50 Years in 50 Days: 1991

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 21.

21 Years Ago:
The Appleton Foxes missed the playoffs for the fifth straight season.

The 1991 Foxes program celebrated Appleton's first pro team, which started play in 1891.

FOXES INFORMATION:
Name: Appleton Foxes
Affiliation: Kansas City Royals (5th Year)
Manager: Joe Breeden (2nd season)
First Half Record:  33-36 (4th, North)
Second Half Record: 25-45 (7th, North)
Overall Record: 58-81

Future Major Leaguer:
Pitcher Rodney Myers (1-1, 2.60) in 9 games – 4 starts – with 29K in 27.2IP

Rodney Myers was the only member of the 1991 Appleton Foxes to make it to the major leagues. From Baseball Birthdays.

Category Leaders:
AVG: Harry Guanchez – .279
HR: Keith Thomas & Ed Gerald – 7
RBI: Tom Smith – 57
SB: Darren Burton – 38
OPS: Ed Gerald – .743
WINS: Jim Chrisman, Dario Perez, Shayne Rea – 7
ERA: Dario Perez – 3.24
IP: Shayne Rea – 151.0
SO: Shayne Rea – 97
SV: David Hierholzer – 14

One Stat: Only one future major league player on this roster.  Rodney Myers was drafted by the Royals out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He was part of a Badgers staff that included Lance Painter and Paul Quantrill.  All three made the major leagues and were part of this list of 26 former Badgers to make it to the Show.

1991 MWL Season:


Big Change as the Wasuau Timbers were sold at the end of the 1990 season.  They became the Kane County Cougars.  One other change was Burlington moving away from the Braves.  They became the Burlington Astros for 1991.

1991 MWL All-Star Game:
Cedar Rapids hosted the game on June 24.  The 1991 MWL All-Star Game ended in a 6-6 tie.  Seriously.

1991 MWL Postseason:
In the North, Madison swept Kane County.  In the South, Clinton swept Burlington.

In the Championship Series, Clinton swept the best-of-five series from Madison.

1991 MWL Alumni of Note:
Lance PainterWaterloo Diamonds

Lance Painter as a Waterloo Diamond in 1991.

Speak of the Devil.  Painter went 14-8 with a 2.30ERA and 201Ks in 200 innings pitched for the Diamonds in 1991.  Paint went on to a major league career and – eventually – become the pitching coach of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 2006 & 2007.  Lance is still in the Mariners system.  He spent the last two seasons as the pitching coach in Jackson, Tennessee.

1991 Brewers Farmhand of Note:
Tony DiggsBeloit Brewers

Tony Diggs as a Beloit Brewer in 1991. From checkoutmycards.com

Tony Diggs was a sixth round pick of the Brewers out of the University of North Florida in 1989. He is still with the Brewers. Here is his entry in the 2012 Media Guide:

Tony Diggs, 44, enters his ninth season in the Brewers organization and his seventh in his current position [ASSISTANT DIRECTOR – PLAYER DEVELOPMENT/TRAINING CENTER].

In addition, he will serve his fifth season as the manager of the Arizona Brewers. In 2010, he was named Arizona League Manager of the Year after leading the team to a 34-22 regular-season record and the Arizona League championship.

Diggs assists with the day-to-day administration duties at the Brewers’ facility in Maryvale, Arizona. Previously, he served as a hitting coach in the organization with Class-A Beloit (2004) and Class-A Brevard County (2005). Prior to joining the Brewers, Diggs was a minor-league hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals (1998-99, 2002-03). He also spent two years as Director of Player Development/MLB Consultant with the International Baseball League of Australia and was a consultant for Team Australia in the 2000 Olympics.

Selected by the Brewers in the sixth round of the 1989 draft,Diggs played eight professional seasons in the minor leagues with Milwaukee (1989-93) and St. Louis (1994-96).

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

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