Results tagged ‘ Appleton Foxes ’

Flashback Friday Supplemental: March 18, 2016

The main Flashback is over on the main website.  It is the game story about the Foxes pennant-clinching victory in Game Three of the 1967 Midwest League Championship Series.  The Supplemental Flashback is the notes column on that game from Tim Petermann.  But, FIRST!…some photos!

Game 3 1967 MWL Championship Series Photo 1 POST-CRESCENT PHOTO

A Happy Band of Appleton Foxes whoop it up after the team nipped the Wisconsin Rapids Twins, 3-2, for Appleton’s second consecutive Midwest League title Saturday night. At the left, catcher Chuck Brinkman hugs winning pitcher Durant Cooper after the last out, while Carl Champion (far left), Pedro Rivera, George Hunter, and Tom Rowe (street clothes) offer congratulations.

Game 3 1967 MWL Championship Series Photo 2 POST-CRESCENT

Bob Mewes (far left) bathes manager Alex Cosmidis in champagne while Willie Hooker (with bottle) contemplates joining in the fun. Shaking hands with Cosmidis is Durant Cooper. Roy Radmaker and Karl Simon light up victory cigarettes while Orville Hollrah (over Hooker’s shoulder) and Al Fitzmorris (to right of Hooker) look on.

‘It Was a Real Team Effort,’ Says Cosmidis
‘2 Years, It’s Skill,’ Quips Hooker

“I don’t know what to say,” a happy but not overexuberant Alex Cosmidis said amidst the joyous shouts of his Appleton Foxes in the locker room following their 3-2 comeback conquest of Wisconsin Rapids for their League pennant.

“It was a real team effort,” the congenial skipper finally managed to say, “Cooper was great in relief.  He was really blowing them.”  After a slight pause he quipped, “I got to go with those Carolina boys.”  (Both Cooper and Cosmidis are from North Carolina.)  He also noted “Radmaker hit the ball hard.”

Cooper admitted to it being his best game ever saying that he felt real good.  He added that he was nervous once and that was when Wisconsin Rapids cleanup hitter and ML batting champion Chuck Manuel came up.

Uses New Bat

Roy Radmaker, who came up with hits his last two times up Friday night and had two straight hits Saturday night noted that he broke out a new bat just Friday.  He and Cosmidis both felt that his last hard shot at Twins’ shortstop Emil Gove, which was ruled an error, should have been a hit, giving him five in a row.

Player-coach “Deacon” Jones was flowing with praise for Jose Ortiz.  “I couldn’t say enough about Jose,” said the 13-year veteran who has now played on 12 championship teams.  “He was directing traffic out there in the outfield, telling me where to play.  And that catch (Jose’s grab of Manuel’s smash at the fence with a man on second in the sixth) was fantastic.  I’m so happy they won, the kids won,” the beaming veteran stated.  “They beat a good club.  It was the crowning touch…my second and maybe final year in Appleton.”

Karl Simon, who was brushing his teeth when this writer finally cornered him in the locker room mumbled that the 400-foot-plus home run he hit was a fast ball a little outside.

Wily Willie Hooker, one of four veterans (Hooker, Jones, George Hunter, and Al Fitzmorris) that have been on both Foxes playoff championship teams was the man of the hour when he shouted aloud during the champagne showers, “One year, it’s luck; two years, it’s skill.”

Boxscore from Game Three of the 1967 MWL Championship Series

Game 3 MWL Championship Series Boxscore

Flashback Friday Supplemental – March 11, 2016

The main Flashback is the game story by John L. Paustian about Game Two of the 1967 Midwest League Championship Series.  It may be found on the main Timber Rattlers site.  The supplemental Flashback is a notes column on the game by Tim Petermann.

Game 2 MWL Championship Series

(Post-Crescent Image)

Cosmidis Proud of Foxes’ Comeback
Twins’ Winning Streak Ends at 7

“I was proud of the way they came back,” Appleton manager Alex Cosmidis stated in the locker room following his Foxes’ 8-5 victory over Wisconsin Rapids in the second game of the Midwest League playoffs.

With their backs to the wall, having lost the first game of the best-of-3 series, the Foxes halted the momentum of a 7-game Wisconsin Rapids win streak to even the series at one game apiece.  The Twins have now lost only three of their last 15 games, but all three defeats have been administered by the Foxes.

Cosmidis said that he felt before the game “we would win”.

The mild-mannered first-year skipper could not single out any individual stars for the Foxes, noting that everyone contributed something.  Cosmidis did state that Jose Ortiz is the key to the offense and has been all year.  “When he gets on base we win,” Cosmidis related.  The Puerto Rican speedster was on base all five times he was up.

Wisconsin Rapids pitchers also showed great respect for the Foxes’ speed merchant, who established a club record with 64 stolen bases, as over a dozen throws were directed to first to keep him close to the bag.  He was finally picked off once.

After making the statement, “We need more hitting out of our Np. 3, 4, and 5 men,” following Thursday’s loss, Cosmidis was pleased to point out that “Deacon” Jones, George Hunter, and Roy Radmaker (the No. 3, 4, and 5 men) had six hits between them to account for half of the Foxes total.

Cosmidis also praised the veteran Willie Hooker for his “superb job” of relief, one of his longest relief stints of the year.

Hooker was a littler perturbed with himself after the game for walking three Twins in the final frame but stated that he was not the least bit tired.  When queried about what appeared to be a control problem, Willie said he was “choking his curve ball.”

Hooker administered a little teasing to teammate Pedro Rivera in the locker room after the game because Pedro looked “a little tired.” Rivera replaced Hooker in the ninth with two out and threw one ball, a screwball, which was hit back to him and he threw the runner out to end the game.

