LANSING, Mich. (WILX) — The Lansing Lugnuts are honoring REO Speedwagon this summer. On June 4, the team is hosting its “REO Speedwagon Tribute Night,” honoring music icons. There will be baseball, classic tunes and REO Speedwagon style jerseys, but what does rock music have to do with baseball?
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Zac Clark, assistant general manager of the Lansing Lugnuts, told News 10 that it was the shared local connection.
“REO Speedwagon gets its name from something very local here in Lansing,” Clark said. “There is a very strong link with the region.
The group’s name comes from the REO Speed Wagon, a 1915 truck designed by Ransom Eli Olds (REO) and manufactured in Lansing. The legend says that Neal Doughty had seen the name written on the blackboard when he entered his transportation history class the first day they had decided to look up a name.
The Lugnuts themselves have the same name, more or less. The name was chosen in 1996 to honor Lansing’s automotive manufacturing experience with Oldsmobile.
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And there’s another connection that Clark pointed out.
“One of the band’s first big breaks happened here in Lansing, here in The dollar“Clark said.
It was a proving ground for up-and-coming rock bands including Ted Nugent, Cheap Trick and Blue Oyster Cult.
It’s a strange series of connections that you may not have known about, but now you’ve heard it from a friend.
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