October 2012

Walkoff Wednesday (2001 season)

It’s a Walkoff Wednesday on Rattler Radio. Let’s head back to the 2001 season. The Timber Rattlers won 84 games during the regular season. That still stands as a club record. The ’01 Rattlers won seven games in walkoff fashion. However, most notable were the reactions of Timber Rattlers pitchers who were on the mound for three of the four times the team lost on a walkoff during that season.

Timber Rattlers Walkoffs (7)


These Rattlers figured into some of Wisconsin’s seven walkoff wins in 2001.

DATE: April 13 (Game 2 of doubleheader)
OPPONENT: Beloit Snappers
BATTER: Joe Rodriguez
PITCHER: Victor Cordero
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 7th
GAME WINNING PLAY: J-Rod, two-run home run with no outs
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 5, Beloit 3:
NOTES: The Rattlers tied the game 3-3 on a two-out RBI single by Pedro Liriano in the bottom of the sixth.  Joe Rodriguez was the cleanup batter in this game.  The notable Brewers farmhand for the Snappers in this game would be Dave Krynzel.

DATE May 4 (Game 1 of doubleheader):
OPPONENT: Clinton LumberKings
BATTER: Bill Martinez
PITCHER: Antonio Garris
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Scoreless tie in the bottom of the 7th
GAME WINNING PLAY: An errant pickoff throw to first by catcher Drew McMillan with the bases loaded allowed Pedro Liriano to score the winning run.
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 1, Clinton 0
NOTE: That last play needs explanation, yes?  Here’s the spot.  Wisconsin starting pitcher Rett Johnson has gone seven shutout innings and allowed four hits.  Clinton starting pitcher Luke Lockwood allowed three hits and no runs over the first six innings.  In the seventh, a leadoff walk is followed by a strikeout and Liriano forcing the leadoff batter at second base on a grounder.  Mark Carrol reaches on an error and Joe Dusan walks to load the bases.  This puts Lockwood over 100 pitches.  Antonio Garris enters the game to face Guillermo “Bill” Martinez.

The count is 1-1 and Garris gets strike two on Martinez.  McMillan sees Dusan wandering away from first base on the pitch and tries to pick the Rattler runner off to send the game to extra innings.  The ball sails down the right field line. Liriano scores. Rattlers win.

This game should tip you off that the Rattlers went 12-0 against Clinton in 2001.

DATE: May 15
OPPONENT: Fort Wayne Wizards
BATTER: John Castellano
PITCHER: John Stone
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 17th inning!
GAME WINNING PLAY: Castellano hits a two-out solo home run!
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 3, Fort Wayne 2 in 17 innings.
NOTE: The score had been tied 2-2 since JJ Furmaniak hit a home run in the top of the seventh inning.  Stone, a catcher, had pitched a 1-2-3 16th and had retired the first two batters in the 17th.  Then, Castellano blasted a  1-0 pitch over the wall in left to end the game at 11:17pm after four hours and forty minutes.

DATE: May 17
OPPONENT: Fort Wayne Wizards
BATTER: Pedro Liriano
PITCHER: Bryan Gaal
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 9th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Pinch-runner Jamal Strong scores from third on wild pitch*.
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 4, Wizards 3
NOTE: Strong entered the game as a pinch runner for Dusan, who had singled off Roger Luque with two outs.  Then, Blake Bone was hit by a pitch.  Gaal entered the game for Luque.  My scorebook gets a little foggy from that point.  The day-by-day on Strong has him stealing a base.  Gaal does not give up a hit, but throws a wild pitch.  I’ll need to look this one up on the micorfilm, but it is possible that Strong stole third and scored on a wild pitch by Gaal.  I’ll come back to this one later.

