50 Years in 50 Days: 1989

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 23.

23 Years Ago:
The Foxes hovered around .500 all season long.

The cover of the 1989 Foxes program

Name: Appleton Foxes
Affiliation: Kansas City Royals (3rd Year)
Manager: Brian Poldberg (2nd season)
First Half Record:  31-33 (6th, North)
Second Half Record: 36-35 (4th, North)
Overall Record: 67-68

Future Major Leaguers:
Pitcher Hipolito Pichardo (5-4, 2.97) in 12 games – 12 starts – with 50K in 75.2IP
Pitcher Steve Shifflett (3-3, 4.15) in 18 games – 2 starts – with 13K in 39IP

Category Leaders:
AVG: Jeff Garber – .263
HR: Jeffrey Hulse – 10
RBI: Jeffrey Hulse – 61
SB: Don Wright – 29
OPS: Jeff Garber – .734
WINS: Gregory Harvey – 13
ERA: Steve Otto – 3.42
IP: Gregory Harvey – 141.0
SO: Gregory Harvey – 115
SV: Mark Parnell – 28

Only Two Stat:  The last time a Foxes team had just two future major league players during a season was 1976.

Hipolito Pichardo went 5-4 in 12 starts for the Foxes in 1989. He played ten seasons in the majors with Kansas City, Boston, and Houston.

1989 MWL Season:

1989 Appleton Foxes schedule.

The big change in the league was in Waterloo.  The team name changed to the Diamonds as they lost their affiliation with Cleveland.  Unfortunately for Waterloo, they could not secure another parent club and played the season as a co-op team.

North: Appleton Foxes, Beloit Brewers, Kenosha Twins, Madison Muskies, Rockford Expos, South Bend White Sox, Wausau Timbers,
South: Burlington Braves, Cedar Rapids Reds, Clinton Giants, Peoria Chiefs, Quad City Angels, Springfield Cardinals, Waterloo Diamonds

1989 MWL All-Star Game:
The South Bend White Sox hosted the All-Star Game on June 26.  The South beat the North 4-1.  Appleton Foxes pitcher Mark Parnell took the loss.

1989 Postseason:
Springfield swept Cedar Rapids in the South Divisional series.  South Bend swept Rockford in the North Divisional series.

In the best-of-five Championship Series, the South Bend White Sox swept Springfield to claim a pennant in their second season in the MWL.

1989 MWL Alumni of Note:
Chuck KnoblauchKenosha

Knoblauch was the 1st round pick of the Twins in 1989. His professional career started in Kenosha. In 51 MWL games, Knoblauch hit .286 with two homers and 19RBI.

Turk WendellBurlington

From checkoutmycards.com. Steven "Turk" Wendell has LOTS of superstitions. He was also a pretty decent pitcher who went on to an 11 year MLB career. In Burlington, he was 9-11 with nine complete games. Five of those nine complete games were shutouts.

1989 Brewers Farmhand of Note:
Cal EldredBeloit

How do you not like Cal Eldred? The Brewers took him with their first pick in the 1989 draft. Eldred went 2-1 in five starts for Beloit. He spent 14 seasons in the big leagues and he was a personal favorite of mine.

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