In our continuing commitment to Penn State Baseball, we bring you more good news on the professional front.
The Frontier League East Division leading Traverse City Beach Bums have announced the signing of catcher Joe Blackburn, a Rookie-1 out of Penn State University.
Blackburn was one of the best hitters in the Big Ten this yea with a batting line of .342/.429/.497. He showed decent patience at the plate with a BB/SO ratio just under one and displays good speed for a catcher, stealing 10 bases in 11 attempts. The best part of this story, however, is the ridiculous logo of the Traverse City Beach Bums:
According to Wiki
The team features a pair of Michigan black bear mascots wearing beach sandals, named Suntan and Sunburn. The team colors are navy blue and yellow, a homage to the colors of the University of Michigan.
Things that are awesome: Playing for a team that is represented by black bears wearing flip-flops.
Things that suck: Putting away your Penn State hat and having to wear Michigan colors.
The Beach Bums are an independent team, meaning (obviously) that they are not affiliated with any Major League club. Rather than being sent players from the big heads at the top of the MLB organizations, independents manage their rosters at a more local level. They are scouted almost like a college team, with several big league clubs keeping an eye out for poachable players. When a MLB team likes what they see, the contract is bought out and the once independent league player enters a proper farm system.
"Joe comes highly recommended out of Penn State and we are excited to have him," said Jason Wuerfel, the Beach Bums' Director of Baseball Operations.
Congratulations to Joe and good luck.