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Ever wonder about attendance at old Goodland Field?
How about some of the old directors of Appleton Baseball? How were the
1987 Foxes doing in their first year as an affiliate of the Kansas City
Royals? This Foxes Notes column by Gary Shriver from the July 19, 1987
edition of the Appleton Post-Crescent will fill you in.
Fans flock to see Foxes
by Gary Shriver
*-With several promotional dates still ahead and the promise of continued good
weather, the Appleton Foxes may have one of the better seasons for attendance at
Goodland Field in the team's history.
The Foxes have drawn 45,583 fans to 46 home dates this season - including a
season-high crowd of 5,692 last Wednesday - compared to approximately 33,500
fans at the same time last season.
At this pace, the Foxes have a good chance of drawing over
70,000 for the sixth time in the history of the franchise.
The last time the team drew that many fans was two years ago when 76,860
fans attended Foxes' games. Other
70,000-plus seasons for the Foxes include 72,588 in 1982, 70,404 in 1980, 72,011
in 1979 and 72,851 in 1972. In 1952,
the old Appleton Papermakers drew 71,999.
Appleton professional baseball teams have also had attendances in excess of
80,000 on three occasions. The Foxes
drew 83,818 in 1970 and 83,881 in 1971 and the Papermakers played before 80,381
The best seasons for attendance at Goodland Field were 1949, when the Foxes drew
92,938 and 1978, when 91,401 saw the Foxes play.
Increased attendance is not the only bright spot for the Foxes' management
this season. The ballclub that the
Kansas City Royals have put on the field has played considerably better than
last season's edition, when the team was affiliated with the Chicago White
*-After 95 games, the Foxes - now a farm team of the Kansas
City Royals - were 50-45 and in first place in the Midwest League's Northern
Division, compared to a 39-56 record and a third-place standing in the division,
19-1/2 games out of first for last year's team, which was affiliated with the
Chicago White Sox.
The main reason for
the good showing of this year's team has been the ability to adjust to roster
changes. Early in the season, the
Foxes were winning behind their pitching, paced by starters Greg Hibbard and
Mike Butcher and reliever Chuck Mount. After
all three were promoted in June, the team has started to win with their
Last season at this time, the Foxes' team batting average was around .230;
only one regular, second baseman Billy Eveline, was over .300.
The Foxes currently have three regulars above or near .300, second
baseman Frankie Laureano, catcher-first baseman Pat Bailey and left fielder
Harvey Pulliam. The team has also
demonstrated good power, pounding out 54 home runs, despite playing half of
their games at spacious Goodland Field.
"We are really pleased the way this young club has battled all season," said
Kansas City Royals' Director of Player Development John Boles.
"Any team that loses their top three top pitchers, whatever the reason,
should have trouble. But this club
has adjusted. This has to be tribute
to the skills of (Manager) Ken Berry. We're
also very impressed by the fact that Appleton has never whined, not once.
They accept the fact that the purpose of the minors is player
development, and when the time comes for a player to move up, he moves.
I thank that adding our second A club in Appleton is the best thing we
have ever done."
*-The mid-season report on the Royals' farm system as a whole is mixed.
Appleton, Sarasota (rookie club) and Eugene (short-season Class A) are
all in the thick of the fight for league or division pennants and the Class AA
Memphis Chicks finished the first half of the Southern League season in second
place, five games out of first. However,
the Royals other Class A team, Fort Myers of the Florida State League, and Class
AAA affiliate Omaha have struggled most of the season.
*-The Royals have announced that they will shift their Florida State League
operation from Ft. Myers to Haines City, Fla., next season.
Haines City, which has built a "Baseball and Boardwalk" theme park
will also be the home for the Royals spring training complex and its extended
spring training and instructional league operations.
*-The Foxes suffered a loss recently with the deaths of Bob Kamps and Jerry Zapp.
Kamps, who passed away on July 10 was one of the original members of the
Foxes' board of directors. Zapp,
who died July 8, served as the Foxes vice president as well as being a member of
the board. Zapp also designed the
Foxes' and Midwest League logos.
"We lost two good men," said Foxes' President Gerry Patterson.
"Bob Kamps was from the old school going back to the days of Bob Willis
(the Foxes' first general manager) and Eddie Holtz, when directors really did
the directing. Jerry was more
contemporary and took an active role as a director and did a fine job.
Personally, I'll miss both, not only as directors, but also as good
*-Al Kubski, a scout for the Kansas City Royals, is in Appleton for the 10-game
homestand. Kubski, who double checks
minor league players for the Royals, travels all over the United States during
Also on hand for the start of the homestand were Cobby Saatzer, Midwest scout
for the Minnesota Twins, and Rick Schroeder, a part time scout for the San
Francisco Giants. Saatzer was
responsible for scouting and signing former UW-Oshkosh star Terry Jorgenson, now
playing for Kenosha of the Midwest League. Schroeder
played three seasons with UW-Oshkosh before signing with the Giants in 1970.
*-Among the season-high crowd of 5,692 at Wednesday's game against Beloit were a
number of foreign teenage visitors here on exchange programs.
They include Brigitte Foll and Francois Combes, both from France, Tina
Aalto from Finland and Elizabeth Henry from Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The 1987 season ended with an attendance of 81,208.
In the article, there was a table that put the top attendances in Goodland Field
history (to that point) in order. Here are the top 10:
The Foxes finished the 1987
season with a 71-69 record. They finished 11 games behind Kenosha in the
Northern Division. Appleton barely missed out on the Wild Card.
Clinton went 72-67 to edge Appleton, Waterloo (72-68), and Peoria (71-69) for
the final playoff spot in the league.
and Baseball. Remember the old ESPN
I remember when I heard Boardwalk and Baseball closed. I would feel the same way
when I heard Santa's
Village in East Dundee, Illinois closed.
Based on my research, I knew that Jerry Zapp had designed the AF logo of the
Foxes. But, I did not know that he also designed the Midwest League logo. I need
to go looking for that information for a future Flashback Friday.
Past Flashback Friday columns:
8: In fair territory (1994)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.