Birmingham Barons Star Wars Night

The latest jersey post features the minor league team made infamous by Micheal Jordan when he retired from basketball.

The Birmingham Barons are going to have a Star Wars Night this week, after the game the Barons will be having a silent auction and the proceeds will go to the ALS Association. Like the SJ Giants, and other MiLB teams the Barons are going to auction off the jerseys after the game and the profits go to a good cause. The Barons, are hosting the rebellion this week. I think they’ve done this same jersey  before, but its cool nonetheless.

The Birmingham Barons are currently the AA Affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, playing in the Southern League since 1986, including when Michael Jordan made them infamous. Today’s featured prospects are Carson Fulmer and Adam Engel.

Carson Fulmer, RHP

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Fulmer was the White Sox overall first round pick at number eight, and his has the stuff to be a big league pitcher. As it stands his two pitch repoitoire is enough for him to be a big league reliever, but Fulmer has his eyes on being in a starting rotation. It’s only a matter of time before that happens for him.

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The scouting report on Fulmer currently has his fastball at 70 and curveball at 60, both well enough for him to succeed as a big league reliever.  While he has “the stuff” to be a big league pitcher, his size brings some doubt as to whether he can make it in the MLB. Fulmer is 6″, 195 pounds and many consider that to be “small” for an MLB starting pitcher. I don’t think that’ll be much cause for concern for Fulmer.

Adam Engel, OF

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Engel hit .251/.335/.369 in High-A with 62 walks, 132 strikeouts, 65 steals in 529 at-bats last season and then posted a stat line of  .403/.536/.642 line in AZ Fall League, he’s made adjustments to better his game and could find himself in AAA ball soon enough. He’s had trouble staying consistent which has kept him from advancing.

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San Jose Giants SpongeBob Jersey

Today’s jersey post features the San Jose Giants and their Spongebob Jersey to help support the Bay Area Make A Wish Foundation.

Many MiLB teams have a themed night; the staple has become a Star Wars Themed evening. There are other times, like this jersey, where the Teams auction off the Jersey for a good cause. It’s certainly not the first time. It’s the best thing, though that MiLB teams can do.

For multiple reasons, the first and most important is that the Jerseys are auctioned off after the game for a good cause. Which, lets the fans be a part of the game and raises money for a good cause. This also allows people who normally attend the games, to do so. Which is really cool.

Sure, you have the baseball traditionalists and stats geeks are there for the love of the game, but baseball is a game of entertainment and these jerseys bring people to the fields that normally wouldn’t go. That’s a big positive for the sport of baseball.

For every Star Wars Night, there’s a special jersey night like the one above and I think they make the game better than it already is.

The San Jose Giants are the currently the Class-A Advanced Affiliate of the San Jose Giants of the California League.  Today’s featured prospects are Chris Shaw and Sam Coonrod.

Chris Shaw, 1B

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Chris Shaw is a first round pick out of Boston College who posted stats of .287/.360/.551 with 12 homers, 19 walks, 41 strikeouts in 178 at-bats in Northwest League. He has huge power, but his defense needs a lot of work before he can find himself playing in the majors.

Sam Coonrod, RHP 

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Coonrod was a fifth-round pick out of Southern Illinois. In Low-A ball last season he posted 3.14 ERA with 114/34 K/BB in 112 innings. Coonrod has a low-to-mid nineties, and with the Giants pitching coaches he’s made great strides, but still has a long way to go.

Buffalo Bisons Retro Jersey

Today marks change for Greetings From Michigan. For the most part, I’ve done past jersey/logo posts, and it’s been fresh and intriguing as well as impressive. However, it’s time to head in a different direction with the focus of the blog. I’m going to steer away from the past posts and focus solely on what I call “promo” jerseys.

These are the jerseys that are worn for one game and then auctioned off afterwards. They’re also the kind of jerseys worn for special nights. The idea is that I’m steering away from doing past posts. The jersey/uniform part will stay the same. I’ll give my mediocre fashion hot take on what I think looks cool or what doesn’t look cool.

The big change that is coming is how I proceed after the uniform hot take. Before today, I’d tell a little bit about the team’s history, and if I were focusing on a particular year, I’d talk a little bit about said year. Going forward I’m going to do two prospect profiles, from whatever team is featured in the blog post. The fresh and unique promo uniforms were the inspiration for me starting this blog, and the profiles allow me to talk about MiLB teams more than once and keep each post unique and refreshing.

With that being said, today’s post is the Buffalo Bisons Retro Themed Jerseys as seen below.

That’s cool. The Retro look is so cool, especially in this case. The Columbus Clippers did something similar just last week, and it was just as cool. The Retro look allows today’s fans to see uniforms that their teams wore in the past, maybe even before they were even born. Okay, I’m not completely going away from MiLB history. Going away from baseball history is hard when your college major was history.

