Results tagged ‘ Appleton Foxes ’
Three of today’s birthdays are for players who were Foxes and that includes one from Marion, Wisconsin.
The Marion native is Ken Frailing, who made the major leagues with the White Sox and the Cubs.
The Flashback is about a no-hitter he through in an American Legion game in 1966 – days before the MLB Draft which saw the White Sox take him in the fifth round – and a 1968 article about Frailing appearing in a Cubs-Sox exhibition game in 1968.
Born in 1948 and raised in Marion, Wisconsin, a town of 1,000 about 120 miles north of Madison, Frailing grew up loving sports, particularly baseball. He came of age in the early 1960s, when baseball was still considered the national pastime. Reflecting on his youthful experiences in a 2001 interview, he remembered that most of the kids he knew had limited choices for entertainment. As a result, they would get together and play ball:
“Baseball was a big deal at Marion High. But considering our cool weather, in a good year we’d get in maybe 20 games. But we also had American Legion ball. There would be nights that we would draw 800 people in a town of 1,000 to a game. I was a pitcher in high school, but I played the outfield, too.”
The former big leaguer was modest. Playing for a high school with 200 students, Frailing, at 6-feet and 190 pounds, became an all-around athlete who starred in the three major team sports of the era, football, basketball, and baseball. He earned all-conference honors in all three sports during his senior year of 1965-66. Speaking in a 2001 interview, John Bartelt, who coached Marion High’s baseball team for 41 years, called Frailing “pleasant, conscientious, hard-working, talented—the type of kid you want to coach.”
Frailing’s peers agreed. In 2000 the school’s former ballplayers selected the left-hander as Marion High’s Athlete of the Century. Bartelt, commenting to the Marion Advertiser, called Frailing one of the most coachable athletes he ever knew: “He was an intense competitor and had just a fantastic attitude. The more I think about it, the more I realize how fortunate I was to be associated with Ken as his coach, his teacher, his neighbor, and his friend.”
A standout end in football as well as a forward in basketball who scored exactly 1,000 points in high school, Frailing was also a remarkable left-handed batter who played the outfield when not on the mound. He hurled four no-hitters for Marion, including his first game as a freshman, a 6-0 victory over Tigerton in which he fanned 16 hitters. Major-league scouts began watching him during his sophomore year, and he really caught their attention as a senior when he fashioned a 13-0 mark with a 0.17 ERA and helped Marion High finish unbeaten at 16-0.
The White Sox selected Frailing in the fifth round of the amateur draft in 1966. The club tried to sign him the day after his Mustangs finished playing in the semifinals of the state American Legion Tournament. Thanks to Coach Bartelt’s advice, Ken held out for a month, and the White Sox to offer a sizable bonus.
“To play pro baseball was my dream,” Frailing recollected. “I grew up following the Milwaukee Braves. So I got to see a couple games a year in Milwaukee, and that was really exciting. Somebody’s parents would take us. We’d go early when the gates opened, and we’d get to see the clubs take batting practice. We’d be in the bleachers and get the home-run balls hit during batting practice. I thought that was the greatest thing!”
Enthusiastic, cheerful, and blessed with a positive attitude and a good work ethic, Frailing signed a professional contract, and when he did, the White Sox not only agreed to pay for his college education but also gave him a $25,000 bonus. He attended Wisconsin State University-Stevens Point, beginning after his stint in the Rookie Gulf Coast League in 1966.
To start off this post right. Thank you all for stopping by to read Rattler Radio today and in the last year.
The year-end rankings for MLBlogs were released earlier this week. Rattler Radio is listed in the MiLB Pro category and finished 5th. Here is the top 10 in that category as noted in this post at MLB.com Blogs Central:
1. Ben’s Biz Blog
2. MiLB.com’s PROSPECTive Blog
3. Inside the San Jose Giants
4. Crawdads Beat
5. Rattler Radio
6. The Shuck Dynasty
7. Rollin’ with Rick PawSox
8. The Dash Board
9. 45 Miles From Fenway
10. Callis’ Corner
Benjamin Hill handled being number one in his usual manner:
— Benjamin Hill (@bensbiz) January 13, 2016
Rattler Radio started out over here on Blogspot on March 27, 2006 with this post.
