The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers have worn many jerseys since 1995. There have been throwbacks, pinks, camouflage, batting practice, sleeveless, the regular ones that were worn for most games, and a few that you may have forgotten. This feature is to take a look at those jerseys.
This week, the Throwback Friday jerseys that were worn for Friday home games during the 2006 season.
That was the season Wisconsin wore jerseys just like the 1960 Fox Cities Foxes.
The blue tint to that photo doesn’t really give the true feeling of those jerseys.
Here’s a photo of Boog Powell in action from the 1960 season:
The reason that the jerseys of the 1960 Foxes were chosen was because Cal Ripken, Sr., a member of that 1960 team, was inducted into the Appleton Professional Baseball Hall of Fame that season. Please, pardon the vacation slides to show you the Ripken Bobblehead. It’s kind of a long story…
Now that you have a general idea of what the jerseys looked like in 1960. Here’s how some of the players looked in those classic jerseys during the 2006 season.
Eddy Hernandez posed for his baseball card in this photo:
Robbie Hudson in an action shot. Notice that he is wearing his pant legs up so that you can see the black, gray, & white socks. Old School.
Marwin Vega makes a pitch:
This is also a photo of Vega. I chose this to show off the patch with the FC and the Fox on the left sleeve. He can kind of see it on the left sleeve of Boog Powell in his photo. It’s much clearer in this shot of Vega. (Click on the photo to enlarge the image). That is attention to detail.
Back next Thursday with a look at another jersey from Timber Rattlers history.
Welcome to Wild Card Wednesday on Rattler Radio.
This will be a weekly feature with a look at some of my favorites in my Baseball Card Collection. Keep in mind that this collection is from about 1971 through 1986 or so and I do not have a complete collection.
I wasn’t sure where to start with entry number one. I want to save the Brewers for later. I didn’t want to do alphabetical. And working through the divisions seemed like such a Baseball America thing to do.
I chose the most Mehring thing to do and picked a team out randomly….which, if it’s something I would normally do, isn’t really that random after all….
While you ponder that…. Wild Card Wednesday:
Until I went through my pack of Mets cards, I had forgotten that George Foster played for the Mets. That Fleer card of his is from 1983. The Rusty Staub card is also from 1983. Ever wonder why you don’t have a Rusty Staub card from 1972-1974? See the end of the post for the answer. Tug McGraw is the freaking guy! He was the Leadoff Experience guest speaker right before the start of the 2002 Timber Rattlers season. That card is from the 1973 Ya Gotta Believe! season. The Ron Darling and Dwight Gooden cards are from the 1985 season…which would be one year before the Mets became insufferable.
Bud Harrelson is obviously posing with a gigantic prop bat in that 1975 photo on the left. Derrel McKinley Harrelson – as he is known on the back of his 1975 card but not on the back of the ’76 or ’78 card – is also one of the rare men to look older after he shaves his mustache. This is evidenced by his 1978 card on the right. I blame playing for the Mets for that long on that. I like to think that a coach told Felix Millan, “Choke up. Choke up! Choke up!!” so often that he Millan just said, “Like this?! Fine! Is this choked up enough for you?! I’m just going to hit like this all. the. time. now.”
The Steve Henderson and Lee Mazzilli cards are from 1978 and 1980. Henderson joined the Mets from the Reds in a trade on June 15, 1977….Hmmm, who else was in that trade…. Mazilli was the #1 pick of the Mets (14th overall) in 1973 and made his MLB debut in 1976. That first Ron Hodges card is from 1974. The back of that card has a note that “One of Ron’s hobbies is dancing.” That note is accompanied by a dancing baseball player wearing catching gear. Hodges played 12 seasons for the Mets and played over 100 games in a season just once. His second card is from the 1985 season. Hodges played his final major league game on September 30, 1984.
This next panel features cards of managers of the Mets and players who would go on to manage in the major leagues. I like the 1974 Yogi Berra card because it includes his coaching staff. But, my favorite manager cards would be from the 1978 season. That year shows the manager from his playing days along side his current photo. Joe Torre thought the baseball cap would hide the fact that he forgot to comb his hair on picture day. No. Seriously. Ray Knight was a major league manager. Really. Also, Ron Gardenhire was a shortstop for Dave Johnson. Let that sink in for a bit.
Check out the Mets prospects of 1979 and 1981. The checklist for the 1982 Mets team is on the back of the Bating and Pitching Leaders card featuring Hubie Brooks and Mike Scott….Oh, Mike Scott, if only the Astros had won Game Six of the ’86 NLCS to have you pitch against the Mets in Game Seven.
