February 2012

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?

FOXES INFORMATION:
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
RBI: N/A
OPS: N/A
SB: N/A

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.

50 Years in 50 Days: 1966

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 46.

46 Years Ago:
The Fox Cities Foxes begin their first season as an affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.

Main change from previous covers: Addition of the White Sox Pennant and the removal of the Fox Cities map.

FOXES INFORMATION:
Team Name: Fox Cities Foxes
MLB Affiliate: Chicago White Sox
Manager: Stan Wasiak (1st year)
1st Half Record: 42-19 (1st)
2nd Half Record: 35-28 (3rd)
Overall Record: 77-47

Future MLB Players:
Catcher Doug Adams hit .195 with a homer in 74 games
Outfielder Al Fitzmorris hit .237 with 5 homers in 104 games
Pitcher Ken Frailing (0-1, 6.43) in one game, a start
Outfielder Deacon Jones hit .353 with 18 homers in 114 games
Outfielder Ron Lolich hit .236 with 2 homers in 36 games
Pitcher Jim Magnuson (5-4, 2.04) in 13 games, all starts
Outfielder/1B Ken Melton hit .284 with 12 homers in 97 games
Pitcher Jerry Nyman (2-3, 1.97) in 5 games, all starts
Pitcher Fred Rath (17-3, 1.92ERA) in 23 games, all starts

Fred Rath, a 17-game winner with the Foxes in 1966.

Future Major League Coach: Deacon Jones with the Astros from 1976 to 1982 and with the Padres from 1984 to 1987.

Category Leaders:
Hitting: Deacon Jones – .353*
Homers: Jones – 18
RBI: N/A
OPS: N/A
SB: N/A

Wins: Fred Rath – 17**
ERA: Rath – 1.92
Innings Pitched: Rath – 169
Strikeouts: N/A

Double Duty Stat: Al Fitzmorris also pitched in four games during 1966.  This included one start.  Fitzmorris allowed two runs in 14 total innings and had no record.

He Can Hit, Too Stat: Fred Rath also hit a home run in a game during the season.

Family Ties Stat: Ron Lolich is the cousin of Mickey LolichFred Rath is the father of Fred Rath, JrTimothy McClain is the brother of Denny McClain.

Midwest League 1966:
Fox Cities Foxes, Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Cardinals, Clinton Pilots, Decatur Commodores, Dubuque Packers, Quad Cities Angels, Quincy Cubs, Waterloo Hawks, Wisconsin Rapids Twins.

The one name change was Clinton changing from the C-Sox to the Pilots.  Clinton became a Pittsburgh farm team as the White Sox moved to Wisconsin.

1966 Midwest League All-Star Game:
Since the Foxes won the first half title, they hosted the 1966 All-Star Game on July 18.  The setup for this All-Star Game was the Foxes took on the Midwest League All-Star Team.  The Foxes won 1-0 with an unearned run.  Bob Van Epps drove in the only run of the game with a sacrifice fly.  MWLGuide.com has the boxscore.

1966 Midwest League Postseason:
The Foxes beat the Cedar Rapids Kernels 2 games to 1 in a best-of-three championship series.  You can read about the pennant clinching win in this Flashback Friday column.

Chicago White Sox president Arthur Allyn’s prophetic statement at the mid-winter “Red Smith Awards” banquet was realized on the Veterans Memorial Park diamond here Wednesday.

The Fox Cities Foxes, rebounding from a 7-3 loss in the Midwest League’s championship playoff, followed Tuesday’s 8-1 conquest of Cedar Rapids with a 4-2 triumph last night to capture the ML flag for the second time in three years.

Allyn bluntly assured the packed house of 500 at the mid-winter fete that the Fox Cities baseball club, in its first year of affiliation with the Chisox would have a championship team – and that it did.

Southpaw Andy Rubilotta, who hurled no-hit ball for the first five and one-third innings, and righthander Willie Hooler, making his third appearance in the best-of-three series, combined to check the Cardinals on just three hits en route to last night’s decisive 4-2 victory.

MWL Alum of Note:

Graig Nettles learned how to do this in Wisconsin Rapids...probably.

Graig Nettles played for the Wisconsin Rapids Twins during the 1966 season.  He led the Midwest League in homers with 28 during that season.  He played in the big leagues with the Twins, Indians, Yankees, Padres, Braves, and Expos.

