More than 2,000 people went out to the ballgame Tuesday night. They attended the inaugural game of the Pit Spitters, Traverse City’s new team in the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer baseball league.

The Traverse City team won, 2-1, over the Green Bay Booyah.

Watching the action should be exciting this summer. Talent definitely exists in the Northwoods League, which has been proving itself for 26 years.

Ten Northwoods League alumni have gone on to help win a World Series.

Three Northwoods League alumni currently play for the Detroit Tigers: Blaine Hardy, John Hicks and Jordan Zimmerman. Other league alumni play for the A’s, Angels, Astros, Athletics, Braves, Brewers, Cardinals, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Indians, Mariners, Marlins, Mets, Nationals, Orioles, Padres, Phillies, Pirates, Rays, Red Sox, Royals and Twins.

In 2019, 76 Northwoods League alumni are playing in the major leagues.

That track record suggests that some mighty good baseball will be on display in Traverse City this summer. It’s likely that spectators will see at least one player on the field in Traverse City this summer who will move up into the major leagues.

It’s a whole new ballgame for Traverse City baseball.

Traverse City drove its way into the world of post-high-school baseball in 2006 when the Wuerfel family built Wuerfel Park south of town and created the Beach Bums professional baseball team. It competed in the independent Frontier League for post-college players.

The Wuerfels sold the stadium in 2018 to owners of the Midwest League’s West Michigan Whitecaps, who launched a new team in the Northwoods League. The Traverse City ball field since was renamed Pit Spitters Park.

The players on the new team are on the way up, hoping to advance their baseball careers. They crave the attention of scouts seeking talent for professional baseball teams.

Three-time Cy Young Award winner, former Detroit Tiger and current Washington Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer caught someone’s eye while playing in the Northwoods League.

The collegiate summer baseball league collects talented NCAA-eligible players from colleges across the nation. Two divisions, Great Plains and Great Lakes, compete throughout the summer. Teams from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin comprise the Great Lakes division. Teams from Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ontario and Wisconsin comprise the league’s Great Plains division.

The Pit Spitters suffered a 10-1 loss Wednesday in their second contest with the Green Bay team. But there’s no doubt some great baseball will be on display all summer at Pit Spitters Park.

The Issue:

n Traverse City Pit Spitters launch first season

Our View:

n Some great baseball will be on display this summer