Traverse City Beach Bums

From BR Bullpen

Traverse City Beach Bums
Traverse City Beach Bums logo
Founded 2006
League Frontier League
Team History Richmond Roosters

Traverse City Beach Bums

Ballpark Wuerfel Park
Based in Traverse City, Michigan
Team Colors Blue, Gold
Owner Traverse City Beach Bums, LLC
Manager Gregg Langbehn
Championships 0
Division Titles 0
Mascot Suntan and Sunburn

Team History[edit]


The Traverse City Beach Bums were a minor league baseball team based in Traverse City, MI. The Beach Bums played in the independent Frontier League. Previously known as the Richmond Roosters, the team was acquired by Wuerfel Sports Development, LLC and in the spring of 2006. The team relocated from Richmond, IN to Traverse City. The Beach Bums became Traverse City's first professional baseball team since 1915. The team's early predecessors include the Traverse City Hustlers, who played during the 1890s and the Traverse City Resorters, who played from 1910 to 1914. [1]

The Wuerfel's were very closely associated with resort and recreational development in the Traverse City and Grand Traverse Bay area. This relationship with the region and the tourism industry allowed the Beach Bums to quickly become an integral part of the Traverse City experience.

After the 2018 season ended, the Wuerfels sold the club to the West Michigan Whitecaps who will rename the team as the Traverse City Pit Spitters and move them to the summer collegiate Northwoods League.

2006 Inaugural Season[edit]

The team's inaugural game was played on May 24, 2006 at Wuerfel Park. The Beach Bums lost, 10-2 to the Kalamazoo Kings.

Despite losing their first three games to the Kalamazoo Kings, the Beach Bums went on to a winning season. Throughout the majority of the season, the team was strongly in the race for the Western Division title. In the end, the Beach Bums dropped into third place in the division behind the Washington Wild Things and the Chillicothe Paints due to a late season slump, and missed the playoffs.

The Beach Bums broke the Frontier League single season attendance record. They were named 2006 Frontier League Organization of the year. Following the 2006 inaugural season, manager Jeff Isom was recruited by the Milwaukee Brewers to be the manager of the Helena Brewers of the Pioneer League. Also following the inaugural season, broadcaster and announcer Chad Cooper was recruited by the Vero Beach Devil Rays and began working in affiliated baseball for the 2007 season.

2007 Season[edit]

The Beach Bums began their second season at Homer Stryker Field at Mayor's Riverfront Park in Kalamazoo, MI, taking on in-state rivals the Kalamazoo Kings. 2006 Frontier League Pitcher of the Year Tony Casoli opened the season for the Beach Bums. Casoli was pulled after four innings by manager Jon Cahill after giving up 6 runs on only 4 hits. By the start of the seventh inning, the Beach Bums had given up a total of 8 runs on 6 hits, two home runs, and hit three Kings batters. The Beach Bums managed only 1 run on 3 hits in the game, while giving up 9 runs to the Kings on 12 hits.

On August 31, in front of 5,233 fans at Wuerfel Park, Tony Casoli made his final start for the Beach Bums. The veteran pitcher officially announced his retirement from professional baseball after striking out six batters over the course of 4 1/3 innings. Two nights later the Bums were defeated by the division-leading Windy City ThunderBolts, in the season's final bout; Bryan Rembisz made his sixth appearance of the season as starting pitcher. With a crowd of 5,021 fans who filled the seats of Wuerfel Park, the Beach Bums fell 8-5 to the division leading ThunderBolts in 11 innings.

At season's end, the Traverse City Beach Bums had drawn 206,102 fans through the gates of Wuerfel Park, entertaining an average of 4,041 fans per game. The Bums once again fell short of the playoffs, falling into last place in their division (22 games behind Windy City) with a record of 46-50.

Other Information[edit]

Mascots and Uniforms[edit]

The Beach Bums are represented by a pair of Michigan black bear wearing sandals, caps and jerseys.

The team colors are dark blue and gold, a homage to the colors of the University of Michigan, the university attended by the sons of the team owners, John and Leslye Weurfel.

In trend with Major League Baseball, the Beach Bums host a throwback uniform game. The team wears white and black uniforms in the style of the 1915 Traverse City Resorters emblazoned with the large letters T and C on either side of the button placket. At the conclusion of the game, the jerseys are auctioned off, and the proceeds go to local charities. [2]

Beach Bums Involvement with International Baseball[edit]

The Beach Bums signed Japanese catcher, Takeshi Yamamoto as a starting player for the 2007 season; he also plays Third Base. Takeshi is the first Traverse City player to be recruited from outside the United States. Takeshi Yamamoto came to Traverse City after playing two years for the Kochi Fighting Dogs of the Shikoku Island League where he was a two-time all-star.

Beach Bums in Affiliated Baseball[edit]

Year by Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
2006 57-39 3rd Jeff Isom
2007 46-50 8th Jon Cahill
2008 50-46 5th Jon Cahill
2009 42-53 9th Gregg Langbehn
2010 55-41 5th Gregg Langbehn Lost League Finals
2011 51-45 5th Gregg Langbehn
2012 64-32 1st Gregg Langbehn Lost in 1st Round
2013 55-41 3rd Gregg Langbehn Lost in 1st Round
2014 38-58 12th Dan Rohn
2015 56-38 3rd Dan Rohn League Champs
2016 42-52 10th Dan Rohn
2017 37-59 11th Dan Rohn
2018 44-51 5th Dan Rohn

Related Sites[edit]