in Sun Prairie.

Warner Park

Warner Park is a community park on the northeast side of Madison, Wisconsin near Lake Mendota.

Warner Park is also the home to the Madison Mallards baseball team, a member of the Northwoods League. Its stadium, nicknamed the "Duck Pond", was built in 1982 and has a capacity of 6750. It also hosts the Madison East High School and Madison La Follette High School baseball teams.

The adjacent football field was formerly the home of the Madison Mustangs, a semi-professional football team that played in the Central States Football League in the 1960s and 1970s.

Warner Park contains a multi-purpose facility for community activities. It has a gymnasium, a fully equipped exercise room, a game room and dry and wet craft rooms. Meeting rooms and community rooms are available for rent.

The park contains a 9-foot-tall metal replica of the Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World), built in 1950.

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