Results tagged ‘ Appleton Baseball History ’

They Might Be Giants – October 30, 2014

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.

Jackson, who was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, managed the Appleton Papermakers in 1952 and 1953.

Jackson Travis Plaque 258__0

Managed the Appleton Papermakers in 1952 and 1953.

The SABR biography on Jackson is a good read, too.

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,  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.

This is great!

Boost the Home Team….That is great!

Alumni Birthdays:
Corby Heckman (’95) – 31
Manny Parra (’11) – 32
Craig Anderson (’00) – 34
Tom Poquette (Manager, ’92) – 63
Mark Tanner (’73) – 64

Craig Anderson ('00) is pitching well in his homeland.

Craig Anderson (’00) is with the Sydney Blue Sox for the Australian Baseball League this season. They open the season tomorrow.

Tom Poquette, the manager of the Foxes in 1992.

Tom Poquette, the manager of the Foxes in 1992.

Always a hit! – October 29, 2014


I’ll explain in a bit.

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.

Vegetable Garden

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.

I'll explain in a bit.

Or is that…All sorts of coal!?!?!?

Great giveaway.

Great giveaway.

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.

Start searching!

Alumni Birthdays:
Marcus Sturdivant (’94) – 41
Kerwin Moore (’90) – 44
Bill Gilmore (’87) – 51

Kerwin Moore


Flashback Friday Supplemental – December 6, 2013

Flashback Friday is up on the main website.  It deals with the 1965 announcement that the Foxes would be the Midwest League affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.

One of the reasons given for the White Sox partnership with Appleton’s professional baseball team was the proximity to a Boys’ Camp run by the White Sox in Brothertown, Wisconsin.

There is a news story in the Milwaukee Journal from August 20, 1964 available on Google News about the camp receiving the blessing of the WIAA and other high school athletic associations around the Midwest.

The amazing thing about this story is that Bart Starr and Jerry Kramer tried for a camp for boys in Wisconsin during 1963 and received reluctant approval from the WIAA along with outright rejection from Minnesota, Michigan, and Illinois.  They abandoned the project.

The White Sox ran some ads for the camp in the Foxes program over the years.  I have scanned in the ads from 1967 through 1970 to give you an idea of what went on there:


This is the first advertisement from a Foxes program that I could find.  It would be in the second year of the affiliation between the Foxes and the White Sox.


That photo doesn’t even get the whole complex.


They put a photo of the camp counselors…directors….coaches…staff in this ad.  But, they did not identify those in the picture.


Three three-week sessions in 1968.

So…What happened on a typical day at the camp?

That's a lot of activity.

That’s a lot of activity.


A few minor changes to the ad for this program from the previous year.

Not much

Two two-week sessions and two three-week sessions.

The director of the camp was named George Sobek.  He has a BR-Reference Bullpen page.

Sobek was later a Chicago White Sox scout from 1950 to 1984, signing Denny McLain (most notably), Steve Trout, and Mike Squires. He also managed several seasons in the Sox organization. He also scouted for the San Francisco Giants from 1985 to 1988.

Sobek was the athletic director and baseball coach at Thornton Fractional North High School in Calumet City, IL for 26 years and he directed the White Sox Boys Camp in Chilton, WI.


They didn’t mention the scout part of his job with the White Sox.


This ad added a few more photos of the actual activities at the camp.


Only three sessions for 1970, but they allowed 9-year-olds to attend.

The Boys’ Camp is no more.  Keuler’s Bar & Grill was sold in 1984.  BUT, Gobbler’s Knob is still around!

Two things:

I would love to see the Full Color Brochure that was used to promote the camp.

I want to take a trip over to Brothertown in the near future.

Flashback Friday Supplement – 1969 Foxes Bus photo

If you caught today’s Flashback Friday on the Timber Rattlers website, you saw a cropped photo of the 1969 Appleton Foxes.  They are posing before heading out on their final road trip of the season.

Here’s that whole photo  – with the caption to identify all the people. 

Click for the full size photo. (Post-Crescent Photo)

Click for the full size photo. (Post-Crescent Photo)

My only wishes are that it would be to have the color photo….And to see if we could get the Timber Rattlers players and coaches of 2014 to wear matching outfits on a bus ride.

Everyone Must Root for the Foxes

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.

Timber Rattlers All-Stars since 1996

The Midwest League All-Star game is tonight at Dayton.  You can follow it on MiLB.TV or the Dragons radio call on Game time is 6:00pm CDT.

The 2013 Timber Rattlers are sending three players and an entire coaching staff to the game.

