Results tagged ‘ Appleton Baseball History ’

50 Years in 50 Days: 1998

Fifty years ago, Appleton Professional Baseball joined the Midwest League. As part of 50 Years in 50 Days, Rattler Radio is counting down to April 5 with a look back at each season of Appleton Professional Baseball team since 1962 (with a lot of help from MWLGuide.com and baseball-reference.com). The countdown to Opening Day, 2012 has reached 14.

14 Years Ago:
The Timber Rattlers had their best starting rotation ever and made the playoffs for the third straight season.

Ryan Anderson was on the cover of the '98 program.

TIMBER RATTLERS INFORMATION:
Name: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Affiliation: Seattle Mariners (6th Year)
Manager:  Gary Varsho (2nd Year)
First Half Record:  39-30 (1st, Central)
Second Half Record: 33-35 (3rd, Central)
Overall Record: 72-65

Future Major Leaguers:
Pitcher Leslie Brea (3-4, 2.76) in 49 games – no starts – with 12 saves & 86K in 58.2IP
Second Baseman Jermaine Clark hit .324 with six homers and 55RBI in 123 games
Pitcher Justin Kaye (6-2, 1.71) in 28 games – no starts – with nine saves and 79K in 47.1IP
Catcher Carlos Maldonado hit .174 with no homers and an RBI in seven games
Pitcher Gil Meche (8-7, 3.44) in 26 games – all starts – with 168 K in 149IP
Pitcher Joel Pineiro (8-4, 3.19) in 16 games – all starts – with 84K in 96.0IP
Pitcher Allan Simpson (3-5, 4.44) in 19 games – all starts – with 86K in 93.1IP
Pitcher Bob Wells (0-1, 3.00) in one game – a start – with 2K in 3IP [Rehab]

Category Leaders:
AVG: Jermaine Clark – .324
HR: Juan Silvestre & Harvey Hargrove – 15
RBI: Mike Marchiano – 74
SB: Ramon Valera – 52
OPS: Jermaine Clark – .877
WINS: Gil Meche & Joel Pineiro – 8
ERA: Ryan Anderson – 3.23
IP: Gil Meche – 149.0
SO: Gil Meche – 168
SV: Leslie Brea – 12

About That Rotation Stat: For most of the 1998 season, the starting rotation of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers was Gil Meche, Joel Pineiro, Ryan Anderson, Brandon Parker, and Allan Simpson.  Those five pitchers combined to strike out 642.  The entire Rattlers pitching staff struck out a total of 1,274 opposing batters.

The Next Unit:  Ryan Anderson had a very good year with the Timber Rattlers as one of the top prospects in all of baseball.

Ryan Anderson as a Timber Rattler in 1998.

1998 MWL Season:

The 1998 Magnet Schedule of the Timber Rattlers.

No changes from last season.

Divisions:
West: Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Clinton LumberKings, Quad City River Bandits,
Central: Beloit Snappers, Kane County Cougars, Peoria Chiefs, Rockford Cubbies, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
East: Fort Wayne Wizards, Lansing Lugnuts, Michigan Battle Cats, South Bend Silver Hawks, West Michigan Whitecaps

1998 MWL All-Star Game:
The West beat the East 7-4 at Clinton on June 23.

No Timber Rattlers started in the game, but there were five representatives.  Anderson, Brea, Meche, and Pineiro were the pitchers and Mike Marchiano was the lone position played selected to the team.

1998 MWL Postseason:
Eight teams made the playoffs: The Division winner in each half and two Wild Card teams

First Round (Best-of-three):
West Michigan 2, Michigan 1
Rockford 2, Wisconsin 1
Clinton 2, Quad City 1
Fort Wayne 2, Peoria 1

Second Round (Best-of-three):
West Michigan 2, Clinton 0
Rockford 2, Fort Wayne 0

Finals (Best-of-five):
West Michigan 3, Rockford 1

Gil Meche and Ryan Anderson had two amazing performances against Rockford in the playoffs.  Flashback Friday covered both games.  Here is the Anderson 18K gameHere is the Meche game.

1998 MWL Alum of Note:
Rick AnkielPeoria Chiefs

This would be from the pitching point of Ankiel's career and from the time when the Chiefs were affiliated with the Cardinals. Ankiel was 3-0 w/ 45K and 12BB in seven starts for the Chiefs in '98.

Matt EricksonKane County Cougars

I refuse to have a picture of the manager of the Timber Rattlers in a Cougars uniform on this blog. He did finish tied for third in the MWL batting race at .324.

1998 Brewers Farmhand of Note:
Bucky JacobsenBeloit Snappers

The legend of Bucky started in Beloit with a 27 homer, 100RBI season during 1998.

Opening Day, 2012 is April 5.  Get here soon!

50 Years in 50 Days: 1997

Fifty years ago, Appleton Professional Baseball joined the Midwest League. As part of 50 Years in 50 Days, Rattler Radio is counting down to April 5 with a look back at each season of Appleton Professional Baseball team since 1962 (with a lot of help from MWLGuide.com and baseball-reference.com). The countdown to Opening Day, 2012 has reached 15.

15 Years Ago:
The Timber Rattlers made the playoffs for the second consecutive season.

Cover of the 1997 Media Guide.

TIMBER RATTLERS INFORMATION:
Name: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Affiliation: Seattle Mariners (5th Year)
Manager:  Gary Varsho (1st Year)
First Half Record:  40-29 (1st, Central)
Second Half Record: 36-34 (2nd, Central)
Overall Record: 76-63

The 1997 Timber Rattlers wore Papermakers jerseys on Turn Back the Clock Days & posed in front of some cool classic cars for this team photo. Added 3/31/12

Future Major Leaguers:
Pitcher Brian Fitzgerald (3-1, 1.94) 41 games – no starts – with 10 saves & 68K in 69.2IP
Pitcher Brian Fuentes (6-7, 3.56) 22 games – all starts – with 153K in 118.2IP
Pitcher Justin Kaye (8-12, 7.30) 28 games – 26 starts – with 115K in 127.0IP
Catcher Carlos Maldonado hit .190 with no homers and 25RBI in 97 games
Pitcher Joe Mays (9-3, 2.09) 13 games – all starts – with 79K in 81.2IP
Pitcher Gil Meche (0-2, 3.00) 2 games – both starts – with 14K in 12.0IP
Pitcher Roy Smith (3-4, 5.59) 18 games – 11 starts – with 38K in 66.0IP
Pitcher Denny Stark (6-3, 1.97) 16 games – 15 starts – with 105K in 91.1IP
Shortstop Ramon Vazquez hit .269 with 8 homers and 49RBI in 131 games
Pitcher Jordan Zimmerman (0-1, 5.82) 3 games – all starts – with 18K in 17.0IP

Brian Fuentes was a pitcher, folks!