Nettles was best known for his defense during his run with the Yankees.  But, he did hit 37 homers and drive in over 100 runs in 1977.

ONE LAST THING:  No. I didn’t forget. The first Foxes No-Hitter was thrown on May 28, 1966.

Pitched the first Foxes no-hitter

Mickey Abarbanel was the pitcher and he shutdown the Twins in a 9-1 win.  Flashback Friday has the story from that game.

Flame-throwing Mickey Abarbanel, the Fox Cities Foxes’ version of Sandy Koufax, masterfully mixed his fast ball with a hard snapping curve and twirled a no-hitter at the Wisconsin Rapids Twins Saturday night at Goodland Field. The score was 9-1.

Not allowing a man to reach until one man was out in the sixth inning, Abarbanel exhibited pinpoint control, averaging eight pitches per inning in each of the first four innings. He finished with 12 strike outs and three bases on balls. The Jersey City native lowered his diminutive earned run average to 1.79.

As could be expected, the Foxes’ fielding was superb. Abarbanel committed the team’s only miscue in the eighth inning on a wild throw to second base.

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

50 Years in 50 Days: 1965

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 47.

47 Years Ago:
The Fox Cities Foxes tried to defend their 1964 Midwest League Pennant.

FOXES INFORMATION:
Team Name: Fox Cities Foxes
MLB Affiliate: Baltimore Orioles
Manager: Billy DeMars (3rd Year)
1st Half Record: 25-35 (8th)
2nd Half Record: 30-28 (5th)
Overall Record: 55-63

Future Major League Players:
Pitcher Paul Gilliford (0-0, 0.00ERA) Pitched in six games all in relief
Outfielder Curt Motton hit .275 with six home runs in 44 games

Paul Gilliford, a member of the 1965 Foxes

Curt Motton, a member of the 1965 Foxes, on his 1969 Topps card

Motton was the subject of this Flashback Friday (Ed.: I wonder where they got that title? I’ll just borrow the Motton card from them) on a Baltimore sports website.  It’s about his pinch-hit, game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning of Game Two of the 1969 ALCS against the Twins for a 1-0 Orioles win.

Future Major League Coach: Billy DeMars

Category leaders:
Hitting:
Average: Elmore “Moe” Hill – .275
Homers: Hill and Raymond Woitkowski – 7
RBI: N/A
OPS: N/A
SB: N/A

Pitching:
Wins: Larry Connell & Richard Herman – 10
ERA: Derrel Wilkerson – 2.16
Innings Pitched: Henry Pawlowicz – 150
Strikeouts: N/A

Ties? Stat: MWLGuide.com notes that the Foxes played a pair of tie games in 1965.  One with Quincy and the other with Waterloo.

Different Times Stat: Henry Pawlowicz was 18 when he racked up 150 innings pitched during the 1965 season.  That wasn’t all for him either.  He also pitched 27 innings in Stockton, Baltimore’s California League affiliate, for a total of 177 innings.  He had tossed 43 innings for a Giants affiliate in the Pioneer League in 1964.

Mr. Perfect Stat: Duane Janne was 7-0 in 27 relief appearances for the Foxes.  He did lose that season.  Janne went 6-1 in Stockton.

Midwest League 1965:
Fox Cities Foxes, Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Cardinals, Clinton C-Sox, Decatur Commodores, Dubuque Packers, Quad Cities Angels, Quincy Cubs, Waterloo Hawks, Wisconsin Rapids Twins.

1965 MWL Postseason:
There was no postseason.  The Burlington Bees, the affiliate of the Kansas City Athletics, won both halves to claim the pennant.  They were 40-20 in the first half and 42-20 in the second half.

MWL News for 1965:
There was no All-Star Game in 1965.
Cedar Rapids changed their name from Red Raiders to Cardinals (3rd year in a row for a name change)
Quincy changed their name from Gems to Cubs (3rd year in a row for a name change)

MWL Alum of Note from 1965:

A member of the 1965 Burlington Bees

Sal Bando played for the Burlington Bees in 1965. He was drafted by the Athletics in the 5th round of the June, 1965 draft out of Arizona State University.  He would play 60 games and hit six homers for the Bees after signing his contract.