The only season that I am missing is1995 and I hope to do that this off season.   So, for now, here is an incomplete list of Timber Rattlers All-Stars.  Starters are in bold:

David Ortiz
Jose Amado
Joel Ramire
Luis Tinoco
Scott Smith
Brent Iddon
Greg Wooten
Mike Goff – Manager of the West (Lost 10-4)

1997 (The Rattlers players were on the East team):
Dennis Stark
Joe Mays
Luis Figueroa
Jason Regan
Gary Varsho – Manager of the West (Lost 6-5)

Luis Figeuroa
– 3B

Ryan Anderson
Lesli Brea
Gil Meches
Joel Pineiro
Mike Marchiano

First Rattler to start in an All-Star Game.

First Rattler to start in an All-Star Game.

Chris Mears
Melqui Torres
Aaron Looper
Enmanuel Ulloa

Shawn McCorkle – 1B
Chris Snelling – OF
Aquilino Lopez

Jamie Bubela – OF
Mark Carroll
Pedro Liriano
Jamal Strong
Rett Johnson
Kevin Olore
Chad Wiles

Shin-soo Choo – OF
Greg Dobbs – 3B
Corey Freeman
Juan Doñe
Ramon Royce

Rene Rivera – C
Bobby! Livingston – P
Corey Harrington
TJ Bohn
Matt Hagen
TA Fulmer
Ryan Rowland-Smith

Ryan Feierabend (Winning Pitcher)
Brian Stitt

Matt Tuiasosopo
Asdrubal Cabrera
Josh Womack
Yung Chi Chen
Rob Johnson
Cibney Bello
Chad Fillinger
Scott Steinmann – Manager (Lost 4-2)

Ron Garth – 3B
Casey Craig
Edgar Guaramato
Harold Williams

Andy Barb
Joe Kantakevich

Edilio Colina – 2B
Juan Diaz
Phillippe Aumont
Travis Mortimore

Corey Kemp
Brett Lawrie
Jim Henderson
Daniel Meadows
Wily Peralta

Khris Davis – OF
Scooter Gennett – 2B
Jake Odorizzi
Nick Bucci

Chris Dennis – DH
Mike Walker
Austin Ross
Tyler Thornburg

Greg Hopkins – 2B
Rafael Neda
Yadiel Rivera
Jason Rogers
Drew Gagnon
Seth Harvey
Tommy Toledo
Mark Williams

Austin Blaski
Ryan Gibbard
Damien Magnifico
Matt Erickson – Manager

Decorations around the ballpark

When you come out to a game at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium this season – and there will be games at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium this season — you will see some new things.

I am not talking about the club level and the suites and the other renovations around the stadium.  I’m talking about the decorations.  The Wall of Fame came down because of the renovations, but that is just temporary.  To make sure there wasn’t just a blank concrete block wall when you walk into the ballpark, we hung the most recent championship banners of Appleton Professional Baseball:

The Foxes Banners from 1982-1984 and the 2012 Timber Ratters Pennant.

The Foxes Pennants from 1982-1984 and the 2012 Timber Ratters Pennant.

There are some banners on the outside of the stadium.  We selected a group of former Timber Rattlers players who are either Brewers prospects or are currently with the Brewers.

Khris Davis

Khris Davis

April 11 2013 004

Wily Peralta

April 11 2013 007

Jim Henderson

Hiram Burgos

Hiram Burgos

Hunter Morris

Hunter Morris

Tyler Thornburg

Tyler Thornburg

Scooter Gennett

Scooter Gennett

April 11 2013 010

Yadiel Rivera

Mitch Haniger

Mitch Haniger

There are a few others, but you’ll just have to come out to the stadium to see who they are.

This is the part I really like.  This old photograph of Goodland Field from the days of the Appleton Papermakers is on the wall behind the registers in the new Snake Pit Team Store.  It is awesome.  Sadly, the location is not lit properly for a good photo to be taken.  Also – if you’ll remember – I am a bad photographer.

The light pole in foul territory cracks me up every time.

The light pole in foul territory cracks me up every time.

A closer look at the left side of the photo.

A closer look at the left side of the photo.

A closer look at the right side of the photo.

A closer look at the right side of the photo.

Look at the bat rack outside the dugout in the last picture.  Heck, look at the dugout in that last picture.  There are plenty of details in this photo on the wall.  When you come out to the team store, look at it and sees what grabs your attention. 

In case you missed it, the Rattlers were rained out again.  Thursday is the third straight game at home that has been rained out.  This weather….ugh.  I had to give the penguin the day off.  He was out enjoying this weather and wouldn’t check in with me.  Jerk.

However, Fang & Whiffer both got out in the elements to sing and dance and emote their fuzzy hearts out.  Enjoy:

Walkoff Wednesday by the Numbers & Deeds

It’s been a lot of fun looking back at the walkoff heroics of various Timber Rattlers players through the years.  Yeah, I guess it’s been fun to look back at the opposing team’s wins in that same fashion.  That’s what Walkoff Wednesday has been about.

