This week’s Flashback Friday is a look at the first Foxes Newsletter from 1992.
Here’s what that Newsletter looked like:
Alumni Birthdays for January 16:
Juan Sanchez (’09) – 28
Matt Renfree (’07) – 30
Jon Nelson (’03) – 35
He loves snakes. For some horrible reason. Because of that, his favorite Minor League logo is of the Timber Rattlers.
That information comes at about :19 seconds of the video.
No relation to this Boog Powell, who was a member of the Fox Cities Foxes in 1960:
I have known Ben Chiswick since he was at Quad Cities…not that long ago. Ben has worked as the play-by-play announcer the last several seasons with the West Michigan Whitecaps. Now, he’s leaving the profession.
When Ben Chiswick was hired five years ago to become the play-by-play announcer for the West Michigan Whitecaps, he didn’t have a daughter and the location was closer to his Illinois home than his previous job.
But times change, and Chiswick has informed the Whitecaps he will not return for a sixth season for family reasons.
“It was a difficult decision, a family decision and it wasn’t anything that I necessarily planned or saw coming,” said Chiswick, who lives in Gurnee, Ill.
“As you know, there is a lot of travel in this business, and for myself being out of state, it was a lot of time being out of state, and my daughter is getting older. I just didn’t want to be away from home as much anymore.”
Good Luck, Ben.
Alumni Birthday for January 15:
Trey Witte (’93) – 45
Fans were asked to design the 2015 Batting Practice Jerseys for the Timber Rattlers. You can see the designs at this link to the Timber Rattlers Facebook page.
Remember my record of picking winners. The winner is at the link somewhere.Here are some of my favorites.
Alumni Birthdays for January 14:
Joe White (’08) – 29
TA Fulmer (’03) – 35
Rod Myers (’92) – 42
Brian McCormack (’88) – 49
Chris Jefts (’85) – 50
Terry Forster (’70) – 63
Nielsen Cochran (’61) – 74
Did you receive a Timber Rattlers gift card for Christmas? The Snake Pit Team Store has a deal for you:
Customers who use a Timber Rattlers gift card to pay for purchases* in the month of January will receive 10% off store merchandise.
Most store merchandise – including the jerseys and clearance items that are normally exempt – are available for this discount. The only items that are not eligible for the discount are Kids Crew Memberships (and of course, more gift cards).
This offer is available with other discounts, so season ticket holders/shareholders will receive their normal 15%, then get an extra 10%. This offer is in store only all January long. See store for details!
*-Do not need to pay the entire bill with gift card.
Reggie Keen (’11) – 27
Eric Marzec (’11) – 27
Nick Tyson (’09) – 27
Jerry Amador (’02) – 35
Jeff Heaverlo (’99) – 37
Justin Smith (’99) – 38
Mike Buskey (’72) – 66
Sorry for the delay in getting something new on the blog. I’ve been celebrating!
I will get to the Alumni Report later this week. Plus, this post marks the beginning of daily posting from now through the first off day of the 2015 season (Editor: Now through….April 27? Really? You’re going to do that?) There should be some really cool announcements coming up over the next few weeks and the blog lets me go a bit more in depth (ED: More sarcastic, you mean).
The biggest news involving the Midwest League was the naming of the new president. I will link to the incomprable Ben Hill’s story at MiLB.com:
The dawn of 2015 resulted in a changing of the guard for the Midwest League as longtime president George Spelius stepped down after 28 seasons. Richard “Dick” Nussbaum II, a South Bend-based attorney, who has served as the league’s general counsel since 1993, replaced him.
“I never imagined this would happen. I thought George would be president for life, like Fidel Castro,” said Nussbaum, speaking from his office in South Bend as part of a conference call that also included Spelius. “But over the past couple of years, George mentioned that he’d like to slow down, and the league directors quite wisely provided for a smooth succession plan. So the past two years, I’ve been in training for this job. It’s been on my mind a lot.”
“I told [the Midwest League succession] committee, ‘I think you’ve already got your next president, Dick Nussbaum,'” added Spelius. “And off we were. There was no war of any sort — it was like having a nice banana split.”
Which Banana Split?
While there are no Midwest League relocation efforts on the immediate horizon, this will likely be an issue that Nussbaum deals with at some point during his presidential tenure. A distinct “tale of two cities” dynamic exists within the circuit. Community-owned small market teams playing in old no-frills ballparks, such as the Burlington Bees and Spelius’ hometown Beloit Snappers, must co-exist with attendance powerhouses possessing amenity-laden multi-use facilities such as the Fort Wayne TinCaps and the aforementioned Dayton Dragons. It is an interesting and often difficult-to-reconcile dynamic, and Nussbaum gave a carefully considered answer regarding how the league will proceed with such matters.
