50 Years in 50 Days: 2006

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 six.

Six Years Ago:
The Timber Rattlers missed the playoffs.

Cover of the 2006 Timber Rattlers Media Guide

Name: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Affiliation: Seattle Mariners (14th Year)
Manager: Jim Horner (1st Year)
First Half Record:  27-43 (7th, West)
Second Half Record: 27-43 (7th, West)
Overall Record: 54-86

Michael Saunders in 2006. This picture and others used in this post were taken during a game in which the Rattlers wore Fox Cities Foxes jerseys as part of a Turn Back the Clock promotion.

Future Major Leaguers:
Third baseman Alex Liddi hit .184 with no homers and two RBI in 11 games
Catcher Adam Moore hit .267 with seven homers and 24 RBI in 44 games
Outfielder Michael Saunders hit .240 with four homers and 39 RBI in 104 games
Pitcher Justin Thomas (5-5, 3.10) in 11 games – all starts – with 51K in 61.oIP
Second baseman Luis Valbuena hit .286 with three homers and 38 RBI in 89 games

Luis Valbuena in 2006.

Justin Thomas (with Pitching Coach Lance Painter looking on) in 2006.

Category Leaders:
AVG: Luis Valbuena – .286
HR: Ron Garth – 10
RBI: Ron Garth & Eddy Hernandez – 48
SB: Michael Saunders – 22
OPS: Luis Valbuena – .771
WINS: Nick Allen & Jose Escalona – 7
ERA: Jose Escalona – 4.06
IP: Paul Fagan – 165.2
SO: Jose Esccalona – 110
SV: Brian Kappel – 8

Ron Garth in 2006

Paul Fagan in 2006.

2006 MWL Season:

2006 Timber Rattlers Magnet Schedule.

East: Dayton Dragons, Fort Wayne Wizards, Lansing Lugnuts, South Bend Silver Hawks, Southwest Michigan Devil Rays, West Michigan Whitecaps
West: Beloit Snappers, Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Clinton LumberKings, Kane County Cougars, Peoria Chiefs, Quad City River Bandits, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

2006 MWL All-Star Game:
The East beat the West 7-1 at Quad Cities on June 20.

The Timber Rattlers Ron Garth was the starting third baseman for the West.  Other Rattlers on the team included outfielder Casey Craig, pitcher Edgar Guaramato, and pitcher Harold Williams.

Casey Craig in 2006

Edgar Guaramato in 2006

2006 MWL Postseason:
First Round (Best-of-three):
Lansing 2, South Bend 0
West Michigan 2, Fort Wayne 1

Beloit 2, Peoria 1
Kane County 2, Quad Cities 1

Divisional Finals (Best-of-three):
West Michigan 2, Lansing 0

Kane County 2, Beloit 0

Championship Series (Best-of-Five):
West Michigan 3, Beloit 1

2006 MWL Alumni of Note:
Nick AdenhardtCedar Rapids Kernels

Nick Adenhart as a Cedar Rapids Kernel in 2006.

I look at this baseball card and remember how he pitched against the Timber Rattlers and – knowing what happened – I just get sad.  Then, I get angry.

Justin UptonSouth Bend Silver Hawks

Justin Upton with South Bend in 2006.

Justin Upton was 18 in 2006.  He hit .263 with 14 homers and 66 RBI in 113 games for South Bend.

Meanwhile in West Virginia:

Lorenzo Cain

Lorenzo Cain with the West Virginia Power in 2006. From the Power's website.

Mat Gamel

Mat Gamel with West Virginia in 2006. From the Power website.

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

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