Michigan - W. Michigan Whitecaps

West Michigan Whitecaps

The Whitecaps play at Fifth Third Ballpark, which hasn't changed names from when I attended on 7/14/13 to when I wrote about it in 2020. It's just north of Grand Rapids in Comstock Park.

I can't think of a better way to show you the scoreboard than with Rock Shoulders coming to bat. You'd think the name alone would guarantee success, but other than a brief callup to AAA, Ro(deri)ck never had a moment in the sun.

In-game moments: first pitch is halfway to the plate, Whitecaps in the field, a runner comes home in the 4th inning, a Whitecap at bat as the ball crosses the plate, and then putting one in play. Is it a groundout or a hit? That ball looks like it's going to be fielded before the batter even leaves the box, so I'll say out.

Before we get to the good stuff, take a moment to learn some area history. Click for a more legible closeup.

Meet today's mascots, Franky the Swimming Pig and Crash the River Rascal. Some sort of beaver/chipmunk hybrid, I'd say.

Crash is the most active mascot. He flexes, he dances, he cheers.

He faints, he is revived, and Franky takes advantage of the situation.

As a swimming pig, Franky appears to be tasked with keeping all others around him as wet as possible, including mascots and children.

This guy's got a trumpet, so he must be Backstop Jack Misner. Not really a mascot.

We go to minor league games for the between-innings hijinks. And the cheap food and booze, and to keep the kids occupied for a couple of hours, but this is the best part. Well, it has to start somewhere in order to keep getting better, so cardboard box "appliances" racing toward a relatively relaxed thermostat and back will be that baseline.

Next, we have children wrestling while wearing hockey pucks. This is sponsored by a frozen food company, so maybe they're hamburger patties. A step above the appliances, barely.

Let's just crank the hijink meter from 2 to 11 and get to the eyeball race. Ol' blue eye is missing, possibly poked before the starting bell, but we have a good, cockeyed race on our hands, while the opposing players warm up like usual, but with eyes.

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