The expansion summer collegiate Northwoods League franchise in Kalamazoo (MI) will be known as the Kalamazoo Growlers. The team unveiled their new name and logos on Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, during an event at Homer Stryker Field. The logo was designed by Worthen Design.
Kalamazoo Baseball’s Opening Event unveils new team name, logo, and more
KALAMAZOO, MI – The new baseball team in Kalamazoo has a name – the Growlers. The new name and logo were released at an Opening Event at Homer Stryker Field; along with introductions of the team manager, coaching staff, two players for the 2014 season, and a plan for stadium renovations.
Over 300 people were in attendance to enjoy the free food & drink, games, and festivities. Tickets went on sale and multiple merchandise items sold out, as the team released new shirts, hats, and hoodies which will soon be available on our team’s website (www.kzoobaseball.com).
The Kalamazoo Growlers was selected after a month long #NameYourTeam contest where community members submitted and voted on their favorite names. Over 750 names were submitted and over 3,000 votes were cast for the final five names (Cabbies, Clutch, Growlers, Kangaroos, Kraken). Kalamazoo native Joe Weinstein submitted the Growlers name and was rewarded with season tickets for life. The Kalamazoo Growlers name and logo pays homage to Kalamazoo’s rich history of craft beer breweries, while depicting a bear overseeing the city skyline.
The Kalamazoo Growlers also announced Joe Carbone as the field manager for the 2014 season.
Coach Carbone has over 40+ years of coaching experience. His experience includes jobs as the Assistant Coach with Toledo & Ohio State, and served as the Head Coach of Ohio University for 24 seasons.
During his tenure with Ohio University, Joe’s squads won a combined 661 games, making Joe the most winning coach in Ohio University history. His 661 wins places him 2nd in the MAC all time, behind Western Michigan baseball legend Fred Decker (781 wins). Joe is a two-time MAC Coach of the Year and 1997 Mideast Region Coach of the Year.
The Kalamazoo Growlers also announced they have signed two players from Western Michigan University, catcher Brett Sunde and outfielder Jared Kujawa.
Brett Sunde (Left): 6’0” – 190lb, B/R-T/R, C, Western Michigan (So.), Madison Heights, MI
Jared Kujawa (Right): 6’0” – 195lb, B/L-T/R, OF, Western Michigan (Jr.), Temperance, MI
Brett Sunde recently completed a successful freshman campaign with Western Michigan, batting .238 in 48 games-including 36 games as a starter. He contributed defensively as well, anchoring the Bronco defense with an impressive .987 fielding percentage.
A graduate of Bishop Foley (MI) High School, Sunde led his team to state baseball titles in 2011 and 2012, batting .439 and .500 respectively in those two seasons, slugging 12 home runs and 129 RBI’s. He also earned first team all-state honors twice and was named the 2012 Michigan Gatorade High School baseball player of the year. The Oakland Athletics selected Sunde in the 35th round of the 2012 Major League draft.
Jared Kujawa brings a season of valuable summer collegiate league experience to the Growlers, playing with the Lake Erie Monsters of the Great Lakes League (summer collegiate league) in 2013. Jared earned first team All-League, and finished third for the league batting title, hitting for a .346 average with eight doubles and five stolen bases in 27 games.
Kujawa comes off a productive 2013 season with Western Michigan, batting .288 with 25 RBI’s, 10 extra base hits and 14 stolen bases while starting all 54 games played in 2013. A 2011 graduate of Temperance Bedford (MI) High School, Jared gained all-state honors in both football and baseball his senior year.
Kalamazoo Baseball is a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. Playing its 21st season of summer collegiate baseball, the Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 18 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, more than 115 Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including MLB All-Stars Max Scherzer (DET), Chris Sale (CWS), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS), Curtis Granderson (NYY), Allen Craig (STL) and Ben Zobrist (TB). All league games are viewable live and free of charge via the Northwoods League YouTube channel. For more information, visit www.northwoodsleague.com or www.kzoobaseball.com.
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