Bando made his MLB debut with Kansas City in 1966 and went on to become the third baseman for the Oakland A’s dynasty of the early 1970’s. He was a 4-time All-Star and finished second (1971), fourth (1973), and third (1974) in AL MVP voting while in Oakland in Then, he was the first big name free agent signed by the Milwaukee Brewers. Bando was part of the 1981 Brewers that made the playoffs.

Bando worked in the Brewers front office from 1982-1999.  First, he was an assistant to Harry Dalton.  Then he was the General Manager of the Brewers from 1992-1999.

Bonus Foxes Alumn of Note:

Moe Hill tips his cap at Witter Field in Wisconsin Rapids in 2010. (From WAOW.com)

The story of Elmore ‘Moe’ Hill is one with which you should be familiar.  Hill played for the Foxes at the age of 18 in 1965.  He climbed through the Baltimore organization, but missed the 1969 season with an illness.  He would sign with the Twins for 1970 and Minnesota sent him to the MWL to play for Wisconsin Rapids for part of the 1971 season.  Hill would start the 1972 season in Wisconsin Rapids and he played there – and only there – through the 1978 season when he was 31.

It’s not that Hill was bad.  No. He was outstanding. He won a triple crown in the league in 1974.  Baseball America named him the greatest Midwest League player in 1999.   He is very popular with baseball fans in Wisconsin Rapids.  But, he was held back in the Midwest League.  Why?

Friend of the blog Ben Hill wrote about Moe Hill for milb.com back in 2007.

The numbers Hill put up in Wisconsin Rapids are nothing less than staggering. Over 862 games spanning eight seasons, he hit .283 with 194 home runs and 669 RBIs. From 1974-77, he led the Midwest League in homers, and in three of those campaigns, he also led the circuit in RBIs. In 1974, he batted a career-best .339 to go with 32 home runs and 113 RBIs, becoming the first player in Midwest League history to win the Triple Crown.

The obvious question, of course, is why didn’t Hill receive a promotion? Why, in the prime of his career, was he allowed to stagnate at a relatively low level? What could the Twins have been thinking?

Hill has a few thoughts.

“It’s sad to say, but I think that being a black man in baseball played a big part,” said Hill, who had broken the color line by becoming the first black player in the North Carolina American Legion. “That’s not to say that there weren’t white players who were treated unfairly, just that I think it may have been easier for the Twins to ignore me because I was black.

“But, regardless of race, the guys who had gotten big bonuses when they signed were gonna move up and a lot of the other guys weren’t. That’s just the way it was.”

There is a lot more to the story. Make sure you click that link.

50 Years in 50 Days: 1964

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 48.

48 Years Ago:
The 1964 Foxes are making a play for their first Midwest League title.

The cover of the 1964 Foxes program was very similar to the cover of the 1963 program.

A page from the 1964 program with the front office staff and the Mayor of Appleton.

FOXES INFORMATION:
Team Name: Fox Cities Foxes
MLB Affiliate: Baltimore Orioles
Manager: Billy DeMars (2nd year)
1st Half Record: 39-22 (2nd)
2nd Half Record: 42-21 (1st)
Overall Record: 81-43

Future Major League Players:
Pitcher – Fred Beene (11-5, 2.22) 34 games, 1 start, 77 innings pitched with 102 strikeouts
Shortstop – Steve Huntz; Hit .249 with 9 homers and 74 RBI in 122 games
Pitcher – Sparky Lyle (3-1, 2.31) 6 games, 6 starts, 35 innings pitched with 51 strikeouts
Outfielder – John Matias; Hit .300 with 13 homers and 60 RBI in 124 games
Outfielder – Dave May; Hit .368 with 14 homers in 74 RBI in 122 games
Outfielder – Fred Rico; Hit .310 with 7 homers and 88 RBI in 117 games

Future Major League Coach: Billy DeMars

Category leaders:
Hitting:
Average: Dave May – .368*
Homers: Dave May – 14
RBI: Fred Rico – 88**
OPS: Dave May – 1.004
SB: Dave May – 36

*Won Midwest League batting title. Edged out Ed Moxey of Quincy .368-.362
** – 2nd in the MWL. Clarence Stanley of Decatur led league with 93 RBI.