DATE: June 12 (Game 2 of doubleheader)
OPPONENT: Lansing Lugnuts
BATTER: Ariel Durango
PITCHER: Ferenc Jongjean
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Lansing 4, Timber Rattlers 1 in the bottom of the 7th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Ariel Durango hits a two-out GRAND SLAM!
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 5, Lansing 4
NOTE: The Rattlers were down 4-0 heading to their last at bat of the game.  Todd Wellmeyer had pitched six shutout innings and allowed two hits while striking out eleven.  Lawrence Alvarez entered the game and got the first two outs.  Wil Quintana walked on four straight pitched.  Jake Daubert singled on an 0-2 pitch.  Mark Carroll drove in Quintana with a single.  Dusan walked on a 3-2 pitch.  All of a sudden the bases are loaded.  Jongjean, the Lugnuts closer, comes in to face Durango, who had hit six homers in 117 games for Wisconsin in 2000 and had just been demoted from San Bernadino.  Durango hit the first pitch from Jongjean just over the wall in left-center for a game winning grand slam.  Of course he did!

DATE: June 13
OPPONENT: Lansing Lugnuts
BATTER: Mark Carroll
PITCHER: Eric Albright
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 7-7 in the bottom of the 9th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Carroll singles to drive in Wil Quintana.:
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 8, Lansing 7
NOTE: The Rattlers trailed 4-5 heading to the bottom of the ninth.  Quintana tripled to drive in the tying runs.  Daubert was walked intentionally.  Then, Carroll delivered the game winning single.

DATE: July 30
OPPONENT: South Bend Silver Hawks
BATTER: Jamie Bubela
PITCHER: Aric LeClair
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the 9th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Jamie Bubela singles with two outs and the bases loaded to drive in Derrick Gutierrez with the winning run.
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 4, South Bend 3
NOTE: Gutierrez, the 8th hitter in the order, doubled with one out.  Cody Sundbeck struck out the next batter.  He walked Liriano intentionally, but walked Durango to load the bases.  LeClair entered the game and Bubela singled on an 0-1 pitch to get the win for Wisconsin.

Opponent Walkoffs (4)

DATE: April 30 (Game 2 of doubleheader)
OPPONENT: Quad City River Bandits
STADIUM: Black Hawk Community College Field
BATTER: Luis Maza
PITCHER: Tim Burton
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 6-6 in the bottom of the 7th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Bases loaded single by Luis Maza scores pinch runner Rafael Boitel.
FINAL SCORE: Quad City 7, Timber Rattlers 6
NOTE: Burton hit Kevin West to start the inning.  Then, there was a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk to set up the double play.  Burton got the grounder for the double play, but it was booted for Wisconsin’s fourth error of the game and loaded the bases.  Maza fouled off three two strike pitches before singling to drive in the winning run.

Burton got pretty good distance on the full water cooler that he punted after he walked off the field that day.

DATE: July 1
OPPONENT: Burlington Bees
STADIUM: Community Field
BATTER: Ben Cordova
PITCHER: Aaron Taylor
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 1-1 in the bottom of the 9th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Cordova RBI single with bases loaded and one out scores Darren Fenster with winning run.
FINAL SCORE: Burlington 2, Timber Rattlers 1
NOTE: The Timber Rattlers led 1-0 heading to the bottom of the ninth inning.  Aaron Taylor, a tall right-hander with a fastball in the high 90’s, had been dominant since joining the team.  I remember telling Bees announcer Randy Wehofer before the series started that he would see something special when Taylor got into a game.  Derrick Van Dusen and John Butler had allowed no runs on three hits and combined for 12 strikeouts over the first eight innings.  Taylor came in for the ninth and gave up a single, got a foul pop, and another single.  Then, he hit a batter on an 0-2 pitch to load the bases.  Odannis Ayala took a very close 3-2 pitch for ball four to force in a run.  I remember Taylor being really upset with plate umpire Ria Cortesio’s call.  Cordova ended the game with a single to drive in the winning run.

Taylor got pretty good distance as he threw a baseball on the screen behind home plate as he walked off the field.

DATE: July 21
OPPONENT: Michigan Battle Cats
STADIUM: C.O. Brown Stadium
BATTER: Henri Stanley
PITCHER: Chad Wiles
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 2-2 in the bottom of the 10th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Stanley’s bases loaded single scores Jason Maule with the winning run.
FINAL SCORE: Michigan 3, Timber Rattlers 2 in ten innings
NOTE: Maule singled to start the tenth.  Wiles threw wildly to first on a pickoff attempt and – on the same play – Castellano threw wildly to second in an attempt to get Maule there.  That put Maule on third with no outs.  Wiles intentionally walked the next two batters.  Stanley singled to end the game.