Today’s Prospect Profiles

Jesus Montero

 Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports


Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Jesus Montero was one of the games top prospects, considered to be a unanimous top ten in all of major league baseball. But this past spring the Mariners placed him on waivers, and the Blue Jays picked him up. Montero was drafted by the Yankees and rode sharp shots right through their farm system. In 2009, he was ranked as the 38th best prospect by Baseball America coming off a .326/.376/.491 season with 17 home runs, supported by a .391 wOBA at just 18 years old. In 2010 he was ranked 4th, then 3rd in ’11 and 6th in 2012.

From there his numbers only declined, posting a wOBA of .295 in 2012, and by this year, it was evident that he was no longer the baseball prodigy he once was as the Mariners placed him on waivers. The Blue Jays picked him up despite his fall from prodigy, and Montero can keep his baseball career alive.

David Adams

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Just three years ago Adams had his major league debut with the New York Yankees. He played 43 games in the big leagues but hit only .193. Ever since then he has been slumping, his bat has gone cold, and he’s been working to establish himself as a solid Triple-A player. In 2014, he went to the O’s slumped in AAA ball and was demoted to AA.

All of the last season he played AA ball in the Marlins system, and then over the winter a strong outing in Venezuela ball was enough to convince the Blue Jays to bring him into their farm system. The start of this season has been rocky for Adams, who is hitting .224. But he has been on base in 14 of the last 15 games, but the season is just starting.

1939 Winnipeg Maroons

To the north of the border, we go for today’s post, featuring the Winnipeg Maroons and their simplistic jersey as seen below.
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Back row (left to right) – C.H. McFadyen (President), Art Morrison (Publicity), Hugh Filson P, Hank Ruffing P, Fred Crinkovich P, Don Godfreson P, Ian McDonald (Trainer), Joe Mowry MGR/OF, John Jackson (Exec), Johnny Peterson (Business Manager).

Middle row – Vince Cicero 3B, Marty Mielke C, Jack Allendorf C/OF, Hank Miklos P, Bob Joyce P, Gayle Shupe P.

Front row – Windy Hansch 2B, Bill Barnacle CF, Hugh Gustafson 1B, Frank Danneker SS, Al Erickson C.

There’s also the matter of this maroon colored cap….

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This is probably the most simple uniform I have found in the MiLB historical research that I’ve done to date. It’s also the ugliest one I have ever seen. The maroon color of that cap is awful, I don’t find many baseball uniforms ugly, but this is one of them. It’s also intriguing to me that there existed many international MiLB teams. There were MiLB teams in Cuba and Canada, there’s also the current Mexican League.

Alumni of the Maroons include Hank Miklos who pitched a total of seven innings for the Chicago Cubs. He wasn’t a notable major league player, but looking at Baseball Reference he died in Adrian, Mi. The same town in which I went to college (that’s pretty neat if you ask me). Miklos posted an ERA of 7.71 in those lone seven innings for the Cubs.

Another alumni of the Maroons was Joe Mowry who played three seasons for the Boston Braves who  posted a stat line of .233/.284/.313/.596 in 192 games.

As the case goes with many of the historical MiLB teams, there’s not much out there on the 1939 Winnipeg Maroons, but you can find of the most simple and ugly uniforms in MiLB history.

1961 Duluth Dukes

Today’s post features the 1961 Duluth Dukes who wore the jersey below; which you can purchase here.

Duluth Dukes

I was doing some MiLB research; it’s hard to find information, photos, etc. on the lesser known MiLB teams. Yes, you can find the stats at baseball reference, but this isn’t a stats blog. I originally wanted to write today about a team from the Michigan State League. It only seemed fitting since the title of this blog is Greetings From Michigan. Eventually, I stumbled on the Duluth Dukes, and they intrigued me immediately.

On this particular jersey, the side patch caught my eye. The Top Hat with the eyeglass, that’s a cool little patch. MiLB teams have so many different names and mascots and logos its always refreshing to see something different and unique like that little patch.

Here’s a photo of Bernie Gul playing for them in ’52:

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The Duluth Dukes played in the Northern League  from 1935 to 1942, and then from 1946 until 1955. Additionally, they were a part of the short-lived (it only lasted six weeks) Twin Ports League. In 1956, they merged with the Superior Blues and played as the Duluth-Superior White Sox until 1960 when the Dukes Moniker was restored.

The Duluth-Superior Dukes were an affiliate of the Tigers from 1960-1964, in ’65, they were affiliated with both the Tigers and White Sox. ’66 saw an affiliate with the Cubs. In 1967, they had affiliations with two teams again (the Cubs and White Sox). Their final years (’68-’70) saw them affiliated with the White Sox.

Notable alumni of the Dukes include Detroit Tigers Center Fielder Mickey Stanley. Here he is in ’68 with the Tigers

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He played all fifteen seasons with the Tigers batting .248 with 117 home runs and 500 RBIs where he was a four-time golden glove winner and was a part of the 1968 Tigers World Series. Stanley hit .259 that season while winning the first of three consecutive Gold Gloves. Late in the season Stanley switched positions to play shortstop (he had never done that before in organized baseball) and became an integral part of the Tigers World Series Win.

