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Old 09-20-2018, 01:13 AM   #81
Dukie98
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10 Year Update

After 10 seasons, and in light of the fact that some of the brightest lights in the HRDL universe started mid-career in the inaugural season of 2010, league management decided to open the Hall of Fame. Initially, players would only need 5 seasons of service time to be eligible to appear on the ballot, with a 3-year waiting period. (The parameters were chosen in part to accommodate Sandy Koufax, who blew his elbow out after 5 glorious seasons, coupled with 2 injury-riddled season) Management anticipated raising the service-time minimum to 10 seasons in approximately 5 years.

No one was elected in the inaugural ballot. The top vote recipients were:
Sandy Koufax (HAR) - 64.9%
Jakie May (VAN/ BUF/ CHA) - 47.7%
Dick Allen (SEA/ LA) - 12.9%
Hippo Vaughn, Phil Niekro, and David Ortiz were dropped from the ballot after failing to reach 1%.
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Old 09-21-2018, 11:45 PM   #82
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2021 Mid-Year Review

Here's a quick overview on the major storylines across the league at the 2021 All-Star Break:

Exceeding expectations: The Detroit Purple Gang, who had not made the playoffs since 2012, were a most unlikely candidate to feature the best record in baseball at the All-Star break, leading the Great Lakes Division by 11 1/2 games with a 51-23 record. Outfielders Candy Maldonado and Bobby Higginson anchored a balanced offense which featured six players with double-digit homers. The league's second-best pitching staff was led by defending Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander, who sported a 9-1 record and a 2.01 ERA, while closer Guy Hoffman took 29 saves and a microscopic 0.62 ERA into the break. The St. Louis Pilots were perhaps the biggest turnaround story in baseball. After going 7 straight years without winning more than 65 games, they took a 42-33 record into the break, leading the Great Plains Division by 3 1/2 games. Blossoming sluggers Gabby Hartnett, who hit .333 with 17 homers and 52 RBIs, and Jack Clark, who hit .289 with 16 homers and 59 RBI's, led an unexpectedly-strong offense, while defending batting champ DJ LeMahieu hit .344 with 32 steals. In the Continental League, the Hartford Huskies looked to end their ten-year playoff drought, taking a 42-33 record into the break, as Norm Cash, Gorman Thomas, and Mitch Moreland sparked an offense which led the league in homers. But the Huskies needed to outslug opponents, as their pitching staff ranked 21st in the league in runs allowed. The Memphis River Pirates had been, by virtually any measure, the worst team in the HRDL since its inception, never winning more than 73 games. But they entered the break squarely in the hunt for a wild card spot with a 40-35 record, as Bobby Bonds hit .297 with 22 homers, 56 RBI's, and 21 steals, while center fielder Larry Doby joined him on the All-Star team after hitting .322 with 16 homers and 56 RBI's.

Disappointments: Although the Baltimore Robins suffered some losses in free agency (most notably, Patrick Corbin), no one expected the team to collapse into free-fall. After winning 90 and 86 games the prior two years, they plummeted to a league-worst 19-54 record. The team hit just .233 with a league-worst .299 on-base percentage -- most notably, catcher Willson Contreras had an awful season, hitting an anemic.151 with 3 homers and just 7 RBI's in over 200 at bats. After significant injuries to Paul Dean and Joe Ross, the Robins featured the worst pitching in the league, as their only two ERA qualifiers- Lance Painter and Lum Harris - combined for a dreadful 4-21 record with a combined ERA of 7.40. Although the Kansas City Mad Hatters had topped 100 wins in two of the last three years, they were in danger of missing the postseason after sputtering to a 35-39 start. Free agent acquisition Gary Sheffield had a disappointing start, hitting just .222 with 11 homers, while southpaw Billy Pierce went just 4-7, while his ERA doubled to a dreadful 5.12. In the Continental League, The underachieving Miami Flamingos, who had made the playoffs 3 years in a row and in 6 of the last 7 seasons, went just 30-45. Brett Tomko, a 17-game winner last season, stumbled to a 2-6 start with a middling 3.88 ERA. The Washington Ambassadors started the year 1-12, ending the first half in last place with a 29-46 record and the worst offense in the league. Perhaps nothing demonstrated their offensive ineptitude more than the fact that Yuniesky Betancourt was among their top three home run hitters -- and inexplicably, he was playing first base.

