The Timber Rattlers are wrapping up their 15th season of play in a few weeks. This edition of Mehring Monday will -- instead of looking back at things that have happened -- look at some things that haven't happened in team history...yet. These things are rare but every franchise has it happen every once in awhile.
THE CYCLE: A lot of Timber Rattlers players have been close to recording a single, a double, a triple, and a home run in the same game. Most recently, Brett Lawrie had all of them except the triple. It's going to happen eventually. It's just a question of whom.
A 9-INNING NO-HITTER AT HOME: Derrick Van Dusen threw a 9-inning no-hitter at Cedar Rapids back in 2001. JJ Putz tossed his no-no here in Grand Chute, but is was a 7-inning affair and he also allowed in a run. The closest in recent years to a 9-inning no-hit game at Time Warner Cable Field was in 2007. Tony Butler retired the first 20 batters he faced in a game against the Beloit Snappers on August 10.
A THREE-HOMER GAME: A lot -- and I do mean a lot -- of Timber Rattlers have had two-homer games. David Ortiz, Juan Silvestre, Wladimir Balentien, Adam Jones, and Brock Kjeldgaard have had two homer games. But none have ever cracked a three-homer game. Someone will eventually, maybe even before the end of this season.
A TRIPLE PLAY: There has been a triple play turned against the Rattlers, but as a franchise -- to my knowledge and in my research -- they haven't turned one on another Midwest League team.
A CHAMPIONSHIP: It's unfair to put this one out there, but no one ever accused me of being fair. Besides, a good list should have at least five things on it. The last championship won by an Appleton baseball team was the 1984 Appleton Foxes. That was the final of three straight Midwest League Championships for the Foxes.
Since becoming the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 1995, the Rattlers have made the Championship series three times. In 1996, the West Michigan Whitecaps beat the Rattlers in four games. In 1999, the Burlington Bees topped the Rattlers. In 2005, it was the South Bend Silver Hawks that edged Wisconsin. Those last two Championship near misses were particularly heart-wrenching to Timber Rattlers fans. In both 1999 and 2005, the Timber Rattlers lost Game One and Game Two on the road; won Game Three and Game Four at home; only to lose Game Five at home.
So there is a list of things that haven't happened yet for the Timber Rattlers. But, you know that they will happen eventually. Will you be there when they do?
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