DATE: August 12
OPPONENT: Fort Wayne Wizards
STADIUM: Memorial Stadium
BATTER: Chris Fears
PITCHER: Chad Wiles
SCORE BEFORE THE WALKOFF: Tied 6-6 in the 10th
GAME WINNING PLAY: Two-out RBI single by Chris fears scores JJ Furmaniak
FINAL SCORE: Fort Wayne 7, Timber Rattlers 6 in ten innings
NOTE: The Rattlers trailed 5-2, but scored once in the eighth and twice in the ninth to take a 6-5 lead.  But, the Wizards tied the game on a Craig Thompson RBI double in the bottom of the ninth.  In the tenth, Wiles walked Furmaniak to start the inning.  The Wizards shortstop stole second with two outs and went to third when Rattlers second baseman Ariel Durango missed the throw from the plate..  Fears, who had scored the tying run in the ninth as a pinch runner, drove in the winning run with a single.

Wiles broke his pitching hand when he punched the dugout wall after he walked off the field.

Next week: 2002

Past Walkoff Entries:

Walkoff Wednesday (2000 Season)

Walkoffs 2005-2012

MLB Memory Lane: August 25, 1981

I see Dennis Lamp almost make history…again.  His mustache was already historic.

The initial MLB Memory Lane may be found as last week’s Mehring Monday.

For those who missed it, the idea of this new feature is to recap major league games I have attended in person as a fan. The majority of those games are Milwaukee Brewers games at County Stadium.

This week, I already prove a statement I made in last week’s story incorrect.

Date: August 25, 1981
Opponent: Chicago White Sox
Seat Location: First Base Upper Deck
With: Parents & Brother

The 1981 players strike ended and I didn’t care.   All I knew was that baseball was back and I was going to be able to go to this game just before classes started at St. Thomas Aquinas.  The fact that the Brewers were playing the Chicago White Sox was a bonus.

The Brewers had won three games in a row to get to 10-6 before this game.  They had  pulled to within a game of the Detroit Tigers, the top team in the second half standings for the American League East.

Jim Slaton got the start for the Brewers.  Dennis Lamp was the starter for the White Sox.  I fully expected the Brewers bats to beat the White Sox and knock Lamp around in this game.  Oh, how wrong I was.

Cecil Cooper walked with two outs in the bottom of the first inning, but Lamp retired Ben Oglivie.

Harold Baines would triple and score on a sacrifice fly in the top of the second.  Baines would hit a solo homer in the top of the fourth and the Sox were up 2-0.

Meanwhile, Lamp was unhittable.  No. Really.  After the walk to Cooper, Lamp retired the next twenty-two (22!) batters in a row to carry a no-hitter into the ninth inning.

I remember getting a feeling after the bottom of the fifth inning.  I didn’t want to see my first no-hitter to be AGAINST the Brewers.

Slaton gave up another run in the top of the sixth inning before being replaced by Rickey Keeton.

The White Sox led 3-0 in the bottom of the sixth when Rusty Kuntz made a sliding catch to rob Jim Gantner.  The fans went crazy.  I couldn’t believe it.

Keeton gave up two more runs in the seventh and the Sox were comfortably in front 5-0 before the seventh inning stretch.  I wanted a hit.  Just one hit.

Here is the play-by-play of the Brewers’ seventh and eighth inning of that game from retrosheet.org:

BREWERS 7TH: Molitor was called out on strikes; Cooper grounded out (first to pitcher); Oglivie grounded out (first unassisted)

BREWERS 8TH: Thomas flied to left; Simmons grounded out (second to first); Howell grounded out (second to first).

Robin Yount would leadoff the bottom of the ninth.  I looked at this as the last chance Milwaukee had to keep Lamp from getting the no-hitter.  He was not yet MVP/Hall of Fame Robin.  But, this was ‘The Kid’ Robin!  Batting eighth and playing short Robin.  He was not going to let this happen.  Not while I was at this game.

He hit a soft flyball – A “Dying Quail”, if you will – to left.  Kuntz raced to the ball and dove…and the ball landed for a double.  Robin had done it.

