The annual tradition returns! WE Energies has published their 2014 Cookie Book and, if you are in the Fox Cities, you can pick up yours in the Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium Parking Lot on Saturday, November 8.
When it comes to the Australian Baseball League, Timber Rattlers fans have had a cheering interest in the Sydney Blue Sox, due to former Rattler Craig Anderson (’00) being a mainstay in their rotation for a long time.
The Heat won back-to-back Claxton Shield titles in 2008 and 2009. In 2008, it won the Southern Division with an 8–4 record and swept New South Wales in the best-of-three semi final series in Sydney. In 2009, the Heat finished the regular season with the best record, at 12–4, and came back from losing the first game to beat New South Wales in three games in the Grand Final. The WA side led the deciding third game throughout but blew a 2–0 lead in the top of the ninth inning. With the game set for extra innings, outfielder Daniel Floyd hit a walk-off single to deliver back-to-back titles for Perth.
Jamie McOwen (’07) played for the Adelaide Bite in 2010-11 and he was The Helms Award Winner (Most Valued Player) that season as he helped the Bite to reach the Finals before falling in the Finals to Perth.
Another alum of the Timber Rattlers is joining the ABL this year and he will be with the Melbourne Aces:
Photos from the Melbourne Aces Facebook Page:
That’s Kyle Heckathorn (’10) wearing #45. Melbourne’s season begins at 7:35pm on Friday in Australia. That would be…at…2:35am in the Central Time Zone…if I am doing my math right.
Alumni Birthdays for November 6:
Stephen Peterson (’12) – 27
Ricky Orta (’07) – 30
Jorge Candelaria (’86) – 47
Leo Garcia (’81, ’82) – 52
Harold McClain (’71, ’72) – 62
Rudy Okleson (’42) – Would have been 93
The MOST IMPORTANT THING for today? Timber Rattlers Director of Tickets Ryan Moede is taking part in Movember!
In the time that I have known Ryan – over a year, maybe well over two years – I have never seen him with even the beginnings of a mustache. As soon as I can dig up some of the gold buried in one of the coffee cans in my backyard and convert it to cash, I will be donating to Ryan’s page. Please think about doing the same at some point this month by clicking on that link.
NOTE: I will not be participating in Movember this year. I am no longer allowed to grow a mustache….It’s….complicated.
Hat Tip to Kyle of BrewFrostyMug (which has a new WordPress Home, by the way) for a link to this story on Tyler Wagner (’13) on his two perfect innings of relief for the Glendale Desert Dogs yesterday in an Arizona Fall League game.
The Saguaros weren’t any more comfortable facing Wagner, the Brewers’ No. 14 prospect. He struck out one batter and needed just 20 pitches to complete two perfect innings. He induced four groundball outs, a product of his sinker-slider combination.
Tuesday was the first time Wagner had pitched since he got just one out and allowed nine runs (eight earned) on six hits and two walks last week at Salt River. He said he didn’t do anything differently between appearances and credited better fastball command for the turnaround.
“I just kept going with my game plan, which is to get early, weak-contact ground balls,” Wagner said. “My last outing I was up in the zone. That happens sometimes. You just have to make adjustments to throw the sinker down in the zone.”
Center fielder Tyrone Taylor, the Brewers’ top prospect, added a hit and a walk. He also helped out on defense in the first inning. Peterson attempted to stretch his double into a triple, but was thrown out at third base by Taylor.
Wagner has played with Taylor the last two years, first at Class A Wisconsin and then at Class A Advanced Brevard County this season. He said he wasn’t surprised to see Taylor make a big play on defense.
“Every day he comes in with the mindset of winning the day,” Wagner said. “That’s what makes him so successful and consistent with what he does well.”
The National Baseball Hall of Fame announced ten finalists on their 2015 Golden Era Ballot.
I took a look at the names to see if there were any Appleton Professional Baseball ties, but the only one with an even tangential tie to the area is Billy Pierce, a left-handed pitcher with the Tigers, White Sox, and Giants. Pierce spent his post-playing days with the White Sox as a scout and some of the players he signed and scouted eventually wound up with the Appleton Foxes.
There is an Appleton affiliation on the committee. Hall of Famer Pat Gillick, who pitched for the Fox Cities Foxes in 1960, is on the committee.
Alumni Birthdays for November 5:
Ron Garth (’06-’08) – 30
Bryan LaHair (’04) – 32
Jim Koehler (’93) – 44
Welcome to the inaugural Rattler Radio Podcast. In the first episode, Timber Rattlers manager Matt Erickson discusses the World Series, Fall Instructional for the Brewers minor league players, possible 2015 Timber Rattlers, and much much more.
