The Traverse City Beach Bums were a professional baseball team based in the Traverse City, Michigan, suburb of Blair Township, in the United States. The Beach Bums played in the East Division of the Frontier League, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. Since their establishment in 2006, the Beach Bums played their home games at Wuerfel Park.Team Members
The "Beach Bums" name refers to the residents and visitors who come to Michigan's most popular resort town, to spend time on the beach. Traverse City lies on the Grand Traverse Bay, a branch of Lake Michigan. The team's colors of navy blue and gold represent the region's bays and bright summer sunshine.
Wuerfel Park averages well over 200,000 fans per season for Beach Bums home games, ranking near the top of attendance lists in independent baseball. In their first three seasons, the Beach Bums have drawn over 600,000 fans with a mix of loyal, local fans, tourists, and regional baseball fans.
John and Leslye Wuerfel are the managing members of the Beach Bums. Their son, Jason, is the Beach Bums' Vice President and Director of Baseball Operations. Jason Wuerfel lettered four times with the University of Michigan varsity baseball team, and also won the 2003 Wolverine Award for Spirit and Leadership. He played professionally with the Elmira Pioneers, the Mid-Missouri Mavericks, and the Ohio Valley Redcoats. Jason also owns and operates the Beach Bums Baseball Academy, an organization that instructs young baseball players in the Traverse City area.
In November 2008, the Beach Bums named two new coaches with Gregg Langbehn being hired as the manager and Roger Mason accepting the position of pitching coach. Langbehn had previously spent 10 seasons as a coach and manager in the Houston Astros minor league system, while Mason, a Northern Michigan native, spent nine seasons as a pitcher in major league baseball, including a World Series appearance with the 1993 Philadelphia Phillies.
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Stadium or Home
Wuerfel Park is a 4,660-seat multi-use entertainment facility in Blair Township, Michigan, USA, that hosted its first regular season baseball game on May 24, 2006, as the tenants of the facility, the Traverse City Beach Bums, took on the Kalamazoo Kings. It was built as a new home of the Beach Bums baseball team, the first in Traverse City in 93 years. The ballpark is located on a 26-acre (110,000 m2) site adjacent from the Chums Village commerce park, three miles (5 km) south of Traverse City near the intersection of US 31 and M-37. The PA Announcer is Tim Moeggenburg.
The groundbreaking for Wuerfel Park took place in late 2004 and was completed in time for the Beach Bums' inaugural 2006 season. The ballpark's façade resembles that of a resort hotel, a feature unique to baseball stadium architecture. John and Leslye Wuerfel, owners of Wuerfel Resorts and of the Beach Bums, designed Wuerfel Park to reference the region's resort industry and to their own type of business.