The shutout ended two batters later.  Gantner grounded out to second to move Yount to third.  Thad Bosely, the leadoff hitter, grounded out to second to drive in Yount.  Molitor grounded out to end the game.  Lamp and the White Sox celebrated the win, but not the no-no.

Small victory for me that day I guess.

A throwaway line in the initial column said: I am positive that Paul Molitor never had a bad game when I went to see the Brewers at County Stadium.

That would be incorrect. Molitor, who was playing centerfield and hitting second in the lineup, was 0-for-4 with a strikeout and an error.

Yep. 1981. Paul Molitor in center. Gorman Thomas in right. Remember that?

This was Milwaukee’s batting order from that game:
Thad Bosley, lf
Paul Molitor, cf
Cecil Cooper, 1b
Ben Oglivie, dh
Gorman Thomas, rf
Ted Simmons, c
Roy Howell, 3b
Robin Yount, ss
Jim Gantner, 2b

Three future Hall of Fame players participated in this game.  There was Molitor and Yount for the Brewers and Carlton Fisk with the White Sox.  The 1981 season was Fisk’s first year with the White Sox.  It was so weird to see him with Chicago.

Google cache of the August 26, 1981 Milwaukee Journal Article

Retrosheet Boxscore/Play-by-play

Baseball Reference WPA Graph

1994 Foxes Home Games (#1 – April 14 v. Fort Wayne)

Mehring Monday has the details on what this is.

Click for the PDF of the scoresheets of the Home opener for the 1994 Appleton Foxes. AKA: The Goodland field debut of Alex Rodriguez.



Renovation Update (Video & Photos)

Ever wanted to see me standing on a pile of rubble? That is how Renovation Update opens Episode Five:

Photos of stuff for next week’s episode:

From the back parking lot of the temporary office.


And they’re building a stairway to…the eventual second floor.


This used to be the VIP suites and media booths.


The Brew City Grill down at the end of the first base concourse is expanding as part of the construction.


Crane Style view from center.

MWL Alumni in 2012 World Series

Jim Leyland as manager of the Clinton Pilots – Photo Credit: lumberkings.com

There are no former Timber Rattlers on the active roster of either team in the 2012 World Series.  The closest a Tiger would have been to being a Rattler would be Doug Fister.  He was drafted by Seattle in the 7th round of the 2006 draft and went to Everett.  Then, he skipped over the Rattlers to AA West Tennessee in 2007.  The closest a Giant came to being a Rattler was when Tim Lincecum was passed over by the Mariners for Brandon Morrow with the 5th pick in the 2006 draft.  By the way, Morrow went right to Inland Empire in ’06 and skipped over the Rattlers, too.

Both managers of the teams in the Fall Classic have some Midwest League roots.  Tigers skipper Jim Leyland managed the Clinton Pilots in 1972, 1973, and 1975.  Leyland led the Pilots to a MWL Pennant in 1973.  Bruce Bochy of the Giants played 30 games for the Dubuque Packers in 1976.

The rosters are more even than you might think when you consider that the Tigers have been affiliated with the West Michigan Whitecaps since 1997 and the Giants haven’t had a MWL affiliate since they were the parent club of the Burlington Bees in 1996.

Detroit has ten (10) MWL Alumni:
Al Albuquerque – Peoria, 2007
Alex Avila – West Michigan, 2008
Miguel Cabrera – Kane County, 2001
Andy Dirks – West Michigan, 2008
Prince Fielder – Beloit, 2002 & 2003
Avisail Garcia – West Michigan, 2009
Don Kelly- West Michigan, 2002
Omar Infante – West Michigan, 2000
Ramon Santiago – West Michigan, 2000
Jose Valverde – South Bend, 1999 & 2000*

San Francisco has six (6) MWL Alumni:
Jeremy Affeldt – Lansing, 1998
Joaquin Arias – Battle Creek, 2003
Santiago Casilla – Kane County, 2003
Javier Lopez – South Bend, 1998 & 1999
Jose Mijares – Beloit, 2005
Ryan Theriot – Lansing, 2002 & 2003

*-Second Jose Valverde mention in as many posts today. Weird.

Walkoff Wednesday (2000 Season)

I believe that I have caught up with all the walkoffs (for and against the Rattlers) from 2005 through the end of the 2012 playoffs.