Rattler Radio Podcast with Matt Erickson (Part 1):
Rattler Radio Podcast with Matt Erickson (Part 2):
Ben Hudson (’01) – 35
Clint Chrysler (’98, ’99) – 39
John McCormick (’89) – 48
Dave Kinsel (’83) – 55
Working around the ballpark to get ready for the 2015 season.
The Australian Baseball League and the Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente in Puerto Rico both kicked off their seasons this past weekend.
Before getting into the body of this post, a couple of add-ins to past posts on the blog.
I missed Orlando Arcia (’13) playing in Venezuela for Caribes de Anzoategui. That link goes some video of a few defensive gems by Arcia…ARCIA!
The Independent Minded post missed Tony Butler (’07, ’10) who pitched in seven games – five starts – with the Rockford Aviators of the Frontier League.
Thank you to Jim at BrewerFan.net for the tips on those two Rattler alumni.
The Arizona Fall League had their All-Star Game (aka: Fall Stars Game….no…really!)
The East defeated the West 6-2. The former Timber Rattlers to play for the West were Tyrone Taylor (’13), who went 1-for-2 as the starting centerfielder, and Tyler Wagner (’13), who entered to start the sixth inning and allowed a run on a hit and a walk in 1/3 of an inning.
Arizona Fall League:
Glendale Desert Dogs (9-11-1, 1st place West):
Clint Coulter (’13): 5 games, .176/.263/.353; 1HR, 3RBI
Nick Ramirez (’12): 14 games, .204/.259/.389, 3HR, 7RBI
Tyrone Taylor (’13): 15 games, .233/.292/.283, 0HR, 4RBI
Shawn Zarraga (’09): 6 games, .300/.417/.300, 0HR, 0RBI
Brooks Hall (’11): 5 games, 0-0, 3.12ERA, 8.2IP, BB, 6K
Mike Strong (’13): 7 games, 0-0, 1 save, 2.25ERA, 8.0IP, 2BB, 8K
Tyler Wagner (’13): 6 games, 0-0, 1 save, 10.80ERA, 8.1IP, 6BB, 5K
Wei-Chung Wang (’14): 4 games, 4 starts, 2-0, 2.08ERA, 13.0IP, BB, 4K
Australian Baseball League:
Sydney Blue Sox (2-2, T-1st):
Craig Anderson (’00): 1 game, 1 start, 1-0, 4.50ERA, 6.0IP, 3BB, 5K
Aguilas Cibaenas (6-6, 4th):
Edward Paredes (’09): 3 games, 0-1, 0.00ERA, 0.1IP, BB, K
Juan Sandoval (’03): 6 games, 0-0, 2.70ERA, 6.2IP, 2BB, 7K
Estrellas de Oriente (7-6, 3rd):
Juan Diaz (’08): 8 games, .280/.308/.320, 0HR, 4RBI
Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03): 4 games, 3 starts, 1-1, 3.55ERA, 12.2IP, 6BB, 3K
Gigantes del Cibao (8-4, 2nd):
Carlos Peguero (’07): 1 game, 0-for-2
Tigres del Licey (4-9, 6th):
Carlos Triunfel (’07): 8 games, .091/.167/.182, 0HR, RBI
Cangrejeros de Santurce (2-0, 1st):
Yadiel Rivera (’12): 2 games 2-for-7, HR, 2RBI
Joel Pineiro (’98): 1 game, 1 start, 0-0, 1.80ERA, 5IP, 2H, 0BB, 2K
Criollos de Caguas (1-2, 4th):
Efrain Nieves (’10): 1 game, 1 start, 0-1, 8.10 3.1IP, BB, 0K
Gigantes de Carolina (2-1, 2nd):
Jeff Dominguez (’06): 3 games, 2-for-9, 0HR, RBI
JC Ramirez (’08): 2 games, 0-0, 2.2IP, 0BB, K
Indios de Mayaguez (2-2, 3rd):
Jorge Lopez (’13): 1 game, 1 start, 0-1, 3.00ERA, 3IP, BB, 3K
Aguilas del Zulia (15-5, 2nd):
Eric Marzec (’11): 5 games, 3 starts, 1-0, 1.56ERA, 17.1IP, BB, 8K
Bravos de Margarita (8-13, 6th):
Tyler Cravy (’12): 4 games, 4 starts, 0-3, 3.18ERA, 17.0IP, 5BB, 14K
Greg Holle (’11): 9 games, 0-0, 1 Save, 4.50ERA, 6.0IP, 4BB, 0K
Cardenales de Lara (6-15, T-7th):
Jose Escalona (’08): 4 games, 0-0, 3.60ERA, 5.0IP, 2BB, 4K
Cesar Jimenez (’03): 4 games, 4 starts, 0-2, 5.40ERA, 13.1IP, 3BB, 11K
Caribes de Anzoategui (18-3, 1st):
Orlando Arcia (’13): 20 games, .266/.348/.532, 4HR, 16RBI
Navegantes del Magallanes (8-11, 5th):
Carlos Maldonado (’99): 10 games, .148/.324/.185, 0HR, 2RBI
Tigres de Aragua (11-7, 3rd):
Renee Cortez (’03): 8 games, 0-0, 1.17ERA, 7.2IP, 5BB, 4K
Alumni Birthdays for November 3:
Jeff Ellena (’02) – 35
Daniel Meadows (’09) – 27
Darrell Pruitt (’85) – 51
A little cool and breezy today at the ballpark. The weather seems appropriate since Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend.
