Northwoods League franchise unveiled as 'Willmar Stingers'
Willmar, Minn. The newest member of the Northwoods League from Willmar, MN is proud to announce they will be called the Willmar Stingers. The Stingers logo features a bee holding a bat and appears ready to hit a baseball wrapped behind the Stingers nickname with Willmar in a font below.
The logo and team colors will be black and yellow and were unveiled Wednesday night at the Holiday Inn Conference Center with special guest major league pitcher Chris Jakubauskas. Also on hand for the event was graphic designer/creator of the logo Justin Schaller, who resides in Eau Claire, WI.
Team owners Ryan Voz and Marc Jerzak are excited about the new name and the buzz that the “Name the Team” contest created. “We were very pleased with the turnout of names entered into the contest where there were over 800 names suggested.” We wanted a fun name, keeping with the Northwoods theme and the name Stingers stood out to us,” Voz said.
Robert Malmgren of Willmar submitted the winning entry and was the proud winner of a pair of Stingers Season Tickets for a lifetime.
Former Northwoods Leaguer and current Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Chris Jakubauskas took pictures and signed autographs for new Willmar fans. Jakubauskas played in the Northwoods League for the St. Cloud River Bats in 1999. This past season he made his Major League debut with the Seattle Mariners against the Minnesota Twins on April 8th. He finished his rookie season with 8 starts, 1 complete game, 27 relief appearances, 93 innings pitched and a 6-7 record. The Pirates recently purchased his rights.
To date, 60 former Northwoods League players have gone on to play Major League Baseball including nine players making their MLB Debut in 2009.
The Stingers will play the 34-home game schedule at Bill Taunton Stadium at Baker Field, where the capacity is currently 1,050.
The Northwoods League plays more games than, draws more fans than, and plays in venues superior to any Summer Collegiate Baseball League in North America. The 17th season of Northwoods League baseball will begin in early June 2010. Willmar joins Alexandria, Brainerd, Duluth, Mankato, Rochester, and St. Cloud as Minnesota cities in the NWL; Eau Claire, Green Bay, La Crosse, Madison, and Wausau from Wisconsin; Waterloo, Iowa; Battle Creek, Michigan; and Thunder Bay, Ontario.