50 Years in 50 Days: 1967

Fifty years ago, the Foxes joined the Midwest League. As part of 50 Years in 50 Days, Rattler Radio is counting down to April 5 with a look back at each season of Appleton Professional Baseball team since 1962 (with a lot of help from MWLGuide.com and baseball-reference.com). The countdown to Opening Day, 2012 has reached 45.

45 Years Ago:
The 1967 Fox Cities Foxes became the Appleton Foxes as they attempted to repeat as MWL Champions.

That kind of gives it away, right?

Team Name: Appleton Foxes
MLB Affiliate: Chicago White Sox
Manager: Alex Cosmidis (1st year)
1st Half Record: 34-20 (2nd)
2nd Half Record: 37-26 (1st)
Overall Record: 71-46

Future MLB Players:
Catcher Chuck Brinkman hit .260 with no homers in 103 games
Pitcher Al Fitzmorris (14-8, 2.27ERA) in 24 games, all starts in second season with Foxes
Pitcher Ken Frailing (4-7, 2.55ERA) in 15 games, all starts in second season with Foxes
1B/OF Deacon Jones hit .352 with 5 homers in 45 games in second season as player/coach
Catcher Art Kusnyer hit .250 with 7 homers in 81 games
Outfielder Carlos May hit .338 with 10 homers in 63 games
Outfielder Jose Ortiz hit .282 with a homer in 113 games
1B/OF Bob Spence hit .278 with no homers in five games

Category Leaders:
Hitting: Jose Ortiz – .282
Homers: Carlos May– 10

Wins: Al Fitzmorris – 14
ERA: Durant Cooper – 1.98
Innings Pitched: Fitzmorris – 190
Strikeouts: N/A

Flip the Script Stat: Fitzmorris was mainly an outfielder for the Foxes in 1966.  He became a pitcher in 1967, but still hit five homers during the season.

Deacon Stat:  Jones was 33 during the 1967 season

Age Stat:  Average age of the Foxes in 1967 was 22.5.  That tied them with the Wisconsin Rapids Twins for the oldest team in the Midwest League that season.

Midwest League 1967:
Appleton Foxes, Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Cardinals, Clinton Pilots, Decatur Commodores, Dubuque Packers, Quad Cities Angels, Quincy Cubs, Waterloo Hawks, Wisconsin Rapids Twins.

The Foxes becoming the Appleton Foxes was the only change.

1967 Midwest League All-Star Game:
Wisconsin Rapids won the first half and the right to host the ’67 All-Star Game.  The MWL All-Star squad beat the  Twins 6-5 thanks to three homers in the game by Dubuque’s Jim Dodder.  The boxscore of that All-Star Game from MWLGuide.com.

Cosmidis was the manager of the MWL All-Stars.  Other Foxes to take part in the game were: Jose Ortiz, Chuck Brinkman, and Al Fitzmorris.

1967 MWL Postseason:

The Foxes rallied to beat Twins 2-1 game of a best-of-five series to win back-to-back pennants.  This Flashback Friday has the details of the pennant clinching 3-2 win at Goodland Field.

The victory climaxed the 3-game Midwest League playoff series, which saw the second-half champion Foxes fight back for the title after losing the opening game to the first-half champion Twins.

Appleton’s winning of the crown for the second successive year was the first time any ML team had accomplished the feat since Waterloo won three straight times in 1958, ’59, and ’60. It also marked the second year in a row Appleton came back to win after dropping the first game.

It was fitting that the youngest Fox on the squad, shortstop Stu Singleton (18-years-old) had the distinction of scoring the winning marker. And it was fitting, too, that [Durant] Cooper, the youngest of the Foxes’ pitchers got credit for the triumph in relief.

MWL Alumni of Note:

There is more than just one to single out for this post.

Charlie Manuel, hit 15 homers in 111 games for the Wisconsin Rapids Twins in 1967.  He’s done pretty well managing the Phillies.

Charlie "Chuck" Manuel with the Minnesota Twins.

Jerry Reuss and Ted Simmons were the top two picks of St. Louis (Simmons #1 & Reuss #2) in the 1967 draft and were teammates in Cedar Rapids.  Both had excellent MLB careers and eventually became Brewers.

The 1986 Ted Simmons. He was 17 when he played with the Cedar Rapids Cardinals in 1967.

Jerry Reuss in a Brewers jersey. Remember that?

Bill Russell 18 and a shortstop in Dubuque in 1967.

No...Not THAT Bill Russell. The baseball Bill Russell.

And if Reuss and Simmons wasn’t enough of a Brewers tie-in for you, how about Tom Murphy with the Quad Cities Angels?

Murph the Surf! Closing games for the Brewers.

I really miss those TRADED cards from topps. They should have included a FREE AGENT card at some point. Maybe they did after I stopped collecting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: