There’s a certain quaintness that accompanies attending a Midwest League game at Beloit’s Pohlman Field.
The ballpark has a charm that harkens back to when the franchise joined the league 35 years ago, a time when Midwest League teams called smaller, simpler facilities home in Waterloo, Wisconsin Rapids, Wausau, Kenosha, Rockford and Springfield.
The small grandstand and bleacher seats are close to the action. The clubhouses sit in a small building just behind the grandstand, sharing space with club’s front office. Adjacent is a covered batting tunnel, erected two years ago to fulfill minor-league facility requirements.
When you go to a Snappers game, fans congregate in areas from the clubhouse door to the gate that leads to the field and dugouts hoping to catch a pregame or postgame autograph or photo with a player.
A few changes have been made in Beloit over the years, but Pohlman Field has received waivers in recent years in several areas where the facility does not meet current Minor League Baseball standards.
The franchise has also been told it will no longer receive waivers when the next agreement between Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball comes into play in 2020.
Minor League Baseball president Pat O’Conner visited Beloit in March to survey the situation and left optimistic that a workable solution is possible, in part because the local ownership group and its board of directors understand the necessity.
As Jim Agate, the chair of the Snappers organization’s stadium committee told the Beloit Daily News, “It’s do or die time for us. If the Snappers are going to stay in Beloit, we have to do something.’’
That something is a new downtown stadium that would not only keep baseball in Beloit, but would be part of a downtown revitalization project in the southern Wisconsin city.
The club has previously pursued state funding on several different projects over the past 15 years, but is seeking outside investment dollars this time around as it seeks a solution to a long-term issue.
No. 1 fan: When Kramer Robertson belted his first professional home run for Peoria last week, his number one fan was in the stands.
Robertson is the son of Baylor women’s basketball coach Kim Mulkey and the coach of the Bears’ 2005 and 2012 Final Four teams was in the stands at Dozer Park when Robertson homered twice and hit two singles Wednesday in a 10-3 win over Lake County.
A shortstop, Robertson was a fourth-round pick of the Cardinals in the June draft out of LSU.
Moving on up: When Lansing arrives at Modern Woodmen Park on Wednesday, the Lugnuts won’t have two of the league’s top hitters on their roster.
Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. were promoted by the Blue Jays last week to high-A, taking .384 and .316 hitters out of the Lugnuts’ lineup.
“I was looking forward to watching them hit, at least in batting practice. Not so much in games maybe, but definitely during BP,’’ Quad-Cities manager Russ Steinhorn said. “When you think about two guys, both under 20, hitting like that in this league, that’s impressive.’’
All-Star seasons: Three former River Bandits participated in last week’s Triple-A All-Star Game in Tacoma, Washington, but only one played for an Astros affiliate.
Derek Fisher of Fresno, a .305 hitter for Quad-Cities in 2005, went 0-for-3 in the game. He made his major-league debut earlier this season and is hitting .306 through 74 games at Fresno.
Former River Bandits pitchers Troy Scribner and Tom Eshelman also played in the game. Scribner pitched for Quad-Cities in 2014 is currently at Salt Lake, while Eshelman was the River Bandits in 2015 and is currently at Lehigh Valley.
Scribner allowed one hit and struck out three in one inning for the Pacific Coast League team, while Eshelman started for the International League, allowing one hit over two innings.
QC golf outing: Registrations are now being accepted for the Quad-Cities River Bandits’ annual golf outing benefiting the Bandit Scholars program.
This year’s outing is scheduled for Tuesday, July 25 at Fyre Lake Golf Club in Sherrard and all proceeds benefit the program which finds one-year full-tuition scholarships for three Quad-City area students.
The tournament begins with a 1 p.m. shotgun start, one hour after on-site check-in begins. The cost is $90 for an individual, $180 for a twosome and $340 for a foursome. Registrations are being taken through Wednesday.
For further information, contact email@example.com or call (563) 333-2736.
Weekly honors: Dayton’s Jose Siri, who drove in four runs on four hits while extending an ongoing hitting streak to 24 games during a three-game series at Clinton last week, was named Monday as the Midwest League player of the week.
The outfielder went 9-for-23 at the plate last week for the Dragons with three homers and seven RBI.
Beloit’s Zack Erwin was named the pitcher of the week after not allowing a run while striking out 15 batters and walking two during 11 innings of work.
Alumni report: Houston recalled Raymin Guduan from Fresno last week, giving the left-handed pitcher additional opportunities for major-league experience out of the bullpen.
Gudman pitched for Quad-Cities in 2015, going 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA in six appearances with the River Bandits.
This is his second stint in the majors, working seven games earlier this season when he allowed seven earned runs in 7.2 innings of work.
By the numbers
5: Clinton’s Brandon Miller earned his first victory in five tries Saturday when he improved to 9-5 on the season Saturday with a win over Bowling Green. He now has 94 strikeouts in 101 innings of work.
20: Lake County first baseman Emmanuel Tapia hit 20 homers this season, four more than any other batter in the league.