Hold on…..This blog is going to be TEN YEARS OLD IN JUST OVER TWO MONTHS?
Whoa. I needed to get that out of my system.
I moved it over to MLBlogs in September of 2010 and it has been a lot of fun from the very start.
I have added some features over the years and will continue to look for ways to make this the place to follow the Timber Rattlers and to inform and entertain.
Thank you for being along for the last decade. Thank you for coming back.
I saw this tweet from Ed Berthiaume of The Post-Crescent yesterday and it reminded me of some photos in old Appleton Foxes Programs.
— Ed Berthiaume (@EdBerthiaume) November 3, 2015
Former Mayor Dorothy Johnson was remembered Tuesday as a trailblazer for women in politics and a champion for Appleton.
Johnson died Saturday from natural causes at her home in Highlands Ranch, Colo., where she and her husband, Rue, lived for the past five years. She was 89.
In 1980, Johnson was elected as Appleton’s first and only female mayor. She served three consecutive terms, leaving office in 1992. Before her reign as mayor, she served a term on the Appleton Board of Education.
The 1981 Appleton Foxes Home Opener at Goodland Field was the first with Johnson as the Mayor of Appleton. This page in the 1982 Foxes program documents here throwing out the first pitch along with a brief recap of the game and a photo of the Paranaut Skydiving team landing!
The 1983 program included this letter from Johnson:
Click the image for the full text of the letter. It reads, in part:
To the Players, Management, and Fans of the Appleton Foxes:
Among the outstanding attractions of our city is a professional baseball team: the Appleton Foxes. Our community takes great pride in this highly respected and talented group of athletes.
As Mayor of Appleton, I convey my admiration and personal endorsement to the team members, their sponsors and fans during this year. May 1983 be the best ever!
She wasn’t far off. The 1983 Foxes went 87-50 for the best record in the Midwest League. Then, the Foxes beat Waterloo in the first round and Springfield in the Championship Series to win their second straight MWL Pennant.
It should be “Three old programs are wonderful things”, but that title for this post would be a bad tie-in to one of the topics in the body of the post, as you will see in a moment.
A fan dropped off some old programs at the ballpark last week, but they weren’t Timber Rattlers programs or even Foxes programs.
The first two programs are Midwest League related in that they are the 1991 and 1992 Midwest League Yearbooks.
As always, click the image to enlarge.
Only two of the 14 teams on that 1992 program have the same name in 2015: The Kane County Cougars and the Peoria Chiefs. Please note that in 1992, it was the Quad City River Bandits and today it’s the Quad Cities River Bandits.
Also…The Rockford Expos really stretched to get the R into the Expos logo…and the Quad City Angels logo from 1991 is actually pretty nice.
There’s some good stuff inside both of those yearbooks (Ex: The 1991 Yearbook has an article on the final Wausau Timbers home game from the 1990 season). Believe that Flashback Friday will have material from both these sources.
The third has a Foxes/Timber Rattlers tie-in, but it has nothing to do with baseball. The cover of the program for the 1995 softball game between Bolton’s Bombers and Teague’s League that was held at Fox Cities Stadium.
The photo on the cover is from the 1994 game that was held at Goodland Field.
Some of the notable players on Teague’s League:
- Olympic Gold Medalist Dan Jansen
- Milwaukee Brewers GM Sal Bando
- Brewers Legends Cecil Cooper, Jim Gantner, Charlie Moore, and Robin Yount
- Packers Edgar Bennett, Ty Detmer, and John Jurkovic
- Green Bay television news anchor Tom Milbourn
- Green Bay morning radio host Murphy
There are some photos inside this program that will be shared at an appropriate time.
This week’s Flashback Friday is a look at the first Foxes Newsletter from 1992.
Here’s what that Newsletter looked like:
Alumni Birthdays for January 16:
Juan Sanchez (’09) – 28
Matt Renfree (’07) – 30
Jon Nelson (’03) – 35
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.
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.
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.
This was the most horrifying thing I saw on my vacation:
Great trip. Great view of the game…well except for this one:
Totally worth it:
Now…on to baseball.
