For the final month of September, we at Puckett’s Pond have been devoting a spotlight to the new (and not so new faces) to the Minnesota Twins. With the recent addition of the Chattnooga Lookouts to the Twins’ minor league system, let’s take an in-depth look at the newest affiliate…
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Who’s That Guy?
- Name – Chattanooga Lookouts
- Age – 129 years old (Established 1885)
- Position – New Double-A affiliate for the Minnesota Twins
- Career – Double-A affiliate for Washington Senators (1932-1959), Philadelphia Phillies (1960-61, 1963-65), Oakland Athletics (1976-77), Cleveland Indians (1978-82), Seattle Mariners (1983-86), Cincinatti Reds (1987-2008), Los Angeles Dodgers (2009-14)
Experience & History – When you’re one of the oldest baseball franchises in America, where do you start? Established in 1885, the Chattanooga franchise has seen it all. Their nickname comes from nearby Lookout Mountain across the border in Georgia. The franchise has been a fixture in one form or another in the Southern League, Southern Association et al. During a nine year stint from 1966-1975, the team could not find a parent team and professional baseball went dark in Chattanooga, returning again in 1975 as the Double-A affiliate for the Oakland Athletics. The Lookouts’ Hall of Fame include some of the most famous names in baseball: Rogers Hornsby, Ferguson Jenkins, and Satchel Paige. That Hall of Fame also includes a couple names familiar to Twins fans: Clarke Griffith and Harmon Killebrew. The Lookouts call the 6,340-seat AT&T Stadium home, and they have ranked 6th out of 10 teams in the Southern League in attendance over the past two years.
Historical Ties to the Twins – There are some historical nuggets that tie the Lookouts with the Twins:
- The Lookouts were the Double-A affiliate for the Washington Senators from 1932-1959. Just two years afterward, the Washington Sentators moved and became the Minnesota Twins.
- One of the Twins most famous players, Harmon Killebrew, played two years for the Lookouts, hitting 46 homeruns during his time there.
- Former Twins head coach, Cal Ermer (1967-68), was the manager of the Lookouts from 1952-1957.
How’d They Do in 2014? – First of all, a BIG disclaimer: When the Lookouts open their 2015 season, it will be with an entirely new roster and staff. With a roster comprised of Los Angeles Dodgers prospects and staff, the Lookouts stumbled out of the gate, ending their first half last in the North Division of the Southern League with a record of 26-44. They rebounded, winning the North Division second half with a record of 35-33. They were successful in their playoff appearance, winning their first round matchup before falling in the Southern League Championship. Their 2014 home attendance averaged 3,397.
Looking Forward to 2015 and beyond – Lookouts fans will be delighted to now be part of one of the deepest and most talented minor league pipelines in baseball. Some of the top prospects, including Byron Buxton, J.O. Berrios, Alex Wimmers, and Eddie Rosario all project to spend time in Chattanooga next summer. Many players from the FSL champion Fort Myers Miracle will also progress from A+ to AA, meaning exciting and supurb baseball on deck for fans next summer and years to come!
Welcome to the Minnesota Twins family, Chattanooga!