Boston bulks up: After making their first playoff appearance in franchise history last year, the Boston Minutemen were aggressive in free agency, signing first baseman Steve Garvey, second baseman Joe Panik, shortstop Larry Bowa, left fielder Lonnie Smith, and catcher Salvador Perez. The new additions boosted a solid offense and upgraded their defense, as the Minutemen ended the first half in first place in the Northeast Division with a 50-24 record, and they were third in the league in runs allowed.

Kangaroos' streak in jeopardy: The Los Angeles Kangaroos have made the playoffs every year in the HRDL's ten-year history, including a 7-year streak of at least 99 wins. But after spending the first half hopping around the .500 mark, the Kangaroos were at risk of missing the playoffs, ending the first half in third place with a 39-36 record, but just one game out of first place. Five-time All-Star Trevor Story struggled, hitting just .244 with 9 homers, while second-year slugger Rhys Hopkins hit just .192 (although he bopped a team-high 18 homers). The team struggled to file the holes created by the loss of free agents Gary Sheffield and Joe Panik.

Major milestones: Cleveland first baseman Nate Colbert and Minneapolis first baseman Cy Williams hit their 300th homers, while Seattle shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was likely to hit that mark by Labor Day. Jacksonville right fielder Bryce Harper, Chicago left fielder Del Ennis, Los Angeles third baseman Simon Nicholls, and Dallas third baseman Carney Lansford became the first players in league history to top 2,000 hits, while Jacksonville third baseman Wade Boggs ended the first half with 1,999 hits. Phoenix left fielder Rickey Henderson reached the 700 steal mark, while San Antonio shortstop Donie Bush topped 800.

Major injuries: An epidemic of significant pitching injuries struck the HRDL. Most notably, London ace Cy Blanton injured his elbow on Opening Day, and was not expected to return until mid-September. Baltimore's Paul Dean, after a 4-2 start, would miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury; the rest of the team combined for a dreadful 15-52 start. Boston closer Kelvin Escobar, who had 34 saves with a 2.18 ERA, tore an elbow tendon in spring training, causing him to miss the entire season. Seattle southpaw Rube Benton, who had a 3.19 ERA for the defending champions, missed the season after he tore his rotator cuff in spring training. Among position players, Cleveland shortstop Jose Reyes paid the price after suffering a season-ending broken kneecap after he attacked his son's Little League coach (!) in May.

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Old 09-23-2018, 03:42 AM   #83
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2021 Year in Review

Frontier League: The upstart Boston Minutemen, fresh off a run to the League Championship Series last season, and with several free agency upgrades, led the Northeast Division for most of the season before sputtering in August and early September. The Minutemen rallied, however, winning their last 4 games to force a one-game playoff with the Buffalo Fighting Elk with 98 wins, and Boston prevailed 4-3 when All-Star third baseman Gary Gaetti hit an 11th inning homer. Gaetti led the Minutemen with 38 homers and 117 RBI's, while left fielder Lonnie Smith hit .323, with 23 homers, 23 steals, and scored 120 runs out of the leadoff slot. Hideo Nomo went 17-10 with a 2.70 ERA, a 1.16 WHIP, and 249 strikeouts. Buffalo's pitching staff continued to dominate, as Ray Collins went 17-5 with a 2.04 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP, and Bill Voiselle went 17-6 with a 2.52 ERA. Their offense was substantially improved, as they finished third in the Frontier League in homers, led by first baseman Rick Renick, who hit 29 homers and drove in 87 runs, and third baseman Richie Hebner, who hit .304 with 27 homers and 85 RBI's. The Detroit Purple Gang won a franchise-best 100 games, returning to the postseason for the first time since 2012, as they won the Great Lakes Division by 11 games. They were led by a deep pitching staff, as Dwight Gooden went 18-5 with a 2.28 ERA, Justin Verlander went 16-8 with a 2.31 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, and 262 strikeouts, while closer Guy Hoffman earned 47 saves with a stellar 1.42 ERA. Although the Toronto Predators never genuinely contended for the division title, they marched back to the postseason with 89 wins, led by right fielder George "High Pockets" Kelly, who hit .295 with 31 homers and 111 RBI's, and first baseman Todd Helton, who hit .311 with 44 doubles, 18 homers, and 98 RBI's. Second-year pitcher Tex Carleton went 17-12 with a strong 2.75 ERA.

