Chattanooga’s baseball future reconnects with its baseball past.
It’s often been said that the best bang for the entertainment buck in town is a night out at the ballpark. The Chattanooga Lookouts ballpark, to be precise.
With individual ticket prices ranging from $3 to $9 apiece, and quite reasonable concession prices, catching a ballgame in person is very affordable, especially for families.
With that in mind, ownership and management of the Lookouts have worked very hard to present the best quality teams they could. Which, in the ever-shifting world of professional baseball, often means change.
It seems like just yesterday that, after a very long relationship with the not-so-distant Cincinnati Reds, the Lookouts made a dramatic change and became affiliated with the Los Angeles Dodgers. “Dodgertown, Tennessee” changed from a sea of red to sea of Dodger Blue, which would have made my late grandmother extremely happy. She was one of the biggest Dodgers fans I have ever known, and considering I was born in the City of Angels, the apple didn’t fall far from the baseball tree.
And it’s been a great partnership. The team finished the season atop the Southern League North Division standings, with a lot of exciting young ballplayers leading the way to the League Championship series.
But all good things must come to an end. Which is not say the team is taking a step backwards. Far from it, in fact. Lookouts President and General Manager Rich Mozingo made the announcement this past week that the team was partnering the Minnesota Twins organization, which oversees what many consider to be one of the best farm systems in the league.
“We are excited to partner with a team that has a deep history with the Chattanooga Lookouts,” said Mozingo. “The Minnesota Twins are an upstanding organization and present an incredible opportunity for the Lookouts and the city of Chattanooga.”
And there’s quite a bit of history between the two organizations. From 1932 to 1959, the Lookouts were affiliated with the Washington Senators, who became the Minnesota Twins in 1961.
Chattanooga won three league titles as a Senators affiliate, including one under manager Cal Ermer. Ermer managed the Lookouts from 1952 to 1957 and went on to manage the Twins for part of the 1967 and all of the 1968 season.
Hall of Famer, and former Minnesota Twins great Harmon Killebrew also has roots with the Lookouts. The 13-time All-Star spent two seasons with Chattanooga and hit a combined 46 home runs.
All in all, while my grandmother may disapprove from wherever she is, I am looking forward to a new season of Lookouts baseball come next April. Play ball!