50 Years in 50 Days: 1962

The countdown to Opening Day, 2012 has reached 50. Fifty years ago, the Foxes joined the Midwest League. To countdown to April 5, Rattler Radio will look back at each season of Appleton Professional Baseball team since 1962.  This series of posts would not be possible without Joel Dinda’s Midwest League Guide or baseball-reference.com.

50 Years Ago:
The 1962 Foxes began their first season in the Midwest League. Fox Cities had been a member of the Three-I League when they restarted the franchise in 1958. But, the Three-I folded after the 1961 season. The Foxes moved to the Midwest League along with fellow Three-I émigrés Burlington and Cedar Rapids.

1962 Fox Cities Foxes team photo

Team Name: Fox Cities Foxes
MLB Affiliate: Baltimore Orioles
Manager: Cal Ripken, Sr.
1st Half Record: 25-36 (9th)
2nd Half Record: 36-27 (3rd)
Overall Record: 61-63

Future Major League Players on the Foxes:
Pitcher Dick Colpaert (5-6, 2.69 ERA) 36 games, 2 starts, 85K in 77 innings pitched
Pitcher Tom Fisher (0-1, 9.47ERA) 7 games, 19K in 19 innings pitched
Pitcher Eddie Watt (11-11, 2.19ERA) 25 games, 22 starts, 170K in 160 innings pitched

Appleton Baseball Alum Eddie Watt

Future Major League Manager: Cal Ripken, Sr.

Category leaders:
Average: Robert Litchfield – .287
Homers: Daniel Markowski – 9
RBI: Markowski – 59
OPS: Markowski – .782
SB: Litchfield – 26

Wins: Stephen Cosgrove – 12
ERA: Eddie Watt – 2.19
Innings Pitched: Cosgrove – 176.0
Strikeouts: Cosgrove – 187

Fun Stat: Cal Ripken, Sr. pitched three times as a reliever in the 1962 season. He allowed 15 runs (11 earned) on 22 hits in 15 innings with seven walks and three strikeouts.

No…Seriously Stat: Pitcher Jerry Bean pitched 143 innings for the Foxes in 1962. He struck out 132…and walked 129 in those 143 innings.

Need more details stat: MWLGuide.com reports that the Foxes played one game to a tie in 1962. On which date and against which team is not known without a trip to the library.

Fox Cities Foxes, Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Braves, Clinton C-Sox, Decatur Commodores, Dubuque Packers, Keokuk Dodgers, Quad Cities Angels, Quincy Jets, Waterloo Hawks.

Dubuque beat Waterloo three games to one in a best-of-five championship series.

MWL ALUM OF NOTE FROM 1962: Denny McClain was an 18-year-old pitcher and appeared in 16 games for Clinton in 1962. He went 4-7 with 93 strikeouts in 91 innings pitched. McClain would make his MLB debut with the Detroit Tigers in 1963. In 1968, he won 31 games for the Tigers and won the AL Cy Young Award and the AL-MVP. In 1969, he won 24 games and won the AL Cy Young Award again.

Perhaps Denny picked up playing the organ in Clinton. This was the first of TWO albums by McClain.

MWL NEWS OF NOTE: Keokuk folded in August. They finished the season as the Midwest Dodgers and played the remainder of their home games in Dubuque.

Opening Day is April 5, 2012. Get here soon.

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