This has been out there for awhile, but I don’t think I have posted it here yet. The 2015 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers schedule is set. Game times for the home games are on the schedule here: 2015 Schedule
Individual game tickets won’t be available until about March of 2015, but you can find out about and purchase group outings, miniplans, and season tickets at this link.
To get into the spirit of Halloween, but to also keep in mind that Baseball is the main reason for this blog, how about a scary baseball movie?
The website won’t let me embed the trailer and this movie must be really obscure if it’s NOT on YouTube. So here is the trailer to NIGHT GAME!
Okay…maybe not scary…but, that trailer is a really good time capsule of the weird ’80s vibe most popular culture had going at the time. Yes…That is the Astrodome….and those are the Astros. The synopsis? This is from Wikipedia, but I won’t link it or reveal the ending.
A number of young women are found dead on or around the beaches of Galveston and the one thing they all have in common is that they were murdered when Houston Astros ace pitcher Silvio Baretto (an amalgamation of real-life pitchers Bob Knepper and Juan Agosto) pitches and wins a night game at the Astrodome. Additionally, each victim had their throats slashed by some sort of knife or hook.
Scheider plays former minor league baseball player turned Galveston homicide detective Mike Seaver. Seaver is a staunch Astros fan and is the only person on the case who begins to realize the coincidence of the deaths coming after Sil Barretto’s night game wins in the Dome.
No. Seriously. This was a movie. MLB must have needed the licensing $$$$ at the time to allow a movie to be made with a pitcher for the Astros to be a murder suspect. What can I say? The ’80s were an odd time.
Plus, I love how Mike Seaver (No, not THAT Mike Seaver) is apparently the only Astros fan on the police force.
This was not the most ridiculous plot for a Roy Scheider movie. That award would go to The Fourth War, followed closely by Blue Thunder and Chain of Command. Night Game barely makes the top five…only because I can’t include entire episodes of the second season of SeaQuest.
To bring this entry even more around to the purpose of this blog Juan Agosto?…He pitched for the Appleton Foxes in 1980.
Have a great weekend, everyone! And watch out for hooks!
Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants, World Series Champions of 2014.
That was their third Championship in the last five years. The last time the Giants were this successful was back in the early 1920’s. John McGraw managed the New York Giants to four straight National League pennants from 1921-1924 with wins over the New York Yankees in 1921 and 1922 and losses to the Yankees (1923) and Washington Senators (1924).
There is a slight Appleton tie to that Giants dynasty. Travis Jackson played for the Giants briefly in 1922 and saw more playing time in 1923 and 1924.
During the 1920s and 1930s the New York Giants captured seven National League championships. While they had great outfielders like Mel Ott and Ross Youngs as well as solid pitching, most prominently Carl Hubbell, it was their infield that anchored the team in its success. George Kelly, Fred Lindstrom, and Bill Terry each had a hand in many of the successful Giants campaigns during this era. They, along with several other prominent teammates including Frankie Frisch and Rogers Hornsby, were recognized for their play; each was selected to the Hall of Fame.
Over time, recognition of how the Giants arrived at their success gained a different perspective. It dawned on those invested with selection to the Hall of Fame that these Giants infielders had one factor in common from the early 1920s through the mid-1930s: their shortstop, Travis Jackson. That realization, almost belatedly made, crystallized in 1982 when the Veterans Committee elected Jackson to the Hall. While a solid hitter, Jackson was not in the mold of a Hornsby or Terry, but he was considered by his peers as the defensive anchor for his team and one of the best at his position, if not the best.