Category Leaders:
AVG: Adonis Harrison – .318
HR: Rob Zachmann & Mike Burrows – 12
RBI: Adonis Harrison – 62
SB: Adonis Harrison – 25
OPS: Adonis Harrison – .865
WINS: Julio Ayala – 11
ERA: Brian Fuentes – 3.56
IP: Justin Kaye – 127.0
SO: Brian Fuentes – 153
SV: Brian Fitzgerald – 10

Joe Mays seems like a fun guy.

Future Managers Stat:  Both Scott Steinmann & Jim Horner were catchers for the Timber Rattlers in 1997.  Steinmann managed the Rattlers in 2005.  Horner managed the Rattlers in 2006 and 2007

1997 MWL Season:

Magnet schedule for the 1997 Timber Rattlers season.

There were three affiliation changes in the MWL for the 1997 season.
Burlington from the Giants to the Reds
South Bend from the White Sox to the Diamondbacks
West Michigan from the A’s to the Tigers

For the record, the White Sox affiliation in South Bend lasted from 1988-1996.  The Sox had been in Appleton from 1967-1986.

Divisions:
West: Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Clinton LumberKings, Quad City River Bandits,
Central: Beloit Snappers, Kane County Cougars, Peoria Chiefs, Rockford Cubbies, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
East: Fort Wayne Wizards, Lansing Lugnuts, Michigan Battle Cats, South Bend Silver Hawks, West Michigan Whitecaps

1997 MWL All-Star Game:
Lansing hosted the game on June 17.  The East beat the West 6-5 on a walk-off triple by Steve Medrano of the Lugnuts.

The Timber Rattlers Joe Mays was the winning pitcher.

No Rattlers were in the starting lineup, but three did get into the game for the East:
Luis Figueroa – 3B
Jason Regan – DH
Joe Mays – P

1997 Postseason:
Eight teams made the playoffs: The Division winner in each half and two Wild Card teams

First Round (Best-of-three):
Cedar Rapids 2, Burlington 0
Kane County 2, Wisconsin 0
Fort Wayne 2, West Michigan 0
Lansing 2, Michigan 1

Second Round (Best-of-three):
Lansing 2, Fort Wayne 0
Kane County 2, Cedar Rapids 0

Finals (Best-of-five):
Lansing 3, Kane County 2

1997 MWL Alum of Note:
Scott PodsednikKane County Cougars

He made it to the majors.

Scotty hit .277 in 135 games for the Cougars during 1997.  He became a Brewer for the 2003 season and finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year Award voting (behind Dontrelle Willis).

1997 Brewers Alum of Note:
Allen LevraultBeloit Snappers

Allen Levrault as a Brewer.

Levrault went 3-10 in 24 starts for the Snappers in 1997.

He pitched in the big leagues for the Brewers in 2000 and 2001 and for Florida in 2003.

This story from 2010 caught up with Levrault.

It’s here he rushes near every afternoon, coaching the town’s middle school baseball team through 14-odd games in the regional Massasoit League. Mike Friar — father of varsity players Nick and Jake — stepped down last summer, and district athletic director Gail Silvia was approaching desperation for a replacement when she ran into Levrault in March at Westport’s playoff basketball game in Boston.

Hearing her former student had been laid off from a job as a welder, she told him about the opening.

“His eyes lit up,” Silvia said.

“I’ve been wanting to coach, just haven’t had the time,” said Levrault, a member of Westport High’s athletic hall of fame and its first baseball player to have his number retired. “I make time now.”

Opening Day, 2012 is April 5. Get here soon!

50 Years in 50 Days: 1996 (UPDATE)

Fifty years ago, Appleton Professional Baseball joined the Midwest League. As part of 50 Years in 50 Days, Rattler Radio is counting down to April 5 with a look back at each season of Appleton Professional Baseball team since 1962 (with a lot of help from MWLGuide.com and baseball-reference.com). The countdown to Opening Day, 2012 has reached 16.

The pictures of the 1996 Timber Rattlers used in today’s post were provided by Brad Krause.  Brad’s blog is TRatsBaseball.com.

16 Years Ago:
Fox Cities Stadium hosted the All-Star Game and the man who would be David Ortiz led the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers to the playoffs!

The cover of the 1996 Midwest League All-Star Game Program.

TIMBER RATTLERS INFORMATION:
Name: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Affiliation: Seattle Mariners (4th Year)
Manager:  Mike Goff (2nd Year)
First Half Record:  46-21 (1st, Central)
Second Half Record: 31-37 (4th, Central)
Overall Record: 77-58

Team photo of the 1996 Timber Rattlers. Added on 3/31/12.

David Ortiz - or David Arias as he was known at the time - in 1996.

Future Major Leaguers:
Pitcher Kevin Gryboski (10-5, 4.74) with a save in 32 games – 21 starts – with 100K in 138.2IP
Pitcher Damaso Marte (8-6, 4.49) in 26 games – all starts – with 115K in 142.1IP
First Baseman David Ortiz hit .322 with 18 homers and 93RBI in 129 games
Pitcher Aaron Scheffer (8-1, 3.72) with 14 saves in 41 games – 1 start – with 89K in 67.2IP
Pitcher Roy Smith (6-13, 5.12) in 27 games – all starts – with 99K in 146.0IP
Third baseman Ramon Vazquez hit .300 with no homers and one RBI in three games

Ramon Vazquez in 1996

Joe Mathis led the Rattlers in stolen bases during 1996.

Category Leaders:
AVG: David Ortiz – .332
HR: David Ortiz – 18
RBI: David Ortiz – 93
SB: Joe Mathis – 19
OPS: David Ortiz – .943
WINS: Brent Iddon – 11
ERA: Damaso Marte – 4.49
IP: Roy Smith – 146.0
SO: Damaso Marte – 115
SV: Aaron Scheffer – 14

David Ortiz led the Rattlers in most of the offensive categories in 1996.

Roy Smith led the Rattlers in Innings Pitched in 1996.

1996 MWL Season:
The only changes for 1996 were: The Sultans of Springfield moving to Michigan to become the Lansing Lugnuts and the new divisional alignments.

UPDATE:
I found the 1996 magnet schedule.  Thought it might look good right about here.

The magnet schedule for the 1996 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers season.

West: Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Clinton LumberKings, Quad City River Bandits,
Central: Beloit Snappers, Kane County Cougars, Peoria Chiefs, Rockford Cubbies, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
East: Fort Wayne Wizards, Lansing Lugnuts, Michigan Battle Cats, South Bend Silver Hawks, West Michigan Whitecaps

1996 All-Star Game:
The Timber Rattlers hosted the MWL All-Star Game on June 19.  The East beat the West 10-4.  The program is not wrong.  The game was rained out on June 18 and was played on June 19.