Now is the time to break things down by team and by walkoff event from 1995-2012. 

Additionally, I will list the walkoff homers both for the Timber Rattlers and against the Timber Rattlers.  

At the bottom of this page there will be a link to every Walkoff Wednesday post of this offseason.

Timber Rattlers Walkoff Victories 1995-2012: 118
Opponent Walkoff Victories 1995-2012: 103

Wisconsin’s 118 Walkoff Events:
Single: 49
Double: 5
Triple: 1 (Michael Marseco – 4/22/09 v. Peoria)
HR: 27 (Includes three walkoff grand slams)
Opposing Team Error: 14
Wild Pitch: 8
Sacrifice Fly: 6
Bases Loaded Walk: 4
Fielder’s Choice: 2
Unknown: 2

Michael Marseco has the only walkoff triple in Timber Rattlers history.

Michael Marseco has the only walkoff triple in Timber Rattlers history.

Eleven of Wisconsin’s 118 Walkoff Victories have happened when the team was trailing heading into the plate appearance that led to the walkoff win.

Beloit: 17
Bowling Green: 0
Burlington: 10
Cedar Rapids: 7
Clinton: 8
Dayton: 3 
Fort Wayne: 5
Great Lakes: 3
Kane County: 15
Lake County: 0
Lansing: 8
Peoria: 12
Quad Cities: 9
South Bend: 10
West Michigan: 2

Rockford: 6
Michigan/Southwest Michigan/Battle Creek: 3

Beloit: 11
Bowling Green: 1
Burlington: 11
Cedar Rapids: 8
Clinton: 8
Dayton: 2
Fort Wayne: 5
Great Lakes: 1
Kane County: 16
Lake County: 2
Lansing: 3
Peoria: 9
Quad Cities: 8
South Bend: 2
West Michigan: 3

Rockford: 3
Michigan/Southwest Michigan/Battle Creek: 10


Mike Marchiano: 5
Nick Ramirez: 3
Ariel Durango: 3

All Time Leader in Walkoff Hits by a Timber Rattler.  All FIVE happened in 1998.

All Time Leader in Walkoff Hits by a Timber Rattler. All FIVE happened in 1998.


David Ortiz – June 8, 1996
Mike Burrows – May 11, 1997
Ramon Vazquez – August 30, 1997
Juan Silvestre – June 18, 1998
Mike Marchiano – July 13, 1998
Juan Silvestre – September 11, 1999 (Grand Slam)
Fernando Espino – September 16, 1999
Gorky Estrella – June 25, 2000 (Grand Slam)
Joe Rodriguez – April 13, 2001
John Castellano – May 15, 2001
Ariel Durango – June 12, 2001 (Grand Slam)
Sean Peless – April 16, 2002
TJ Bohn – April 27, 2003
Matt Tuiasosopo – April 13, 2005
Mike Wilson – September 9, 2005
Ron Garth – May 21, 2006
Johan Limonta – August 6, 2006
Curt Ledbetter – August 25, 2006
Andy Hargrove – May 13, 2007
Scott Robinson – May 17, 2008
Gavin Dickey – June 5, 2008
Brock Kjeldgaard – June 10, 2009
Mike Walker – April 17, 2011
Mike Brownstein – August 1, 2011
Greg Hopkins – April 25, 2012
Yadiel Rivera – June 10, 2012
Ben McMahan – July 18, 2012

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

Juan Silvestre is the only Rattler to have TWO walkoff home runs. One of those homers is one of three walkoff grand slams in Rattlers history.

Demond Smith (Cedar Rapids) – July 10, 1995
Bo Porter (Rockford) – August 2, 1996
Chris Haas (Peoria) – September 3, 1996
Jamie Lopiccolo (Beloit) – August 10, 1997
Greg Clark (Peoria) May 15, 2000
Ryan Gripp (Lansing) – August 11, 2000
Hunter Wyant (Kane County) – April 13, 2002
Eric Lis (Beloit) – April 11, 2006
Eli Tintor  (Beloit) – July 19, 2007
Dusty Coleman (Kane County) – May 21, 2009
Wang Wei Lin (Beloit) – May 3, 2010
Danny Rams (Beloit) – July 9, 2010
Virgil Hill (Quad Cities) – June 17, 2012
Zach Borenstein (Cedar Rapids) – July 6, 2012

Previous Walkoff Wednesdays:
Walkoff Wednesday (1995 season)

Walkoff Wednesday (1996 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (1997 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (1998 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (1999 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2000 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2001 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2002 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2003 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2004 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2005 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2006 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2007 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2008 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2009 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2010 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2011 Season)

Walkoff Wednesday (2012 Season)

Mehring Monday: More Cool Stuff

The pleas for old stuff seems to be working.  Jim Riedl dropped off a scrapbook from 1941 that includes many Papermakers photos.

