Flashback Friday Supplemental – January 16, 2015

This week’s Flashback Friday is a look at the first Foxes Newsletter from 1992.

Here’s what that Newsletter looked like:

foxes newsletter 3

Alumni Birthdays for January 16:
Juan Sanchez (’09) – 28
Matt Renfree (’07) – 30
Jon Nelson (’03) – 35

The winner is in there somewhere

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.

I will crush every pitch I see should be on the back of EVERY jersey.

I will crush every pitch I see should be on the back of EVERY jersey.

BONUS for using the Latin name of Timber Rattlers.

BONUS for using the Latin name of Timber Rattlers.


Better if it was made out of real snakeskin.

Better if it was made out of real snakeskin.

More baseball uniforms should have a sash.

More baseball uniforms should have a sash.



Big Daniel Striped Tiger fan!

Big Daniel Striped Tiger fan!

The more you know!

The more you know!

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

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!

January Team Store Deal

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.

Alumni Birthdays:
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

Reggie Keen in 2011.

Reggie Keen in 2011.

Eric Marzec in 2011.

Eric Marzec in 2011.

Back to work with a New League President!

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?

Bingo, Fleegle, Snorky, & Drooper (seated).

Bingo, Fleegle, Snorky, & Drooper (seated).

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

Alumni Report – Winter League Games through December 21

Last week’s post didn’t get published…somehow…which was weird.

Only the fog is gone.

Only the fog is gone.

Alumni Report:

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

Dominican Republic:
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

Puerto Rico:
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

Vote for Khris Davis!

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.

Da 6: This is a 1995 NCAA Hockey Tournament Hat.

Da 6: This is a 1995 NCAA Hockey Tournament Hat.

Day 7: I interned at LAZER 103 in Milwaukee during my college days.  I also played softball with the station team.  It was fun.

Day 7: I interned at LAZER 103 in Milwaukee during my college days. I also played softball with the station team. It was fun.

I worked for my uncle's masonry company for two summers.  That convinced me that I wanted to do something else for a career.  For all your masonry needs, contact P. Nannemann Masonry!

I worked for my uncle’s masonry company for two summers. That convinced me that I wanted to do something else for a career. For all your masonry needs, contact P. Nannemann Masonry!

Another Alum-Involved Trade – December 19, 2014

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.

Shawn Zarraga as a Timber Rattler in 2009.

Shawn Zarraga as a Timber Rattler in 2009.

Planet of Hats – Day 5:

The braid above the bill is what really makes this Leinie’s hat:

It's Friday! Have a Leinekugel's, everyone!

It’s Friday! Have a Leinekugel’s, everyone!

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).

Transactions from Wednesday – December 18, 2014

The Brewers made a pair of transactions on Wednesday that involved former Timber Rattlers.

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.

Heckathorn from the 2010 Star Wars Night.

Heckathorn from the 2010 Star Wars Night.

Andy Moye on a Brewers Sunday in 2012.

Andy Moye on a Brewers Sunday in 2012.

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:

If you aren't from Wisconsin, you have no idea how unlikely the probability that this hat would come into being was in the 70s and 80s. Growing up, I thought we would have flying cars - not a Badgers Rose Bowl - by 1994.

If you aren’t from Wisconsin, you have no idea how unlikely the probability that this hat would come into being was in the 70s and 80s. Growing up, I thought we would have flying cars – not a Badgers Rose Bowl – by 1994.

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

Joe Randa as an Appleton Fox in 1992.

Joe Randa as an Appleton Fox in 1992.

From the 1995 New York Times obituary of Zoilo Versalles:

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.

Planet of Hats – Day 3: December 17, 2014

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
Hat 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

Cal Ripken, Sr. in 1962.

Cal Ripken, Sr. in 1962.


Cravy returns stateside – December 16, 2014

Tyler Cravy - 2012

Tyler Cravy – 2012

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.

This hat used to be white.

This hat used to be white.

Alumni Birthdays:
Trey Watten (’09) – 28
Tim Burton (’00, ’01) – 38
Charles Gipson (’93) – 42
Scott Meier (’81, ’82, ’84) – 54
Chuck Epperson (’81, ’82) – 55

Trey Watten - 2009

Trey Watten – 2009


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