Lansing Lugnuts

The Lansing Lugnuts are a Class-A minor league baseball team, affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays, that plays in the Midwest League.
The Midwest League came to Lansing, Michigan after owners Tom Dickson and Sherrie Myers moved the team to work with the City for a public-private lease to build a new stadium. Mayor David Hollister, and the City Council worked to attract the owners and build the stadium for downtown economic development. The team began playing in downtown Lansing in 1996. The franchise began as the Lafayette Red Sox in Lafayette, Indiana, in 1955; after two seasons it became the Waterloo Hawks, moving to Waterloo, Iowa, where it stayed for 36 seasons. Before the 1994 season it moved to Springfield, Illinois, but only spent two seasons there before moving to Lansing. The franchise was an affiliate of the Kansas City Royals on two occasions in three cities: as the Waterloo Royals from 1969 through 1976, as the Sultans of Springfield in 1995, and then, upon the team's move to Lansing, from 1996 through 1998. The Lugnuts were then an affiliate of the Chicago Cubs from 1999 through 2004 before joining the Jays' farm system for the 2005 season. In September 2014, the Jays extended their agreement with the Lugnuts through the 2016 season. In October 2016, their player development contract was extended through the 2018 season.
The team plays at Cooley Law School Stadium, which opened in 1996. The new name comes from a naming rights deal with Thomas M. Cooley Law School, based in Lansing. Cooley Law School Stadium is also the home of Jackson Field, named after Jackson Life Insurance, based in Lansing. The stadium seats over 10,000 fans and is one of the most handicapped accessible stadiums in the country. The franchise national attendance record of 538,326 was set during its inaugural year. They won the Midwest League Championship in 1997 and 2003. The Lugnuts have their own original song which plays immediately after the national anthem for every home game accompanied by their mascot, Big Lug.

Crosstown Showdown presented by Auto-Owners

Since 2007, the Lansing Lugnuts have participated in an annual exhibition game with nearby Michigan State University which draws a large crowd of students to the event. The overall record and attendance for each game is as follows:
Date Winning team Score Losing team Attendance Ref
April 3, 2007Lansing Lugnuts4–3Michigan State6,223
April 24, 2008Lansing Lugnuts4–2Michigan State12,862
April 16, 2009Michigan State12–2Lansing Lugnuts12,992
April 26, 2010Lansing Lugnuts5–4Michigan State6,778
April 5, 2011Michigan State4–3Lansing Lugnuts7,212
April 5, 2012Lansing Lugnuts7–0Michigan State12,997
May 1, 2013Lansing Lugnuts10–2Michigan State11,619
April 3, 2014Lansing Lugnuts3–2Michigan State4,455
April 9, 2015Lansing Lugnuts9–4Michigan State9,318
September 6, 2016Lansing Lugnuts4–1Michigan State8,432
September 5, 2017Lansing Lugnuts5–1Michigan State6,804
September 4, 2018Lansing Lugnuts6–4Michigan State6,338
September 3, 2019Lansing Lugnuts5–1Michigan State5,933


1997W, 2-1, MichiganW, 2-0, Fort WayneW, 3-2, Kane County
1999W, 2-0, MichiganL, 2-0, Wisconsin-
2001L, 2-0, Dayton--
2002W, 2-1, MichiganW, 2-1, West MichiganL, 3-1, Peoria
2003W, 2-0, South BendW, 2-0, Battle CreekW, 3-0, Beloit
2004L, 2-1, West Michigan--
2006W, 2-0, South BendL, 2-0, West Michigan-
2007L, 2-0, West Michigan--
2008L, 2-0, Dayton--
2011W, 2-1, DaytonW, 2-0, Fort WayneL, 3-0, Quad Cities
2012L, 2-0, Fort Wayne--
2015W, 2-0, Great LakesL, 2-1, West Michigan-
2018L, 2-0, Bowling Green--

Media coverage

Jesse Goldberg-Strassler broadcasts Lugnuts home and away games on WVFN-AM. WVFN previously aired Lugnuts games from 2001-2003.
Lugnuts games also aired on WJIM-AM from 1996–2000 and WQTX-FM from 2004-2016. Several games per season aired on WLNS-TV from 1996 through 2001. From 2002 to 2009, one game aired each season on WILX-TV.


The following are players in Major League Baseball who played, at one time, for the Lugnuts. This partial list includes players making injury-comeback starts as well as those that developed in Lansing.

Kansas City Royals