Here are the rosters for the game:

Click for a larger image...and see who the manager of the East Division was in the 1996 MWL All-Star Game.

Click for a larger image. Roster for the 1996 West Division All-Stars. Remember, David Arias = David Ortiz.

1996 Postseason:
Eight teams made the playoffs.  They were the winners of the three divisions in each half and two Wild Card teams.

Round one (Best-of-three):
Quad City 2, Cedar Rapids 1
West Michigan 2, Lansing 1
Rockford 2, Beloit 1
Wisconsin 2, Peoria 1

Round two (Best-0f-Three):
West Michigan 2, Rockford 0
Wisconsin 2, Quad City 1

MWL Finals:
West Michigan 3, Wisconsin 1

1996 MWL Alum of Note:
Freddy GarciaQuad City River Bandits

Freddy Garcia from the Mariners part of his career.

Garcia may have made the major leagues as a Mariner, but he was in the Midwest League as an Astros farmhand.  Garcia went to Seattle in the 1998 trade that sent Randy Johnson to Houston.  He was 5-4 in 13 starts for the River Bandits in 1996.

1996 Brewers Farmhand of Note:
Valerio De Los SantosBeloit Snappers

Valerio De Los Santos as a Beloit Brewer in 1996.

De Los Santos was 10-8 with four saves and a 3.55ERA in 33 games – 23 starts – for Beloit in 1996.  He struck out 137 in 164.2IP.

Opening Day, 2012 is April 5.  Get here soon!

50 Years in 50 Days: 1995

Fifty years ago, Appleton Professional Baseball joined the Midwest League. As part of 50 Years in 50 Days, Rattler Radio is counting down to April 5 with a look back at each season of Appleton Professional Baseball team since 1962 (with a lot of help from MWLGuide.com and baseball-reference.com). The countdown to Opening Day, 2012 has reached 17.

17 Years Ago:
The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and Fox Cities Stadium begin a new era of professional baseball in Appleton.

The 1995 cover of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers souvenir program.

TIMBER RATTLERS INFORMATION:
Name: Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Affiliation: Seattle Mariners (3rd Year)
Manager:  Mike Goff (1st Year)
First Half Record:  30-38 (4th, Central)
Second Half Record: 33-37 (3rd, Central)
Overall Record: 63-73

Ken Cloude was a member of the 1995 Timber Rattlers.

Future Major Leaguers:
Pitcher Ken Cloude (9-8, 3.24) in 25 games – all starts – with 140K in 161.0IP
Shortstop Wilson Delgado hit .243 with no homers and seven RBI in 19 games
Pitcher Shawn Estes (0-0, 0.90) in two games – both starts – with 11K in 10.0IP
Outfielder Shane Monahan hit .283 with a homer and 32RBI in 59 games
Pitcher Marino Santana (8-3, 1.77) in 15 games – all starts – with 110K in 96.2IP
Pitcher Aaron Scheffer (0-1, 6.59) in nine games – no starts – with 8K in 13.2IP
Pitcher Roy Smith (7-14, 5.38) in 27 games – all starts – with 109K in 149.0IP
Catcher Dusty Wathan hit .091 with a homer and three RBI in five games

Category Leaders:
AVG: Jason Cook – .269
HR: James Clifford – 10
RBI: Jason Cook – 64
SB: Kyle Towner – 34
OPS: James Clifford – .797
WINS: Chris Beck – 12
ERA: Derek Bieniasz – 3.13
IP: Derek Bieniasz – 175.1
SO: Ken Cloude – 140
SV: John Thompson – 19

Cliffy was with the Foxes in 1994 and with the Rattlers in 1995. He led the team in homers and .OPS in 95. I believe that he is still with Seattle as their minor league strength & conditioning coordinator.

1995 MWL Season:

I just left the whole page in there.

Remember all the changes last year?  There were even more for 1995.  Here are the franchise changes from MWLGuide.com.

 Beloit Snappers changed name (from Brewers).
Burlington Bees changed affiliation (Expos to Giants).
Michigan Battle Cats [Battle Creek] moved (from Madison), changed name (from Hatters), and changed affiliation (Cardinals to Red Sox). This team was temporarily known as the Battle Creek Golden Kazoos.
Peoria Chiefs changed affiliation (Cubs to Cardinals).
Rockford Cubbies changed name (from Royals) and affiliation (Royals to Cubs).
Sultans of Springfield changed affiliation (Padres to Royals).
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers [Appleton] changed name (from Appleton Foxes).

Get all that?

1995 Pocket Schedule cover.

 

Plus the MWL changed from a two division format to a three division format AND they expanded the playoffs from four teams to eight teams.

Here is the page from the ’95 Program that lays out the new divisions.

That's six teams in the west and four teams in both the central and east.

Don’t worry.  More changes in store for 1996.

1995 MWL All-Star Game:
West Michigan hosted the All-Star Game on June 20.  The East beat the West 7-5.

1995 MWL Postseason:
Playoff teams were: Beloit, Cedar Rapids, Fort Wayne, Kane County, Michigan, Quad City, Rockford, & West Michigan

Round One (Best-of-Three):
Beloit 2, Rockford 0
Michigan 2, Fort Wayne 0
Quad City 2, Cedar Rapids 1
West Michigan 2, Kane County 1

Round Two (Best-of-Three):
Beloit 2, Quad City 1
Michigan 2, West Michigan 1

MWL Championship Series (Best-of-Five):
Beloit 3, Michigan 0

1995 MWL Alum of Note:
Carl PavanoMichigan Battle Cats

Carl Pavano in 1995 from checkoutmycards.com

Pavano was 6-6 with a 3.44ERA in 22 starts for the MWL affiliate of the Boston Red Sox in 1995.

1995 Brewers Farmhands of Note:
Ronnie BelliardBeloit Snappers

Ronnie Belliard hit .297 with 13 homers and 76RBI in 130 games with the Beloit Snappers in 1995.

Jeff D’Amico – Beloit Snappers

Jeff D'Amico went 13-3 with a 2.39ERA and 119 strikeouts in 132IP during 21 games - 20 starts - for the Snappers in 1995.

Opening Day, 2012 is April 5.  Get here soon.

50 Years in 50 Days: 1994

Fifty years ago, Appleton Professional Baseball joined the Midwest League. As part of 50 Years in 50 Days, Rattler Radio is counting down to April 5 with a look back at each season of Appleton Professional Baseball team since 1962 (with a lot of help from MWLGuide.com and baseball-reference.com). The countdown to Opening Day, 2012 has reached 18.

