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The fiftieth anniversary of
Three-I League Championship of the Fox
Cities Foxes is this year. There
is a lot on the back burner for now about that season, but after a couple of
days of research at the Appleton Public Library, Flashback
Friday thought the first edition of 2010 would be a good time to share a
little bit of our treasure trove.
The following article is
from the Appleton Post-Crescent and it
was written by Sports Editor John L. Paustian.
It originally appeared in the April 29, 1960 copy of the PC.
This was part of a big section in the paper that had details about each
of the players on the Foxes' roster and it was published the day before the
home opener at Goodland Field. The
story starts out as a preview of the 1960 season but turns into a review of the
Foxes Accent Bonus Talent In Bid for a
'59 Showings of Oriole-Provided
Players Offer Encouragement
The Fox Cities Foxes are
putting the accent on wealthy youth in an effort to make the biggest splash in
their 3-year history in the Class B Three-I league.
Approximately one-third of
a million dollars of "bonus" talent - provided by new major league
- will be on display at Goodland field this spring and summer.
In becoming associated with the Orioles - after two seasons with
- the Foxes have become part of one of baseball's most vigorous building
has the youngest roster in the majors and is
fourth high among the 16 clubs in the payment of bonus money.
The Orioles, without a
Class B affiliate last season, were so anxious to hook up with Fox Cities that
their assistant farm director (Harry Dalton) spent five days here last fall
completing the negotiations.
Foxes fans hope the new,
1960 approach will produce a contending ball club - such as
were in the 1959 Three-I League race. In
each of those cases, the teams - which finished 1-2-3 last year - were
stocked with bonus talent, much as the '60 Foxes are.
Past performances of the
1960 Fox Cities personnel offer encouragement for a good season.
Most of the members on the Foxes roster played last year at Aberdeen
(S. Dak.), Stockton
(Calif.) and Bluefield
finished second in the Class C Northern League.
finished a close third in the Class C California League.
, which was fourth in the Class D Appalachian circuit, set the pace most of the
way until hit by injuries.
in Winter League
Additionally, seven of the
current Foxes played on the
club which took third place (one game out of second and seven out of first) in
the 8-team Florida Winter league.
Earl Weaver, the Foxes'
third manager in as many seasons, has never known a sub-first division finish as
After a long famine, Fox
Cities baseball patrons had a taste of heads-up winning baseball in the final
six or eight weeks of the 1959 season. The
Foxes won 20 of their last 29 games at home to finish fourth in the second-round
race and fourth (by one game) in the season-long standings.
The spurt, however, came
too late to attract the kind of gate attention it should have.
Fans began staying away in droves after an unsettled lineup played
lackluster ball for the first month and a half.
The Foxes wound up seventh in the first-half standings with a 26-39
Total attendance for the
season dropped to around 52,000. But,
the Foxes' management was encouraged and
was impressed because the team finished in the black, financially, for the
second straight year despite another below-.500 ball club.
Foxes' fans were treated
to a number of bright spots last year in addition to the club's strong finish.
Vila gave the Foxes their second straight batting champion ("Potato"
Pascual had won it in 1958).*
Bruckbauer, the Foxes had the league's "rookie of the year."
The Foxes also had two of the four earned-run leaders in the circuit -
Bruckbauer, No. 2; and Hector
Maestri, No. 4.
And for the second straight
season, the Foxes led the league in opening-game attendance.
They'll shoot for No. 3 Saturday night.
As fans watch the same
eight teams perform at Goodland field as in 1959, they'll be a part of a pro
baseball venture which (along with
) is second only to that of the Milwaukee Braves in all of
Weaver was 29 years old when the 1960 season started.
Repeating: Earl Weaver was 29 years old when the 1960 season started.
2.) This fact about the
hall of fame manager comes from the issue of the paper with the story about the
"Welcome Home Banquet" from earlier in the 1960 season. Earl
Weaver was a loan officer during the off season.
Repeating: Earl Weaver was a loan officer during the off season.
Can you imagine going into the bank to ask Earl Weaver for a loan?
3.) The Harry
mentioned above is THE
Harry Dalton, the one
that became the General Manager of the Milwaukee Brewers in 1978.
4.) The Orioles are
still in Bluefield.
5.) The Orioles left
Appleton and the Midwest League after the 1965 season.
They returned for one season (1989)
as a co-op with the Padres and Athletics in Waterloo, one season (1990)
in Wausau and two seasons (1991-1992)
in Kane County before leaving for Albany,
Georgia in 1993.
's current affiliate at the level of the Timber Rattlers is Delmarva
of the South Atlantic League.
6.) If you click on that
link for 1990, you will be taken to the team stats of the Wausau Timbers for
that season. That was the last year
of pro baseball in
. It appears that the last player
team still active in the big leagues is...Greg
Zaun, the new Brewers
free agent signee.
Three-I League (The I's stood for Iowa-Illinois-Indiana) had no teams in
Illinois or Indiana for the 1960 season, but there were two teams in Wisconsin,
a team in Kansas, a team in Nebraska, and four teams in Iowa.
8.) 'Goodland field' is
written just like that in every article we have seen from the 1960 season.
It does seem a little weird not to have the 'f' in field capitalized.
But, we are trying to stay true to the style of the articles as they were
9.) The ad used as the
picture for this week's Flashback
had to be cropped. To see a full
size version of it, head over to Rattler
10.) Regarding the ad: We
couldn't decide if our favorite part was the cartoon fox or the cartoon oriole
perched on the bat.
11.) Hernan Vila is listed
as Hernan (
) Valdes at his Baseball-Reference.com page.
Also, "Potato" Pascual is probably better known as Carlos Pascual.
12.) The 'long famine'
referred to dates back to probably 1914. The
entry in the Wisconsin-Illinois League won the title in 1910 season and
finished above .500 three of the next four seasons before folding after the 1914
season. The Papermakers of 1940-1942
and 1946-1953 made the playoffs twice, finished above .500 one time, and won no
championships. The 1958 and 1959
versions of the Foxes each finished with a losing record.
13.) The NOTES AND REACTIONS section is now longer than the actual
Previous Flashback Fridays:
Organist at Goodland Field
The Next Unit
The Beginning of the End
Craig Kuzmic x 9
Foxes in SI
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.