The West Michigan Whitecaps is the official Class A minor league team of the Detroit Tigers. Formerly known as the Madison Muskies, the franchise was bought by a local group and then relocated for the 1994 season. It was the first baseball team to play in Grand Rapids since the demise of the Chicks from the girls' professional league four decades earlier. The Oakland Athletics were the original affiliate of the White Caps. In 1996, the team defeated the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in four games to capture the first championship in team history. The Tigers took over as the affiliate in the following season, and the Whitecaps won America’s Minor League Team of the Year despite losing in the first round of the playoffs. In 1998, the team captured a second Midwest League championship over the Rockford Cubbies. The 2004 season marked the beginning of a remarkable run in which the team captured three championships in four seasons. The Whitecaps later added a sixth championship in 2015. Fans of minor league baseball can purchase West Michigan Whitecaps tickets at StubHub.
Which Whitecaps players have also spent time in the majors?
The Whitecaps has served as an important stop for many Tigers players. In 1999, longtime Tiger third baseman and catcher Brandon Inge played 100 games for West Michigan and accumulated 86 hits and 54 runs. Nicholas Castellanos, who played for Detroit between 2014 and 2019, also got his start with the Whitecaps in 2011. He had a .312 average, along with 158 hits and 65 runs, in 507 at bats. Other notable MLB players to make appearances with West Michigan, mostly on rehab assignment, include Kenny Rogers, Curtis Granderson, Omar Infante, Magglio Ordonez, Jeremy Bonderman and Carlos Guillen.
What was the record of the West Michigan Whitecaps last season?
West Michigan finished at the bottom of the Eastern Division with a 21-48 record in the first half of the seasons and a 28-42 record in the second half of the season. Despite the disappointing results, the team had several standout performances. First baseman Nick Ames had a .348 average in 112 at bats while starting pitcher Robbie Welhaf went 5-7 with a 2.69 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP. Rightfielder Ulrich Bojarski also led the team with 10 home runs.
What are some of the top West Michigan Whitecaps games for the latest season?
The West Michigan Whitecaps schedule for 2020 begins on April 9. The team is running unique promotions and events throughout the season, including a Nurses Night against the Burlington Bees on May 9, a Military Appreciation Day against the Lansing Lugnuts on May 17, a 70s Night against the South Bend Cubs on May 20, Super Splash Day against Lansing on July 1, a Dog Day against the Great Lakes Loons on July 12, a Central Michigan/Western Michigan Rivalry Night on Aug. 6, a Michigan/Michigan State Rivalry Night on Aug. 13, a Pajama Party on Aug. 14, a Kids Can Conquer Night on Aug. 25 and many Family Fare Fireworks days. The schedule concludes with a four-game away series against the Fort Wayne Tincaps between Sept. 4 and 7. In order to qualify for the postseason in September, West Michigan would need to finish in the top two of the division in either the first or second half of the season.
Who is the manager of the West Michigan Whitecaps?
Brayan Peña became the Whitecaps manager in 2019. A former catcher for Detroit, Peña had previously served as the manager of the Gulf Coast Tigers in 2018, leading the team to its first-ever championship, and the Connecticut Tigers in 2019.
What is the West Michigan Whitecaps venue like?
The Fifth Third Ballpark, which opened in 1994, has a seating capacity of around 9,500 spectators. The park features plastic chairs in the lower half and metal benches in the upper half as well as plenty of concessions and food options. The team is eager to promote the local brewery scene from Grand Rapids.Back to Top
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