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Pictures of our Lucroy Opening Day Bobblehead

Individual Game Tickets for the 2015 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers season will go on sale Saturday, March 7 at 10:00am.  There will be plenty going on that day at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium from 10am to 3:00pm.

But, the team figures that the thing in which you would be most interested is the Opening Day Tickets for Sunday, April 12 vs. the Peoria Chiefs.

Why?

Because that is the day of the Jonathan Lucroy double Bobblehead All-Fan Giveaway courtesy of Appvion and Cher-Make.  I could describe what this double bobblehead looks like…or I could show you:

Credit: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

Credit: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

Brought to you by Appvion.

Credit: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers

Brought to you by Cher-Make

Pretty neat.  If you can’t make it to the event on Saturday, order your tickets here starting at 10am.

Alumni Birthdays:
Alan Williams (’11, ’12, ’13) – 25
Ryan Franklin (’94) – 42
Mike Squires (’73) – 63
Thomas MacMillan (’51) – Would have been 84

Ryan Franklin as an Appleton Fox in 1994.

Ryan Franklin as an Appleton Fox in 1994.

Looking for the next best thing

I will take any opportunity to use a Warren Zevon song lyric:

Don Quixote had his windmills
Ponce De Leon took his cruise
Took Sinbad seven voyages
To see that it was all a ruse

That’s why I’m looking for the next best thing
Looking for the next best thing
I appreciate the best but I’m settling for less
So I’m looking for the next best thing

Why does that song spring to mind this morning? MiLB.com has a new article out on the shortstop D-Listers in Minor League Baseball and mentions Orlando Arcia (’13):

“D-Listers”? Let them explain:

In this corner of the internet, it’s routine for a heavy-hitting Minor Leaguer to work his way into the MiLB.com headlines. Home runs and four-hit games tend to jump off the box score, giving fans a tangible piece of information on their favorite prospects.

We don’t want to ignore those who specialize with the leather, though. Having spent most of the year making A-list celebrities of the Minors’ best hitters, it’s time to heap a little praise on the glove men. Here, we present the “D”-Listers — baseball’s run-preventing stars of the future.

Got that? The reigning champ is Francisco Lindor, a former Lake County Captain. Arcia is next on their list and he is titled: The Next Best Thing!

The Venezuelan turned 20 last summer while playing with Class A Advanced Brevard County, where multiple evaluators thought he was the Florida State League’s most impressive defender. One rival manager said Arcia was MLB-ready with the glove, or at least very close. Others used words like “superb” and “outstanding.”

“He’s definitely a plus defender,” Brevard County manager Joe Ayrault said. “He’s a guy — he’s what I call a two-out infielder. When the game’s on the line, two outs, you want the ball hit to him. He makes all the routine players, then he makes the exciting plays as well.”

“He’s one of those guys, if something crazy happens, he could go to the big leagues and fill in right now,” Ayrault said. “One of our sayings here is, ‘Does he pass the eye test? When he gets called up, does he do all the things you expect a Major League guy to do making plays?’ He’s a guy who will pass the eye test over there in Major League camp. He’ll definitely impress some people this spring.”

Those are excerpts. Click to read the whole thing.

A video put together by the production gnomes to promote Saturday, which is the date on which Individual Tickets for the 2015 season go on sale:

It’s about time that Rogers Hornsby quote was put into action!

Alumni Birthdays for March 4:
Taylor Mangum (’13) – 26
Jose Gonzalez (’98) – 38
Claudio Liverziani (’98) – 40
Juan Beniquez (’88) – 46
Kurt Brown (’86) – 48
Lorenzo Gray (’77, ’78) – 62
Kenneth Chmiel (’67) – 69

Taylor Mangum in 2013.

Taylor Mangum in 2013.

 

Claudio Liverziani's 1997 Timber Rattlers baseball card

Claudio Liverziani’s 1997 Timber Rattlers baseball card

 

Kurt Brown 1986

Kurt Brown’s 1986 Appleton Foxes card

All alone on the road to perfection!

A post about the 2015 Jerseys

The main website just announced the alternate jerseys with the dates they will be worn.   Here are images for most of those 2015 alternate jerseys for the Timber Rattlers.  The image of the Military Appreciation Jersey will be released later this season.

Brewers Sunday:

2015 Brewers Sunday Jersey & Cap

2015 Brewers Sunday Jersey & Cap

Foxes Throwbacks:

Foxes Jersey & Cap for 2015

Foxes Jersey & Cap for 2015

Salute to Cows:

The Cow-Patterned Jerseys return from 2014 for 2015

The Cow-Patterned Jerseys return from 2014 for 2015

Star Wars Night:

This jersey will not make you fluent in over six million forms of communication.

This jersey will not make you fluent in over six million forms of communication.

You can start purchasing tickets for these games beginning Saturday, March 7.

Let’s Get Positive

From Tom Haudricourt’s blog at the Journal-SentinelTaylor Williams makes big early impression

After throwing his first live bullpen session a few days ago, Williams was walking off the field at Maryvale Baseball Park when he was approached by Ryan Braun. The Brewers’ rightfielder did not try to hit off Williams but watched from behind the batting cage as others struggled to make contact.

“That was impressive,” Braun told Williams. “You might have the best stuff of any pitcher in camp.”

To say the least, Williams was flabbergasted. The last thing he expected was the team’s best hitter going out of his way to offer such a compliment.

“That was kind of cool,” said Williams. “That was really the first time I met him officially and got to talk to him. Hearing that from a player with his talent — he was a MVP — is an honor. It meant a lot to me.”

….

“If you want to just talk about stuff, that’s as good as it gets,” manager Ron Roenicke said of Williams. “It’s an explosive fastball, two hard breaking balls with a slider and curveball, and a changeup. He’s got a nice package going. I saw Carlos (Gomez) trying to hit off him. It’s legit stuff.”

Todd Rosiak has this on another former Timber Rattler in camp with the Brewers on the JS Blog: Another positive step forward for Jim Henderson

Jim Henderson took a big step forward Sunday morning when he threw a session of live batting practice, marking the first time the big Canadian had faced hitters since having surgery on his right shoulder last August.

It’s been a long road back for the 32-year-old reliever, who couldn’t help but take note of where he was pitching once again.

“That same mound I threw on just now was the same mound that I realized the season was over on last year, so I was thinking about that when I got out there,” he said, referring to Field 7 at the Brewers’ Maryvale complex.

“I was like, ‘Forget this mound.’ It was kind of one of those moments where it was like this is where it ended and this is where it’s going to begin again.”

Henderson faced three hitters – Hunter Morris, Pete Orr and Yadiel Rivera – and was pleased overall with what transpired.

Alumni Birthdays for March 3:
Jose Pena (’14) – 22
Alex Jones (’10) – 28
Jeff Flaig (’06) – 30
Rich Tunison (’90) – 46
Sean Collins (’90) – 48
Mike Jirschele (Coach, ’90, ’91) – 56
Ernie Stinsa (’58) – Would have been 82

Jose Pena

Jose Pena

Mike Jirschele, 1990.

Mike Jirschele, 1990.

Busy weekend for food

The Timber Rattlers received a lot of attention for something other than baseball.

Last Thurday, Chef Tim Hansen unveiled the Grilled Cheese Bacon Cheeseburger.  Reaction was…interesting.

The following day, Chef Tim Hansen presented America with the Big Mother Funnel Burger:

Reaction was…more interesting.

Here is a round up of the various media that jumped on the proverbial food truck:

WISC-TV Madison’s Channel 3000, which ties in Tim’s creation with those of the Madison Mallards: Meaty mashups fair game at Cheese State ballparks

SI.com’s Extra Mustard!!!…which uses a photo of West Michigan’s stadium???: Brewers minor league team plans to sell heart-stopping burgers

MLB.com’s Cut4: The Timber Rattlers are making dreams come true with their funnel cake cheeseburger

The Sporting News!: Minor league team unveils ridiculous funnel cake and grilled cheese hamburgers

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s MKE Diner Blog: At Fox Cities Stadium, a funnel-cake burger for Timber Rattlers fans

Big League Stew: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to debut funnel cake cheeseburger

The Post-Game: Brewers’ Minor-League Team Debuts Two Mouth-Watering Bacon Cheeseburgers

CBSSports.com: LOOK: Class A Timber Rattlers bringing the ridiculous burgers in ’15

The WASHINGTON FREAKING POST!!!!: Minor league baseball team debuts funnel cake bacon cheeseburger

USA Today: Minor league baseball team unveils funnel cake bacon cheeseburger

And that’s just the beginning. I have a feeling there will be a few stories on Chef Tim in the next week or so. Stay tuned.

Alumni Birthdays for March 2:
Ryan Moorer (’09) – 29
James Ward (’76) – 60

Moorer_040108wag

You had me at grilled cheese

Chef Tim has topped himself:

The genius is in the simplicity of combining two great things.

Are you following @ChefTimHansen yet?  You really should be. You’ll know what to expect before the season starts.

Stuff like…Darren Rovell picking up the tweet and generating non-Llama and non-dress buzz on twitter:

 

Alumni Birthdays for the weekend:

Alumni Birthdays for February 27:
Brandon Moore (’14) – 23
Carlos Triunfel (’07) – 25
Mike Triessel (’93) – 44

Triunfel

Alumni Birthdays for February 28:
Evel Bastida-Martinez (’04, ’06): 36
Jeffrey Haas (’92) – 44
Charlie Eisenreich (’87) – 51
Jim Jirschele (Coach ’90, ’91) – 56

Mike Jirschele, 1990.

Mike Jirschele, 1990.

Alumni Birthdays for March 1:
Collin Hinds (’95) – 41
Carlos Gonzalez (’87) – 47
Jeff Holly (’72, ’73) – 62
Arthur Howard (’52) – Would have been 83

Carlos Gonzalez in 1987

Carlos Gonzalez in 1987

This seems like a great idea

Bill Smith was the General Manager of the Appleton Foxes from 1983-1985.  He has moved up in the Minnesota Twins organization, where he was the GM from 2008-2011, and is presently an assistant to the president and GM for the Twins.

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Bill Smith at the Twins Spring Training Complex. Credit: AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Why do I bring this up today?

This story about renovations to the Twins spring training complex in Florida was passed along to me and I liked it for a lot of different reasons.

The first was the connection to Smith, since this nearly $50 million project was his baby…to put it one way.  The second was this:

The centerpiece of the…project was the minor league player development academy. The gleaming three-story building was designed to house, feed, teach and train prospects year round. The Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates each have on-site dormitories for minor leaguers elsewhere in Florida, but what the Twins have now is unparalleled in the majors.

“There are going to be guys who are going to point to the academy as far as an important part of their development,” President Dave St. Peter said.

The overall goal was to better prepare Twins prospects for the majors, from nutrition to education to equipment.

For the many Spanish-speaking players from Latin American countries, there are English lessons. For the drafted players who left college before graduation, there are spaces and resources for completing degrees online. For everyone, there are healthy meals professionally prepared on site.

“They don’t even allow cookies over there,” general manager Terry Ryan said, adding: “They can go out and get what they want if they want to, but it’s important to us that at least they have been educated about what we want them to put in their bodies.”

There’s no soda, either, but comforts abound. The 54 double rooms have plush queen beds, refrigerators, desks, dressers and bathrooms, each unit decorated with photos of the Twins players who wore the number of the room. Justin Morneau and Mudcat Grant, for example, provide the backdrop for No. 33.

Plenty more at the link.  But here’s a photo of one of the dorm rooms.

AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Credit: AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez

Bill Smith’s 1983 baseball card with the Foxes:

We need a bigger card.

GM’s had cards in those days.

Alumni Birthdays for February 26:
Rich Graham (’93) – 45
David Howard (’88) – 48

1993 Classic Best Appleton Foxes #9 - Rich Graham - Courtesy of COMC.com
1993 Classic Best Appleton Foxes #9 – Rich Graham

Leinie’s Legends Lounge Renovation

New Floor!  New Look!

Legends Lounge 1

Ties everything together, yes?

Legends Lounge 3

Legends Lounge 4

Legends Lounge 5

Alumni Birthdays for February 25:
Nathan Adcock (’07, ’08) – 27
Les Norman (’92) – 46
Joel McKeon (’83) – 52
Art Niemann (’82) – 56
Kevin Hickey (’79, ’84) – 59
Gilbert Passarella (’73) – 67
Dave Vinyard (’61) – 74

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

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

Joel McKeon 83

Alumni Birthdays for February 24

Another busy day in the office today.  So, there is only time for today’s Alumni Birthdays.

Alumni Birthdays for February 24:
Corey Kemp (’09) – 29
Jeff Baum (’88) – 49

Corey Kemp in 2009.

Corey Kemp in 2009.

Alumni Birthdays for February 23

Busy day today so a quick post with…

Alumni Birthdays for February 23:
Tommy Johannesen-Ellis (’07) – 27
Duan Johnson (’98) – 39
Greg Scheer (’96) – 43
Ed Miles (’82, ’83) – 56
Juan Agosto (’80) – 57
Larry Foster (’73 ’74) – 64
Gordy Lund (Mgr. ’74, ’75, ’77, ’78, ’80) – 74

Gordy Lund, circa 1974

Gordy Lund, circa 1974

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