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Lake County Captains 20

Notice: All logos on this page are included within the parameters of 17 U.S.C. § 107, which states that the reproduction of a copyrighted work for purposes of criticism and/or comment is not an infringement of copyright. No challenge to the copyrights of these logos is intended by their inclusion here.
Posted 2015 April 25

Do you remember the Northeast Blockout of 2003? It may not have registered in your memory unless you live in a particular area (that would be the Northeast, of course), but on August 14 of that year, a blackout occurred in the mid-to-late afternoon which affected all or parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, Michigan, and Ontario. Most notably, it affected the cities of New York, Baltimore, Detroit, and Toronto. It was a particularly harrowing experience for New Yorkers, who discovered that there are these strange white dots in the night time sky called "stars". In all, roughly 55 million people lost power for somewhere between six hours and two days. To give you some perspective, that's more than the population of any single U.S. State, more than the population of the entire country of Canada; indeed, nearly 90% of the countries on the planet have a population smaller than that.

Why do I mention this? Because the blackout started in Eastlake, Ohio, home to the Lake County Captains. In fact, it happened in the Captains' first season in Eastlake. At least it happened late in the season. If it had happened early in the season, the team might have taken it as an omen and high-tailed it back to Georgia.

Yes, Georgia. You may be asking yourself: what was a Midwest League team doing playing in Georgia? And the answer is: there wasn't a Midwest League team playing in Georgia. The Columbus Redstixx were a South Atlantic League team. Apparently they hated Columbus so much that they were willling to expand the SAL's footprint by over 250 miles just to get away from there. I've been to Columbus, Georgia, and while it may not be the most amazing city in the world, it's not that bad. I mean, Eastlake is a suburb of freaking Cleveland, for Pete's sake. Columbus, Georgia isn't that bad by a longshot.

But the blackout came late in the season, and the Captains were quite frankly having a hell of a season (no baseball team at their level or higher had a better winning percentage in 2003), so they stayed. They thrived in their new home that was nowhere near the South or the Atlantic, and even managed to host the SAL All-Star Game a few years later. I'm sure fans from the rest of the league were just thrilled about that. Anyway, after six seasons of the Captains playing as an outpost of the SAL, the Columbus Catfish, who had gone into Columbus when the Redstixx left, decided they didn't like Columbus any more than the Redstixx had, so they moved to Kentucky to become the Bowling Green HotRods. It was about this time that Minor League Baseball got tired of all these teams leaving Columbus and expanding the SAL footprint so much. I can see their point; at this rate it was only a matter of time before someone relocated from Columbus to Fairbanks. Minor League Baseball shunted the Captains and HotRods over to the Midwest League. They then (citation needed) called all the other SAL teams and told them that Columbus was an urba non grata and they were not to even think about relocating there, lest they wind up in some godforsaken place like Buffalo, Wyoming or International Falls, Minnesota or maybe even somewhere truly awful like a suburb of Cleveland.

That being said, there are advantages to being a suburb of Cleveland. The first advantage is that you're not actually in Cleveland. The second is that you're probably pretty close to Lake Erie. Eastlake is in fact right on the lake – I know this should seem obvious, but there's no shortage of cities with names that imply features they don't actually have. Eastlake also has its own river, which is better than Cleveland's because Eastlake's river has never caught on fire. The river in question (which is for some reason called the Chagrin River; don't ask me why) is even designated by the State of Ohio as a state scenic river. Of course, I think the only thing you have to do to earn that designation in Ohio is not catch on fire.

(I know some people, particularly in the Cleveland area, are probably tired of me making fun of Cleveland at every available opportunity for having a river that caught on fire. I understand that, but...come on! Your river caught on fucking fire! How am I supposed to not make fun of that?)

And since Eastlake touches Lake Erie, it makes sense that its baseball team has a nautical name. Captains may not be the most startlingly creative name they could go with, but it's a good, solid name. The logo is similarly understated but solid: A pilot wheel with spokes that look like the handles and knobs of baseballs (although not so blatantly that I'm going to penalize them for it), with the name of the team, a baseball, and some waves thrown in for good measure. I could do without the baseball, of course, but as such things go it's subtle. As I've said numerous times before on this site, there's something to be said for being unspectacular if it means you do your job well. Spectacular can be fantastic, but it can be terrible as well.

Just ask the 55 million people who got caught in that blackout twelve years ago. I'm sure most of them could have done with a bit less spectacle in Eastlake that day.

Final Score: 20 points.
Penalties: Region, 8 pts; Alliteration, 5 pts; Equipment, 13 pts.
Bonuses: Local, -6 pts.


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