By Devyne Lloyd
Lansing Star staff writer
The Lansing Lugnuts were swept by the Fort Wayne Tincaps in three games the weekend of August 12, 2011. But the fans continue to pour out to see them.
They may not be a huge major league team, like the Detroit Tigers, but fans of the Lansing Lugnuts, Class-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays, love them just as much, if not more, than the most die-hard Tigers fan.
The Lugnuts started out as the Lansing Senators in 1889 in the Michigan State League. By 1902, the league has been shut down twice and disbanded, and the team is relocated. In 1955, they become the Lafayette Lugnuts, stationed in Lafayette, Indiana. They move to Waterloo, Iowa in 1957, then to Springfield, Illinois in 1995. They finally called the capital home in 1996 and have been around ever since.
Fans have been especially loyal this season. The season opener, set for April 7, was not played until April 14 due to terrible weather. Fans were upset, but the Lugnuts were quick to make it up to their fans by applying the notorious Thirsty Thursday special, $2 beers and soft drinks, to the Friday night game. The Lugnuts also guaranteed a 60 degree day or tickets could be traded in for a different game.
Maybe it’s the specials. The Lugnuts feature different promotions for different days of the week to make the fan experience more enjoyable. Hot dogs, drinks and ice cream are $1 on Tuesdays; women get salon treatments, chocolate covered strawberries and cosmopolitans on Ladies Night Wednesdays; college students favor the $2 beer specials on Thirsty Thursdays, which also feature free concerts after the games; Fridays and Saturdays feature fireworks; children run the bases after the games on Sundays.
Whatever it is, fans love it and keep coming back for more, especially now that the Lugnuts are anticipating a playoff appearance this year. Whether they win or lose, cries of “Go Nuts!” can be heard in the Stadium district.