For your tie-in to the Brewers here are players who either had played for the Brewers or – in the case of Ray Searage – would play for the Brewers.
Now, to answer the question about Rusty Staub from up top…in case you didn’t google it.
During his time with the Mets, Staub had a contractual dispute with the Topps company, which was the only one producing baseball cards at the time. As a result, he did not appear in any Topps set from 1972 to 1974, even though he was a major star in Topps’ biggest market, at a time when the sets just about every one in the major leagues, from the loftiest stars to the most obscure bench player.
Back next Wednesday with a look at another team.
Welcome to a new feature on the blog. I’m calling it Tater Tuesday. Tater for George Scott’s nickname for home runs and Tuesday for…well, you know.
The genesis of this idea is from this post: The Midwest League Home Runs of Wladimir Balentien. I posted it just before Balentien broke the single season home run record in Japan. It seemed like a fun post at the time. Then, I got to thinking about how to turn this into a regular feature. After about five seconds it just popped into my head.
In the future, I’ll be taking a look at the home runs of Timber Rattlers players: When they hit them, off whom they hit them, where they hit them, and in what situations they hit them.
To kick off the inaugural feature – and as a tribute to the man who gave us Tater – here is every home run the late George Scott during his 1975 season with the Milwaukee Brewers.
#1 April 19 @ Cleveland: Top of the ninth inning off Jim Perry. This solo home run with one out put the Brewers up 2-0, a game they would win 3-0 behind a 2-hit shutout by Bill Champion.
#2 April 30 v. Detroit: Bottom of the eighth inning off Dave Lemanczyk. A two-run homer with one out gave the Brewers their final runs in a 6-2 victory.
#3 May 6 @ Detroit: Top of the first inning off Joe Coleman. A two-run home run with one out put Milwaukee up 2-0, but the Brewers would lose 4-2.
#4 May 8 @ Detroit: Top of the fourth inning off Vern Ruhle. A solo home run with two outs made it 1-0 Milwaukee, but the Tigers rallied for a 6-4 win.
#5 May 28 vs. Chicago (AL): Top of the sixth inning off Stan Bahnsen. A two-run home run pulled the Brewers to within 9-2…on the way to a 9-3 loss.
#6 May 31 vs. Kansas City: Bottom of the third inning off Dennis Leonard. A two-run home run with two outs. Darrell Porter had homered to lead off the inning. Scott’s homer put Milwaukee in front 4-2, but the Royals went on to a 7-5 victory.
#7 June 2 @ Oakland: Top of the sixth inning off Vida Blue. A two-run home run with two outs tied the game 3-3. The Brewers got a run in the eighth on an RBI single by Robin Yount. Milwaukee would win 6-3.
#8 June 3 @ Oakland: Top of the first inning off Jim Perry. A two-out solo homer gave the Brewers a 1-0 lead. The Brewers would win the game 5-4 after falling behind 4-1. Reggie Jackson also homered in this game for the Athletics.
#9 June 12 vs. Oakland: Bottom of the seventh off Jim Todd. A two-run home run with no outs gave the Brewers a 7-3 lead. Scott was the first Brewers Todd faced. He had taken over on the mound after Vida Blue gave up a leadoff single to Johnny Briggs to start the seventh at County Stadium. Brewers would hold on for a 9-7 win.
#10 June 13 vs. California: Bottom of the fourth off Dave Sells. A two-run home run with two outs scores Robin Yount and caps a four run frame to give the Brewers a 9-2 lead on the way to a 10-2 win.
#11 June 24 vs. Detroit (Game 2): Bottom of the sixth off Lerrin LaGrow. A one out solo home run tied the game 1-1. The Brewers won 4-2.
#12 June 25 vs. Detroit: Bottom of the fifth off Ike Brookens. A solo shot to start the fifth to give the Brewers a 5-3 lead.
#13 June 25 vs. Detroit: Bottom of the seventh off Ike Brookens. A solo shot to start the seventh to five the Brewers a 7-5 lead. Brewers won 7-6 in Boomer’s first multi homer game of the season and his sixth tater against the Tigers.
#14 July 2 vs. Boston (Game 1): Bottom of the ninth off Rick Wise. A two-run homer with two outs pulled the Brewers to within 6-2. Bobby Darwin followed with a homer to make it 6-3. But, Wise finished off the complete game win for the Red Sox.
#15 July 6 @ Detroit (Game 2): Top of the first off Lerrin LaGrow. A two-out solo home run – his seventh home run off the Tigers in 1975 – put the Brewers up 1-0. The Tigers won 11-2 behind three homers off Pete Broberg in the second inning. Future Brewers outfielder Ben Oglivie would hit a two-run home run in that inning.