Pitching:
Wins: Tim Sommer – 13
ERA: Hank King – 1.84
Innings Pitched: Steven Caria – 154.0
Strikeouts: Steven Caria – 195

Who IS That Guy Stat: Steve Caria had 195 strikeouts in 154 innings pitches as an 18-year-old. He also walked 105 batters and hit a home run in 52 at bats for the Foxes that year. I wonder if the youngster who went 9-7 with a 3.16ERA for the Foxes in 1964 is the same Steve Caria who has been an insurance agent in San Mateo, California since 1979.

Power SURGE Stat: The Foxes hit only 37 home runs in 120 games during the 1963 season. They hit 89 in 124 games in 1964.

Power ARM Stat: Seven members of the Foxes pitching staff struck out 100 opposing batters. They struck out a total of 1,061 in 1,042 innings. In descending order the magnificent seven to reach 100 or more strikeouts that season were:

Steven Caria – 195
Tim Sommer – 151
Thomas Zink – 119
Edward Hawkins – 110
Edward Petryshyn – 110
Hank King – 108
Fred Beene – 102

MIDWEST LEAGUE 1964:
Fox Cities Foxes, Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Red Raiders, Clinton C-Sox, Decatur Commodores, Dubuque Packers, Quad Cities Angels, Quincy Gems, Waterloo Hawks, Wisconsin Rapids Twins.

MWL POSTSEASON:
The Foxes beat Clinton 8-5 in a one game playoff at Riverview Stadium for the Midwest League title on September 1, 1964. This was the first MWL Pennant for Appleton Professional Baseball. The write up on that game may be found at this Flashback Friday.

1964 Midwest League Champion Foxes

Surprise MWL Link:  You will need to click this link to see which familiar face – to Brewers fans – led the Midwest League in stolen bases during the 1964 season.  Let’s just say that he could give an instructional video on stealing bases since he stole 53 bases in 58 attempts for Dubuque that season.

MWL ALUM OF NOTE FROM 1964:

1968 Topps card of Rick Reichardt

Rick Reichardt is a Stevens Point native. He was a football and baseball star at the University of Wisconsin. Reichardt played for the Badgers in the 1963 Rose Bowl and led the Big Ten in batting twice.

It is said that the bidding war by major league teams for Reichardt’s services was the reason for the start of the draft in 1965. Reichardt signed for $200,000 with the Angels organization and played just 34 games in the Midwest League for Quad Cities. He hit two homers, drove in 18 runs, and stole eight bases in those 34 games. Then, he played 23 games for Hawaii in the PCL. Oh, and he made his major league debut with the Angels on September 1, 1964. Reichardt hit the first home run in Anaheim Stadium and played for the Angels, White Sox, Royals, and Senators over 11 seasons in the big leagues.

He is a member of the Stevens Point Area High School Hall of Fame and the University of Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame.

Reichardt’s bullpen page at baseball-reference notes that he needed to have a kidney removed very early in his career. It also notes that he has recently worked with an old friend of the Foxes, Roland Hemond, in the Arizona Diamondbacks front office.

1964 MWL ALUM HONORABLE MENTION:

Rene Lachemann, Brewers manager

Rene Lachemann played for the Burlington Bees as a 19-year-old in the Kansas City Athletics organization. He played 99 games for the Bees and was the MWL leader in homers with 24 and finished fourth in the league in RBI with 82.

Lachemann went on to become a major league manager three times. He was the head man of the Seattle Mariners from 1981-1983. He was the first manager in Florida Marlins history and was there from 1993-1996. Lachemann was the manager of the Milwaukee Brewers in 1984. That was between Harvey Kuenn and the return of George Bamberger.

BONUS FOXES NOTE: This old Flashback Friday recounts a game at Goodland Field from August 4, 1964. Sparky Lyle made his Foxes debut against Reichardt & the Quad Cities Angels in front of a crowd of 7,118.

MWL NEWS OF NOTE:
Quincy switched their nickname from the Jets to the Gems.

Wisconsin Rapids switched their nickname from the Senators to the Twins.

The first Midwest League All-Star Game since the Foxes joined the MWL was played. The game was held on June 28 in Davenport, Iowa. The South won 6-3 by scoring four times in the bottom of the fifth inning to erase a 3-2 deficit.

According to the boxscore at MWLGuide.com (linked above), the Foxes were represented on the North squad by Billy DeMars (manager), John Matias (1B), Dave May (LF), Ed Hawkins (P), Steve Huntz (PH), Steve Caria (P), Tim Sommer (P), and Fred Rico (P). Only Sommer did not make an appearance in the All-Star Game.

Sommer did write a book about his in the minor league experiences. It is called Beating About the Bushes. He’s got a few stories about 1964 in there.

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

50 Years in 50 Days: 1963

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.  The countdown to Opening Day, 2012 has reached 49.

Stats and reference material are from MWLGuide.com & baseball-reference.com.

49 Years Ago:
The 1963 Foxes had a new manager in their fourth season as an Orioles affiliate and their second season in the Midwest League.

Cover of the 1963 Fox Cities Foxes program

FOXES INFORMATION:
Team Name: Fox Cities Foxes
MLB Affiliate: Baltimore Orioles
Manager: Billy DeMars
1st Half Record: 28-32 (5th)
2nd Half Record: 27-33 (8rd)
Overall Record: 55-65

Future Major League Players:
Pitcher – Tom Fisher (10-4, 2.50ERA) 24 games, 19 starts 133 innings pitched
Pitcher – Dave Leonhard (1-0, 3.86ERA) 2 games, 2 starts, 14 innings pitched
Outfielder – Dave May Hit .310 with four homers in 71 games
Pitcher – Jim Ray (0-1, 0.00) 1 game, 1 start, 2 innings pitched
Infielder – Ron Stone; Hit .286 with no homers in 78 games

Future Major League Coach: Billy DeMars

Category leaders:

Dave May played for the Foxes in 1963. This is his Topps card from 1980.

Hitting:
Average: Dave May – .310
Homers: Theodore Richardson – 10
RBI: N/A
OPS: N/A
SB: N/A

Pitching:
Wins: Tom Fisher – 10
ERA: Hank King – 1.92
Innings Pitched: Paul Campbell – 174.0
Strikeouts: – N/A

Hey, You Look Familiar Stat: Arne Thorsland was an Orioles bonus baby who played with the Foxes during the 1960 season. He returned to start two games for the Foxes in 1963. He went 0-2 and allowed eight earned runs over eight innings.

No…Seriously Stat: In 120 Midwest League games, the Foxes hit a total of 37 home runs. Theodore Richardson accounted for 27% of his team’s homers in 1963.

Need more details stat(s): There are a lot of blanks on the Foxes’ baseball-reference page for 1963.

MIDWEST LEAGUE 1963:
Fox Cities Foxes, Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Red Raiders, Clinton C-Sox, Decatur Commodores, Dubuque Packers, Quad Cities Angels, Quincy Jets, Waterloo Hawks, Wisconsin Rapids Senators

MWL POSTSEASON:
There was no MWL postseason in 1963. The Clinton C-Sox won both halves (1st half: 44-18; 2nd half: 39-23) to claim the championship.

MWL ALUM OF NOTE FROM 1963:

Paul Lindblad had a great season for the Burlington Bees in 1963. This is his 1974 Topps baseball card

Paul Lindblad was a member of the Burlington Bees in 1963 and went 10-2 with a 1.58ERA in 14 starts.  Lindblad spent 14 seasons in the big leagues and appeared in 655 games (32 starts) with the Athletics, Senators, Rangers, & Yankees.  He pitched in the World Series with Oakland in 1973 and New York in 1978.  Lindblad was the winning pitcher for the A’s in Game Three of the 1973 World Series at Shea Stadium.  Oakland beat the Mets 3-2 in 11 innings.  Lindblad pitched two scoreless innings despite allowing three hits and a walk.

MWL NEWS OF NOTE: Welcome to the Midwest League Wisconsin Rapids Senators!

Opening Day is April 5, 2009. Get here soon.

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

FOXES INFORMATION:
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:
Hitting:
Average: Robert Litchfield - .287
Homers: Daniel Markowski – 9
RBI: Markowski – 59
OPS: Markowski – .782
SB: Litchfield – 26

Pitching:
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.

MIDWEST LEAGUE 1962:
Fox Cities Foxes, Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Braves, Clinton C-Sox, Decatur Commodores, Dubuque Packers, Keokuk Dodgers, Quad Cities Angels, Quincy Jets, Waterloo Hawks.