18 Years Ago:
The Appleton Foxes sad good bye to Goodland Field and hello to a guy by the name of Alex Rodriguez made his professional debut.

Same Paul Birling cover from 1991, but with a different tint.

FOXES INFORMATION:
Name: Appleton Foxes
Affiliation: Seattle Mariners (2nd Year)
Manager:  Carlos Lezcano (2nd Year)
First Half Record:  39-30 (2nd, North)
Second Half Record: 36-34 (4th, North)
Overall Record: 75-64

Carlos Lezcano, Foxes manager in 1994.

Future Major Leaguers:
Pitcher Dean Crow (2-4, 7.04) in 16 games – no starts –  with two saves & 11Ks in 15.1IP
Pitcher John Cummings (0-0, 3.00) in one game – a start – with 6K in 3IP
Pitcher Scott Davison (0-1, 3.68) in 4 games – no starts – with 7K in 7.1IP
Shortstop Wilson Delgado hit .194 with no homers & no RBI in 9 games
Pitcher Shawn Estes (0-2, 4.58) in 5 games – 4 starts – with 28 K in 19.2IP
Pitcher Ryan Franklin (9-6, 3.13) in 18 games – all starts – with 102Ks in 118IP
Second Baseman Giomar Guevara hit .301 with 8 homers & 46RBI in 110 games
Pitcher Tim Harikkala (8-3, 1.92) in 13 games – all starts – with 63K in 93.2IP
Pitcher Brett Hinchliffe (11-7, 3.21) in 27 games – all starts – with 160K in 173.2IP
Catcher Raul Ibanez hit .312 with 7 homers & 59RBI in 91 games
Pitcher Matt Mantei (5-1, 2.06) in 48 games – no starts – with 26 saves & 70K in 46.0IP
Shortstop Alex Rodriguez hit .319 with 14 homers and 55RBI in 65 games
Pitcher Matt Wagner (4-2, 0.83) in 15 games – one start – with a save & 48K in 32.2IP

Alex Rodriguez baseball card from the 1994 Appleton Foxes.

Category Leaders:
AVG: Raul Ibanez – .319
HR: Alex Rodriguez – 14
RBI: Raul Ibanez – 55
SB: Mike Barger – 40
OPS: Raul Ibanez – .905
WINS: Brett Hinchliffe – 11
ERA: Ryan Smith – 2.81
IP: Brett Hinchliffe – 173.2
SO: Brett Hinchliffe – 160
SV: Matt Mantei – 26

He did play in Appleton, but he played for the Foxes, not the Timber Rattlers.

A-Rod Stat:  The Mariners selected Alex Rodriguez with the #1 overall pick of the 1993 draft.  He made his professional debut with the Foxes.  Rodriguez was named to the MWL All-Star game, but did not play in the game at Fort Wayne due to being promoted.  Despite just 65 games in the MWL in 1994, Rodriguez was named the Prospect of the Year for 1994.

Everyone says that they saw him play at Goodland Field. Everyone also saw the Marlboro Man at Goodland Field, too.

No-Hitter Stat: Brett Hinchliffe tossed a no-hitter against Cedar Rapids on June 28, 1994.  The Foxes won the game 13-0.

See. There were other guys on that '94 Foxes team.

Count Them Up Stat:  There were thirteen future major league players on the 1994 Appleton Foxes roster.

Ryan Franklin as an Appleton Fox in 1994.

 

Raul Ibanez as an Appleton Fox in 1994.

Tim Harikkala as an Appleton Fox in 1994.

Matt Mantei as an Appleton Fox in 1994.

 

Goodbye, Goodland Stat: The 1994 season was the final year of Foxes baseball at Goodland Field.  This Flashback Friday captures the night.

Fifth row of the bleachers.  Third-base side.  Above the Foxes’ dugout.  Aisle seat.  This has been Patti McFarland’s home away from home for the better part of 50 years.

Scorebook in hand, she’s dutifully recording history tonight.  As she records each out, the emotions rattle around her head like a pinball machine.

“It’s sad,” she says, groping for the words to express her feelings.  “We’ve had a lot of good memories here.  We’ve made a lot of friends, made friends with the players, even the umpires.”

The “we” Patti speaks of are the people she sits with at the ballpark.  They have become her family.

“Yes, this is definitely my second home,” she says.  “I know a lot of people who won’t be able to get to the new ballpark.  I’m going to miss all those people.”

But she’s thinking of doing something for them, as well as others.

“I’ve kept saying that someday I’m going to write a book and someday I think I might.  It’d be about life in the minor leagues.  It’s been a good life.”

1994 Midwest League Season:

The schedule for the final season of Foxes baseball at Goodland Field.

Lots and lots of changes for the MWL in 1994.

Cities:
Madison left for West Michigan
Springfield left for Madison
Waterloo left for Springfield

Nicknames:
Clinton Giants to Clinton LumberKings
Madison Muskies to West Michigan Whitecaps
Springfield Cardinals to Madison Hatters
Waterloo Diamonds to Sultans of Springfield
South Bend White Sox to South Bend Silver Hawks

North: Appleton Foxes, Beloit Brewers, Fort Wayne Wizards, Kane County Cougars, Rockford Royals, South Bend Silver Hawks, West Michigan Whitecaps
South: Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Clinton LumberKings, Madison Hatters, Peoria Chiefs, Quad City River Bandits, Sultans of Springfield

1994 MWL All-Star Game:
Fort Wayne hosted the game on June 20.  The South beat the North 3-2.

1994 MWL Postseason:
Rockford won both halves in the North, but there was no first round bye in the MWL playoffs in this season.  That was when the oft times confusing MWL tiebreaker system kicked in to high gear.

The Appleton Foxes finished the first half in second place and had a better overall record (75-64) than West Michigan (74-65).  The Beloit Brewers (40-30) finished tied for second in the second half with West Michigan (40-30) AND had a better record (76-64) than BOTH Appleton and West Michigan.  But, West Michigan claimed the second half playoff spot.  Head-to-head record must have been the tie-breaker.

Not that it mattered which team Rockford would play.  They had MWL’s best record at 89-50 and swept West Michigan in the North Division Series.  In the South, Cedar Rapids  swept Springfield.

In the Championship Series, the Kernels beat Rockford 3-1 in the best-of-five set.

1994 MWL Alumni of Note:
Torii HunterFort Wayne Wizards

Torii Hunter as a Fort Wayne Wizard. Photo from baseballinfortwayne.com

Hunter played 91 games for the Wizards in 1994.  He hit .293 with 10 homers and 50RBI.  Hunter repeated the MWL in 1995, but he has been a mainstay in the Major Leagues for a long time.

Billy WagnerQuad City River Bandits

Billy Wagner as a Quad City River Bandit in 1994.