The Chicago Mules flipped a switch at midseason, ending June with a dreary 34-46 mark, but they seized control of the Great Plains Division for good with an 18-4 stretch to start September, ultimately taking the division with 88 wins. Catcher Cameron Rupp led a balanced offense by hitting .283 with 19 homers and a team-high 94 RBI's, while four teammates topped 20 homers, and ace Roger Clemens went 14-12 with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. They narrowly edged out the Minneapolis Penguins, who were led by a Cy Young-caliber season from Madison Bumgarner, who went 21-6 with a 1.82 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. and by slugging leftfielder Cy Williams, who hit .293 with 32 homers and 90 RBI's. A 3-12 stretch in mid-September froze the Penguins out of the playoffs. The feel-good story for most of the season was the St. Louis Pilots, who had not topped 65 wins in a season since 2013. Although they led the division for most of the year, the Pilots crash-landed down the stretch, starting September with a 6-15 stretch. Blossoming stars Gabby Hartnett, who hit .321 with 32 homers and 103 RBI's, and Jack Clark, who hit .287 with 29 homers and 115 RBI's led a surprisingly productive offense, while DJ LeMahieu and rookie sensation Francisco Lindor anchored one of the league's top defenses. The Denver Spikes rallied down the stretch, winning their final 6 games to take the Northwest Division by a single game with 96 wins. Mickey Mantle was the prohibitive favorite to win his sixth MVP Award, as the only thing that kept him from his third triple crown was teammate Phil Clark, who unexpectedly led the league with 145 RBI's. Mantle, Clark, and 30-year-old rookie Fred Odwell each topped 40 homers and 100 RBI's. The defending champion Seattle Whales featured perhaps the best balance between offense and defense, as they were led by left fielder Heinie Manush, who hit .335 with 16 homers and 82 RBI's, slugging first baseman Ryan Howard, who launched 30 homers with 99 RBI's, as well as southpaw Dontrelle Willis, who went 16-9 with a 2.37 ERA. The shockingly consistent Calgary Cattle Rustlers (who had won 81, 83, 83, 83, and 81 games during the prior five seasons) returned to the postseason for the first time since 2012, winning 91 games. First baseman Kevin Millar led a balanced offensive attack, hitting .316 and slugging .522, with 20 homers and 87 RBI's. Fred Newman carried the pitching staff, going 16-9 with a strong 2.54 ERA, while closer Bob Veale notched 35 saves with a 1.73 ERA.