Unfortunately, Timber Rattlers fans – along with the rest of the fans in the Midwest League – have not had a chance to see many of the Giants players when those players were in the minor leagues. The Giants have not been affiliated with a Midwest League team since 1996 when they wrapped up a two year deal with the Burlington Bees.
According to MWLGuide.com, The San Francisco Giants were affiliated with a MWL team from 1956 to 1996. They were with the Michigan City White Caps (1956-59), Quincy Giants (1960-61), Decatur Commodores (1962-74), Cedar Rapids Giants (1975-79), Clinton Giants (1980-93), and Clinton Giants (1994).
There was also one year (1954) when the Giants were affiliated with a MWL team by the name of the Danville Dans.
For a more local – as in Northeastern Wisconsin – flavoring of Giants baseball, look back to the old Wisconsin State League. The New York Giants were affiliated with Oshkosh’s WSL franchise in 1942 and – once the league restarted after World War II – again from 1946 through 1953, when the WSL folded.
The Oshkosh Giants won the Wisconsin State League title in both 1949 and 1950.
Speaking of the old Wisconsin State League, here is another photo of that Papermakers Pen that was mentioned in yesterday’s post.
Corby Heckman (’95) – 31
Manny Parra (’11) – 32
Craig Anderson (’00) – 34
Tom Poquette (Manager, ’92) – 63
Mark Tanner (’73) – 64
The Royals forced a Game Seven in the 2014 World Series with their 10-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night.
Lorenzo Cain (’09) played his part:
It also shouldn’t be surprising to Timber Rattlers fans that Yordano Ventura pitched as well as he did last night. Ventura was a member of the Kane County Cougars in 2011 and was 4-6 in 19 starts. But, in his two starts against Wisconsin Ventura had no record, but allowed no runs on four hits with two walks and 15 strikeouts in nine innings.
It also wouldn’t surprise Rattlers fans that Mike Moustakas is hammering the baseball out of the yard in the World Series. Moustakas was a Burlington Bee in 2008 and in 16 games against the Timber Rattlers he was 22-for-61 (.361) with four doubles, a triple, four home runs, and twelve RBI. Plus, he walked ten times while striking out eleven times.
Still playing a little catch up from the hiatus and this story has been sitting in my inbox for a bit.
The Country Today, a newspaper based out of Eau Claire, did a story on the Timber Rattlers Vegetable Garden.
A new stream of fresh vegetables is flowing to a Fox Valley food program thanks to a triple play by the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers baseball organization, GreenStone Farm Credit Services and the Freedom FFA.
As of Aug. 20, volunteer efforts of those three groups had made possible the donation of 79 pounds of fresh vegetables through the “Grow a Row for St. Joe” project from a 30-by-20-foot garden behind the left-field bleachers at Neuroscience Group Field of the Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton.
“We’ll keep on doing it throughout the fall too as long as vegetables are to be harvested,” said Jerrad Radocay, corporate marketing manager for the Timber Rattlers, a Midwest minor league affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers.
The St. Joseph Food Program is a nonprofit that for 32 years has made weekly distributions of fresh food and non-perishable items to the elderly, working poor and temporarily unemployed in the Fox Valley.
The team is looking at expanding the garden for 2015.
Circling back to the opening image of the post. That is a pencil giveaway from the Appleton Papermakers in either the 1940’s or 1950’s…It’s all sorts of cool.
If you have something like this – or any piece of Appleton Professional Baseball meorabilia in your basement, storage unit, attic, garage, or…I don’t know…. kitchen???…. feel free to bring it into the ballpark. We can either take a picture of it to document it and share on the blog, or find a place to display it at the stadium.
I have been waiting for awhile to use the material in this post. Today seemed like a good day.
First, a brief time lapse video of the grounds crew prepping the field.
My choice of music for that video would have been Yaktey Sax…but that’s just me. Either selection works.
The other section of this post is material that was collected by Jay Grusznski in the second half of the 2014 Timber Rattlers season.
Jay did a lot of searching through the pages of the teams in the different independent leagues and came up with a list of former Timber Rattlers playing in those leagues.
Some of these players spent time in both affiliated ball and the independent leagues this season. If I had a heart, these guys would hold a special place in it. Why? Because – as some of you may remember – I spent three seasons as a radio announcer for the Duluth/Superior Dukes in the Northern League of Professional Baseball. Maybe one day I will share some of my photos of the stadiums of the league at the time.