“I think community-owned teams are one of the strengths of our league,” he said. “But as time goes by, it gets harder and harder for them to compete. The standards are higher in terms of the stadiums and the quality of the field. But those small communities are how we started out. It’s still in our DNA. It’s part of our responsibility as a league to support clubs that might have more challenges than others. … We do our best to represent the clubs we have in place but are realistic enough to know that the realities of the marketplace need to be addressed. As long as they’re addressed, we’ll do everything we can to help them succeed.”
“Good answer, Dick,” added Spelius.
Read the whole thing.
Alumni Birthdays for January 12:
Casey Craig (’06) – 31
Juan Sandoval (’03) – 35
Blake Bone (’03) – 37
Richie Leblanc (’87) – 49
Larry Allen (’86) – 51
Mike Trujillo (’83) – 55
Tim Hulett (’80) – 55
Paul Gilliford (’65) – 70
Ivan Siegfried (’46) – Would have been 91
Last week’s post didn’t get published…somehow…which was weird.
Australian Baseball League:
Sydney Blue Sox (12-16, 5th):
Craig Anderson (’00): 7 games, 7 starts, 2-5, 3.15ERA, 45.2IP, 10BB, 40K
Melbourne Aces (10-18, 6th):
Kyle Heckathorn (’11): 3 games, 0-2, 8.10ERA, 3.1IP, 4BB, 3K
Perth Heat (13-15, 4th):
Chad Robinson (’10): 10 games, 1-3, 2 saves, 3.46ERA, 13.0IP, 7BB, 17K
Aguilas Cibaenas (30-20, 2nd):
Edward Paredes (’08): 13 games, 1 start, 0-2, 6.43ERA, 7.0IP, 2BB, 6K
Juan Sandoval (’03): 18 games, 0-0, 4.76ERA, 17.0IP, 10BB, 15K
Estrellas de Oriente (32-18, 1st):
Juan Diaz (’08): 31 games, .245/.294/.309, 0HR, 12RBI
Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03): 7 games, 6 starts, 2-1, 3.55ERA, 25.1IP, 8BB, 12K
Gigantes del Cibao (28-22, 3rd):
Carlos Peguero (’07): 31 games, .271/.428/.542, 8HR, 20RBI
Tigres del Licey (19-31, 5th):
Carlos Triunfel (’07): 20 games, .196/.241/.216, 0HR, 5RBI
Toros del Este (24-26, 4th):
Austin Bibens-Dirkx (’06): 6 games, 5 starts, 1-3, 4.43ERA, 22.1IP, 4BB, 20K
Cangrejeros de Santurce (15-17, 4th):
Omar Garcia (’14): 11 games, .091/.167/.091, 0HR, 0RBI
Yadiel Rivera (’12): 30 games, .224/.300/.367, 2HR, 17RBI
Joel Pineiro (’98): 9 games, 9 starts, 1-4, 4.89ERA, 49.2IP, 9BB, 28K
Criollos de Caguas (21-12, 1st):
Efrain Nieves (’10): 7 games, 6 starts, 2-1, 4.02ERA, 31.1IP, 11BB, 13K
Gigantes de Carolina (17-16, 3rd):
Jeff Dominguez (’06): 33 games, .205/.272/.286, 2HR, 9RBI
JC Ramirez (’08): 12 games, 0-1, 2.93ERA, 14.2IP, 3BB, 12K
Indios de Mayaguez (19-15, 2nd):
Martin Maldonado (’09): 9 games, .143/.286/.179, 0HR, 2RBI
Hiram Burgos (’10): 2 games, 2 starts, 0-1, 3.65ERA, 5.0IP, BB, 6K
Jorge Lopez (’13): 6 games, 6 starts, 1-1, 1.73ERA, 26.0IP, 8BB, 25K
Senadores de San Juan (10-22, 5th):
Joe Dunigan (’08): 9 games, .242/.278/..667; 4HR, 9RBI
Rene Rivera (’03): 16 games, .262/.318/.410, HR, 5RBI
Aguilas del Zulia (34-25, 2nd):
Eric Marzec (’11): 9 games, 7 starts, 2-1, 2.68ERA, 37.0IP, 3BB, 24K
Bravos de Margarita (22-36, 8th):
Tyler Cravy (’12): 6 games, 6 starts, 0-4, 5.04ERA, 25.0IP, 6BB, 20K
Greg Holle (’11): 15 games, 0-2, 1 Save, 4.91ERA, 11.0IP, 7BB,2K
Cardenales de Lara (27-34, 7th):
Luis Valbuena (’06): 17 games, .230/.299/.492, 4HR, 12RBI
Jose Escalona (’08): 5 games, 0-0, 8.44ERA, 5.1IP, 3BB, 4K
Cesar Jimenez (’03): 16 games, 9 starts, 3-5, 3.83ERA, 47.0IP, 12BB, 44K
Caribes de Anzoategui (36-23, 1st):