#16 July 8 @ Kansas City: Top of the seventh off Dennis Leonard. This leadoff home run was the only run of the game for the Brewers. At the time, it made the score 8-1. The Royals won 9-1.
#17 July 19 @ Chicago (AL): Top of the fourth inning off Jesse Jefferson. This was another home run to lead off an inning for Scott. The homer got the Brewers on the scoreboard. But four unearned runs by the White Sox in the bottom of the second inning had Milwaukee in a 4-0 hole before Scott’s homer. Bonus Foxes tie-in: Goose Gossage pitched the final 3-1/3 innings without allowing a hit to pick up the save.
#18 July 20 @ Chicago (AL) (Game two): Top of the ninth inning off Bill Gogolewski. Here’s another home run to lead off an inning. The White Sox had a 10-4 lead before this homer.
#19 July 22 vs. Kansas City (Game two): Bottom of the first inning off Al Fitzmorris. A two-run homer with one out put the Brewers up 2-0. Don Money, who would homer later in the game, had reached on an error just before this tater.
#20 July 24 vs. Baltimore: Bottom of the fifth inning off Wayne Garland. A one-out solo home run gave the Brewers a 4-2 lead. Milwaukee hit four other homers in this game – two for Don Money, one for Hank Aaron, and one for Gorman Thomas – but lost 10-7 to the Orioles.
#21 July 27 vs. Baltimore (Game two): Bottom of the eighth inning off Dyar Miller. A two-run home run with no outs drove in Charlie Moore and gave the Brewers a 6-0 lead. The Orioles scored SIX runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game. Baltimore would score five runs in the top of the tenth and beat the Crew 11-6. Really.
#22 August 5 vs. New York (AL): Bottom of the fifth inning off Catfish Hunter. Scott’s two-out, two-run home run gave the Brewers a 3-1 lead. However, Chris Chambliss homered in the seventh and Bobby Bonds singled in a run to tie the game. Then, Bonds would hit a solo homer off Tom Murphy in the top of the ninth and the Yankees won 4-3.
#23 August 6 vs. Boston: Bottom of the fourth inning off Jim Burton. The solo homer with one out by Boomer made the score 1-0. The Brewers took a 2-0 lead into the eighth. But, Boston scored a run in the eighth and four in the ninth to beat Milwaukee 5-2.
#24 August 10 vs. Texas: Bottom of the sixth inning off Jim Umbarger. There were two outs and none on base when Scott hit this home run to put the Brewers up 7-4, the final score of the game. August 10, 1975 was a pretty good night for Boomer. He went 4-for-4 with three RBI.
#25 August 11 @ Minnesota: Top of the third inning off Bill Butler. This leadoff home run by Scott was followed by a Hank Aaron home run. The back-to-back blasts put the Brewers up 6-3. Scott also tripled in the game, but the Brewers lost 8-7 at Minnesota.
#26 August 15 @ Oakland: Top of the third inning off Vida Blue. George Scott doubled Milwaukee’s lead from 2-0 to 4-0 with a one out, two-run homer.
#27 August 15 @ Oakland: Top of the seventh inning off Jim Todd. Another two-run homer for a multi-homer game for Scott. This one with no outs after Bill Sharp reached on an error by Todd. The Brewers took an 8-3 lead there and went on to win 8-4 when Jim Colborn retired Phil Garner to end the game for a complete game.
#28 September 7 vs. Boston (Game two): Bottom of the fifth inning off Dick Pole. Milwaukee was down 2-1 with one out. Scott hit a three-run dinger and the Brewers were up 4-2.
#29 September 13 @ Boston (Game one): Top of the fourth inning off Rick Wise. Oh, look, another homer to lead off an inning for Scott. This leadoff home run tied the game 2-2 and jump-started a big six run inning for the Brewers. Milwaukee won 9-6.
#30 September 15 @ Boston: Top of the eighth inning off Dick Pole. A leadoff homer for Scott got the Brewers to within 9-5 and got him to home run #30 on the season. Reggie Jackson, who is leading the AL in homers, has been stuck on 31 home runs since September 6.
#31 September 20 @ Baltimore: Top of the eighth inning off Jim Palmer. A leadoff home run got the Brewers to within 4-2. Milwaukee tied the game 4-4 with two runs in the top of the ninth – with Scott driving in Darrell Porter with two out. But, the Orioles won with a two-out RBI double by Paul Blair in the bottom of the ninth. Reggie had hit his 32nd home run on September 16.
#32 September 22 @ Cleveland: Top of the sixth inning off Jim Bibby. Scott hits a leadoff home run in to tie the game 2-2.
