You Want April Snow? Here’s A KFR April Snow And Baseball Story
Judging by the reaction, nobody has experienced snow in April. But gather round the roaring fire kids, and I'll tell you about an opening day 1995 in Battle Creek.
We had a baseball team. The Battle Cats. They played at C.O Brown Stadium. The Michigan Battle Cats started out as the Golden Kazoos, but that an ugly legal story for another day. The Battle Cats were a farm club of the Boston Red Sox. Carl Pavano is the only Battle Cat who really made it big in "the show".
So it's Opening Day, Sunday. We were so excited. The entire KFR crew was there, and we even hired a caterer for a pre-game tailgate celebration. The one thing we didn't plan for was the blizzard. Battle Creek and the rest of the area got dumped on; something like a foot of snow.
Obviously, minor league baseball didn't succeed here. They tried for close to ten years. A few big names passed through Battle Creek on their way to the major leagues. In addition to Pavano, over the years, there were the likes of Roy Oswalt, Melky Cabrera, Shea Hillenbrand, and Johan Santana, as the team was affiliated with the Astros, Yankees and Devil Rays, after the Red Sox.
I talked to one of the partners in the early days of the Battle Cats, and they really hoped to have a ballpark near I-94 and Exit 92, similar to the White Caps in Grand Rapids. That way they could've drawn some fans from Kalamazoo. C.O Brown was an okay facility, but it was almost an hour from Kalamazoo, and Battle Creek just didn't have the fan base to support it on it's own.
Another what-if: The team playing Kalamazoo. The late Bill Wright told me during the short glory days of the Kalamazoo Kings, that he preferred to have a team outside the jurisdiction of Minor League Baseball, because of their requirements for facilities, etc.
Still, Happy Opening Day! Let's play two.