50 Years in 50 Days: 2004

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 eight.

Eight Years Ago:
The Timber Rattlers had a rough season as Steve Roadcap returned for his second stint as manager of club.

Cover of the 2004 Timber Rattlers Media Guide.

Name: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Affiliation: Seattle Mariners (12th Year)
Manager:  Steve Roadcap (2nd Year)
First Half Record:  31-38 (7th, West)
Second Half Record: 26-44 (8th, West)
Overall Record: 57-82

The 2004 Timber Rattlers.

Future Major Leaguers:
Outfielder Wladimir Balentien hit .277 with 15 homers and 46RBI in 76 games
Pitcher Ryan Feierabend (9-7, 3.63) in 26 games – all starts – with 106K in 161.0IP
Shortstop Adam Jones hit .267 with 11 homers and 72RBI in 130 games
First baseman Bryan LaHair hit .279 with five homers and 28RBI in 67 games
Second baseman Oswaldo Navarro hit .211 with no homers and seven RBI in 40 games
Pitcher Eric O’Flaherty (3-3, 6.12) in 12 games – 10 starts – with 38K in 57.1IP

Adam Jones as a Rattler in 2004

Wladimir Balentien in 2004.

Category Leaders:
AVG: Adam Jones – .267
HR: Wladimir Balentien – 15
RBI: Adam Jones – 72
SB: Josh Womack – 24
OPS: Wladimir Balentien – 24
WINS: Ryan Feierabend & Brandon Moorhead – 9
ERA: Tom Oldham – 2.93
IP: Nibaldo Acosta – 161.2
SO: Brandon Moorhead – 163
SV: Brian Stitt – 16

2004 MWL Season:

2004 Magnet Schedule

The only change was a change that should not have been made.  The Quad City River Bandits switched their name to the Swing of the Quad Cities.

The Timber Rattlers and the Beloit Snappers played at Miller Park again in 2004.  The game was played on August 12 and Beloit won 5-0.

2004 MWL All-Star Game:
Cedar Rapids hosted the game on June 22.  The West beat the East 6-3.  Rattlers pitcher Ryan Feierabend was the winning pitcher for the East.  Wisconsin closer Brian Stitt was the only other Wisconsin representative on the West squad.

2004 MWL Postseason:
First Round (Best-of-three):
Clinton 2, Cedar Rapids 0
Kane County 2, Peoria 1

South Bend 2, Fort Wayne 0
West Michigan 2, Lansing 1

Divisional Finals:
Kane County 2, Clinton 0

West Michigan 2, South Bend 0

West Michigan 3, Kane County 2

I will note that Kane County won Game Four of the 2004 Finals in 16 innings by a score of 7-5.  But, the Whitecaps would win the following day by a score of 4-2.

2004 MWL Alumni of Note:
Ian KinslerClinton LumberKings

Ian Kinsler as a LumberKing in 2004. (From milb.com)

Ian Kinsler hit .402 in 60 games for Clinton in 2004.  Add in 11 homers, 30 doubles, and 52 RBI and you can see why he was promoted to AA before the All-Star break.

George KottarasFort Wayne Wizards

George Kottaras as a Fort Wayne Wizard in 2004. (From baseballinfortwayne.com)

The man who would play for the Brewers started out in the San Diego organization as a .310/.415/.461 hitter with seven homers and 46RBI in 78 games with the Fort Wayne Wizards.

2004 Brewers Farmhands of Note:
Yovani GallardoBeloit Brewers

He was there long enough for a bobblehead.

Gallardo joined the Snappers late in the season.  He was a second round pick in 2004 and started his pro career with six starts in the Arizona League before coming to Beloit.  Gallardo made two starts for the Snappers, went 0-1 with 10 earned runs allowed, with four walks and eight strikeouts in 7.1 innings pitched.

Opening Day, 2012 is April 5. Get Here Soon!

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