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Mehring Monday: Record Collection

January 18, 2010

One of the projects that I set for myself this past off season was to update the record book for Appleton baseball. Not the Timber Rattlers record book. An Appleton 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.

Here 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.

However 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.

So, 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.

It 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.

Looking 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 (Papermakers, Foxes (FC), Foxes (APL), Timber Rattlers) in the Bullpen for Appleton , Wisconsin .

Here 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.

Player (Year) Category  Record
Willie Hooker (1966) Games 55
Paul Patterson (1972) Starts 28
Paul Fagan (2006) Starts 28
Don Eddy (1969) Wins 19
Rich Gossage Wins 19
Henry King (1963) Saves 19
John Thompson (1995) Saves 19
Don Eddy (1969) ERA 1.81
Mickey Abarabanel (1966) Strikeouts 206
Juan Silvestre (1999) RBI 107
Pete Ward (1960) Hitting Streak 24 straight
John Scruggs (1962) Triples 15
Pedro Liriano (2001) Stolen Bases 65
Carlos Pascual (1959) Hits 171

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 for posterity.


9/21: It's a Common Question

10/5: Other Sports

10/12: Spinoff

10/19: Sick Day

10/26: Fat Pat

11/2: MVP

11/9: Veterans

11/16: Appleton's Cy Young Award Winner

11/23: Prognostication

11/30: Bo

12/7: Bird on a Monday Night

12/14: History Lesson

12/21: So close

1/4: Futureball

1/11: Eat Like a Champion