50 Years in 50 Days: 1993

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 19.

19 Years Ago:
The Foxes began Appleton Professional Baseball’s long affiliation with the Seattle Mariners.

A fox, standing on a pier...A left-hand hitting fox standing on a pier. Drawn by Dave Taylor

Name: Appleton Foxes
Affiliation: Seattle Mariners (1st Year)
Manager:  Carlos Lezcano (1st Year)
First Half Record:  34-32 (T-4th, North)
Second Half Record: 28-41 (7th, North)
Overall Record: 62-73

Future Major Leaguers:
Pitcher Tim Davis (10-2, 1.85) in 16 games – 10 starts – with 3CG, 2SV, & 89K in 77.2IP
Infielder Eddy Diaz hit .333 with three homers and 33RBI in 46 games
Pitcher Shawn Estes (5-9, 7.24) in 19 games – 18 starts – with 65K in 83.1IP
Infielder/Outfielder Charles Gipson hit .256 with no homers and 20 RBI in 109 games
Pitcher Tim Harikkala (3-3, 6.52) in 15 games – 4 starts – with 33K in 38.2IP
Catcher Raul Ibanez hit .274 with five homers and 21RBI in 52 games
Shortstop Andy Sheets hit .263 with a homer and 25RBI in 69 games

Note: Most Foxes cards in this post are from checkoutmycards.com.

Shawn Estes as an Appleton Fox in 1993.

Category Leaders:
AVG: Robby Robertson – .285
HR: James Koehler – 17
RBI: James Koehler – 60
SB: Charles Gipson – 21
OPS: David Lawson – .829
WINS: Tim Davis – 10
ERA: Jackie Nickell – 3.06
IP: Jackie Nickell – 150.0
SO: Jackie Nickell – 151
SV: Bob Worley – 22

Jackie Nickell, 1993 Appleton Foxes

More Than Sixto’s Cousin Stat:  Carlos Lezcano is the cousin of former Brewers outfielder Sixto Lezcano.

Carlos Lezcano in 1993.

Carlos Lezcano has managed in the Mariners, Giants, Brewers, and Padres systems.  In 2010, his Lake Elsinore Storm won 81 games in the California League and Lezcano was named that league’s Manager of the Year.  In 2011, the Storm were 23-31 on June 3 and Phil Plantier replaced Lezcano as the manager when Lezcano resigned.

Lake Elsinore Storm manager Carlos Lezcano, the franchise’s all-time winningest manager, resigned Thursday, effective immediately due to family reasons, the Storm announced.

Team hitting coach Phil Plantier has been named interim manager and will lead the team tonight at The Diamond against the Inland Empire 66ers.

Lezcano, in his 19th season as a minor league manager and his fifth with the Storm, is 43 victories shy of 1,000 career Minor League victories. He led the Storm to four consecutive playoff appearances, including the California League Finals in 2007.

This past November, Lezcano took over as the manager of Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League when Tim Teufel was let go.

Totally by Accident Stat:  Remember back in the 1963 entry for this feature when I picked Paul Lindblad as the MWL Alum of Note?  I had no idea that he was the pitching coach of the Appleton Foxes in 1993.

Thirty years after pitching against the Foxes, Lindblad would be coaching for the Foxes.


1993 Midwest League Season:

Lots of Changes in the MWL for 1993.  The biggest being Kenosha moving to Fort Wayne for the birth of the Fort Wayne Wizards.  The most local being the Foxes switching from the Royals to the Mariners.  Other moves included: the Royals went to Rockford as the Expos went back to Burlington, The Astros switched to Quad City from Burlington; and the Angels moved to Cedar Rapids from Quad City as the Reds left the Midwest League.

Name Changes included Burlington from the Astros to the Bees, Cedar Rapids from the Reds to the Kernels, Rockford from Expos to Royals.

North: Appleton Foxes, Beloit Brewers, Fort Wayne Wizards, Kane County Cougars, Madison Muskies, Rockford Royals, South Bend White Sox
South: Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Clinton Giants, Peoria Chiefs, Quad City River Bandits, Springfield Cardinals, Waterloo Diamonds.

1993 MWL All-Star Game:
Kane County hosted the game on June 21.  The North beat the South 302.  Tim Davis of the Appleton Foxes was the winning pitcher.  Steve Sisco, who played for the Foxes in 1992, was the game’s MVP as a member of the Rockford Royals.

1993 MWL Postseason:
South Bend swept Rockford 2-0 in the North and Clinton swept Springfield 2-0 in the South.

In the Finals, South Bend defeated Clinton 3-1 in the best-of-five series.

1993 MWL Alumni of Note:
Johnny DamonRockford Royals

Johnny Damon as a Rockford Royal in 1993.

Damon hit .290 with five homers and 50 RBI in 127 games for Rockford.  He made the major leagues in 1995, has been a 2-time All-Star, and has played 17 seasons for three World Series Champions.  Damon is currently a free agent.

Ugeth UrbinaBurlington Bees

Ugeth Urbina as a Burlington Bee in 1993.

Urbina was 10-1 with a 1.99ERA in 16 games – all starts – with 108K in 107.1IP in 1993.  He went on to be a two-time All-Star – once with Montreal and once with Boston – and collect 237 saves in an 11-year career.  His baseball career ended after 2005 because….Well, the second search term on google for him is Ugeth Urbina Machete.

1993 Brewers Farmhand of Note:
Kelly WunschBeloit Brewers

Kelly Wunsch, Beloit Brewer.

Wunsch was the #1 pick of the Brewers in the 1993 draft.  He was a product of Texas A&M and went 1-5 in 12 games – all starts – with a 4.83ERA and 61 K in 63.1IP for Beloit.  He would return for stints in Beloit during the 1994 and 1995 seasons.

Wunsch struggled through injuries, but would make the major leagues with the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2000-2005.

He has been building homes in West Central Austin since 2007.

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

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