#33 September 22 @ Cleveland: Top of the ninth inning off Tom Buskey. This was a two-out solo home run to give the Brewers a 6-5 lead. Unfortunately, Oscar Gamble drove in two runs with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth and Cleveland won 7-6. Scott took over the AL lead in home runs from Jackson who was still at 32.
#34 September 24 @ Cleveland: Top of the second inning off Fritz Peterson. A three-run home run with one out made it 5-0 and knocked Peterson out of the game. The Brewers won the game 10-3. However, Reggie Jackson hit a pair of home runs in his game against the White Sox to even the home run race at 34-34.
#35 September 26 vs. Detroit: Bottom of the third inning off Ray Bare. This two-out solo home run made it 1-0 Milwaukee.
#36 September 26 vs. Detroit: Bottom of the seventh inning off Ray Bare. This was a two-out, two-run home run put the Brewers in front 3-0. That would be the final score as Pete Broberg tosses a six-hit shutout of the Tigers. That’s also homer number NINE off the Tigers in the 1975 season for George Scott.
He would hit five against Boston, his once and future team, and five against Oakland.
Home run #36 would be the final home run of the season for George Scott. He went into the final day of the season holding a 36-34 edge over Mr. October for the home run title. Then, Reggie hit a home run in his first at bat on September 28 and again in the seventh, which happened to be his final at bat of the regular season, to tie Boomer for the home run title of 1975.
Time to start regular posting again on the blog after a few days away from the keyboard.
This week’s alumni post takes a look at the Minor League regular season stats of Rattlers alumni. There are a lot of former Rattlers on this list. In an effort to shorten that list a bit, I have made a few ground rules.
The player must not have appeared in a major league game (Except in one case)
The player’s stats will be from his highest level
The player must not be in the Brewers system
If the player spent time with two teams at the same level, both will be included.
Hitters stats will be Games; AVG/OBP/SLG; HR; RBI
Pitchers stats will be Games, Games Started, Record; (SVsif any); ERA; IP; BB:K
Denny Almonte (’08) Triple-A Tacoma: 28G; .163/.212/.315; 3HR, 9RBI
Leury Bonilla (’07) Triple-A Tacoma: 42G; .254/.312/.331; 2HR, 7RBI
Daniel Carroll (’08) Single-A Rome; 36G; .277/.318/.395; 1HR, 17RBI
Jeff Clement (’05): Triple-A Rochester; 123G; .220/.291/.388; 16HR, 70RBI
Juan Diaz (’08): Triple-A Columbus; 122G; .242/.317/.348; 8HR; 45RBI
Joe Dunigan (’08): Triple-A Tacoma; 25G; .193/280/.375; 4HR, 11RBI
Cutter Dykstra (’10): Single-A Potomac; 107G; .283/.413/.388; 4HR, 43RBI
Robbie Garvey (’11): Single-A Rancho Cucamonga; 19G; .255/.415/.294; 0HR, 6RBI
Erik Komatsu (’09): Triple-A Syracuse; 9G; .160/.250/.160; 0HR, 0RBI
Alex Liddi (’08): Triple-A Tacoma; 59G; .263/.322/..454; 11HR; 43RBI
Alex Liddi (’08): Triple-A Norfolk; 49G; .222/.269/.378; 4HR; 22RBI
Carlos Maldonado (’99); Triple-A Syracuse; 14G; .098/.159/.098; 0HR, RBI
Israel Nunez (’08); Triple-A Yucatan; 12G; .308/.333/.385; 0HR, 3RBI
Israel Nunez (’08): Triple-A Campeche; 3G; .250/..400/.250; 0HR, 2RBI
Oscar Ramirez (’00): Triple-A Norte; 38G, .290/.369/.458; 2HR, 13RBI
Oscar Ramirez (’00): Triple-A Minatitlan; 20G; .267/.302/.433; 2HR, 9RBI
Kalian Sams (’07): Triple-A Tuscon; 24G; .160/.263/.260; 1HR, 3RBI
Mike Wilson (’05): Triple-A Tucson; 76G; .291/.354/.455; 7HR; 42RBI
Nate Adcock (’08): Triple-A Omaha; 10G; 9GS; 3-4, 7.09ERA; 47.0IP, 23:28
Nate Adcock (’08): Triple-A Reno; 16G; 0GS; 5-2, 6.38ERA; 66.1IP; 27:41
Austin Bibens-Dirkx (’06): Double-A New Hampshire; 12G; 10GS; 3-4, 1.92 65.2IP; 17:57
Ryan Feierabend (’04): Triple-A Round Rock; 24G; 16GS; 6-5, 3.66ERA; 120.1IP; 33:79
Thomas Keeling (’11): Double-A Mississippi; 29G; 0GS; 1-2, 5.68ERA; 25.1IP; 28:17
Brett Lorin (’08): Triple-A Reno; 19G; 0GS; 0-2, 1SV, 3.34ERA; 29.2IP; 11:21
