Madison Mallards

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Madison Mallards
League Northwoods League (South Division)
Location Madison, Wisconsin
Ballpark Warner Park
Year founded 2001
League championships 2 (2004, 2013)
Division championships 4 (Overall: 2004, 2005, 2008
First half: 2003, 2013)
Former name(s) Madison Mallards (2001–present)
Colors Green, silver, white, gold
                   
Ownership Steve Schmitt
Management President: Vern Stenman
General Manager: Tyler Isham
Manager Donnie Scott
Media Wisconsin State Journal
WOZN-AM/FM
Website MallardsBaseball.com

The Madison Mallards are a collegiate summer baseball team based in Madison, Wisconsin that plays in the Northwoods League. Warner Park on Madison’s North side is the team's home field. The 2015 season will mark the Mallards' 15th season.

The Mallards are one of 18 teams in the Northwoods League, playing 72 games per season, in late-May through mid-August. The Northwoods League is a summer collegiate league that provides an opportunity for college players to spend their summers and display their talents to professional scouts. Players must be enrolled in college and have at least one year of athletic eligibility to participate. The league is designed to give college players the minor league experience, providing players an opportunity to play under the same conditions using wooden bats, minor league specification baseballs, experiencing overnight road trips, and playing nightly before fans in a stadium.

The Mallards maintain roughly 30 members on the team, including 14 position players, 16 pitchers.

History[edit]

The history of minor league baseball in Madison begins with the early success of the Madison Muskies. A Midwest League Oakland A's affiliate, the Muskies were competitive and gained a healthy following in the years following their 1982 origins. Unfortunately by 1993 the crowds had declined and the Muskies became less profitable. In 1994 the Muskies were replaced for a single season by the St Louis affiliate, Madison Hatters. 1996 began the five-year stint of the independent Madison Black Wolf, but once again low attendance and little interest plagued the team and they were forced to move to a more profitable community.[1]

In 2001 area businessman, Steve Schmitt, introduced the Madison Mallards to Warner Park. The Mallards would be a new team in the young Northwoods League featuring amateur college ball players playing summer ball during their off-season. The gamble was that a successful team could be built using amateur ball players in a family atmosphere.

The Mallards made it to the playoffs in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2013, 2015, and 2016. They have made four Northwoods League Championship Series appearances, which resulted in runner-up finishes in 2005 and 2008. They won the Northwoods League championship in 2004 and 2013.

In 2011, the Mallards unveiled a new team logo, and entered the season with a newly renovated ballpark. The new grandstands features seats that were once at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in Baltimore.

In 2014, the Mallards ownership group created Big Top Baseball. Big Top Baseball is the nations leader in summer collegiate baseball, operating four Northwoods League franchises in the state of Wisconsin. Big Top Baseball owns and operates the Madison Mallards, Wisconsin Rapids Rafters, Kenosha Kingfish, and Green Bay Bullfrogs. The organization holds every national attendance record for summer collegiate baseball and projects to draw more than 350,000 fans to its ballparks in 2014. Big Top has won more Northwoods League Organization of the Year awards and Executive of the Year awards than any other organization. Big Top has teams in three of Wisconsin’s four largest cities and places a focus on affordable, family entertainment and strives to play an integral role in each of its communities.

Stadium[edit]

The playing surface of the field is mainly grass, and the dimensions from home plate are 308 1/3 feet to left field, 380 feet to center field and 290 2/3 feet to right field. The 440-square-foot scoreboard, installed in 2013, is located in left center field. 14 flat screen televisions can be found throughout the stadium. There is a children's playground and picnic seating close to the foul lines in left field.

The park, built in 1982, is owned by the city. The stadium seats 6,750 people.

Average attendance at games in 2015 was 6,358. The club drew 216,159 fans in 2015, marking the 10th season in a row they drew over 200,000 fans.

Warner Park is sometimes referred to as “The Duck Pond,” a name given to the field because of the mascot, Maynard G. Mallard. A large inflatable Maynard G. Mallard can be seen from the front gate, and the entry path to the ballpark is covered with duck tracks.

Gallery[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Madison Black Wolf". Retrieved 2009-06-17. 

External links[edit]