Now that there is a little time, it is worth looking back at the other seasons in Timber Rattlers history to find ALL of the walkoff plays.  As you can tell from the title of the post, this will be posted on Wednesdays.


Timber Rattlers Walkoffs (9)

You’re going to see Ryan Christianson’s name a lot in this post.

DATE: April 8
OPPONENT: Beloit Snappers
BATTER: Unknown
PITCHER: Fontella Jones
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 7-7 in the tenth

FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 8-7 in ten innings
NOTE: I was not at this game. At the time I was also the radio announcer for the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League.  The Gamblers were in the midst of their run to the Clark Cup Championship that year and Greg Hofer was filling in for me on the Timber Rattlers broadcasts.  I’ll try to remember to get back to this one at some point before the 2013 season.

DATE: June 15
OPPONENT: Michigan Battlecats
BATTER: Ryan Christianson
PITCHER: Darwin Peguero
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 3-3 in the 15th

GAME WINNING PLAY: RBI double by Christianson knocks in Shawn McCorkle in the bottom of the 15th.
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 4-3
NOTE: This is not the last time you will see Christianson’s name in this post.

DATE: June 25
OPPONENT: South Bend Silver Hawks
BATTER: Gorky Estrella
PITCHER: Wellington Cepeda
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Rattlers trailed 5-2 in the ninth
GAME WINNING PLAY: Estrella hit a two-out GRAND SLAM!!! in the bottom of the ninth.

FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 6-5
NOTE: Jose Valverde (yes, Jose Valverde, currently of the Detroit Tigers) retired the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth inning.  Then, he walked the next three batters on 3-2 counts to load the bases.  Cepeda relieved and allowed the game-winning grand slam.

DATE: July 16
OPPONENT: Dayton Dragons
BATTER: Ariel Durango
PITCHER: David Huggins
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 1-1 in the ninth
GAME WINNING PLAY: Durango’s two-out single with the bases loaded drives in Oscar Ramirez.

FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 2-1
NOTE: The Rattlers trailed 1-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning.  Dayton walked Chris Snelling with two outs and runners at second and third to face Sheldon Fulse.  Huggins walked Fulse to force in the tying run.  Durango singled in the winning run two pitches after the walk to Fulse.

DATE: July 18
OPPONENT: Burlington Bees
BATTER: Ryan Christianson
PITCHER: Andre Simpson
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 6-6 in the ninth

GAME WINNING PLAY: Christianson lifted a sacrifice fly to score Justin Leone from third base
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 7-6
NOTE: That would be two for Christianson

DATE: July 25
OPPONENT: Clinton LumberKings
BATTER: Oscar Ramirez
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 3-3 in the ninth
GAME WINNING PLAY: Oscar Ramirez draws a bases loaded walk with two outs to force in Ryan Christianson with the winning run.
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 4-3
NOTE: The Rattlers trailed 3-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning.  Orlando Hernandez tied the game with an RBI single.  The LumberKings walked Sheldon Fulse intentionally to load the bases with one out.  Neu struck out Ariel Durango, but walked Ramirez for the game winning run.

DATE: August 15
OPPONENT: Cedar Rapids Kernels
BATTER: Ariel Durango
PITCHER: Palmer Ebanks
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 2-2 in the ninth

GAME WINNING PLAY: Ariel Durango’s double with one out scores Sheldon Fulse
FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 3-2
NOTE: Durango had an even bigger game-winning hit in 2001. Consider that a tease for next week.

DATE: August 22
OPPONENT: Fort Wayne Wizards
BATTER: Ryan Christianson
PITCHER: Cliff Bartosh
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: 0-0 in the ninth
GAME WINNING PLAY: Ryan Christianson singles with the bases loaded and no outs to drive in Michael Abate.

FINAL SCORE: Timber Rattlers 1-0
NOTE: Another appearance for Christianson

DATE: September 1
OPPONENT: Peoria Chiefs
BATTER: Ryan Christianson
PITCHER: Scott Layfield
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 6-6 in the ninth
GAME WINNING PLAY: Peoria first baseman Travis Bailey dropped a two out popup off the bat of Ryan Christianson.  This allowed Shawn McCorkle to score the game winning run.
NOTE: The Timber Rattlers trailed the game 6-5 heading to the bottom of the ninth.  Chris Snelling tied the game with a bases loaded sacrifice fly moments before Christianson took his turn at the plate.

Opponent Walkoffs (3)

DATE: May 16
OPPONENT: Peoria Chiefs
STADIUM: Pete Vonachen Stadium
BATTER: Gregg Clark
PITCHER: Julio Mateo
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 9-9 in the ninth:

GAME WINNING PLAY: Gregg Clark hit a one out solo homer off Mateo.
FINAL SCORE: Peoria 10-9
NOTE: The Timber Rattlers trailed 9-0 after the bottom of the third inning.  They rallied with six runs (four on a grand slam by Chris Snelling) in the fifth, two in the eighth, and an RBI single by Oscar Ramirez in the top of the ninth to tie the game.:

DATE: August 11
OPPONENT: Lansing Lugnuts
STADIUM: Oldsmobile Park

BATTER: Ryan Gripp
PITCHER: Aquilino Lopez
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 3-3 in the ninth:
GAME WINNING PLAY: Ryan Gripp hit a solo home run with two outs off Lopez.

FINAL SCORE: Lansing 4-3
NOTE: Lopez appeared in 39 games during the 2000 season.  He started five and relieved in 34.  This game against the Lugnuts was his only loss of the season (6-1 with 17 saves).

DATE: September 5
OPPONENT: Kane County Cougars
STADIUM: Elfstrom Stadium

BATTER Francisco Ferrand
PITCHER: Erik Grunwald
SCORE BEFORE WALKOFF: Tied 1-1 in the tenth:
GAME WINNING PLAY: Francisco Ferrand doubles with no outs to drive in Matt Frick with the winning run.

FINAL SCORE: Kane County 2-1 in ten innings
NOTE: This was Game One of the First Round playoff series between the Rattlers and Cougars.  Wisconsin would rally to win Game Two and Game Three at home to advance to the Western Division Finals.

Sad news

The 1964 MWL Champion Fox Cities Foxes. Dave May is in the top row, second from the left.

Former Fox Cities Foxes outfielder Dave May passed away last weekend.

The New Castle [Delaware] native and William Penn High graduate who played 12 seasons of major league baseball died Saturday. May, who was living in Bear, had been battling cancer.

But before he departed, sons Dave Jr., now a Toronto Blue Jays pro scout, and Derrick, the St. Louis Cardinals minor league hitting coordinator, marveled at the outpouring of affection that accompanied his final days.

“The last week he got so many phone calls,” said Derrick, who played 10 major league seasons himself. “I never realized how many people he’s impacted, not only around here but people in baseball. Dusty Baker called and Cito Gaston, Willie Horton, Ralph Garr and all these people called just to help him out. He and Johnny Briggs were best friends for 40 years.”

May spent part of the 1963 season and all of the 1964 season in Appleton with the Foxes.  At the time, Fox Cities was affiliated with the Baltimore Orioles.

May had an amazing season with the Foxes in 1964 to help them win their first Midwest League Championship.  He led the Midwest League in hitting with an average of .368.  That average is still an Appleton Professional Baseball record.  He also hit 14 homers, drove in 74 runs, stole 36 bases, and had an OPS of 1.004 in 518 plate appearances over 122 games.

It should not be a surprise that May was named the MVP of the Foxes in 1964

In the one game playoff against the Clinton C-Sox in 1964, May went 3-5 and scored a pair of runs in an 8-5 Foxes win.  Flashback Friday covered the 1964 Championship Game in Clinton last November.

The Milwaukee Brewers picked up May in a trade during the 1970 season and he was an early star on those Milwaukee teams.  May was an American League All-Star in 1973 with the Milwaukee Brewers. 

He was traded to Atlanta after the 1974 season for Hank Aaron and spent a few years in Atlanta.  May would go on to Texas and return to the Brewers for a brief time in 1978.  Here are his Baseball Reference pages: Majors | Minors.

He was a fun player to cheer for on those early Brewers teams.  So was his friend Johnny Briggs:

“He was a good guy, a good friend, somebody you could talk to about anything,” said Briggs, now 68 and living in his hometown of Paterson, N.J. “He didn’t like arguing. I didn’t like arguing. He had a great attitude. He was never the type of guy who was patting himself on the back all the time. Guys liked him because of who he was. He performed on the field and he patted everybody on the back.”

After his playing career, May coordinated officials for New Castle County Parks and Recreation’s sports leagues and also worked for House of Flowers doing arrangements and deliveries. But he could often be found watching a youth baseball game, standing along a fence, regaling in conversation.

Sympathies to his family and if they happen to read this, Dave May is remembered fondly in Appleton.

Thanks to Brew Crew Ball for sharing this news in Tuesday’s Frosty Mug or I would have missed this.

Brewers 2012 Draft report card

Mitch Haniger (L) and Lance Roenicke (R) were members of the 2012 Milwaukee Brewers draft class. Photo Credit: Ann Mollica/Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

I almost didn’t post about this because:

  1. It’s Baseball America and you may remember my dissenting opinion on their Top 20 Midwest League Prospect list.
  2. It’s behind Baseball America’s subscriber wall.

But, a lot of the players mentioned are possible Timber Rattlers for 2013.  Due diligence, I guess.

Their Quick Take: The Brewers focused on bats at the top of the draft and swung for the fences with raw, high-ceiling players in rounds 5-10. Getting an unpolished power arm such as Magnifico to come through would be a boon.

I’ll leave the descriptions out of their different rankings.

Best Pure Hitter: OF Tyrone Taylor (2nd round)
Best Power Hitter: OF Victor Roache (1st)
Fastest Runner:  OF Edgardo Rivera (8th)
Best Defensive Player: SS Angel Ortega (6th), Taylor, & Mitch Haniger (1st-supplemental)

Best Fastball: RHP Damien Magnifico (5th) & Tyler Wagner (4th)
Best Secondary Pitch: Wagner – slider and RHP Zachary Quintana (5th) – curve

Best Pro Debut: Coulter
Best Athlete: Taylor
Most Intriguing Background: OF Lance Roenicke’s (25th) and  RHP Austin Blaski (21st)
Closest To The Majors: Haniger
Best Late-Round Pick: NAIA product 2B Jose Sermo (35th) and RHP Martin Viramontes (28)

Haniger and Roenicke are the only players mentioned by BA who played for the Timber Rattlers last season.  All – including Haniger and Roenicke – could be Rattlers in 2013.

Roache is an interesting name on the list.  Here is what BA had to say about Roache when the Brewers signed him after the draft:

Roache missed most of the season with a broken left wrist, a serious injury that kept him out of the season after March. Roache hit 30 home runs in 2011, the first college hitter at Division I to hit 30 since 2003. He did it in the first year of the weaker BBCOR bats. We had more on his injury here.

The Brewers drafted Roache out of Georgia Southern.  Former Rattlers from Georgia Southern include Julio Ayala and Andy Moye.

We have mentioned Magnifico and his 100mph fastball before.  But, not much about Wagner.

How about a little note about him here?

Wagner, who will forgo his senior season to play professionally, was a three-year pitcher for the Utes. He set a school record with 17 saves, including 12 saves in 2011. Wagner has a career 2.72 ERA with 90 strikeouts. He made 57 appearances and gave up just three home runs.

Past Utes with the Rattlers include Phil Cullen and Wick Udy.

How many times?

The Detroit Tigers defeated the New York Yankees 8-1 in Game Four of the American League Division Series.  That victory gave the Tigers a four game sweep of the Yankees.

The sweep got me thinking about how many times the Yankees have been swept in the post season.

A quick question in Google led to the following list:

1922 World Series
1963 World Series
1976 World Series
1980 ALCS
2012 ALCS

That would be FIVE times they were swept in their 51 postseason appearances. 

The 1922 World Series was a loss to John McGraw’s Giants.  You’ll see five games in the 1922 World Series because Game Two ended in a 3-3 tie after ten innings.

Why they were swept:  The Yankees hit .203 as a team and scored just eleven runs in five games.

Slumping Superstar: Babe Ruth was 2-for-17 with a double and an RBI in the series.

The Final Game:  The Giants trailed 3-2 heading to the bottom of the eighth inning of Game Five.  There were two outs and the bases were loaded.  George ‘High Pockets’ Kelly drove in two runs with a single.  Lee King followed with an RBI single and the Giants went up 5-3.  Art Nehf retired the Yankees in order in the top of the ninth inning for a complete game and the Yankees lost their second straight World Series appearance.

The 1963 World Series was a loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.  A sweep is probably going to happen when you have to face Sandy Koufax(twice) and Don Drysdale (once) in a four game series.

Why they were swept:  Did I mention Koufax and Drysdale?  The Yankees hit .171 (?!?!?!) and scored four (!!!!) runs in the series.

Slumping Superstar: Mickey Mantle was 2-for-15 with one home run.

The Final Game: Koufax, who pitched a complete game in Game One on October 2, 1963, came back in Game Four on October 6.  He had a 1-0 lead until Mantle hit a home run in the top of the seventh inning.  Junior Gilliam grounded to third to start the bottom of the seventh, but Joe Pepitone, the Yankees first baseman, missed the ball and Gilliam wound up at third base.  Willie Davis followed with a sacrifice fly for a 2-1 Dodgers lead.

Koufax allowed a one out single in the eighth, but got Tony Kubek to ground into a double play.  In the ninth, the Yankees got a leadoff single off Koufax.  He would strike out Tom Tresh and Mantle looking for the first two outs.  Then, an error on a force play at second kept the inning alive for the Yankees.  But, Hector Lopez grounded out to short to end the series.

The 1976 World Series was a loss to the Cincinnati Reds.

Why they were swept: For the love of Ernie Lombardi, they were playing The Big Red Machine.  Johnny Bench hit more homers in Game Four (2) than the Yankees hit in the series (1).  New York’s only lead in the series was a 1-0 lead from the bottom of the first through the bottom of the third in Game Four.

Slumping Superstar: Willie Randolph was 1-for-14.

The Final Game: An RBI double by Chris Chambliss sent in the run in the bottom of the first inning of Game Four.  In the top of the fourth George Foster drove in Joe Morgan with a two out single.  Bench followed with a homer for a 3-1 lead.  Thurman Munson, who was 9-for-17 in the series, knocked in a run in the bottom of the fifth to make it 3-2.

The score stayed that way until the top of the ninth.  That was when Bench struck again with a three run homer to secure years of being a spokesman for Krylon.  Cesar Geronimo and Dave Concepcion finished the scoring with consecutive ground rule doubles.

Will McEnaeny pitched a 1-2-3 ninth at Yankee Stadium.  Roy White flew out to left for the final out.

The 1980 American League Championship Series was a loss to the Kansas City Royals.  The Royals lost to the Yankees in the ALCS in 1976, 1977, and 1978.  They got revenge in 1980.

Why they were swept: The Yankees scored six runs in three games.

Slumping Superstar: Ron Guidry gave up four runs in three innings in Game One.

The Final Game:  New York had a 2-1 lead after scoring two runs on consecutive RBI singles by Oscar Gamble and Rick Cerone in the bottom of the sixth inning against Dan ‘Freaking’ Quisenberry* in Game Three

Tommy John got the first two outs of the seventh inning, but allowed a double to Willie Wilson.  Goose Gossage relieved John and gave up a single to UL Washington.

That set up a battle between Gossage and George Brett.  The Royals third baseman hit a three run homer and took out three years of ALCS frustrations to put the Royals up 4-2.

Quisenberry worked a 1-2-3 seventh, pitched out of a no outs, bases loaded jam in the eighth, and worked a 1-2-3 ninth – getting Randolph looking at strike three for the final out – to send the Yankees home and the Royals on to their first world series.

*-DFQ was one of the best closers in baseball and Kansas City manager Jim Frey brought him in during the sixth inning.  Frey left him in to finish out the game.  Amazing.

New Renovation Photos

Here’s the link to Episode Four of the Renovation Update.

A few photos from this week’s shoot.

This is the pile of rubble left from the demolition crew.


Forms for the foundation walls.


Preparing for the expansion of concession stand at the far end of the third base concourse.


The view from the back door of our temporary offices.

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