Efrain Nieves (’10): Single-A Dunedin; 7G, 4GS; 2-2, 5.49ERA; 19.2IP; 7:13
Edward Paredes (’08): Double-A Akron; 6G, 0GS; 0-1, 8.10ERA; 6.2IP; 3:12
Michael Pineda (’08): Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre; 6G, 6GS; 1-1, 3.86ERA; 23.1IP; 6:26
Adrian Rosario (’11): Double-A Binghamton; 6G, 0GS; 0-0, 10.13ERA; 8.0IP; 12:9
Ryan Rowland-Smith (’03): Triple-A Pawtucket; 37G, 0GS; 7-0, 1SV, 1.55ERA; 52.1IP; 15:45
Juan Sandoval (’03): Triple-A Durham; 12G, 2GS; 1-1, 3.13ERA; 23.0IP; 5:16
Justin Souza (’08): Triple-A Toledo; 12G, 0GS; 0-1, 10.29ERA; 14.0IP; 8:13
Justin Thomas (’06): Triple-A Sacramento; 16G, 16GS; 3-6, 4.48ERA; 84.1IP; 34:68
Sean White (’07): Triple-A Albuquerque; 34G, 7GS; 6-6, 3.51ERA; 74.1IP; 43:43
Fabian Williamson (’07): Single-A Bakersfield; 7G, 7GS; 1-4, 6.61ERA; 32.2IP; 19:37
Former Timber Rattlers outfielder Wladimir Balentien broke the old single-season home run record in Japan with his 56th homer. Then, he hit another home run later in the game to give him 57.
From the Japan Times:
As soon as Wladimir Balentien’s bat made contact with Daiki Enokida’s fastball there was no doubt: Japan had just crowned a new home run king.
And the new king’s first decree was that his record total wasn’t high enough yet.
Balentien set the NPB single-season record with his 56th home run of year in the first inning, then hit No. 57 in his next at-bat of the Tokyo Yakult Swallows’ 9-0 win over the Hanshin Tigers on Sunday night at Jingu Stadium.
“I feel so relieved right now,” Balentien said. “Lot of emotions. Just to get this is something unbelievable. This is (something) that nobody was able to do for 49 years. For me to do it, I can’t even explain what I’m feeling right now.”
The 29-year-old Curacao native broke a four-way tie with Japanese baseball legend Sadaharu Oh, Tuffy Rhodes, and Alex Cabrera, who all have 55, to stand alone as the new record holder.
“It’s amazing that he’s homered at a pace of about once every two games,” Oh said in a statement. “This is far beyond a new NPB record and an overwhelming number. I want to enjoy how far he can take it over the next 18 games with the fans.”
Meanwhile in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, former Timber Rattlers first baseman Sean Halton hits a game winning home run to beat the Cincinnati Reds!
With nothing left to play for themselves, the Milwaukee Brewers have fully embraced the role of spoiler over the last month.
That never-say-die attitude was on full display Sunday afternoon at Miller Park when they overcame a poor start by Yovani Gallardo to score five times in the final three innings.
The ninth was especially exciting, with Carlos Gomez robbing Jay Bruce of a go-ahead home run at the center-field wall in the top half and rookie Sean Halton belting a one-out, walk-off homer off Zach Duke in the bottom half to cap a 6-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
“I’ve had a couple (walk-offs, in the minor leagues), but nothing comes close to this one,” said Halton. “Especially against a team that’s playing well and in the hunt. We’ve been playing that spoiler role lately, and hopefully we continue that the next couple weeks.”
Since, Todd Rosiak’s story mentioned the catch by Gomez….
The other news was from Adam McCalvy’s blog post that notes all of the players that will be taking part during instructional league in Arizona. Rattlers manager Matt Erickson will be in charge of a team down there.
Add the fall instructional league to Brewers prospect Jason Rogers’ busy schedule.
Rogers and top 2013 Draft picks Devin Williams and Tucker Neuhaus highlight the list of players reporting Sunday to Maryvale Baseball Park for an instructional program that gets underway Monday morning. Rogers, who manned first base at Double-A Huntsville this season, will work a bit at third base before primarily playing left field in the Arizona Fall League as the Brewers increase his versatility for 2014.