Kansas City T-Bones:
TJ Mittelstaedt (’11)
Bryan Sabatella (’06)
St. Paul Saints:
RJ Seidel (’09)
Brent Dean (’13)
Alan Williams (’11, ’12, ’13)
Gerardo Avila (’06, ’07, ’08)
Seth Lintz (’11, ’12)
Grand Prairie AirHogs:
Tom Keeling (’11)
Johan Limonta (’06) – All-Star
BROCK! Kjeldgaard (’09)
Zack Braddock (’11)
Cody Scarpetta (’09)
Sugar Land Skeeters:
Travis Scott (’06)
Dan Meadows (’09)
Jeff Dominguez (’06)
Mike Wilson (’05)
Long Island Ducks:
Brett Lorin (’08)
Denny Almonte (’08)
Emiliano Fruto (’02)
Joe Dunigan (’08)
Kalian Sams (’07)
Les Capitales de Quebec:
Sebastien Boucher (’05)
New Jersey Jackals:
Joe Dunigan (’08)
Taylor Mangum (’13)
Chad Robinson (’10)
Chad Robinson (’10)
Lake Erie Crushers:
Juan Sanchez (’09)
Kyle Dhanani (’09, ’10)
Managed by Jeff Isom (’09, ’10)
Adam Giacalone (’13)
Tyler Roberts (’11, ’12, ’13)
Chadwin Stang (’11, ’12)
Santo Manzanillo (’10, ’12)
Fort Worth Cats:
Jose Duran (’09)
Not Independent League, but this seems like a good place to mention these players
Japan Central League:
Yokohama Bay Stars:
Jorge Sosa (’01)
Wladimir Balentien (’04)
Fall/Winter Baseball is almost in full swing now. Arizona Fall League, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, and Mexico are all going strong. The winter leagues in Puerto Rico and Australia both start their seasons on October 30.
Time to check in on Rattler alumni.
Arizona Fall League:
Glendale Desert Dogs (7-8-1):
Clint Coulter (’13, ’14): 3 games, 3-for-11, HR, 3RBI
Nick Ramirez (’11, ’12): 11 games, .167/.222/.405, 3HR, 5RBI
Tyrone Taylor (’13): 11 games, .289/.347/.333, 0HR, 4RBI
Shawn Zarraga (’09): 5 games, 5-for-17, 0HR, 0RBI
Brooks Hall (’11): 4 games, 0-0, 1.50ERA, 6.0IP, BB, 4K
Mike Strong (’12, ’13): 5 games, 0-0, Save, 3.00ERA, 6.0IP, 2BB, 7K
Tyler Wagner (’13): 5 games, 0-0, Save, 2.25ERA, 8.0IP, 4BB, 5K
Wei-Chung Wang (’14): 3 games, 3 starts, 2-0, 2.00ERA, 9.0IP, BB, 3K
Aguilas del Zulia (12-2):
Eric Marzec (’11): 4 games, 2 starts, 1-0, 1.93ERA, 9.1IP, BB, 6K
Bravos de Margarita (5-11):
Tyler Cravy (’11, ’12): 2 games, 2 starts, 0-2, 7.36ERA, 7.1IP, 3BB, 6K
Greg Holle (’11): 6 games, 0-0, Save, 4.50ERA, 4.0IP, 2BB, 0K
Cardenales de Lara (2-13):
Jose Escalona (’06, ’08): 4 games, 0-0, 3.60ERA, 5.0IP, 2BB, 4K
Cesar Jimenez (’03): 3 games, 3 starts, 0-1, 7.56ERA, 2.1IP, 2BB, K
Navegantes del Magallanes (5-8):
Carlos Maldonado (’97, ’98, ’99): 7 games, 3-for-20, 0HR, 2RBI
Tigres de Aragua (8-4):
Renee Cortez (’02, ’03): 6 games, 0-0, 1.59ERA, 5.2IP, 3BB, 4K
Dominican Winter League:
Aguilas Cibaenas (5-2):
Edward Paredes (’08): 3 games, 0-1, 0.00ERA, 0.1IP, BB, K
Juan Sandoval (’03): 4 games, 0-0, 5.40ERA, 3.1IP, BB, 2K
Estrellas de Oriente (4-3):
Juan Diaz (’07, ’08): 5 games, 6-for-18, 0HR, 4RBI
Ryan Rowland-Smith (’02, ’03): 2 games, 1 start, 0-0, 3.60ERA, 5.0IP, 3BB, 3K
Tigres del Licey (1-7):
Carlos Triunfel (’07): 5 games, 1-for-7, 0HR, 1RBI
No Rattler alumni are playing in Mexico this winter….yet.
Marwin Vega (’06) – 28
Denny Stark (’97) – 40
Pete Vuckovich (’74) – 62
Lee Stange (’59) – 78