Are the Kalamazoo Growlers and the Battle Creek Battle Jacks ready for prime-time, national television? We'll find out on August 11th and August 13th as the games will be shown on ESPN+. In a summer where Kalamazoo baseball has been in the national spotlight with ESPN's "The Captain" series on Derek Jeter, now comes a pair of games featuring the Growlers from the Northwoods League against their rivals from Calhoun County, the Battle Creek Battle Jacks, on Thursday, August 11th. Then on Saturday, the Growlers will be hosting the Kenosha Kingfish, again at Homer Stryker Field.

In a Facebook post, the Growlers are urging fans to show up and fill the stands. Obviously, the optics would be much better were the stands filled in Kalamazoo. That task might be easier for the Saturday night game, but it would look good for both games to draw well.

The Growlers have already been in the news this week, in an ancillary way, as their opponents last weekend, the Rockford Rivets, had most of their baseball gear stolen off their team buses prior to getting to Kalamazoo. Generous donations helped the game happen, and the Rivets acknowledged the fans in Kalamazoo.

Another thing to look for when the TV people come to Kalamazoo is an appearance from "Coach Drake". The Growlers, who have been very active promotionally have featured him for a couple of seasons. Along with that, they've managed to do some commercials "honoring" some baseball pop culture, and this will be an opportunity to show the country how it's done in Kalamazoo. But the tone was set in the 2016 season when the Western Michigan Bronco football team amazed the nation and eventually played in the Cotton Bowl, and mid-season ESPN brought "Game Day" to Kalamazoo, and the student body turned out.

(Shake 'n Bake via YouTube)

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