Whitecaps, Lugnuts to honor Mike Sadler, Chad Carr

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Here’s something Michigan and Michigan State fans can get behind, together.

Two local minor-league baseball teams will host fundraisers this spring for the ChadTough Foundation and the Mike Sadler Foundation.

On May 3, the Lansing Lugnuts will pay tribute to Sadler, the popular former Michigan State punter who died in a car accident in 2016. The first 1,000 fans through the gates will receive a commemorative green-and-white Sadler No. 3 jersey.

All proceeds from the game’s sale of Hey Diddle Diddle, Atwater’s craft beer brewed in Sadler’s honor, will go straight to the Sadler Foundation, as will sales from a silent auction and a pass-the-hat fundraiser. The Sadler Foundation raises money to support programs that stress academic excellent, athletic achievement and strength of character and leadership.

“His family has been incredibly supportive and involved in everything we’re doing,” said Tyler Parsons, general manager of the Lugnuts, the Single-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. “When Mike was at MSU, he came to quite a few Lugnuts games and was a big fan.”

Sadler’s family plans to be in attendance for the game, at 7:05 against Kane County. Tickets range from $8 to $15.

Meanwhile, the West Michigan Whitecaps, the Single-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, will host a joint fundraiser for the ChadTough Foundation and the Mike Sadler Foundation on Aug. 16, for a 7:05 game against Lansing. The evening is being billed as “Rivalry Night,” and there also will be a silent auction. Tickets range from $8 to $16.

The ChadTough Foundation raises money for pediatric cancer research, in memory of Chad Carr, who died at age 5 in 2015 following a battle with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma, or DIPG. Carr was the grandson of longtime Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr.