50 Years in 50 Days: 1982

Fifty years ago, Appleton Professional Baseball 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 30.

30 Years Ago:
The Foxes made the Midwest League Championship Series as the league expanded to 12 teams and won their first Pennant since 1978.

The cover of the 1982 Appleton Foxes program.

Foxes Information:
Name: Appleton Foxes
Affiliation: Chicago White Sox (17th season)
Manager: Adrian Garrett (1st season)
Overall: 81-69 (2nd, North)

The 1982 Foxes led the Midwest League in STYLE!

Future MLB Players:
Outfielder Daryl Boston hit .279 with 15 homers and 77RBI in 139 games
Outfielder Leo Garcia hit .264 with two homers and 37RBI in 117 games
Pitcher Al Jones (2-4, 3.32) in 26 games – one start – with 64Ks in 57IP
Third Baseman Wade Rowdon hit .284 with 12 homers and 79 RBI in 126 games
Infielder Craig Smarjstrla hit .241 with no homers and two RBI in eight games
Pitcher Eddie Solomon (3-1, 4.38) in 4 games – all starts – with 22K in 24.2IP

Category Leaders:
AVG: Curt Reed – .293
HR: Daryl Boston – 15
RBI: Wade Rowdon – 79
SB: Leo Garcia – 30
OPS: Curt Reed – .874
WINS: Mike Tanzi – 14
ERA: Mike Tanzi – 2.22
IP: Mike Tanzi – 166
SO: Mike Tanzi – 142
SAVES: Steve Pastrovich – 13

Foxes from 1982

More Foxes from 1982.

Please Come to Boston Stat: Daryl Boston was the #1 pick (7th overall) of the White Sox in the 1981 June draft.  He played 139 games for the Foxes at the age of 19 in 1982.  He led the team in homers and was second in RBI.  The average age of the Foxes in 1982 was 21.  The average age of the Midwest League in 1982 was 21.6.  He struck out 147 times, but Boston had an .OPS of .776 while playing in a league that was almost three years older than he was.  Boston went to play 11 seasons in the big leagues with the White Sox, the New York Mets, Colorado, and the New York Yankees.

Daryl Boston from 1982.

1990 TOPPS card of Daryl Boston

Tanzi Stat: Mike Tanzi was the 10th round pick of the White Sox in 1981.  The 1982 season with the Foxes was his best as a professional.  I can only guess, but since he pitched in five games for Glens Falls in 1983, appeared briefly back in Appleton in 1984, and appeared in six games at Glens Falls in 1984, injuries may have derailed Tanzi’s career.  But, he was a big part of the Foxes MWL Championships season.

Mike Tanzi, 1982 Foxes.

Yo, Adrian Stat:  Adrian Garrett played against the Foxes in the Midwest League in 1961 and 1962.  He would go to the majors in 1966, but went back to the minors until 1970 and he stayed in the big leagues until 1976.  Then, he spent time (1977-1979) in Japan.  His position as the manager of the Foxes was his first.  After winning, the 1982 MWL championship, Garrett managed in Glens Falls (1983) and Denver (1984).  IN 1985 he was the hitting coordinator for the entire White Sox minor league system.  Then, he moved on to a major league coaching job with the Royals and positions in the Marlins and Reds minor league system.  Garrett’s very thorough bullpen page at baseball reference notes that he will be a part-time instructor for the Reds organization.

Adrian Garrett, 1974.

They Are In The Hall Stat:  Both Daryl Boston and Adrian Garrett were inducted into the Appleton Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008.

1982 MWL Season:

The schedule for the 1982 Appleton Foxes.

There were a LOT of changes in the Midwest League for 1982.  Four teams joined the league through expansion.  The Beloit Brewers, Danville Suns, Madison Muskies, and Springfield Cardinals all joined the loop.

The league from two divisions with four teams in each to three divisions with four teams in each.  The league also did away half seasons.  The season would be played as a single 144-game schedule. There would be four playoff teams – the three division winners and a wild card team with the best record of the non-division winners.

Additionally, the Brewers moved their affiliation out of Burlington and went with Beloit.  The Bees not only changed affiliation to the Texas Rangers, they also became the Burlington Rangers.

The 1982 Foxes are also notable for this statistical anomaly:

The Appleton Foxes made a little go a long way in a doubleheader against Wisconsin Rapids Saturday night.  Although they got just one hit in each of the two games they managed to sweep the Twins before 2,557 fans.

Click through for the boxscores for an interesting night in Wisconsin Rapids.

North: Appleton Foxes, Madison Muskies, Wausau Timbers, Wisconsin Rapids Twins
Central: Beloit Brewers, Clinton Giants, Danville Suns, Springfield Cardinals
South: Burlington Rangers, Cedar Rapids Reds, Quad Cities Cubs, Waterloo Indians

1982 MWL All-Star Game:
The North beat the South 4-2 at Quad Cities on July 14, 1982.  Foxes manager Adrian Garrett was then skipper of the North squad.  Daryl Boston (CF) was the only Foxes player to start in the game.  Wade Rowdon (3B) and Ramon Romero (2B) entered the game as subs.  Dave Nix, Art Niemann, and Mike Tanzi were selected to the roster, but did not play.

1982 MWL Postseason:
The Foxes got into the playoffs as the wild card.  They finished 6-1/2 games behind Madison (87-52) in the North.  But, the Foxes were well in front of Beloit and Waterloo for the fourth playoff spot.  The other division winners were Springfield (83-53) in the Central and Quad City (79-60).

The Foxes swept Springfield and Madison swept Quad City in the best-of-three divisional round.

Then, the Foxes prevailed with a win in Game Three of the best-of-three Championship Series.  This was the sixth MWL pennant for the Foxes.

1982 MWL Alum of Note:
Eric DavisCedar Rapids Reds

They couldn't retake the picture? Really?

Eric Davis was a much better player than a photographer’s model.  Eric the Red was an eighth round pick of Cincinnati in the 1980 draft.  He played for 17 years in the big leagues and was at his most productive during nine years with the Reds.  He was an All-Star in 1987 and 1989 and won a World Series in 1990.

I always thought that he was fun to watch.

Future Timber Rattlers Manager:
Gary VarshoQuad Cities Cubs

Former UW-Oshkosh Titan and future Wisconsin Timber Rattlers manager Gary Varsho's Upper Deck card.

Gary Varsho was selected by the Chicago Cubs out of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the fifth round of the June draft in 1982.  He started his professional career with the Quad Cities Cubs and hit .251 with three homers and 50 RBI in 76 games in the MWL.

More on Varsho when he becomes the Timber Rattlers manager for the 1997 and 1998 seasons.

1982 Brewers Farmhand of Note:
Bill WegmanBeloit Brewers

Bill Wegman on his 1989 Donruss card.

Wegman was the 5th round pick of the Brewers in the 1981 draft.  He went 12-6 with a 2.81ERA in 25 games – all starts – for the Snappers.  He tossed ten complete games and struck out 129 batters in 179-2/3 innings pitched.

He spent 11 years with the Brewers and went 81-90.  His best season was 1991 when he was 15-7 with a 2.84ERA.

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

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