Fifty-three players in all are listed on the Brewers’ instructional league roster — 42 on the regular roster and 11 more on an advanced roster. They include 20 of the team’s 2013 First Year Player Draft picks, and eight players from MLB.com’s list of the top 20 Brewers prospects: outfielder Tyrone Taylor (No. 4), shortstop Orlando Arcia (No. 6), outfielder Victor Roache (No. 8), right-hander Williams (No. 9), catcher Clint Coulter (No. 11), infielder Neuhaus (No. 13), and right-handers Drew Gagnon (No. 15) and Damien Magnifico (No. 19).
Also participating are shortstop Franly Mallen and outfielder Nicolas Pierre, who received record-setting bonuses in the Dominican Republic in July.
The full list is available at that post. There are a lot of former (and future) Timber Rattlers on that list.
Some of those players are still playing with the Helena Brewers. Helena lost Game One of the best-of-three Pioneer League Championship Series at Idaho Falls on Saturday.
The first game of the Pioneer League Championship Series featured a championship caliber pitching performance from each side. Jonathan Dziedzic and a trio of Idaho Falls relievers out dueled Anthony Banda and Tristan Archer as the Chukars beat the Brewers 2-1 on Saturday to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
Dzidezic picked up the win after limiting the Brewers to just two runs in six innings. He struck out eight and walked one.
Josiel Martinez allowed an unearned run in the seventh and Glenn Sparkman relived him in the eighth and struck out three in 1.2 innings.
Kyle Bartsch faced just one batter, pinch hitter Jalen Harris, and struck him out to close out the game and earn the save.
Banda kept the Brewers in the game as he allowed two runs on five hits in six innings. Archer allowed no runs in two frames.
Game Two is tonight in Helena. Go, Brewers!
Lastly, the Midwest League season came to an end on Saturday night in Davenport, Iowa. The Quad Cities River Bandits swept the South Bend Silver Hawks in the best-of-five Championship Series to win the MWL Pennant for the first time since….2011.
Josh Hader isn’t even old enough to legally drink the champagne that was being splashed around the Quad-Cities River Bandits dressing room Saturday night.
He was more than happy just to wear some of it.
A little more than six weeks after being traded from his hometown Baltimore Orioles to the Houston Astros organization, Hader helped put the finishing touches on the River Bandits’ second championship season in three years.
The slender 19-year-old left-hander shut out the South Bend Silver Hawks on three little singles through seven innings as the Bandits completed a sweep of the Midwest League championship series with a 4-2 victory in front of a lively crowd of 3,607 at Modern Woodmen Park.
Hader, who went 2-0 in just five appearances with the Bandits in the regular season, also went 2-0 in the postseason and he was never in any sort of serious trouble Saturday. He allowed only four baserunners, only one of whom got as far as second base. He also struck out eight Silver Hawks.
I stopped in at the library today. I needed to replenish my supply of stories for the return of Flashback Friday. (Tentatively set for September 27 – two weeks from today).
This ad screamed at me as I looked through the early 1991 Appleton Foxes season for some ideas. I did put it up on twitter, but to share it with everyone…..
I would like to know how they would enforce this Everyone Must Root for the Foxes policy. They probably could have picked out who was not rooting for the Foxes for one of those dates. Sadly, the attendance for a doubleheader on frigid May 6, 1991 was 74. As in 74.
Nathan Baliva of the Chiefs let me now the following information: Pitcher David Swartzbaugh was – not including a rehab appearance by Rick Sutcliffe – the only future major leaguer on that 1991 Chiefs team.
Flashback Friday will need to take a look at some of the other Foxes/Papermakers newspaper ads…at least on the blog.
Wladimir Balentien played for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 2004. He hit 15 home runs in 76 games between April 8 and July 31 for the Rattlers that season.
As of Wednesday, he has 55 home runs this season for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. That total ties him for the single season record for home runs in Japan.
Balentien sent a fastball deep to right in the sixth for his 55th home run of the season which tied the NPB single-season record held by [Sadaharu] Oh, Tuffy Rhodes and Alex Cabrera during the Tokyo Yakult Swallows’ 6-2 loss to the Carp on Wednesday at Jingu Stadium.
“It’s a great feeling,” Balentien said. “It’s something that was a long time coming. To get it done at this point, with a chance to get some more with so many games left and to hit at Jingu, to hit it to right field where the fans are, I couldn’t ask for anything better than that.”
Balentien moved into rarefied air, joining Japanese baseball great Oh, who first set the current record in 1964, Rhodes (2001) and Cabrera (2002) as the only players to hit 55 home runs in a single season.
