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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


After 23 years with Brewers, Snappers’ fans face change

After 23 years of loyal service to Milwaukee, the Beloit Snappers have been dropped as the Brewers’ single-A minor league affiliate.

Situated on the southern border of Wisconsin, and just a little more than an hour drive east on Interstate-43 to Milwaukee, Brewers administration did not opt to renew the Beloit team’s affiliation in September. The Brew Crew opted to instead partner with West Virginia’s Charleston Alley Cats, possibly because of a new $23 million, 4,500-seat stadium.

The Snappers have not been trouble-free throughout their stay in Beloit’s smaller Pohlman Field either. This past season, a Snapper outfielder sprained his ankle in a hole while running for a catch, as the outfield grounds continue to fall into disrepair.


Officers in the Snappers front office have suggested that a new stadium would better attract fans to see minor league baseball.

Whatever the challenges facing the small-market minor league team, the Minnesota Twins decided to sign with the club, keeping players in Snappers uniforms for at least two more years.

Even though the Twins will keep the Snappers in business, General Manager Jeff Vohs said he was disappointed to see the Brewers pull out of Beloit.

“From a business standpoint, I don’t hold anything against them,” Vohs said, but added he has seen and heard many comments that “were backlashes against the Brewers.”

Vohs also said having Milwaukee “down the road” leads Brewers faithful to Beloit to check out the young prospects.

“There are those diehard fans that come down and see Brewers prospects … we’ll just have to get new fans,” Vohs said.

Beloit City Manager Larry Arft said he follows the Brewers and was sad to see them go. He added that he would question management for moving them out of town, because having regional minor league team “builds fan loyalty.”

“I’m sure there’s some disappointment,” Arft said. “Most of the baseball fans in the Beloit area are Brewers fans.”

Arft remembered when the Snappers were able to play an exhibition in the Brewers’ Miller Park over the season when the Crew had an away game.

“It was certainly nice to have tie-ins [to Milwaukee].”

However, Arft was pleased to see the Twins pick up the team so quickly.

Vohs added, as far as managing and running a minor league baseball team, new affiliates and even affiliate ownerships do not affect the local attraction too much. Vohs said minor league fan support will not wane and Beloiters will continue to support the local team. Vohs said the crowd that goes to a minor league game goes for the inexpensive, family entertainment.

“It’s cheaper than a movie,” Vohs said. We send out an e-mail survey every year and the majority of people don’t care about wins or losses …That always rates at the bottom.”

However, University of Wisconsin senior Matt Meyer and Beloit native said it “sucks” the Brewers moved out of Beloit.

“That’s a bummer,” Meyer said, noting that he went to Snappers games often while in middle school.

Meyer said casual baseball fans attend Snappers games when the injured major leaguers are coming off the disabled list.

“I remember when some of the pitchers were coming off an injury, they would come down to Beloit to recover … a lot of people came to the games then,” Meyer said, adding some came down from Milwaukee to see players’ efforts. “Who cares if they’re going to the Twins — it’s too far to drive down from Minnesota.”

Whether Brewers’ fans agree that the move was a good idea or not, Vohs said the 23-year tenure as a Milwaukee team is irregular.

“It is very common,” Vohs said, adding many affiliations only stay in the same venue for two or four years. “We’ve been lucky to have the Brewers for so long … So people outside of area aren’t used to this.

Meyer, a Brewers fan from birth, said he did not care and was disappointed the Snappers no longer wear the Brewers emblem.

“I think it’s kind of sad … When you’re a little kid growing up in Wisconsin, you know [these players] might someday play for the Brewers.”

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