Trying to get warm from the cold Chicagoland weather, the Cougars held their annual winter banuqet. This time they held it on January 30th in Aurora, Illinois. The featured speakers were former Cougar radio broadcasters, and World Series radio announcers, Dave Wills and Scott Franske. Also on hand were new Cougar manager Steve Scarsone and 2008 Cougar MVP Larry Cobb.
The event started off with current Cougar radio announcer Jeff Hem, who was the events emcee, introducing everyone and getting things started. After that Cougar general manager Jeff Sedivey was the first speaker. He spoke about how the Phillip B. Elfstrom Stadium was being re-done this offseason. They are adding a roof over some of the seats and the concourse. The Cougars also added suites to the ballpark.
After that Cougar manager Steve Scarsone was the next speaker. He spoke of how his last time in the Midwest League was spent managing the South Bend Silverhawks. In that year, the Cougars played the Hawks in the championship round.
Larry Cobb came up next and spoke well about his expierences as a Cougar and his experiences in life so far. He spoke specifically about the game in Wrigley Field last season, the first minor league game held at the old Cubs' ballpark.
Scott Franske then came up to speak, he was the announcer for the Cougars from 1999-2001. He went from there to doing pregames for his hometown Texas Rangers. Now he is the radio announcer for the World Series champions Philadelphia Phillies. Dave Wills was the original Cougar annnouncer, he was there from 1991-1995. He went on to do pregames for his hometown Chicago White Sox. In 2005 he became the announcer for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Also at the banquet were former Cougar manager Aaron Nieckula (who will be in Stockton next season), and new pitching coach Jimmy Escalante. The Cougars also announced that they would have new uniforms and logos for the upcoming season.
About the writer
David Malamut has been a season ticket holder of the Cougars for the past 12 years. He has also been writing a daily website about the team for that long at http://malamut.net. David wrote a book about the history of the Cougars in 2005. Baseball In Kane County, Arcadia Publishing.
For daily updates on the Cougars, stats and game stories please go to my website, Voice of A Season Ticket Holder, http://malamut.net.