Over the weekend, I found an “Old Timers” jersey worn by the Lansing Lugnuts for sale on Craigslist. Here are the pictures attached in the posting:
Now growing up in Lansing I frequented games at Oldsmobile Park (it’s called Cooley Law Stadium now) and I never realized just how far back the Lugnuts franchise went. I also don’t remember seeing theme day jerseys at games, but there was always group nights as well as fireworks nights. But, these uniforms are cool. I’m a big fan of throwback jerseys; they ‘re by far the most refreshing kind of jersey to me. Even more so than Star Wars night, but a lot of that has to do with the fact that I’m a history nerd.
Going back to the “Old Timers”, the Lugnuts franchise goes back to their inaugural year in 1955 when they were an affiliate of the Cleveland Indians and called the Lafayette Chiefs. The following season they became affiliated with the Red Sox and became the Lafayette Red Sox. Following the ’67 season, the Red Sox moved the team to Waterloo, where they became the Waterloo Red Sox from 1958 -1968. In ’69, they became affiliated with the Royals and became the Waterloo Royals. Following the ’76
Following the ’76, the team once again became affiliated with the Cleveland Indians and became the Waterloo Indians winning the League in 1980 and 1986. One side note, throughout their entire franchise history the incarnates of the Lugnuts have been in the Midwest League.
One side note, throughout their entire franchise history the incarnates of the Lugnuts have been in the Midwest League.
In 1989, the team became the Waterloo Diamonds, affiliates of the Orioles and the Padres (I’m going to have to see how many times that’s happened in history, I doubt more than five). From 1990 until 1993 they were solely affiliated with the Padres. Following the 1993 season, they moved to Springfield and became the Springfield Sultans.
Finally, in 1995, the Lugnuts were born playing their home games at Cooley Stadium. From 1995-1998 they were affiliated with the KC Royals, then the Cubs from 1999-2004, and since 2005 they have been affiliated with the Blue Jays. Since their inception in 1995, the Lugnuts have won two league titles (1997 & 2003) as well as five division titles (1996 (2nd half), 1999 (1st half), 2008 (1st half), 2012 (2nd half), and 2015 (2nd half)).
The Lugnuts have numerous notable alumni, Brett Lawrie and Carlos Beltran. Unfortunately, I don’t remember seeing Beltran play as a kid going to the games which according to baseball-reference he played in seasons for the Lugnuts during years I attended games.