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Van Eaton leaves legacy in La Crosse

Published On: Jul 09 2013 08:34:12 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 09 2013 08:37:09 PM CDT
LA CROSSE, Wis. -

Loggerdogs. Louie. And Copeland Crazies.

All are staples of the experience at Copeland Park for a La Crosse Loggers game, with the phrase 'Copeland Crazies' created just a year ago.

Loggers relief pitcher Jonathan Van Eaton was one of the players behind the nickname for a fan base that averages around 3,000 per game.

"I don't want to take full credit for it," said Van Eaton. "Last year we had Jacob Dorris and James Guillen and we all three kind of came together when we were shagging in the outfield and I believe the gates opened and we all just looked at each other and were like 'This is going to be crazy tonight' and then it just kind of snapped. 'Copeland Crazies'... this could work."

Loggers general manager Chris Goodell says the nickname was quickly embraced by all. "We've had a lot of good names out here, 'Logger Nation', 'The Lumberyard'. And 'Copeland Crazies' might be one of the best ones ever.  The fact that it was coined by one of our players out here it just shows how much our players love our fans and its kind of a love fest between both of them."

Goodell and the Loggers wasted little time using the new nickname on team apparel. It's become an instant hit with fans.

"This has a natural T-shirt appeal to it," said Goodell. "The neat thing is you see all ages wearing it - retired folks are wearing it, kids are wearing it. It's a neat thing and its very fitting."

Van Eaton might be wishing he trademarked the nickname he created with Dorris and Guillen.

"When they came out I went to the merchandise stand and bought one," said Van Eaton. "I didn't think I was going to have to buy one, but you know anyway (laughs)....I got a ring out of it."

Van Eaton  was on the mound to record the final out of the team's 2013 championship in front of the fans that mean so much to him.

"I actually took a step off of the mound when we had two outs and took a deep breath and looked around. As of right now thats one of the biggest, most defining moments in my life and I'm glad the 'Copeland Crazies' were a part of that."

Van Eaton's time with the Loggers came to a conclusion on Monday. The right-hander who was attending school at Memphis signed a free agent contract with the Los Angeles Angels organization. He carried a 0.00 ERA over 8.1 innings being used primarily as a setup man for Loggers manager Jason Nell.

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