 

Columbus Clippers Throwback Night

Earlier Today the Columbus Clippers had a Throwback Throwdown where you could vote on which Throwback Jerseys the team would wear during the game.

You can’t see it now, but they changed their name to the Columbus Jets and even changed their Twitter avatar. It was pretty cool. I’ve talked about the Jets before, which you can read here, the focus of that post was the ’52 Jets.

I’ve also talked about the Clippers before, earlier in they year they paid tribute to the 213th birthday of Ohio with these custom caps. The Clippers are one of the several teams I watched growing up (and still attend games when I have a chance). I have family in Columbus, and I’m never one to pass up a MiLB game.

Ultimately the powder blue unis one (I cast my vote on this uni, so I’m biased) and between the two, they were the much cooler ones.

That 70/80s baseball uniform style is the epitome of cool (at least I think so) and these are awesome. But, what’s even better is the interaction with the fans. Look at the MLB vs. the MiLB. Yes, the MLB has better caliber talent, but the MiLB makes up for that lack with teams doing things like this. There’s no way you can convince me that Major League Baseball has better promotion events than Minor League Baseball.

The Clippers are a storied team in Columbus, having a long time affiliation with the Yankees (twenty-six years to be exact), and are currently affiliated with the Indians.

Notable alumni of the Clippers include many Yankees (Jeter, Rivera to name a couple) as well as current Detroit Tigers Skipper Brad Ausmus, who played for the Clippers in 1992 where he batted .242 with 2 home runs and 56 strikeouts. That was Ausmus’s last year in the Yankees system (he spent a total of five there before being drafted by the Rockies in the ’92 expansion draft.

1913 Durham Bulls

Back to the historical jerseys; today’s is the 1913 Durham Bulls, featured in the photo below.

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As you can see from the picture, not much as changed from the uniform the Durham Bulls wear today, both the trademark D as well as the jumping Bull can be seen in the picture above. Today, you see the Bull jumping through the D, whereas in the photo you can see the D and Bull are on opposite sides of the uniform.

It’s cool to see that in 103 years, the Bulls haven’t changed their uniform very much. Both today’s logo and the logo then feature their trademark D and the jumping bull.  Everything changes over time, and sometimes it can be good.  But then there are times when you don’t need to change anything. The Durham Bulls Logo is one of the things which doesn’t need changing. While the logo is a variation of what it was 103 years ago, it’s not all that different.

The Durhan Bulls are the AAA affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays currently playing in the International League. They were founded in 1902 as the Durham Tobacconists, later that year the league which the Tobacconists joined folded. The Tobacconists reformed in 1912 as the Durham Bulls joining the North Carolina State League until the League folded in 1917 when the United States of America joined the Allies in WWI.

After the war, the Bulls joined the Piedmont League on October 31, 1919. In 1932, the Bulls became affiliated with the Philadelphia Phillies. In 1951, the Bulls helped make history when their 5-4 loss to the Danville Leafs featured the first black player in Carolina League history, Percy Miller Jr. It would not be until April 18, 1957, that the Bulls fielded African-American players when third baseman Bub Morton and pitcher Ted Richardson.

In 1967 the Bulls became affiliated with the Mets and were then renamed to the Raleigh-Durham Mets. They would then become an affiliate of the Phillies and the Braves.

1988 saw the start of the Bull Durham Era, the release of the Kevin Costner Movie saw a surge in stadium attendance and interest in the team.

The Bulls have a long, storied history of winning titles; including

Class titles (1) 2009
League titles (13)
  • 1924
  • 1925
  • 1929
  • 1930
  • 1940
  • 1941
  • 1957
  • 1965
  • 1967
  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2009
  • 2013
Division titles (16)
  • 1980
  • 1982
  • 1984
  • 1989
  • 1998
  • 1999
  • 2000
  • 2002
  • 2003
  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2009
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2013
  • 2014

 

Notable Alumni Include:

Steve Avery
Rocco Baldelli
Grant Balfour
Joe Beimel
Jim Bibby
Jeff Blauser
Bob Boone
Jorge Cantú
Norm Charlton
Carl Crawford
Steve Cox
Lawrence “Crash” Davis
Elijah Dukes
Julio Franco
Ron Gant
Jonny Gomes
José Guillén
Toby Hall
Jason Hammel
Michel Hernandez
Aubrey Huff
Edwin Jackson
John Jaso
Dan Johnson
Chipper Jones
Andruw Jones
David Justice
Ryan Klesko
Casey Kotchman
Wes Livengood
Mickey Lolich
Javier López
Greg Luzinski
Kevin Millwood
Joe Morgan
Jim Morris
Fernando Perez
Johnny Pesky
Shawn Riggans
Justin Ruggiano
Juan Salas
Jason Schmidt
Kelly Shoppach
Andy Sonnanstine
Rusty Staub
Mitch Talbot
B.J. Upton
Johnny Vander Meer
Dan Wheeler
Randy Winn
Delmon Young