‘Hardest Part’

In explaining his decision to take Hooker out, Cosmidis said that this is the hardest part of managing because he has one guess while everyone in the stands can second guess him.  He added that in tonight’s game the decision will be even harder with almost the entire Appleton staff available, yet he doesn’t want to pull a pitcher before he gets in the groove.

Cosmidis not only directed praise to his own team but he also directed some to the Twins.  He credited them with not giving up and being in the game right up until the end.

Player-coach “Deacon” Jones showed the same respect for the Twins.  He stated that Ray Bellino has done a good job with the Twins and they have always had good hitting.  He added that they are all a bunch of hustlers.

Both also agreed on another thing – that the Foxes had mental lapses in the field and gave the Twins a couple of runs.

Jones might have mixed feelings about his eighth inning hit off Twins’ veteran Ollie Brantley.  Brantley and Jones were roommates several years back in triple A ball.

Game Two Boxscore:

MWL Championship Series Game 2 Boxscore 9 1 67

Flashback Friday Supplemental – March 4, 2016

The main Flashback is over on the main Timber Rattlers web page.  It is about the Game One loss by the Foxes at Wisconsin Rapids in the 1967 Midwest League Championship Series.

The supplemental Flashback is a quick notes column from Tim Petermann that appeared in the September 1, 1967 edition of The Post-Crescent.

Cosmidis Keeps His Confidence Despite Opening-Game Defeat

“We got the men on base, we just didn’t hit with them on,” a disappointed but not entirely disgusted Alex Cosmidid stated Thursday night after the Appleton Foxes had dropped the first game of the Midwest League Playoffs to Wisconsin Rapids.

“We need more hitting out of our No, 3, 4, and 5 men,” said the skipper.  We got it from our No. 2 and 7 men.”  (Usually heavy-hitters “Deacon” Jones and George Hunter were hitless for the night while leaving eight men on base between them while Stu Singleton and Chuck Brinkman had five of Appleton’s eight hits.)

Cosmidis further commented, “The boys might have been trying a little too hard.  Tomorrow night might be different.”

Other than the fact that the Foxes might have had a few mental lapses in their base-running, Cosmidis admitted the team played a good game.  He noted especially that it was the Foxes’ second-best pitched game in Wisconsin Rapids (Steve Kokor limited the Twins to six hits and three runs in Witter Field in July) and was a good pitched game all around.

Remains Confident

Despite the setback, Cosmidis remained that the Foxes will win the playoffs.  He admitted the Twins had the momentum coming into the game and still have it going for them.  (Wisconsin Rapids has now won its last seven games in a row and 12 of their last 14, losing only to Appleton).  He added that the Foxes have got to snap out of their hitting slump.

Cosmidis lauded the performances of 18-year-old Stu Singleton and Chuck Brinkman.  Brinkman also sparked defensively in addition to his hitting as he picked off a runner at first and threw out another stealing.

Al Fitzmorris, who was victim of the two Wisconsin Rapids home runs, said afterwards that both pitches were sliders, the one to Robinson was inside and the one to Nordberg got away with him.

Although getting off to a shaky start (he threw 11 balls and 14 strikes in the first inning to account for over one quarter of the pitches he threw in seven innings).  Fitzmorris admitted it was one of his better performances in his last several outings and he felt pretty good.

George Hunter, the Foxes usually productive clean-up hitter admitted that he had been trying to “hit one out” and probably accounted for his hitless night.  He had two towering fly balls that he felt might have gone out had he not hit them so high.

Game One Boxscore

Game 1 MWL Championship Series BOXSCORE

Appleton Pro Baseball Birthdays – January 19

Three of today’s birthdays are for players who were Foxes and that includes one from Marion, Wisconsin.

January 19:
Mike Burrows – 40
Sal Urso – 44
Marshal Harper – 61
Ken Frailing – 68

The Marion native is Ken Frailing, who made the major leagues with the White Sox and the Cubs.

Marion, Wisconsin native Ken Frailing. From

Marion, Wisconsin native Ken Frailing. From

Ken Frailing
There was a Flashback Friday about Frailing back in 2013.

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.

There is also a SABR Biography on Frailing.

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.

I’m #5…I’m #5…I’m #5

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 Blogs Central:

1. Ben’s Biz Blog
2.’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:


But, seriously….

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.

Appleton Pro Baseball Birthdays – January 14:
Joe White – 30
TA Fulmer – 36
Rod Myers – 43
Brian McCormack – 50
Chris Jefts – 51
Terry Forster – 64
Nielsen Cochran – 75

Happy Birthday to Terry Forster, a member of the Appleton Professional Baseball Hall of Fame!

Happy Birthday to Terry Forster, a member of the Appleton Professional Baseball Hall of Fame!

Remembering a Mayor

I saw this tweet from Ed Berthiaume of The Post-Crescent yesterday and it reminded me of some photos in old Appleton Foxes Programs.

The link in the tweet went to this article.

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!

1981 Opening Day

The 1983 program included this letter from Johnson:

1983 letter from mayor

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.

An old program is a wonderful thing

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.

1995 teague bolton

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.

Flashback Friday Supplemental – January 16, 2015

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

Here’s what that Newsletter looked like:

foxes newsletter 3

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

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


Back to Work – October 20, 2014

This was the most horrifying thing I saw on my vacation:

Giant Papier-mâché heads of Don Shula & Dan Marino.

Giant Papier-mâché heads of Don Shula & Dan Marino.

Great trip.  Great view of the game…well except for this one:

Sit DOWN, sir!

Sit DOWN, sir!

Totally worth it:

Whoops.  How did THAT get in there?

Whoops. How did THAT get in there?

That's more like 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

Happy Birthday, Parker Berberet!

Happy Birthday, Parker Berberet!

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