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Flashback Friday: Down to the Wire (1969)
10/18/2013 1:50 AM ET
The 1969 Appleton Foxes prepare for a road trip.
The 1969 Appleton Foxes prepare for a road trip. (Post-Crescent Photo)

The Appleton Foxes had won pennants in 1966 and 1967. They missed out on the playoffs in 1968 but, they were back for 1969. The Foxes started the 1969 season with 10 straight wins. But, they had not yet clinched a spot heading into the final day of the first half on June 28 at Wisconsin Rapids. The Foxes won the game, but even that didn't guarantee them a postseason spot.

Today's Flashback is from the June 29, 1969 edition of The Post-Crescent with all the details for an interesting final day of the first half.

Foxes Win, 6-4, Tie for Crown With Quad Cities
Playoff for First-Half Title Set Here July 16; Moloney Preserves Victory

WISCONSIN RAPIDS - The Appleton Foxes gained a share of the Midwest League's first half championship as they downed Wisconsin Rapids, 6-4, at Witter Field here Saturday Night.

The Foxes, who started the game in a 3-way tie for the lead, share the championship with Quad Cities, which beat Decatur 7-2. Quincy, the third of the tri-leaders, was rained out and finished a half game behind.

Appleton and Quad Cities will stage a 1-game playoff at Goodland Field July 16 to determine the first half champ. The first-round ruler will play host for the ML All-Star title July 21 and battle the second half titlist for the league championship early in September.

Saves Victory

It was 19-year-old righthander Rich Malone who came on for the second straight night in a tense situation and saved the victory for the Foxes.

With the Foxes leading 5-3, and two out and two on in the bottom of the eighth, Moloney was called to spell starter Bart Johnson. He gave up a run-scoring single to Jim Lewis. Then Marv Danielson was safe on an error to load the bases.

But Moloney bore down and struck out pinch hitter Bill Perkins to end the inning. The 6-foot-3 righthander then struck out the side in the ninth to save win No. 8 for Johnson.

Johnson now shares the team lead in wins with Don Eddy. Before he was relieved, the 6-foot-5 righthander fanned 11 to raise his league-leading total to 103.

Glenn Redmon, the newly acquired infielder who was instrumental in last night's 7-6 triumph as he belted a 3-run homer, hit safely in his first three times up and added a squeeze bunt to drive in three runs.

The Foxes scored first when Glenn Redmon doubled in Johnson, who and singled and Roger Reid who had doubled, in the second.

Wisconsin Rapids tied the count in the fourth on a 2-run triple by Bob Wissler.

Appleton went out in front for good with two markers in the sixth. Wayne Weatherly and Max Correa each drew a walk. Johnson advanced both with a sacrifice bunt. Reid's single plated Weatherly and Correa scored on Redmon's sacrifice bunt.

A walk, single by Weatherly and a wild pitch put Greg Howell on third in the seventh. He scored when Wissler bobbled Correa's ground ball.

The Twins pulled within one in the eighth. Johnson had struck out the side in the seventh and had fanned the first two men he faced in the eighth when Wissler slammed a home run. When Jose Stennett and Jerry Schleglmilch followed with singles, manager Tom Saffell motioned for Moloney and he put out the fire.

The Foxes added an insurance run in the ninth. George Hunter led off with a double, went to third on a groundout and scored on Correa's sacrifice fly to left.

The Foxes collected 11 hits off four Twins' hurlers and were issued seven walks. They stranded 11 runners. Wisconsin Rapids had nine hits and left eight men on base.

NOTES:

The Foxes, Quad Cities, and Quincy entered the final game of the first half tied at 34-19. Wisconsin Rapids was 12-39 heading into the last game of the half. Quad Cities would face a Decatur team that was 14-34 heading into the final game of the half.

We'll take a look at the first-half tie-breaker game next week.

Quincy was an affiliate of the Chicago Cubs in 1969. When you think about how the 1969 season went for the big league team, it shouldn't be a surprise that Quincy missed out on the playoffs because they got rained out on the final day of the first half.

Past Flashbacks:

Second Half Preview (1966)

How the Foxes Got Their Name (1958)

McKeon named Foxes Manager (1958)

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.
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