Wagner (12th) was selected eight spots higher than Hunter (20th) in the first round of the 1993 draft.  Wagner was a starting pitcher with the Bandits (26 starts) and finished with a record of 8-9, but he had, oh what’s the term…eye-popping strikeout numbers.  Wagner struck out 204 opposing batters in just 153 innings.  You can understand why he became one of the more dominant closers in the 90’s and early 2000’s.

1994 Brewers Farmhand of Note:
Cory LidleBeloit Brewers

Cory Lidle's in memoriam card.

Lidle signed with the Twins as a minor league free agent in 1990.  He was released by Minnesota in 1992.  Lidle signed with Pocatello, an independent team in the Pioneer League in 1993.  The Brewers liked what they saw and purchased Lidle for the 1994 season and sent him to Beloit.

While in the MWL, Lidle went 3-4 with a sub 3.00ERA in 13 games.  He was promoted to Stockton for the rest of the season and spent 1995 with El Paso in AA.   Milwaukee sent him to the Mets for Kelly Stinnett in January, 1996.

Lidle’s journey to the major leagues was not a straight one and he spent time in many organizations.  Here is a link to all of his transactions.

He made the Mets in 1997 and the Devil Rays in 1999.  Lidle also was a member of the A’s, the Phillies, the Blue Jays, the Reds, and Yankees.

Lidle pitched in the ALDS series for the Yankees against the Detroit Tigers in October of 2006.  It would be his final appearance because of a tragic plane crash.

Lidle died on October 11, 2006, when an airplane he was co-piloting crashed into a residential New York City building. He had taken up flying as a hobby in the previous year and a half and had been planning to fly home to California after the baseball season ended in New York. He was survived by his wife Melanie and a 6-year-old son, Christopher.

Opening Day, 2012 is April 5.  Get here soon.

50 Years in 50 Days: 1993

Fifty years ago, Appleton Professional Baseball joined the Midwest League. As part of 50 Years in 50 Days, Rattler Radio is counting down to April 5 with a look back at each season of Appleton Professional Baseball team since 1962 (with a lot of help from MWLGuide.com and baseball-reference.com). The countdown to Opening Day, 2012 has reached 19.

19 Years Ago:
The Foxes began Appleton Professional Baseball’s long affiliation with the Seattle Mariners.

A fox, standing on a pier...A left-hand hitting fox standing on a pier. Drawn by Dave Taylor

FOXES INFORMATION:
Name: Appleton Foxes
Affiliation: Seattle Mariners (1st Year)
Manager:  Carlos Lezcano (1st Year)
First Half Record:  34-32 (T-4th, North)
Second Half Record: 28-41 (7th, North)
Overall Record: 62-73

Future Major Leaguers:
Pitcher Tim Davis (10-2, 1.85) in 16 games – 10 starts – with 3CG, 2SV, & 89K in 77.2IP
Infielder Eddy Diaz hit .333 with three homers and 33RBI in 46 games
Pitcher Shawn Estes (5-9, 7.24) in 19 games – 18 starts – with 65K in 83.1IP
Infielder/Outfielder Charles Gipson hit .256 with no homers and 20 RBI in 109 games
Pitcher Tim Harikkala (3-3, 6.52) in 15 games – 4 starts – with 33K in 38.2IP
Catcher Raul Ibanez hit .274 with five homers and 21RBI in 52 games
Shortstop Andy Sheets hit .263 with a homer and 25RBI in 69 games

Note: Most Foxes cards in this post are from checkoutmycards.com.

Shawn Estes as an Appleton Fox in 1993.

Category Leaders:
AVG: Robby Robertson – .285
HR: James Koehler – 17
RBI: James Koehler – 60
SB: Charles Gipson – 21
OPS: David Lawson – .829
WINS: Tim Davis – 10
ERA: Jackie Nickell – 3.06
IP: Jackie Nickell – 150.0
SO: Jackie Nickell – 151
SV: Bob Worley – 22

Jackie Nickell, 1993 Appleton Foxes

More Than Sixto’s Cousin Stat:  Carlos Lezcano is the cousin of former Brewers outfielder Sixto Lezcano.

Carlos Lezcano in 1993.

Carlos Lezcano has managed in the Mariners, Giants, Brewers, and Padres systems.  In 2010, his Lake Elsinore Storm won 81 games in the California League and Lezcano was named that league’s Manager of the Year.  In 2011, the Storm were 23-31 on June 3 and Phil Plantier replaced Lezcano as the manager when Lezcano resigned.

Lake Elsinore Storm manager Carlos Lezcano, the franchise’s all-time winningest manager, resigned Thursday, effective immediately due to family reasons, the Storm announced.

Team hitting coach Phil Plantier has been named interim manager and will lead the team tonight at The Diamond against the Inland Empire 66ers.

Lezcano, in his 19th season as a minor league manager and his fifth with the Storm, is 43 victories shy of 1,000 career Minor League victories. He led the Storm to four consecutive playoff appearances, including the California League Finals in 2007.

This past November, Lezcano took over as the manager of Caracas in the Venezuelan Winter League when Tim Teufel was let go.

Totally by Accident Stat:  Remember back in the 1963 entry for this feature when I picked Paul Lindblad as the MWL Alum of Note?  I had no idea that he was the pitching coach of the Appleton Foxes in 1993.

Thirty years after pitching against the Foxes, Lindblad would be coaching for the Foxes.

Seriously.

1993 Midwest League Season:

Lots of Changes in the MWL for 1993.  The biggest being Kenosha moving to Fort Wayne for the birth of the Fort Wayne Wizards.  The most local being the Foxes switching from the Royals to the Mariners.  Other moves included: the Royals went to Rockford as the Expos went back to Burlington, The Astros switched to Quad City from Burlington; and the Angels moved to Cedar Rapids from Quad City as the Reds left the Midwest League.

Name Changes included Burlington from the Astros to the Bees, Cedar Rapids from the Reds to the Kernels, Rockford from Expos to Royals.

North: Appleton Foxes, Beloit Brewers, Fort Wayne Wizards, Kane County Cougars, Madison Muskies, Rockford Royals, South Bend White Sox
South: Burlington Bees, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Clinton Giants, Peoria Chiefs, Quad City River Bandits, Springfield Cardinals, Waterloo Diamonds.

1993 MWL All-Star Game:
Kane County hosted the game on June 21.  The North beat the South 302.  Tim Davis of the Appleton Foxes was the winning pitcher.  Steve Sisco, who played for the Foxes in 1992, was the game’s MVP as a member of the Rockford Royals.

1993 MWL Postseason:
South Bend swept Rockford 2-0 in the North and Clinton swept Springfield 2-0 in the South.

In the Finals, South Bend defeated Clinton 3-1 in the best-of-five series.