The World Series is the Kansas City Royals vs. the San Francisco Giants. There are no former Timber Rattlers/Foxes on the Giants. As for the Royals: Raul Ibanez played for the Foxes. Mike Jirschele coached the Foxes. Lorenzo Cain, the ALCS MVP in 2014, was a Timber Rattler in 2009:
I guess it’s “Go, Royals!”
I left off on the regular season alumni report after the NL Central. So, here are the Timber Rattlers alumni to play in the NL East in 2014.
Asdrubal Cabrera (’05): 49 games, .229/.312/.389, 5HR, 21RBI
Greg Dobbs (’02): 15 games, .077/.077/.077, 0HR, 0RBI
Greg Dobbs (’02): 21 games, .214/.233/.250, 0HR, 2 RBI
Philippe Aumont (’08): 5 games, 0-1, 19.06ERA, 5.2IP, 5BB, 6K
Cesar Jimenez (’03): 16 games, 0-0, 1.69ERA, 16IP, 7BB, 8K
Rafael Soriano (’00): 64 games, 4-1, 3.19ERA, 32 Saves, 62IP, 19BB, 59K
Matt Thornton (’00): 18 games, 1-0, 0.00, 11.1IP, 2BB, 8K
Anthony Varvaro (’07): 61 games, 3-3, 2.63ERA, 54.2IP, 13BB, 50K
Alumni Birthdays for October 20:
Parker Berberet (’12, ’13) – 25
Fabian Williamson (’07) – 26
Harvey Pulliam (’87) – 47
Joe Costello (’64) – 69
The Pick-A-Seat event will be one week from today. It will be held from 4pm to 9pm at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium. There is a Rummage Sale, too.
Here is the 2015 Timber Rattlers schedule: 2015 Timber Rattlers Schedule
In case you missed it, here is Clint Coulter on Fox Sports Wisconsin from the September 13 game at Miller Park. There is some news in there:
As mentioned, Coulter will be participating in the advanced instructional league. @BrewersPD has the Brewers minor league players that will be participating:
Players attending advanced IL are: Coulter, Berberet, Garfield, Arcia, Brennan, McFarland, Orf, DavisJ, and Roache
— Brewers Player Dev (@BrewersPD) September 15, 2014
Pitchers attending advanced IL: Barnes, Cravy, Johnson, Peterson, Seidenberger, Uhen, Viramontes, and WilliamsT
— Brewers Player Dev (@BrewersPD) September 15, 2014
@BrewersPD also had the players that will be in the Brewers Instructional League:
For those interested, the 2014 Brewers Instructional League roster. pic.twitter.com/FtsypVPV7o
— Brewers Player Dev (@BrewersPD) September 15, 2014
There is one more MiLB game left in the season. The Triple-A Championship Game is being held tonight at BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, North Carolina. International League Champion Pawtucket will face Pacific Coast League Champion Omaha. The game will be shown on NBC Sports Network starting at 6pm CDT. MiLB.com has a preview article here.
If you are looking for a rooting interest in this game, Carlos Peguero – a Timber Rattlers outfielder in 2009 – led Omaha with 30 home runs. But, he is up with the Royals now and won’t be with Omaha tonight.
No alumni birthdays today. But, there is one anniversary of an MLB debut for September 16:
Shawn Estes, a first round pick of the Seattle Mariners in 1991, was a Timber Rattler in 1995. He also spent all of 1993 and part of 1994 in Appleton as a member of the Foxes.
The Mariners traded Estes – along with Wilson Delgado, another Timber Rattler – to the San Francisco Giants for Salomon Torres on May 21, 1995. Estes made his MLB debut with the Giants on September 16, 1995.
Estes made the start at Pittsburgh on that date and took the loss. He allowed five runs on four hits with three walks and five strikeouts over 5-1/3 innings pitched. Estes had a 2-1 lead heading into the sixth inning, but gave up the tying run before leaving with the bases loaded. All three runners he left on base would eventually score against the San Francisco bullpen.
Former Timber Rattlers pitching coach Chris Hook came on in relief later in that game for the Giants, too.
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.
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.
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.