Last week’s Flashback Friday covered a walkoff homer by Pat Seerey.  This week’s Mehring Monday covers all those glorious photos.

In the top photo: Several fedoras, lots, of ties, one cigarette, and either a hearing aid or an earpiece for a radio (Gentleman in the lower left corner) in attendance at Goodland Field for the 1941 opener.

In the bottom photo: Wisconsin State League President Herman D. White and Appleton Papermakers President William Van Dyke.

This photo shows Papermakers manager Eddie Dancisak and Appleton Junior Chamber of Commerce chairman Parker Schultz shaking hands before the first game of 1941.
Pat Seerey is the focus of the top three photos from The Milwaukee Journal.  On the lower left photo, Seerey is mobbed after his walkoff homer to beat Sheboygan.  The Goodland Field crowd goes wild after Seerey’s big hit in the lower right photo.
These were the players that showed up for Papermakers Spring Training at Goodland Field in 1941.
The Smith referred to in the photos below would be Red Smith.  Yes. The Red Smith of The Red Smith Banquet that is held in Appleton every January.
I love that the fans were so into the rivalry that they brought props!

This next image is the start of the “photographic ‘microscope'” The Milwaukee Journal put the Papermakers under during the 1941 season.
Top photo: 1941 when duffel bags were duffel bags!

Bottom photo: Guess where in Appleton this is.
Sadly, this is not a photo of Goodland Field.  This is the ballpark in Green Bay.
Photo on left: I think I saw this set up in a Three Stooges short.  Photo on right: This reminds me of when I used to play American Legion baseball.
Photo on left: Pat Seerey gets measured for a pair of shoes that he won after hitting a home run!  Photo on right: Seerey reads about his exploits on a teammate’s newspaper, the smartphone of it’s day.
This is Hal Irelan, a scout for Cleveland.  He is watching the game from way down the line in leftfield.  Irelan played 67 games for the Phillies in 1914 and managed in the minors, too.
The Papermakers get together for a team meal on the road.  I noted the Norman Rockwell feel to this photo when I tweeted it the other day.  What do you think?
This is from the end of the season as Pat Seerey ties that pair of shose he won.
Superstition led the Papermakers to not shave during a long winning streak towards the end of the 1941 season.  Here a few players get rid of their stubble.  Not the photos on the wall.  The editor writing the caption sure did.
Here are few of the players from early in the 1941 season.  Swede Erickson (2nd from right on the top row) is the grandfather of current Rattlers manager Matt Erickson.
Eight lads for the 1941 opener against Sheboygan!
This is a team photo from later in the 1941 season.  Note the caption again: Papermakers Entertain Ladies Tonight.

I hope you enjoyed the walk back to 1941. Keep those old photos and programs and memorabilia coming into the office!

Thank you, Bob Bruehl

Bob Bruehl stopped by the temporary offices of the Timber Rattlers on Monday with a folder and something else under his arm.  Mr. Bruehl, a bat boy for the Appleton Foxes in 1964, said that he was clearing some stuff out of his house and asked if we would like to have what he didn’t need anymore.

We saw what he had and we said yes.

If you remember this Mehring Monday column from this past December, we are looking for items from the history of Appleton baseball to help decorate the newly renovated Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium.  I would like to think that Mr. Bruehl read that column and decided to bring the items below in to us.  But, if he didn’t, that’s fine, too.

Thank you, sir.  We will find a place for these pieces of Appleton Baseball History.

Here is a photo of an old Foxes Seat Cushion and a 1984 Foxes program with some autographs.

John Cangelosi and Sal Rende signed the program.  Channel 5 and Valley Bank sponsored the seat cushion.

John Cangelosi and Sal Rende signed the program. Channel 5 and Valley Bank sponsored the seat cushion.

In the folder, were photos of Foxes teams from 1963, 1964, 1967, and 1969.  The teams of 1964, 1967, and 1969 won the Midwest League pennant.

The Foxes were an affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles at the time.

The Foxes were an affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles at the time.

Still an Orioles affiliate in 1964. But, what did Sparky Lyle do to deserve that?

Still an Orioles affiliate in 1964. But, what did Sparky Lyle do to deserve that?

The Foxes were affiliated with the Chicago White Sox in 1967.

The Foxes were affiliated with the Chicago White Sox in 1967.

The individual photos above the team photo are for players that could not be in the team photo due to military service or being assigned to - or promoted from - the team after the photo. was taken.

The individual photos above the team photo are for players that could not be in the team photo due to military service or being assigned to – or promoted from – the team after the photo. was taken.

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