1993 MWL Alumni of Note:
Johnny DamonRockford Royals

Johnny Damon as a Rockford Royal in 1993.

Damon hit .290 with five homers and 50 RBI in 127 games for Rockford.  He made the major leagues in 1995, has been a 2-time All-Star, and has played 17 seasons for three World Series Champions.  Damon is currently a free agent.

Ugeth UrbinaBurlington Bees

Ugeth Urbina as a Burlington Bee in 1993.

Urbina was 10-1 with a 1.99ERA in 16 games – all starts – with 108K in 107.1IP in 1993.  He went on to be a two-time All-Star – once with Montreal and once with Boston – and collect 237 saves in an 11-year career.  His baseball career ended after 2005 because….Well, the second search term on google for him is Ugeth Urbina Machete.

1993 Brewers Farmhand of Note:
Kelly WunschBeloit Brewers

Kelly Wunsch, Beloit Brewer.

Wunsch was the #1 pick of the Brewers in the 1993 draft.  He was a product of Texas A&M and went 1-5 in 12 games – all starts – with a 4.83ERA and 61 K in 63.1IP for Beloit.  He would return for stints in Beloit during the 1994 and 1995 seasons.

Wunsch struggled through injuries, but would make the major leagues with the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2000-2005.

He has been building homes in West Central Austin since 2007.

Opening Day, 2012 is April 5. Get here soon!

50 Years in 50 Days: 1992

Fifty years ago, Appleton Professional Baseball joined the Midwest League. As part of 50 Years in 50 Days, Rattler Radio is counting down to April 5 with a look back at each season of Appleton Professional Baseball team since 1962 (with a lot of help from MWLGuide.com and baseball-reference.com). The countdown to Opening Day, 2012 has reached 20.

20 Years Ago:
The Foxes and the Royals were together for one last season and made the playoffs.  This postseason appearance ended a six season absence of the Foxes for the playoffs.

The cover of the 1992 Appleton Foxes Program was one more Paul Birling design.

FOXES INFORMATION:
Name: Appleton Foxes
Affiliation: Kansas City Royals (6th Year)
Manager:  Tom Poquette
First Half Record:  41-23 (1st, North)
Second Half Record: 29-39 (6th, North)
Overall Record: 70-62

Tom Poquette, the manager of the Foxes in 1992.

Future Major Leaguers:
Pitcher Andres Berumen (5-2, 2.65) in 46 games – no starts – with 52K and 13 saves in 57.2IP
Pitcher Brian Bevil (9-7, 3.40) in 26 games – all starts – with 168K in 156IP
Pitcher Mike Bovee (9-10, 3.56) in 28 games – 24 starts – with 120K in 149.1IP
Outfielder Raul Gonzalez hit .256 with nine homers & 51RBI in 119 games
Shortstop Shane Halter hit .265 with three homers & 33RBI in 80 games
Pitcher Dan Miceli (1-1, 1.93) in 22 games – no starts – with 44K & 9 saves in 23.1IP
Outfielder Rod Myers hit .220 with four homers & 30RBI in 71 games
Outfielder Les Norman hit .376 with four homers & 47RBI in 59 games
Third baseman Joe Randa hit .301 with five homers and 43RBI in 72 games
Second Baseman Steve Sisco went 1-for-4 in one game
Designated Hitter Larry Sutton went 1-for-4 in one game

Raul Gonzaelz, 1992

Shane Halter, 1992.

Joe Randa, 1992

Category Leaders:
AVG: Steve Hinton – .270
HR: Ed Gerald – 12
RBI:  Steve Hinton – 63
SB: Rod Myers – 25
OPS: Steve Hinton – .737
WINS: Brian Bevil, Mike Bovee, Shayne Rea – 9
ERA: Robert Toth – 3.39
IP:  Brian Bevil – 156.0
SO: Brian Bevil – 168
SV: Andres Berumen – 13

This is Dan Servello. He played 27 games for the Foxes in 1992. I wish the photographer would have used a shot of Servello where you could, oh, I don't know...see his FACE!

It’s Not The Same Guy Stat:  The Rod Myers who played outfield for the Foxes in 1992 is not the same guy as the Rodney Myers who pitched for the Foxes in 1991.

Wisconsin Native Stat: Tom Poquette is a native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

For the Record Stat:  In 1991, the Foxes had one player on the roster make the major leagues.  In 1992, the Foxes had 11 players on the roster make the major leagues.

Royal Stat:  In six seasons as an affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, the Appleton Foxes made the playoffs one time.  Including the three playoff games in 1992, the Foxes compiled a record of 387-435 with the Royals as their parent club.

1992 MWL Season:
Quad City switched their nickname from the Angels to the River Bandits.  It would be idiotic if they ever got rid of River Bandits for a nickname.  Right?

North: Appleton Foxes, Beloit Brewers, Kenosha Twins, Madison Muskies, Rockford Expos, South Bend White Sox, Wausau Timbers
South: Burlington Astros, Cedar Rapids Reds, Clinton Giants, Peoria Chiefs, Quad City River Bandits, Springfield Cardinals, Waterloo Diamonds

1992 MWL All-Star Game
Peoria hosted the All-Star Game on June 22.  The North beat the South 7-5.  Brian Bevil was the winning pitcher.

1992 MWL Postseason:
The Foxes finished the first half  41-23 to win the North Division by five games over Beloit.  The Brewers won the second half and the two Wisconsin teams met in the North Division playoffs.  Beloit beat the Foxes 2-1 in the best-of-three series.  In the South, Cedar Rapids swept Quad Cities.

In the finals, Cedar Rapids beat Beloit 3-2 in the best-of-five Championship Series.

1992 MWL Alumni of Note:
Chris HookCedar Rapids Reds

Chris Hook, 1992 Cedar Rapids Reds. From checkoutmycards.com

Could it really be anyone else?

Hook, the Timber Rattlers pitching coach from 2009-2011, was one of the top pitchers in the Midwest League in 1992.  He went 14-8 with an ERA of 2.72 in 26 games – 25 starts – for the Reds during the regular season.  The faithful in Cedar Rapids remember.

1992 Brewers Farmhand of Note:
Jeff CirilloBeloit Brewers

Jeff Cirillo, 1992 Beloit Brewers.

Cirillo was an 11th round pick of the Brewers in 1991.  He played in 126 games for Beloit in 1992 and hit .304 with nine homers and 71RBI.  He was in the big leagues in 1994 and played for the Brewers, Rockies, Mariners, Brewers again, Twins, and Arizona through the 2007 season.

Openign Day, 2012 is April 5.  Get here soon!

