Traverse City Pit Spitters

Young fans watch a Traverse City Pit Spitters game during the 2019 season.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

After starting last week, the Traverse City Pit Spitters season has been put on hold. The same goes for the newly created Great Lakes Resorters and Northern Michigan Dune Bears.

Several players recently tested positive for COVID-19 which prompted the pause.

 

 


The Traverse City Pit Spitters announced the creation of two brand new teams on Monday. All three teams will play at Turtle Creek Stadium in Traverse City, which allows the teams to play ball while not traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whitney Waara

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, baseball is coming back to northern Michigan this summer. On Monday the Traverse City Pit Spitters announced the creation of two brand new teams – the Great Lakes Resorters and the Northern Michigan Dune Bears.

To eliminate travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, all three will play against each other at Turtle Creek Stadium in Traverse City this summer.

 

Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

The Traverse City Pit Spitters baseball team will play in a newly named ballpark next season.

Pit Spitters Park is now called Turtle Creek Stadium after a naming rights deal was reached with Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians — owner of Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel.

The Pit Spitters declined to comment on the terms of the deal, saying it’s not public.

However, the infusion of cash from the deal will help the team renovate the stadium.

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, hear how Michigan hops farmers are struggling to keep up with the craft beer boom. Plus, a look ahead on the future of the Traverse City Pit Spitters baseball team.

Five years ago hops were in high demand in Michigan, so farmers started experimenting with the crop. However, as beer tastes changed and breweries went looking for the next new thing, many northern Michigan hop farmers have been unable to make ends meet.

Players from the Traverse City Pit Spitters celebrate winning the 2019 Northwoods League championship on August 16th, in Traverse City.
Traverse City Pit Spitters

It’s going to be hard to top the season that the Traverse City Pit Spitters had in 2019. Besides winning the Northwoods League title, the team set a new league record with an 18-game winning streak. Looking ahead, general manager Mickey Graham thinks 2020 will be even better.

 


The Traverse City Pit Spitters are trying all sorts of ways to get fans to the ballpark, including letting them bring their dogs on ‘Bark in the Park’ night.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

This week on Points North, Traverse City’s new baseball team dominates on the field, but getting fans in the seats has been another matter. Plus, a review of Kathleen Stocking’s collection of essays “From the Place of the Gathering Light.”


Despite the Traverse City Pit Spitters' winning record and engagement efforts, fan attendance numbers have been low.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

This spring, a lot of fanfare accompanied the announcement the Pit Spitters baseball team was coming to Traverse City. Billboards went up declaring, “New Team. New Fun.” Now free pocket schedules can be found at just about any gas station you stop at in northern Michigan. But for all these efforts and the team’s recent 18-game winning streak, fans have been slow to respond.

 


The Traverse City Pit Spitters revealed the baseball team's new name and logo Tuesday morning at the State Theatre.
Dan Wanschura

The new baseball team in Traverse City has a name. The 'Pit Spitters' was the name chosen from over four-thousand fan suggestions, including Dogmen and Dune Bears.