Ten after 10 for September 17, 2012 – Midwest League Champions
Ten points after the tenth pennant in modern Appleton Professional Baseball History. The ten Championships are:
1966 (White Sox)
1967 (White Sox)
1969 (White Sox)
1978 (White Sox)
1982 (White Sox)
1983 (White Sox)
1984 (White Sox)
- Not really sure where to begin so here are some video highlights from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.
- Brandon Macias doubled on the first pitch of the game. Chadwin Stang followed with a single and the Rattlers were up 1-0. Macias had two doubles in the game and scored two runs. It was a great season for the undrafted free agent out of Kansas. Macias led the team in so many categories and was solid to spectacular at third base. What a season he had.
- Max Walla blasted a solo homer in the second. He pulled a fastball and crushed it. His previous home run was on August 22 and he was 3-for-23 in the playoffs before that home run. But,that home run showed the upside of Max Walla and made it 2-0 lead.
- Chad Thompson…Do you remember when he got shutdown for a month in mid-July? He came back off that rest and allowed six runs in 33-1/3 innings pitched. After he gave up the two runs in the third inning, it was shutdown mode. He retired ten of the last eleven batters he faced in the game.
- Nick Ramirez of the first half does not drive a double to the wall on the 0-2 pitch he got in the top of the seventh. The Nick Ramirez of the first half does not even see that 0-2 pitch in the seventh inning. Fortunately, the Nick Ramirez that improved over the season….oh, I’ll let him take it from here in the MiLB.com story: “He threw a fastball that I fouled off, and since he changed my eye level, I thought he would probably come with something off-speed. He came with a curveball and I got enough of the barrel on it.” The Ramirez of the first half missed either one of those 0-2 pitches. But, not this Nick Ramirez. Not this day. He drove in ten runs during the playoffs, including four RBI in the Championship Series. His two-run double in the seventh inning to put the Rattlers in front 4-2 were the biggest of the year.
- After they took the lead, Brent Suter took over. 9-up, 9-down over the last three innings for the Harvard pitcher. If you see the highlight shot by the Journal-Gazette, he froze Lee Orr on strike three to end the game. Then, it looked like he wasn’t sure what to do as the rest of the team charged the mound. (To tell you the truth, neither did I)
- There were so many hugs and handshakes and smiles after the game that I can’t relate all of them. Every player in Fort Wayne and every player on the roster that has moved on had something to do with bringing the a Midwest League pennant to Appleton for the first time since 1984. That is a long time. But, this team was so much fun they are definitely heirs to the Foxes of the 60′s and the 80′s. If old Goodland Field could react, I would like to think that it would be smiling and thinking about a Rattler Brau right now.
- I have been fortunate to have called four different championship teams before this season. The 1991 UW-Platteville Men’s Basketball team that won the NCAA Division III Title, the 1997 UW-Superior Men’s Hockey Team that won the Peters Cup, the 1997 Duluth Superior Dukes that won the Northern League Pennant, and the 2000 Green Bay Gamblers that won the Clark Cup Championship. People that followed those teams would ask me if there was a particular game that stands out and pointed to a championship for that particular team. I could probably pick out one or two for each of those teams. But, this Rattlers team had so many games where you could tell they were special that I couldn’t pick just one out. From win number one of the season – which happened to be their first of eleven walkoff wins of the year – the team stayed on point with the trophy up top as the lodestone. They didn’t finish the year with the best record. They didn’t bash teams into submission. They didn’t dazzle with flashy numbers. But, they won. They won and they were the last team standing.
- What a job by the Timber Rattlers coaching staff in 2o12. They worked with everyone every day and taught them how to get better as a professional baseball player. That is the key of player development. Winning is just a side benefit or in the case of this season a big perk with some jewelery that comes along with it. Kudos to Matt Erickson, David Chavarria, Dusty Rhodes, Jeff Paxson, Christian Polega, and Matt Virden.
- I wrote a little something for my facebook friends after so many of them had posted congratulations to me after the final out of the season and the pennant was won. I have changed a few things to take some of the wiseacre out of it:Thank you to everyone for posting congratulations to me on the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers winning the MWL Championship. Be clear about it, they won the championship. I was just fortunate to be along for the ride.At this moment, I feel….oh, what are those words…. Happy? and Blessed? Yes. My programming tells me that those are the the correct feelings. Happy and Blessed.
I have loved baseball since I was about 4 years old. I thank God every day I get to be around it and that I have met so many of you through this great and beautiful game.
Have an incredible off season.