Orlando Arcia (’13): 53 games, .268/.336/.449, 7HR, 28RBI
Navegantes del Magallanes (30-29, 4th):
Carlos Maldonado (’99): 18 games, .167/.310/.292, 1HR, 7RBI
Tigres de Aragua (32-25, 3rd):
Renee Cortez (’03): 25 games, 3-1, Save, 1.50ERA, 24.0IP, 10BB, 7K
Alumni Birthdays for December 22:
Adam Giacalone (’13) – 23
Ken Reed (’85) – 52
Curt Reed (’82) – 56
Chuck Johnson (’79, ’80) – 56
Timothy McLain (’66) – 68
Emil Kania (’40) – Would have been 98
Alumni Birthdays for December 21:
Khris Davis (’10) – 27
Alex Meneses (’07, ’08) – 31
Enrique Atencio (’93) – 43
Alumni Birthdays for December 20:
Santo Manzanillo (’10, ’12) – 26
Nolan Gallagher (’07) – 29
Michael Atkinson (’70, ’71, ’73) – 63
Grant Dunlap (’42) – Would have been 91
Dunlap passed away in September, 2014. Occidental College, where he was the basketball coach, baseball coach, and athletic director, published this after his death:
A native of Stockton, Dunlap was signed by the Cincinnati Reds at age 17, beginning a pro baseball career that landed him briefly in the majors in 1953 with the St. Louis Cardinals. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the South Pacific and China during World War II before enrolling at Oxy in the V-12 program. Dunlap played for the Tigers during the 1944 season at shortstop, batting .464 and being chosen first-team All-Conference.
Dunlap returned to Occidental as a coach and professor in 1954. He coached basketball for 16 years, going 205-156 overall and winning five SCIAC championships. In his 30 years as the Tigers’ baseball coach, his teams posted a 510-316 record and won nine conference championships. He also served as Oxy’s athletic director from 1971 to 1976. He retired in 1984.
Planet of Hats: These are from Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
Shawn Zarraga (’09) has been traded. Todd Rosiak has the details in the Journal-Sentinel:
The Milwaukee Brewers traded minor-league catcher Shawn Zarraga to the Los Angeles Dodgers for utility man Matt Long and left-handed pitcher Jarret Martin on Friday, the team announced.
Zarraga, 25, hit .309 with one home run and 37 runs batted in last season in 75 games at Class AA Huntsville and 17 games at Class AAA Nashville.
The switch-hitter received an invitation to major-league spring training with the Brewers and also participated in the Arizona Fall League.
He was a 44th-round pick of the Brewers in 2007.
Long and Martin both played in the Midwest League. Long was with the Cedar Rapids Kernels in 2010. Martin was with the Great Lakes Loons in 2012.
Planet of Hats – Day 5:
The braid above the bill is what really makes this Leinie’s hat:
Alumni Birthdays for December 19:
Rafael Soriano (’00) – 35
Jose Castro (’96, ’97) – 39
Jeff Norman (’92) – 44
Pete Lentine (’67, ’69) – 67
Art Kusnyer (’67, ’68) – 69
Kusnyer caught a Nolan Ryan no-hitter when he was with the Angels and was a bullpen coach for the White Sox (1980-1987) and Athletics (1989-1995).
The Brewers announced Wednesday they have released minor-league pitchers Kyle Heckathorn and Andy Moye.
The Heckathorn release is noteworthy because it continues the exodus of top picks from the Brewers’ 2009 draft.
Tom Haudricourt has that list of 2009 draft picks and what has happened to them at the link.
Heckathorn was a Timber Rattler in 2010. Moye was a Rattler in 2012 and came back for a brief rehabilitation stint in 2014.