MWL-POSTSEASON:
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.

Compare & Contrast: Western Style

This week, three Opening Day Bobbleheads, recreate the three-man duel from the end of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Here is the original in all of it’s glory.

The part the bobbleheads recreate begins around 2:29 or so.

Who needs to talk to get the point across? Awesome scene!  Awesome movie!

Post Number 800!

I didn’t realize that ‘Rattler Radio’ was nearing the 800 mark until a couple of days ago.  I thought about a big post that covered the blog since moving over from the old site.  But, I woke up to this:

Snow's gonna snow.

Opening Day will get here. Trust me.

Keep in mind that Monday looked like this:

There CAN be no snow in February. See!

Sigh.  55 days to Opening Day.  That was enough to get me down just a little bit.  So, here are a few prospect links and a Flashback Friday supplement to this week’s column.

Prospects:
MLB.com has this Top 20 list.  Potential Rattlers – and I stress “Potential” Rattlers – for 2012 on that list are #2 Jed Bradley, #3, Taylor Jungman, #11 David Goforth, & #12 Yadiel Rivera.

MLB.com also has this organizational preview for the 2012 Brewers minor leaguers.

“I think last year, we were better than we thought we would be,” [Reid] Nichols said. “This year, I am optimistic and I feel good about the year. We have some players that will contribute. We have players that will be recognized by baseball.”

In addition to [Wily] Peralta and [Jed] Bradley, the organization has players like infielder Scooter Gennett, right-handed pitchers Taylor Jungmann and Tyler Thornburg along with infielder Taylor Green making strides.

The newly revamped Disciples of Uecker has a Top 30 List for Brewers Prospects.

#30-21

#20-11

#10-1

Brew Crew Ball has been doing Community Prospect Ratings for #1 through #17.

It should not be a surprise that former Timber Rattlers pitcher Wily Peralta is #1 on all three lists.

And now a word from our sponsor: Timber Rattlers Fandemonium starts next Wednesday (2/15).  Click here for the details.

This week’s Flashback Friday is a reprint of a combination season review (1987)/season preview (1988) from the 1988 Appleton Foxes souvenir program.

The cover of the 1988 program was part of the series that were designed and drawn by Paul Birling.  I believe that I have called them LeRoy Neiman-esque.

The cover of the 1988 Appleton Foxes souvenir program.

Other Paul Birling covers on this blog are: 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, & 1992.  As noted elsewhere, the Foxes modified the 1991 cover for use again in 1994.  Like so:

1991:

The 1991 Foxes Program cover celebrates the 100th Anniversary of pro baseball in Appleton.

1994:

Just enough changes from 1991. This might make a good Spot the Difference for after the 2012 season.

And that would be post number 800!  Thank you for coming back for more during the long offseason.  Things will be picking up in the next few days and there will be no let up until the end of the Timber Rattlers schedule is done.

Compare and Contrast: Miracle

The Opening Day Bobbleheads recreated the speech by Herb Brooks before the game against the Soviets.

Here is the original.

The bobbles took it from about the 1:50 mark of the original.  There was a sudden inspiration to add a certain bobblehead at the end as Craig Patrick that brought the whole thing together.

YOU were meant to be here on Opening Day.

I am ready for Opening Day now!

I am also ready to beat the Soviet Union at hockey.  Weird, eh?

Groundhog Day at the ballpark

I was out taking a few pictures of the infield at Time Warner Cable Field today to document how the recent warm weather has affected the snow cover…

So far, so good on the disappearing act, snow cover.

I noticed something in this picture that reminded me what day it was:

Click for a bigger image and look on the right at the end of the bleachers.

 

It’s Groundhog Day, but we do not have a Punxsutawney Phil or a Jimmy from Sun Prairie to pop out of a burrow at the ballpark to give us a weather prediction . We need to rely on someone else.

There can be no doubt.

He’s been around the ballpark for a long time and now is about the time….

I don't see a shadow...

Once again, the mysterious Range Rider sets out on another thrilling adventure with his trusted steed Thunder who…

does not see a shadow. Spring is right around the corner!

The Howling Mad Murdock Action Figure did NOT see his shadow this morning.  Alert the news crews!

Opening Day is 63 Days away. That’s just nine weeks!  It better get here soon.

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