Green Bay Bullfrogs
|Green Bay Bullfrogs|
|League||Northwoods League (South Division)|
|Location||Green Bay, Wisconsin|
|Division championships||2 (First Half: 2007), (Second Half: 2011)|
|Former name(s)||Green Bay Bullfrogs (2007-present)|
|Colors||black, orange, green|
|Ownership||Big Top Baseball - Steve Schmitt, Vern Stenman, Conor Caloia, Liz Kern|
|Manager||Darrell "Skip" Handelsman|
|Media||Play by Play Broadcaster: Parker Schwartz|
The Green Bay Bullfrogs are a baseball team that plays in the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer baseball league. Their home games are played at Joannes Stadium in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The team, owned by Titletown Baseball Group, joined the league as an expansion franchise for the 2007 season along with the Battle Creek Bombers. The team was sold to the Northwoods League in late October 2013. The Northwoods League sold the team to Big Top Baseball in mid-November 2013.
Baseball returns to Titletown
With the approval of the lease on Joannes Stadium by the Green Bay City Council on September 19, 2006, the Northwoods League and Titletown Baseball Group headed by Majority Owner Jeff Royle was awarded a franchise to begin play the following season. This allowed renovations to begin on Joannes Stadium on September 20, 2006. Those renovations lasted through the spring of 2007. The club is the first team to play baseball in the city of Green Bay since the Green Bay Sultans, an independent minor league franchise in the now-defunct Prairie League, played a single season in 1996.
The Green Bay Bullfrogs won the first half of the South Division in the Northwoods League, the first expansion team in the NWL's 14-year history to do so. They faced the Eau Claire Express in the first round of the playoffs. The Bullfrogs had home field advantage.
After winning game 1 of the division series in Eau Claire, the Bullfrogs returned to Joannes Stadium and lost games 2 and 3, thus ending an incredible inaugural season in the Northwoods League. The team still finished with a league-leading 43–25 overall record that included a then league-record 15-game winning streak, and at one time during the season the Bullfrogs were ranked as high as #2 in the nationally acclaimed "Summer 16", which ranks the top summer collegiate teams in the country. Three Bullfrogs players earned Post Season All-Star honors: Kurt Yacko, Danny Meier and Daniel Robertson. Robertson was also awarded with NWL CO-MVP honors. Field Manager Elliott Strankman was named the NWL Manager of the Year.
Beginning in the 2008 season, WNFL (1440 AM) became the flagship station for Green Bay Bullfrogs. WNFL airs the radio broadcast of each game, as well as 15-minute pre-game and post-game shows. The Bullfrogs announcer at the time, Matt Menzl, did the play-by-play.
The second season for the Bullfrogs was another incredibly successful season. The team was in the playoff hunt until the final days of the season and finished with a very respectable record of 35-33. Off the field the Bullfrogs continued to build a substantial fan base, setting numerous new attendance records capped off by a huge sell-out crowd of 2,319 (capacity 2,000).
The Bullfrogs were purchased by Big Top Baseball in late November 2013. The Bullfrogs became the fourth franchise that Big Top Baseball owns and operates in the NWL.
At Joannes Stadium for the 2014 season, the Bullfrogs had the most people come through the gates in franchise history. After 36 homes games, the Bullfrogs drew a record 42,902 fans, drawing more than the previous high from the 2008 season in which the Bullfrogs drew 41,878 fans. The season was highlighted by a season-high 2,174 fans that came out on Wednesday, June 25. It was the second-highest attendance at a Bullfrogs game since the franchise started in 2007. The Bullfrogs also drew crowds of 1,920 (8/7), 1,912 (7/24) and 1,686 (8/10). All-in-all, the Bullfrogs drew more than 1,000 fans in 24 of the 36 home games at Joannes Stadium over the course of the 2014 season.
Darrell "Skip" Handelsman took over as Field Manager and lead the team to a 36-36 record. On June 30, 2014, Handelsman recorded his 600th summer collegiate win. Handelsman is set to return as Field Manager in 2015.
Players to make the major leagues
- Phillip Ervin, Cincinnati Reds
- Mitch Haniger, Arizona Diamondbacks, Seattle Mariners
- Josh Prince, Milwaukee Brewers
- Scott Schebler, Los Angeles Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds