Author Archive

Appleton Pro Baseball Birthdays – January 21

Shawn Zarraga – 27
Colin Ryan – 49
Bill Eveline – 50
Gary Peters – 51
Scott Kershaw – 52
Jose Galvez – 61


VIDEO: MLB Pipeline on Orlando Arcia

Milwaukee Brewers #1 prospect Orlando Arcia, a Timber Rattler in 2013, was mentioned in this tweet by MLB Pipeline:


Which leads to this video:


Orlando Arcia as a Timber Rattler in 2013.

Orlando Arcia as a Timber Rattler in 2013.

Appleton Pro Baseball Birthdays – January 20:
Seth Harvey – 28
Chris Mears – 38
Rolando Pino – 52
Cecil Espy – 53
Dave McLaughlin – 56
Clarence Glenetzke – Born 1922

Glenetzke is a Wisconsin native – born in Brokaw and raised in Wausau – played for the Papermakers in 1946 and became a member of the Merrill Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012:

Clarence Glenetzke grew up in Wausau, and was a four-time letter winner at Wausau High School. After high school he pitched for the Wausau Lumberjacks and later in the professional ranks. He eventually starred for the Merrill Rangers from 1950-’62. That was the glory years of the Rangers, when they won four league championships and three straight state titles.


Glenetzke with the Merrill Raiders (Photo Credit: WAOW)

Glenetzke with the Merrill Rangerers (Photo Credit: WAOW)


Seth Harvey as a Timber Rattler in 2012.

Seth Harvey as a Timber Rattler in 2012.

Appleton Pro Baseball Birthdays – January 19

Three of today’s birthdays are for players who were Foxes and that includes one from Marion, Wisconsin.

January 19:
Mike Burrows – 40
Sal Urso – 44
Marshal Harper – 61
Ken Frailing – 68

The Marion native is Ken Frailing, who made the major leagues with the White Sox and the Cubs.

Marion, Wisconsin native Ken Frailing. From

Marion, Wisconsin native Ken Frailing. From

Ken Frailing
There was a Flashback Friday about Frailing back in 2013.

The Flashback is about a no-hitter he through in an American Legion game in 1966 – days before the MLB Draft which saw the White Sox take him in the fifth round – and a 1968 article about Frailing appearing in a Cubs-Sox exhibition game in 1968.

There is also a SABR Biography on Frailing.

Born in 1948 and raised in Marion, Wisconsin, a town of 1,000 about 120 miles north of Madison, Frailing grew up loving sports, particularly baseball. He came of age in the early 1960s, when baseball was still considered the national pastime. Reflecting on his youthful experiences in a 2001 interview, he remembered that most of the kids he knew had limited choices for entertainment. As a result, they would get together and play ball:

“Baseball was a big deal at Marion High. But considering our cool weather, in a good year we’d get in maybe 20 games. But we also had American Legion ball. There would be nights that we would draw 800 people in a town of 1,000 to a game. I was a pitcher in high school, but I played the outfield, too.”

The former big leaguer was modest. Playing for a high school with 200 students, Frailing, at 6-feet and 190 pounds, became an all-around athlete who starred in the three major team sports of the era, football, basketball, and baseball. He earned all-conference honors in all three sports during his senior year of 1965-66. Speaking in a 2001 interview, John Bartelt, who coached Marion High’s baseball team for 41 years, called Frailing “pleasant, conscientious, hard-working, talented—the type of kid you want to coach.”

Frailing’s peers agreed. In 2000 the school’s former ballplayers selected the left-hander as Marion High’s Athlete of the Century. Bartelt, commenting to the Marion Advertiser, called Frailing one of the most coachable athletes he ever knew: “He was an intense competitor and had just a fantastic attitude. The more I think about it, the more I realize how fortunate I was to be associated with Ken as his coach, his teacher, his neighbor, and his friend.”

A standout end in football as well as a forward in basketball who scored exactly 1,000 points in high school, Frailing was also a remarkable left-handed batter who played the outfield when not on the mound. He hurled four no-hitters for Marion, including his first game as a freshman, a 6-0 victory over Tigerton in which he fanned 16 hitters. Major-league scouts began watching him during his sophomore year, and he really caught their attention as a senior when he fashioned a 13-0 mark with a 0.17 ERA and helped Marion High finish unbeaten at 16-0.

The White Sox selected Frailing in the fifth round of the amateur draft in 1966. The club tried to sign him the day after his Mustangs finished playing in the semifinals of the state American Legion Tournament. Thanks to Coach Bartelt’s advice, Ken held out for a month, and the White Sox to offer a sizable bonus.

“To play pro baseball was my dream,” Frailing recollected. “I grew up following the Milwaukee Braves. So I got to see a couple games a year in Milwaukee, and that was really exciting. Somebody’s parents would take us. We’d go early when the gates opened, and we’d get to see the clubs take batting practice. We’d be in the bleachers and get the home-run balls hit during batting practice. I thought that was the greatest thing!”

Enthusiastic, cheerful, and blessed with a positive attitude and a good work ethic, Frailing signed a professional contract, and when he did, the White Sox not only agreed to pay for his college education but also gave him a $25,000 bonus. He attended Wisconsin State University-Stevens Point, beginning after his stint in the Rookie Gulf Coast League in 1966.

VIDEO: Michael Reed at the MLB Rookie Development Program

Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association run something called the MLB Rookie Development Program each January.

The Players Association and Major League Baseball each January bring together several of each club’s top prospects to take part in the Rookie Career Development Program, a private, four-day gathering in which the players get to know each other and learn about life in the big leagues.

Former Timber Rattlers outfielder Michael Reed was there and MLB Pipeline caught up with him.

This page at has video of the players at the program and this highlight video is there, too.

Appleton Professional Baseball Birthdays:

January 16:
Juan Sanchez – 29
Matt Renfree – 31
Jon Nelson – 36

Jon Nelson

Jon Nelson in 2003

January 17:
David Denson – 21
Dan Floyd – 33
TJ Bohn – 36
Jay Andrews – 45
Dave Yobs – 57

Denson and Meyer August 25

January 18:
Brett Lawrie – 26
Michael Pineda – 27
Justin Thomas – 32
John Thompson – 43
Cesar Bernhardt – 47
Ramon Murillo – 60
Rich Severson – 71
Mickey McGuire – Born 1930


Photo Credit: WM. Glasheen

Photo Credit: WM. Glasheen

Flashback Friday Supplemental – January 15, 2016

The story of Player Appreciation Night and the near no-hitter by Mickey Abarbanel are available at this link on the Timber Rattlers website.

Click on the photo for a larger image of the award winners.  The boxscore from that game is also provided.

1966 player awards Full


8 23 66 boxscore

Appleton Pro Baseball Birthdays – January 15:
Trey Witte – 46

1993 Classic Best Appleton Foxes #24 - Trey Witte - Courtesy of
1993 Classic Best Appleton Foxes #24 – Trey Witte

I’m #5…I’m #5…I’m #5

To start off this post right.  Thank you all for stopping by to read Rattler Radio today and in the last year.

The year-end rankings for MLBlogs were released earlier this week.  Rattler Radio is listed in the MiLB Pro category and finished 5th.  Here is the top 10 in that category as noted in this post at Blogs Central:

1. Ben’s Biz Blog
2.’s PROSPECTive Blog
3. Inside the San Jose Giants
4. Crawdads Beat
5. Rattler Radio
6. The Shuck Dynasty
7. Rollin’ with Rick PawSox
8. The Dash Board
9. 45 Miles From Fenway
10. Callis’ Corner


Benjamin Hill handled being number one in his usual manner:


But, seriously….

Rattler Radio started out over here on Blogspot on March 27, 2006 with this post.

Hold on…..This blog is going to be TEN YEARS OLD IN JUST OVER TWO MONTHS?

Whoa. I needed to get that out of my system.

I moved it over to MLBlogs in September of 2010 and it has been a lot of fun from the very start.

I have added some features over the years and will continue to look for ways to make this the place to follow the Timber Rattlers and to inform and entertain.

Thank you for being along for the last decade.  Thank you for coming back.

Appleton Pro Baseball Birthdays – January 14:
Joe White – 30
TA Fulmer – 36
Rod Myers – 43
Brian McCormack – 50
Chris Jefts – 51
Terry Forster – 64
Nielsen Cochran – 75

Happy Birthday to Terry Forster, a member of the Appleton Professional Baseball Hall of Fame!

Happy Birthday to Terry Forster, a member of the Appleton Professional Baseball Hall of Fame!

Appleton Pro Baseball Managers with multiple seasons

The announcement was made earlier today that Matt Erickson will return as the manager of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers for his sixth consecutive season.

Matt is back!

Matt is back!

The Appleton native already holds the Timber Rattlers record for most seasons (5) and wins (326).

How does this stack up against all the managers in Appleton Professional Baseball history?

Once Erickson manages one game in the 2016 season, he will break a tie with Gordy Lund for the longest-tenured manager in APB History.  Lund was the manager of the Appleton Foxes in 1974-1975, 1977-1978, and 1980.  Lund also holds the Appleton Pro Baseball record for wins by a manager with 350.  So, Erickson will surpass Lund’s win total some time in the first half.

Here are all the managers with more than one season at the head of an Appleton Professional Baseball Team:

Six Seasons:
Matt Erickson: 2011-present

Five Seasons:
Gordy Lund: 1974-75, 1977-78, & 1980

Three Seasons:
Billy DeMars: 1963-65
Gary Thurman: 2000-02

Two-and-a-half Seasons:
Eddie Dancisak: 1940-42

Two Seasons:
George Hogriever: 1911-12
Travis Jackson: 1952-53
Earl Weaver: 1960-61
Sal Rende: 1984-85
Brian Boldberg: 1988-89
Joe Breeden: 1990-91
Carlos Lezcano: 1993-94
Mike Goff: 1995-96
Gary Varsho: 1997-98
Steve Roadcap: 1999, 2004
Jim Horner: 2006-07
Jeff Isom: 2009-2010

One-and-a-half Seasons:
Joe Skurski: 1950-51
Stan Wasiak: 1966, 1968
Bert Thiel: 1972, 1973

Appleton Baseball Birthdays – January 13:
Reggie Keen – 28
Eric Marzec – 28
Nick Tyson – 28
Jerry Amador – 36
Jeff Heaverlo – 38
Justin Smith – 39
Mike Buskey – 67

Mike Buskey played 122 games with the Foxes in 1972. He appeared in eight games with the Phillies at the end of the 1977 season.

Mike Buskey played 122 games with the Foxes in 1972. He appeared in eight games with the Phillies at the end of the 1977 season.

Rattler Radio Podcast with Kyle Lobner – January 12, 2016

This week’s episode is with Kyle Lobner, who will have a Frosty Microbrew about Monte Harrison on the Timber Rattlers website on Wednesday.  We talk about that, a little David Bowie, and a lot of baseball.  Plus, if you are going to NXT Milwaukee on Thursday, maybe you will see Kyle and me there!


Appleton Baseball Birthdays – January 12:
Casey Craig – 31
Juan Sandoval – 35
Blake Bone – 37
Richie Leblanc – 50
Larry Allen – 52
Tim Hulett – 56
Mike Trujillo – 56
Paul Gilliford – 71
Ivan Siegfried – Born 1923

Juan Sandoval in action with Diablos Rojos del Mexico during the summer. Photo Credit: HERE

Juan Sandoval in action with Diablos Rojos del Mexico during the summer of 2013.

Appleton Baseball Birthdays for January 10 & 11

Appleton Baseball Birthday (January 10):
Juan Silvestre – 40

Silvestre is the only Rattler to have TWO walkoff home runs.

Silvestre holds the Timber Rattlers franchise record for career home runs with 36.  He hit 15 in 1998 and 21 in 1999.

Appleton Baseball Birthdays (January 11):
John Cole – 36
Rafael Chaves – 48
Rob Wolkoys – 51
Donn Pall – 54
Jack Zduriencik – 65
Glenn Redmon – 68

The Champs are here!

Glenn Redmon is in the middle row, second from right.

Most Improved Farm Systems for 2016

I am still catching up on a few things from my Christmas Hiatus.  One of the articles that I wanted to share was this Jonathan Mayo piece on the most improved farm systems in baseball.  The Brewers made his list.  Here is what he had on Milwaukee:

The best deal for the Brewers may have been the one they didn’t make at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. When the reported trade sending Carlos Gomez to the Mets fell through, they ended up making an even better deal, at least in terms of rebuilding their farm system, with the Astros. It brought in four prospects that landed in their Top 30, including Top 100 prospects Domingo Santana (since graduated) and Brett Phillips. Josh Hader should join them after a strong season and even stronger Arizona Fall League campaign. Adrian Houser threw well following the trade, too.

Zach Davies came in a Deadline deal as well, from Baltimore in return for Gerardo Parra, and he made six starts in the big leagues at the end of the year. That gave the Brewers immediate return in both deals, with Davies and Santana both looking like members of the 2016 Opening Day roster, along with some future star-caliber prospects.

Smaller deals at the start of the year (Yovani Gallardo) and at the very end (Jason Rogers) also netted Top 30-caliber prospects, but aside from the Gomez deal, it was the 2015 Draft that has helped restock the prospect shelves the most. The successful haul brought in four Top 30 players, with the Brewers getting high-ceiling talent like Trent Clark and Demi Orimoloye as well as intriguing college arms like Nathan Kirby (a first-round talent who had injury issues) and Cody Ponce. Add in the advancement of homegrown players like Orlando Arcia and Jorge Lopez and the Brewers have turned around their pipeline as quickly as any team.

Appleton Baseball Birthdays – January 9:
Ken Cloude – 41

Ken Cloude was a member of the 1995 Timber Rattlers.

Ken Cloude was a member of the 1995 Timber Rattlers.


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