50 Years in 50 Days: 1991

Fifty years ago, Appleton Professional Baseball joined the Midwest League. As part of 50 Years in 50 Days, Rattler Radio is counting down to April 5 with a look back at each season of Appleton Professional Baseball team since 1962 (with a lot of help from MWLGuide.com and baseball-reference.com). The countdown to Opening Day, 2012 has reached 21.

21 Years Ago:
The Appleton Foxes missed the playoffs for the fifth straight season.

The 1991 Foxes program celebrated Appleton's first pro team, which started play in 1891.

FOXES INFORMATION:
Name: Appleton Foxes
Affiliation: Kansas City Royals (5th Year)
Manager: Joe Breeden (2nd season)
First Half Record:  33-36 (4th, North)
Second Half Record: 25-45 (7th, North)
Overall Record: 58-81

Future Major Leaguer:
Pitcher Rodney Myers (1-1, 2.60) in 9 games – 4 starts – with 29K in 27.2IP

Rodney Myers was the only member of the 1991 Appleton Foxes to make it to the major leagues. From Baseball Birthdays.

Category Leaders:
AVG: Harry Guanchez – .279
HR: Keith Thomas & Ed Gerald – 7
RBI: Tom Smith – 57
SB: Darren Burton – 38
OPS: Ed Gerald – .743
WINS: Jim Chrisman, Dario Perez, Shayne Rea – 7
ERA: Dario Perez – 3.24
IP: Shayne Rea – 151.0
SO: Shayne Rea – 97
SV: David Hierholzer – 14

One Stat: Only one future major league player on this roster.  Rodney Myers was drafted by the Royals out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He was part of a Badgers staff that included Lance Painter and Paul Quantrill.  All three made the major leagues and were part of this list of 26 former Badgers to make it to the Show.

1991 MWL Season:


Big Change as the Wasuau Timbers were sold at the end of the 1990 season.  They became the Kane County Cougars.  One other change was Burlington moving away from the Braves.  They became the Burlington Astros for 1991.

1991 MWL All-Star Game:
Cedar Rapids hosted the game on June 24.  The 1991 MWL All-Star Game ended in a 6-6 tie.  Seriously.

1991 MWL Postseason:
In the North, Madison swept Kane County.  In the South, Clinton swept Burlington.

In the Championship Series, Clinton swept the best-of-five series from Madison.

1991 MWL Alumni of Note:
Lance PainterWaterloo Diamonds

Lance Painter as a Waterloo Diamond in 1991.

Speak of the Devil.  Painter went 14-8 with a 2.30ERA and 201Ks in 200 innings pitched for the Diamonds in 1991.  Paint went on to a major league career and – eventually – become the pitching coach of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 2006 & 2007.  Lance is still in the Mariners system.  He spent the last two seasons as the pitching coach in Jackson, Tennessee.

1991 Brewers Farmhand of Note:
Tony DiggsBeloit Brewers

Tony Diggs as a Beloit Brewer in 1991. From checkoutmycards.com

Tony Diggs was a sixth round pick of the Brewers out of the University of North Florida in 1989. He is still with the Brewers. Here is his entry in the 2012 Media Guide:

Tony Diggs, 44, enters his ninth season in the Brewers organization and his seventh in his current position [ASSISTANT DIRECTOR - PLAYER DEVELOPMENT/TRAINING CENTER].

In addition, he will serve his fifth season as the manager of the Arizona Brewers. In 2010, he was named Arizona League Manager of the Year after leading the team to a 34-22 regular-season record and the Arizona League championship.

Diggs assists with the day-to-day administration duties at the Brewers’ facility in Maryvale, Arizona. Previously, he served as a hitting coach in the organization with Class-A Beloit (2004) and Class-A Brevard County (2005). Prior to joining the Brewers, Diggs was a minor-league hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals (1998-99, 2002-03). He also spent two years as Director of Player Development/MLB Consultant with the International Baseball League of Australia and was a consultant for Team Australia in the 2000 Olympics.

Selected by the Brewers in the sixth round of the 1989 draft,Diggs played eight professional seasons in the minor leagues with Milwaukee (1989-93) and St. Louis (1994-96).

Opening Day, 2012 is April 5.  Get here soon!

50 Years in 50 Days: 1990

Fifty years ago, Appleton Professional Baseball joined the Midwest League. As part of 50 Years in 50 Days, Rattler Radio is counting down to April 5 with a look back at each season of Appleton Professional Baseball team since 1962 (with a lot of help from MWLGuide.com and baseball-reference.com). The countdown to Opening Day, 2012 has reached 22.

22 Years Ago:
The Appleton Foxes missed the playoffs for the fifth straight season.

Another Paul Birling design on the cover of the 1990 Foxes Program.

FOXES INFORMATION:
Name: Appleton Foxes
Affiliation: Kansas City Royals (4th Year)
Manager: Joe Breeden (1st season)
First Half Record:  26-37 (6th, North)
Second Half Record: 36-34 (3rd, North)
Overall Record: 62-71

Joe Breeden, Foxes Manager in 1991.

Foxes cards for this entry are from this Kansas City Royals history page.

Future Major Leaguers:
Pitcher Matt Karchner (2-7, 4.82) in 27 games – 11 starts – with 58K in 71IP
Outfielder Kerwin Moore hit .222 with two homers and 36RBI in 128 games
Pitcher Steve Shifflett (6-5, 2.94) in 57games – no starts – with 10 saves & 40K in 82.2IP
Pitcher Gene Walter (1-0, 1.00) in 2 games – both starts – with 8K in 9IP

Kerwin Moore, 1990

Matt Karchner, 1990

Steve Shifflett, 1990

Category Leaders:
AVG: Rich Tunison – .300
HR: Rich Tunison & David King – 8
RBI: Rich Tunison – 86
SB: Kerwin Moore – 57
OPS: Rich Tunison – .771
WINS: Louis Talbert – 11
ERA: Herb Milton – 3.13
IP: Jake Jacobs – 127.0IP
SO: Louis Talbert – 110
SV: Skip Wiley – 18

That’s a Switch Stat:  The 1990 Appleton Foxes had seven switch-hitters on their roster.

That Name Appears A Lot Stat:  Rich Tunison led the Foxes in average, RBI, homers, and OPS.  He was a 2nd round pick of the Royals out of Brevard County Community College in 1989.  A blog by the name of The 21 Greatest Days picks up Tunison’s story.

Rich Tunison, 1990.

Combined Stat:  John Conner and Jim Smith combined on a no-hitter for the Foxes on July 26 in an 8-0 win over Wausau at Goodland Field.

John Conner, 1990.

The Appleton Foxes’ John Gilcrist had to feel like a man holding four aces in a game where someone else laid a royal flush on the table.

