50 Years in 50 Days: 2008

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 four.

All Timber Rattlers photos in this post are by Bill Glasheen.

Four Years Ago:
The Timber Rattlers and the Mariners had one more season together.

Cover of the 2008 Timber Rattlers Media Guide.

Name: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Affiliation: Seattle Mariners (16th Year)
Manager: Terry Pollreisz (1st Year)
First Half Record:  31-35 (6th, West)
Second Half Record: 25-45 (8th, West)
Overall Record: 56-80

The 2008 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

Future Major Leaguers:
Pitcher Nathan Adcock (2-5, 3.72) in 15 games – 14 starts – with 82K in 77.1IP
Pitcher Shawn Kelley (0-0, 3.52) in 8 games – no starts – with 12K in 7.2IP
Third baseman Alex Liddi hit .244 with six homers and 53RBI in 125 games
Pitcher Michael Pineda (8-6, 1.95) in 26 games – 21 starts – with 128K in 138.1IP

Nathan Adcock as a Timber Rattler in 2008 wearing an Papermakers throwback uniform.

Shawn Kelley as a Timber Rattler in 2008.

Alex Liddi as a Timber Rattler in 2008.

Michael Pineda as a Timber Rattler in 2008.

Category Leaders:
AVG: Edilio Colina – .291
HR: Joe Dunigan – 14
RBI: Joe Dunigan – 58
SB: Daniel Carroll – 31
OPS: Edilio Colina – .729
WINS: Michael Pineda – 8
ERA: Michael Pineda – 1.95
IP: Michael Pineda – 138.1
SO: Michael Pineda – 128
SV: Rob Harmon & Jeff Dunbar – 6

Joe Dunigan in 2008.

Daniel Carroll in 2008.

Rob Harmon in 2008.

I felt like including one more Ron Garth photo. This one is from 2008.

2008 MWL Season:

2008 Timber Rattlers Magnet Schedule.

There were a few changes for the 2008 season.  The SWING of the Quad Cities were sold to a new ownership group.  That group changed the team nickname back to River Bandits and made it Quad Cities, instead of Quad City.

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

2008 MWL All-Star Game:
Great Lakes hosted the MWL All-Star Game in 2008.  The West won 5-4 in 10 innings.

Clinton outfielder Tim Smith hit just two homers over the course of the first half of the Midwest League regular season. He picked a perfect time for long ball No. 3.

Leading off the top of the 10th inning in the Midwest League All-Star Game in front of a record crowd at the Dow Diamond, Smith smacked a shot off of Great Lakes reliever Miguel Ramirez just fair down the right-field line to give the West All-Stars a 5-4 victory and earn himself the MVP award for the game.

Four Timber Rattlers were selected to play in the game.  Infielders Edilio Colina and Juan Diaz and pitchers Phillippe Aumont (who did not play) and Travis Mortimore.

Phillipe Aumont in 2008.

Edilio Colina in 2008.

Juan Diaz in 2008.

Travis Mortimore in 2008.

2008 MWL Postseason:
First Round (Best-of-Three):
Cedar Rapids 2, Clinton 0
Burlington 2, Kane County 0

South Bend 2, West Michigan 1
Dayton 2, Lansing 0

Division Finals (Best-of-Three):
Burlington 2, Cedar Rapids 0

South Bend 2, Dayton 0

Championship Series (Best-of-Five):
Burlington 2, South Bend 0*

The Bees were declared the winners of the championship series because:

It was an anticlimactic ending to a perfect postseason run for the Burlington Bees, but no one can say they didn’t deserve the Midwest League title.

Although they were declared champions Saturday by league president George Spelius after Game 3 of the best-of-5 Championship Series with South Bend was rained out for the second straight day, the Bees went 6-0 in the playoffs and outscored the Silver Hawks, 18-0, in the first two games of the Finals.

The 2008 MWL Champions.

2008 MWL Alum of Note:
Derek HollandClinton LumberKings

Meanwhile in West Virginia in 2008:
Jonathan Lucroy

Jonathan Lucroy with the West Virginia Power in 2008.

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

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