Planet of Hats – Day 4: In honor of Paul Chryst becoming the new head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers football team, here is my 1994 Badgers Rose Bowl hat:
Alumni Birthdays for December 18:
Trevor Lawhorn (’07) – 32
Joe Randa (’92) – 45
Brian Harrison (’92) – 46
Dave White (’85) – 53
Gary Cortopassi (’71) – 68
Zoilo Versalles (’59) – Would have been 75
Gary Johnson (Manager, ’68) – Would have been 75
Zoilo Versalles, the slick-fielding, Cuban-born shortstop who led the Minnesota Twins to their first American League pennant in 1965 and became the first Latin American player to be named most valuable player, was found dead at his home in suburban Bloomington, Minn., on Friday. He was 55.
After an inconclusive autopsy Saturday, a spokesman for the county medical examiners office in Minneapolis said lab tests had been ordered to determine the cause of death.
Versalles, a native of Havana, joined the Washington Senators organization as a teen-ager, followed the team to Minneapolis in 1961 and became an All-Star in 1963, but his 1965 season was more than one for the record books.
It was a shining memory that helped sustain him as his career and life went into a long decline.
Remember the early-2000’s when the Brewers were bad and – at times – irrelevant? The Brewers turned that around with a change in management, good drafts, and plenty of other factors. The Milwaukee Bucks haven’t been relevant in Milwaukee – or Wisconsin, for that matter – in a long time. But, they have been on an upswing this season in a manner similar to the Brewers from the last decade.
Unfortunately, Jabari Parker is lost for the rest of the season. Parker, the #2 pick in the 2014 NBA draft, has been having a very good start for the Bucks, who are 13-12 on the season. To put that in perspective, the Bucks were 15-67 last season.
Jabari Parker’s injury looked ugly at first sight.
That image was confirmed Tuesday night when a league source said the Milwaukee Bucks rookie had suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and would be lost for the rest of the season. The Bucks later confirmed the report.
Parker crashed to the floor on a drive to the basket early in the third quarter of Monday night’s game in Phoenix.
The 6-foot-8 Parker quickly grabbed his left knee and had to be helped off the floor, unable to walk under his own power. Suddenly the leading candidate for the NBA’s rookie of the year award had his initial pro season cut short.
It was a stunning blow to the Bucks, who have been so impressive early in the season under new coach Jason Kidd.
I was hoping to make it to a Bucks game this season to watch Parker play. I will still probably make it down there for a game, just to see them in person. I may even wear today’s entry for Planet of Hats:
Planet of Hats – Day 3
A Bucks hat from right after they added purple to the color scheme and got rid of Bango spinning a basketball on his….um….hoof to replace him with this more fierce looking…deer…er…buck.
Alumni Birthdays for December 17:
Matt Costello (’10) – 28
Chad Sheffer (’96) – 41
Francisco Baez (’90, ’91) – 45
Donald Harrel (’91) – 45
Cal Ripken, Sr. (’60, Manager: ’62) – Would have been 79
The Napa Valley Register caught up with Tyler Cravy (’11, ’12) as he returned home from Venezuela to see how he is doing:
Cravy made his Triple-A pitching debut June 22 for the Nashville Sounds. He started for the Sounds, but left the game after 3 1/3 innings with an injury. He allowed three hits and one run (earned), walked three and struck out four in a no decision as Nashville lost to host Salt Lake City, 4-1, at Smith’s Ballpark.
The injury he suffered was a strained oblique muscle. It forced Cravy – the 2009 Bay Valley Conference Most Valuable Player who was also named to the Community College Baseball All-America team – to miss most of the remainder of the season.
“I actually felt it during the Double-A All-Star game,” Cravy said last week. “I hadn’t gotten to throw as much as I’d like in the days prior. I had some traveling and we had some events to do. I wasn’t able to play catch for two or three days before. I think that’s what really sparked the injury.”
Cravy recently returned to the Bay Area after spending six weeks pitching for Bravos de Margarita in the Venezuela Winter League. He made six starts, going 0-4 with a 5.04 ERA in 25 innings.
“I got the chance to play winter ball because of not having enough innings due to injury,” he said. “It was recommended by the Brewers to get some more innings since the oblique injury.
“It was a fun experience. It really helped me to try and be more pinpoint with my accuracy. Those guys are pretty aggressive and they swing the bat.”
Planet of Hats – Day 2: Old time Cub hat. I’m pretty sure that I wore this hat pretty much every day for 2 or 3 years. It has seen better days.
Trey Watten (’09) – 28
Tim Burton (’00, ’01) – 38
Charles Gipson (’93) – 42
Scott Meier (’81, ’82, ’84) – 54
Chuck Epperson (’81, ’82) – 55