“It’s a special feeling,” Balentien said. “I never imagined myself in that situation with all those great players, legendary players. To get my name on that list, only 29 years old, that’s something very special.”
I thought today would be a good day to look back at each of his 15 home runs with the Timber Rattlers in 2004.
#1 April 13 @ Burlington – Top of the 4th inning off Ambiorix Burgos. A solo home run with two outs that put the Rattlers up 2-0. Wisconsin would win the game 5-3. Wisconsin had been no-hit one night earlier by the Bees duo of Dustin Hughes and Jake Mullis.
#2 May 15 vs. Cedar Rapids – Bottom of the 7th inning off Aaron Pullin. A two-run homer with one out. The Rattlers were down 8-0 when Balentien hit this home run. He didn’t homer between April 13 and April 30. Then, he went on the disabled list. He appeared as a defensive replacement in the game on May 14. The homer on May 15 was in his third at bat during his first full game off the DL.
#3 May 17 vs. Cedar Rapids – Bottom of the 2nd inning off Chris Hunter. A solo homer with one out. This one put the Timber Rattlers up 4-0.
#4 May 17 vs. Cedar Rapids – Bottom of the 8th inning off Allen Buckley. A three-run homer with two outs. His second home run of the game gave the Rattlers an 8-3 lead. Cedar Rapids had pulled to within 5-3 on a three-run home run by Matt Brown in the top of the eighth.
#5 May 22 vs. West Michigan – Bottom of the 2nd inning off Jordan Tata. A three-run homer with two outs. This home run tied the game 3-3.
#6 June 2 @ Lansing – Top of the 4th inning off Randy Wells. A solo home run with two outs. Balentien’s blast put the Rattlers up 4-0.
#7 June 4 @ Lansing – Top of the 9th inning off Adalberto Mendez. A two-run homer with two outs. This homer allowed the Rattlers to avoid a shutout, but the Rattlers still lost 7-2.
#8 June 17 @ Dayton – Top of the 6th inning off Josh Thigpen. A grand slam with no outs. This bases loaded tater gave the Rattlers a 9-1 lead. The Rattlers would win this game 15-14….in nine innings…and needed to score three runs in the top of the ninth to come back from a 14-12 deficit. That happened.
That’s the end his home runs in the first half of the season. Balentien batted 5th in the order for the first homer. He hit 8th…yes, EIGHTH… in the order for the rest of the half.
#9 June 26 vs. Peoria – Bottom of the 3rd inning off Jordan Pals. This leadoff home run put the Rattlers up 1-0. They would lose 2-1 when the Chiefs scored a run in the seventh and another in the eighth.
#10 June 29 vs. Dayton – Bottom of the 6th inning off David Shafer. A two-out solo home run gave Wisconsin a 4-0 lead.
#11 June 30 vs. Dayton – Bottom of the 6th inning off Trey Rice. A two-out, two-run homer put the Rattlers up 5-2. Wisconsin had a 5-4 lead going to the top of the ninth, but this guy by the name of Joey Votto hit a 2-run homer, his second two-run homer of the game. The final score wound up 8-6 in favor of the Dragons in ten innings.
#12 July 4 @ Kane County – Top of the 7th off JR Pickens. A leadoff homer pulled the Rattlers to within 3-2, but the Cougars won 5-2.
#13 July 15 vs. Cedar Rapids – Bottom of the 6th off David Austin. A two-run homer with one out made it 5-1. This game started on July 3, but was suspended by a bad storm with one out and a runner at third in the top of the fourth. The game restarted on July 15.
#14 July 17 @ South Bend – Top of the 3rd off Mark Rosen. A leadoff home run in the 3rd inning gave the Rattlers a 1-0 lead.
#15 July 26 vs. South Bend – Bottom of the 5th off Mitch Stetter. A two-run home run with one out put the Rattlers up 2-0.
Balentien hit eighth in the order for the entire second half of the season.
He played his final game with the Timber Rattlers at Battle Creek on July 31. He went 1-for-4 with a double in that game. My memory is a little foggy here. Balentien did not play another game in the Mariners system until August 28 for Inland Empire. I think that he went on the disabled list and was sent to Arizona to rehab and when he was ready, he was promoted to the California League. I think.
Balentien would hit a pair of home runs in ten games for the 66ers after the promotion.
I have always wondered if Balentien would have made a run at the Timber Rattlers home run record. He was at 15 over 76 games with the team during that 2004 season. There were still about 35 games left to play, Oh, he struck out…a lot – 77 Ks in 260 over those 76 games with the Rattlers. His slashline with Wisconsin was .277/.315/.519. He walked only 12 times – twice he was intentionally passed – during that season with Wisconsin. But, he could crush the baseball.
