Moolenaar Goes to Bat for Baseball in Michigan
This week, Congressman John Moolenaar went to bat for minor league baseball teams in Michigan. On Tuesday night, he attended the first meeting of the Save Minor League Baseball Task Force on Capitol Hill.
The task force was formed after a proposal by Major League Baseball that would eliminate the affiliation between 42 minor league teams and their major league clubs was reported in the national media.
No Michigan teams are on the proposed list of those to have their affiliations eliminated. However, Congressman Moolenaar is working for baseball fans in mid and northern Michigan who are concerned their teams could be affected in the future.
“We have outstanding minor league teams in Michigan who do tremendous charitable work in their communities and provide a fun and affordable entertainment experience for families. Their partnership with Major League Baseball is exciting for their communities and their fans, and I hope teams in Michigan and across the nation will be able to keep their affiliations,” said Moolenaar.
Congressman John Moolenaar, wearing a Great Lakes Loons' uniform, signs a baseball for young fans at the 2015 Congressional Baseball Game.
Moolenaar also spoke on Tuesday night at the launch event for the task force. His remarks were covered by Roll Call, a Capitol Hill publication, which is excerpted below.
Rep. John Moolenaar has fond memories of the opening of Dow Diamond, the ballpark that is home to the Class A Great Lakes Loons.
“I can still remember when the field was built, and they had the opening day. I asked the general manager, you know, are any of these players that are on the team going to make it to the big leagues,” the Republican from Michigan said Tuesday. “I remember him saying, well, watch this pitcher. He’s only going to be with us for a little while.”
The pitcher? It was three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw. The Loons, which play in the Midwest League, are an affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Loons were not among the 42 teams targeted to lose their major league affiliations under a proposal from Major League Baseball that has drawn considerable ire on Capitol Hill. But Moolenaar was among the bipartisan contingent of House members joining Democratic Rep. Lori Trahan of Massachusetts and Republican Rep. David B. McKinley for the inaugural meeting of the Save Minor League Baseball Task Force.