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Friday is going to maintain the Champions theme over the next few weeks.
This week, the 1967 Appleton Foxes defend their Midwest League
championship by winning Game Three of a best-of-three series with the Wisconsin
The game occurred on September 2, 1967 at Goodland Field.
The two stories below appeared in the September 3 edition of the Post
Foxes Edge Twins for ML Championship
Rally for 3-2 Victory and Second Straight Pennant
by Ron Witt
"He grew up out there
tonight," a slightly disheveled and champagne-soaked Deacon Jones was heard to
say in Appleton's steamy locker room.
The Foxes veteran player-coach,
still beaming over his teammates' come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Wisconsin
Rapids, was referring directly to fire-balling reliefer Durant Cooper.
But if overcoming adversity is a big part of growing up, the Appleton
Foxes may have finished the 1967 baseball season a team of grown men.
Appleton garnered its second
consecutive Midwest League crown Saturday night by overcoming an early 2-0
deficit to win, 3-2, scoring what proved to be the winning run in the seventh
inning on an error by Twins' shortstop Emil Grove.
The victory climaxed the 3-game
Midwest League playoff series, which saw the second-half champion Foxes fight
back for the title after losing the opening game to the first-half champion
Appleton's winning of the
crown for the second successive year was the first time any ML team had
accomplished the feat since Waterloo won three straight times in 1958, '59,
and '60. It also marked the second
year in a row Appleton came back to win after dropping the first game.
It was fitting that the
youngest Fox on the squad, shortstop Stu Singleton (18-years-old) had the
distinction of scoring the winning marker. And
it was fitting, too, that Cooper, the youngest of the Foxes' pitchers got
credit for the triumph in relief.
Singleton had walked off
reliever Jim Fuchs, who came in after Jose Ortiz laid down a perfect bunt
between the mound and first to start the seventh.
A fielder's choice and a ground out moved runners to second and third,
and Singleton romped home when Gove couldn't handle Roy Radmaker's hot
grounder. Radmaker had earlier
collected two of Appleton's five hits.
Cooper, meantime, took the
mound for manager Alex Cosmidis in the seventh inning and faced only 10 batters
in the final three innings. He allowed one hit to Ezell Carter and fanned four.
Rapids gained a 2-0 lead in the
second on Charley Manuel's single, a walk to Al Nordberg, and Steve Free's
slice single to right. The hit
scored Manuel but Free was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.
Glen smith brought Norberg in with a sacrifice fly.
The Foxes got one of the runs back in the third, when right-fielder Karl Simon
poked Bob Rommes' first pitch over the 400-foot sign in center field.
The tying tally came in on Chuck Brinckman's clutch single with two
outs in the sixth that plated George Hunter.
Some spectacular fielding by
the Foxes prevented Rapids from scoring throughout the contest.
Speedster Jose Ortiz, who patrols center field, crashed into the wall in
right center in the sixth to haul down Manuel's long drive.
Jones also made a one-handed stab of a sinking liner, also off Manuel's
bat, to start the fourth. Both
drives could have gone for extra bases.
Years, It's Skill,' Quips Hooker
'It Was a Real Team Effort,' Says Cosmidis
By Tim Petermann
"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.
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
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
Wily Willie Hooker, one of four
veteran (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
Manuel in the story is currently the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.
"Deacon" Jones is a member of the Appleton Professional Baseball Hall of
Fame. In 1967, he was a 33-year-old
The official attendance at
Goodland Field for Game Three was 1,346
Game One of the Championship
Series was at Witter Field in Wisconsin Rapids.
The Twins won the game 3-1. Game
Two was at Goodland Field and the Foxes forced Game Three with an 8-5 win.
Judging by the final
standings in the Midwest League for 1967, these were two even teams.
The Foxes had the best record in the league at 71-46.
The Twins had the second best at 70-46.
Wisconsin Rapids won the first half with a 37-17 record.
Appleton won the second half with a 37-26 record.
Three Foxes from Game Three
played in the Major Leagues: Jones,
Chuck Brinkman, and Jose Ortiz. One
Twins player in Game Three made the bigs: Manuel.
Appleton and Wisconsin Rapids
met twice more in the post season. The
Foxes won both meetings. Appleton
won a first round series against the Twins in 1972 and again in 1974.
Wisconsin Rapids would win the Midwest
League in 1973.
In the story we see proof that players and managers disagreeing with calls by
official scorers is not a recent development.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.