Now, he’s about to write his name in the record books in Japan. Congratulations.
We are having our year-end meetings as a front office staff today. I don’t have a lot of time for a post as we have just taken a break for lunch.
We also talked about trying stuff that we have never tried. Here is a video of something that we never tried before this past season.
Consider this the pilot episode of The Mehring Mile. This is an interview with Matt Erickson from a couple of weeks after the team returned from the Bowling Green/Dayton road trip. There wasn’t enough time to do another episode during the season, but I think we will make time to do this more next year.
The joke I heard after this was shown on the video board was that the interview segment should be called Motion Sickness w/ Mehring.
Yeah. We’ll work on that, too.
The Midwest League Championship Series is set, South Bend will represent the East and Quad Cities will represent the West.
Fort Wayne pitching coach Burt Hooton had barely reached the dugout steps after talking with pitcher Joseph Ross about what to do with South Bend slugger Brandon Drury with runners at second and third and two out in the fifth inning, when Drury made the TinCaps regret their decision.
Drury swatted a three-run homer that rocketed off of the pro shop’s brick wall behind the left-field fence, sending South Bend on its way to a 9-5 Minor League Baseball victory and the Midwest League’s Eastern Division championship.
The Silver Hawks won the playoff series 2-1 against its Indiana rival. South Bend’s pennant is the seventh in franchise history. It won Midwest League crowns in 1989, 1993 and 2005, and was runner-up in 1990, 2001 and 2008.
Rio Ruiz, Teoscar Hernandez and Carlos Correa ensured that victory for Quad-Cities in the deciding game of the Midwest League Western Division Championship Series was as easy as 1-2-3.
Each belted home runs as part of a power surge which carried the River Bandits to a 9-5 victory over Beloit on Monday at Pohlman Field, sending Quad-Cities to the Midwest League Championships for the second time in three seasons.
The River Bandits matched a season high with 17 hits, including four doubles and two triples in nine in addition to the three homers which came during the game’s first three innings and led Quad-Cities to a 5-0 lead which went untouched as Daniel Minor recorded his second straight six-inning start on the mound.
Note on that article states that this is the eleventh time the Quad Cities franchise has made the MWL Championship Series in 54 years.
Good luck to both.
Wladimir Balentien played for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 2004. He hit 15 home runs in just 76 games with the Rattlers during that season.
In case you’ve missed the discussion over the last few weeks, Balentien is making a run at the single season record in Japan.
And who is the slugger who might soon usurp [Sadaharu] Oh? Wladimir Balentien, from a tiny island in the Caribbean.
“I’m going for the top,” Balentien, a native of Curaçao, in the Netherlands Antilles, told reporters after hitting his 52nd home run of the season last week for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. “I always want to be No. 1.”
Balentien, a hulking outfielder who once played for the Seattle Mariners and the Cincinnati Reds, has been unstoppable this season. Though he missed the season’s first 12 games with an injury, he has averaged a home run every two games and is hitting a league-best .340 with 111 runs batted in.
He is the lone highlight for Yakult, which languishes in last place in Japan’s Central League.
That story was written before Balentien hit home run #53 for the Yakult Swallows over the weekend. Sadaharu Oh’s record is 55. There is just over a month to go in the season over in Japan. The 2013 season is the third year Balentien has played for Yakult. He hit 31 home runs in 2011 and 2012.
I decided to see if there were other ex-Timber Rattlers playing in Japan.
I found two others that are still playing – and one who made two starts – over there.
Jorge Sosa had just made the switch to being a pitcher from an outfielder when he joined the Rattlers near the end of the 2001 season. He was in the majors in 2002 after Tampa took him in the Rule 5 draft.
He’s with the Yokohama Bay Stars this year after spending last season with the Chunichi Dragons.
Bryan LaHair joined the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers for the second half of the 2004 season. He wound up leading the team in doubles that year. LaHair was an All-Star with the Cubs in 2012, but since Anthony Rizzo was ready, there was no spot for LaHair in Chicago this year.
He is playing for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League in 2013,
Justin Thomas was 5-5 in eleven starts for the Timber Rattlers in 2006. He made it to the big leagues with the Mariners, Pirates, Yankees, and Red Sox. Thomas started the 2013 season with Sacramento, the PCL affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, but was let go in June. Thomas signed with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters of the JPL and made two starts between July 31 and August 7.
There were a few other interesting names on that I found in Japan.
Vinny Rottino - of the Racine Rottino’s – has played 37 games with the Orix Buffaloes.
Casey McGehee is with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. McGehee has 24 homers and 81 RBI so far this season.