of the projects that I set for myself this past off season was to update the
record book for
baseball. Not the Timber Rattlers record book. An
baseball record book. One phrase
that has been running through my head since I decided to do this is: His eyes
were too big for his stomach.
are a few things that make this a bit difficult. Back in 1995, when the Appleton
Foxes moved into the new stadium and changed their name to Wisconsin Timber
Rattlers the decision was made to start the record book all over again. That
means the Timber Rattlers record book was -- for the most part -- easy to
complete. There are still a few holes in there, but I am confident that with a
look through a few things it will be easy to fill them.
before 1995, records are a bit scattered. Just this morning while looking up
information on Grover "Deacon" Jones, I found a list of record holders for
certain pitching and hitting categories in a 1973 program. These records date
back to the 1958 season, the season in which the Foxes came back to Goodland
Field. However, this is considered a separate franchise from the 1940-53
Appleton Papermakers. And I would guess that the 1909-1914 team and the 1891
team are considered separate entities as well. There are not a lot of programs
from those seasons hanging around the ballpark right now.
when it is mentioned that Juan Silvestre and Matt Hagen hold the record for most
homers in a season with 21, that is just the Timber Rattlers record. But, Lamar
Johnson holds the Foxes record for homers in a season with 26 dingers in 1972.
gets a little trickier with some other records. For example, if you look at the
Midwest League Record Book you would see David May as the record holder for
batting average in a season when he hit .368 in 1964. I figured that I
could just go with that, right? Wrong.
in the 1973 Foxes program, they have the record as Carlos
Pascual and a .371 average in 1959. That's
when it clicked. The 1958-1961 Foxes teams wouldn't be in the Midwest League
Record Book because they were in the Three-I League.
has been filling in some of the blanks over the last year. Plus, there was an
enterprising front office person in the 80's or 90's who went and tracked down
the season win-loss records for every team from 1891 up to the point that he
wrote it. Of course, I can't find
that program right now. But, you can see the results of that list at these pages
Rattlers) in the Baseball-reference.com Bullpen for
are some of the results (not mentioned above) that I have tracked down from at
least 1958. There may be some changes to records depending on what is found from
the time of the Papermakers and for the Foxes from 1973 to 1994.
This is something that will be revisited
later. Not sure how much later, but it will be revisited. It's just
a matter of digging through the mountain of data and microfilm to track it down
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.