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
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


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]


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]


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]


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


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.


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]


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

Notable MLB alumni


  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". Retrieved 2018-05-01.
  4. ^ 608-252-6473, JIM POLZIN | Wisconsin State Journal | |. "Northwoods League championship: Mallards rout Huskies to claim first title since 2004". 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". 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". 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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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.

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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.

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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.

Sports teams based in Wisconsin

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