Gilcrist hit a grand-slam home run Thursday night, but that was upstaged by a no-hitter, the combined effort of Appleton’s John Conner and Jim Smith.

Conner held the Wausau Timbers hitless through the first seven innings and Smith finished up with two no-hit innings as the Foxes won 8-0 before 291 fans at Goodland Field.

The no-hitter was the first in the Midwest League since July 29 of last year, and the Foxes’ first no-hitter since John Stein beat the Beloit Brewers 5-0 on May 26, 1986 in a seven-inning game at Goodland Field.

Pitching In Stat:  Mike Jirschele, of the Clintonville Jirschele’s, was a coach for the Foxes in 1990.  He made two relief appearances for the Foxes that season.  Jirschele has been the manager of the Royals Triple-A team in Omaha since 2003.

Mike Jirschele, 1990.

1990 MWL Season:

There were two affiliation changes for the 1990 season.  Waterloo went from a co-op to the Padres.  Wausau switched from Seattle to Baltimore.

North: Appleton Foxes, Beloit Brewers, Kenosha Twins, Madison Muskies, Rockford Expos, South Bend White Sox, Wausau Timbers
South: Burlington Braves, Cedar Rapids Reds, Clinton Giants, Peoria Chiefs, Quad City Angels, Springfield Cardinals, Waterloo Diamonds

1990 MWL All-Star Game:
Quad Cities hosted the game on June 25.  The South Beat the North 10-5.

1990 MWL Postseason:
In the North, South Bend swept Madison.  In the South, Quad Cities swept Cedar Rapids.

Quad Cities defeated South Bend 3-1 in the best-of-five Championship series.

1990 MWL Alumni of Note:
Bob WickmanSouth Bend White Sox

UW-Whitewater's own! Wickman was a 2nd round pick of the White Sox in 1990. He went 7-2 in nine starts for South Bend. He became a Brewer in 1996, remained with the team through part of the 2000 season, and collected 79 saves for the Crew. Wickman spent 15 years in the big leagues. Card from checkoutmycards.com

Scott Cepicky – South Bend White Sox

Don't laugh. Scott Cepicky was a two-sport athlete at the University of Wisconsin. He was on one of the last Badger baseball teams and was the Badgers punter from 1984-1987. Cepicky was drafted by the Bengals and the White Sox. He was a two-time All-Big Ten selection in baseball. Cepicky played six seasons in the minor leagues and reached AAA. Card from checkoutmycards.com

Damon BufordWausau Timbers

Damon Buford was on the last Wausau Timbers team in 1990. He spent nine years in the big leagues with four different teams. Image from Baseball Birthdays.

1990 Brewers Farmhand of Note:
Troy O’LearyBeloit Brewers

Troy O'Leary with the Beloit Brewers in 1990.

O’Leary was a 13th round pick out of the Brewers in 1987. He played 42 games in Beloit in 1989, but had a more extended stay with Beloit in 1990. O’Leary hit .298 with six homers in 118 games. His reached the big leagues with the Brewers in 1993 and 1994, but only for a brief time.

He went to the Red Sox in 1995 when Boston took him off waivers. O’Leary was a mainstay in Boston for the next seven years as he hit .276 with 117 home runs in 962 games.

He finished his career with the Cubs in 2003 and Montreal in 2004.

Opening Day 2012 is April 5. Get here soon!

50 Years in 50 Days: 1989

Fifty years ago, Appleton Professional Baseball joined the Midwest League. As part of 50 Years in 50 Days, Rattler Radio is counting down to April 5 with a look back at each season of Appleton Professional Baseball team since 1962 (with a lot of help from MWLGuide.com and baseball-reference.com). The countdown to Opening Day, 2012 has reached 23.

23 Years Ago:
The Foxes hovered around .500 all season long.

The cover of the 1989 Foxes program

FOXES INFORMATION:
Name: Appleton Foxes
Affiliation: Kansas City Royals (3rd Year)
Manager: Brian Poldberg (2nd season)
First Half Record:  31-33 (6th, North)
Second Half Record: 36-35 (4th, North)
Overall Record: 67-68

Future Major Leaguers:
Pitcher Hipolito Pichardo (5-4, 2.97) in 12 games – 12 starts – with 50K in 75.2IP
Pitcher Steve Shifflett (3-3, 4.15) in 18 games – 2 starts – with 13K in 39IP

Category Leaders:
AVG: Jeff Garber – .263
HR: Jeffrey Hulse – 10
RBI: Jeffrey Hulse – 61
SB: Don Wright – 29
OPS: Jeff Garber – .734
WINS: Gregory Harvey – 13
ERA: Steve Otto – 3.42
IP: Gregory Harvey – 141.0
SO: Gregory Harvey – 115
SV: Mark Parnell – 28

Only Two Stat:  The last time a Foxes team had just two future major league players during a season was 1976.

Hipolito Pichardo went 5-4 in 12 starts for the Foxes in 1989. He played ten seasons in the majors with Kansas City, Boston, and Houston.

1989 MWL Season:

1989 Appleton Foxes schedule.

The big change in the league was in Waterloo.  The team name changed to the Diamonds as they lost their affiliation with Cleveland.  Unfortunately for Waterloo, they could not secure another parent club and played the season as a co-op team.

North: Appleton Foxes, Beloit Brewers, Kenosha Twins, Madison Muskies, Rockford Expos, South Bend White Sox, Wausau Timbers,
South: Burlington Braves, Cedar Rapids Reds, Clinton Giants, Peoria Chiefs, Quad City Angels, Springfield Cardinals, Waterloo Diamonds

1989 MWL All-Star Game:
The South Bend White Sox hosted the All-Star Game on June 26.  The South beat the North 4-1.  Appleton Foxes pitcher Mark Parnell took the loss.

1989 Postseason:
Springfield swept Cedar Rapids in the South Divisional series.  South Bend swept Rockford in the North Divisional series.

In the best-of-five Championship Series, the South Bend White Sox swept Springfield to claim a pennant in their second season in the MWL.

1989 MWL Alumni of Note:
Chuck KnoblauchKenosha

Knoblauch was the 1st round pick of the Twins in 1989. His professional career started in Kenosha. In 51 MWL games, Knoblauch hit .286 with two homers and 19RBI.

Turk WendellBurlington

From checkoutmycards.com. Steven "Turk" Wendell has LOTS of superstitions. He was also a pretty decent pitcher who went on to an 11 year MLB career. In Burlington, he was 9-11 with nine complete games. Five of those nine complete games were shutouts.

1989 Brewers Farmhand of Note:
Cal EldredBeloit

How do you not like Cal Eldred? The Brewers took him with their first pick in the 1989 draft. Eldred went 2-1 in five starts for Beloit. He spent 14 seasons in the big leagues and he was a personal favorite of mine.

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