Continental League: The Atlantic Division was once again the most competitive in baseball. The Charlotte Aviators returned to the postseason for the ninth straight season with one of the most prolific offenses in league history, scoring 966 runs, as free agent signee Jim Edmonds hit .312 with 40 doubles, 36 homers and 123 RBI's. Right fielder Cliff Heathcote hit 30 homers, drove in 114 runs, and swiped a career-high 75 bags. Lefty Williams anchored a solid, if unspectacular, pitching staff, going 21-5 with a 3.49 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP, winning his last 8 decisions of the year. The Jacksonville Gulls won 96 games, led by the lefthanded triumvirate of Bryce Harper, Keith Hernandez, and Wade Boggs, each of whom hit at least .334, while combining for 68 homers and 310 RBI's. Once again, injuries to the pitching staff proved to be the Gulls' downfall, as Ray Sadecki went 14-3 with a 2.48 ERA and 1.06 WHIP before tearing his labrum, while Bill Gogolewski went 14-9 before blowing out his elbow. The slugging Virginia Beach Admirals made their second straight postseason appearance, as the team blasted 213 homers, led by catcher John Peters, who hit .311 with 42 homers and 117 RBI's, as well as third baseman Bill Melton and right fielder Chili Davis, who combined for 69 homers, and 207 RBI's, while Davis stole 61 bases to boot. In the Southeast Division, the 96-win Atlanta Ducks unexpectedly took the title with a balanced performance, ranking in the top four in the Continental League in both runs scored and runs allowed. Catcher Tim Laudner was the breakout star, hitting .304 and slugging .567 with 28 homers and 86 RBI's, while second baseman Jimmy Walsh ripped 23 homers and drove in 101 runs. The Ducks held off the 93-win Nashville Blues, who took a big step back offensively but allowed just 520 runs, as four starters sported ERA's below 3.00, including Dave Ferriss, who went 16-9 with a 2.06 ERA. The New Orleans Crawfish returned to the postseason despite one of the weakest offenses in baseball, largely due to a superb season by righthander Heinie Berger, who went 23-7 with a 1.68 ERA, a 0.98 WHIP, and 220 strikeouts.

In the Texas Division, the El Paso Armadillos and Houston Pythons remained neck-and-neck for virtually the entire second half. Fittingly, they tied for the division lead with 89 wins, with El Paso prevailing 7-5 in a one-game playoff. El Paso second baseman Joe Gordon blossomed after an injury-riddled rookie season, hitting. 307 with 32 homers and 116 RBI's, while Michael Taylor hit 29 homers and drove in 87 runs. Closer George Mohart saved 42 games and sported a 1.74 ERA. Houston was led by dynamo center fielder Kirby Puckett, who hit .297 with 22 homers nad a career-high 96 RBI's, while DH Jake Daubert virtually matched Puckett, hitting .297 with 22 homers and 97 RBI's. While the Los Angeles Kangaroos stumbled in the first half, they used a brilliant stretch run to coast to their 11th straight postseason race, going 19-4 in September (including an 11-game winning streak during the final two weeks of the year. DH Glenn Davis hit .275 with 36 homers and 96 RBI's while second-year slugger Rhys Hopkins bopped 40 round-trippers and drove in 97 runs. Ace Brett Anderson went "just" 17-7 with a 2.63 ERA.
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Old 09-26-2018, 02:04 AM   #84
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2021 Playoff Report

Frontier League: The Detroit Purple Gang waited nine years to return to the postseason, but it was worth the wait, as they dispatched the Toronto Predators in six games. Ace Justin Verlander was named series MVP after going 2-0 with a 0.54 ERA, including a two-hit shutout in Game 1. Detroit third baseman Charlie Neal hit just .222, but smacked three homers. In one of the most dramatic series of the postseason, the heavily-favored Buffalo Fighting Elk edged out the upstart Chicago Mules in 7 games -- 4 of which were decided by a single run, and two more by a 2-run margin. Buffalo scored just 13 runs in 7 games, but won Game 6 3-1 after first baseman Rick Renick hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the eighth inning off Brad Lidge, and they won Game 7 by a 1-0 tally, with Ray Collins and Dick Radatz combining for the shutout, and center fielder Darin Erstad plating catcher Dave Nilsson with the lone run of the game. Nilsson took home the hardware in a controversial decisions after hitting .367 with a homer, while righthander Jair Jurrjens went 1-0 with a 0.54 ERA, allowing just 5 hits in 16 innings. In perhaps the best pitching duel in HRDL history, Jurrjens threw 9 innings of one-hit shutout ball in Game 2, while Chicago's Jason Isringhausen matched him, allowing just 1 hit in 8.1 innings, while Chicago ultimately won 1-0 after a Del Ennis walk-off homer in the 13th inning. The Denver Spikes nearly blew a 3-1 series lead against the defending champion Seattle Whales before winning Game 7 in a 11-3 romp. Star rightfielder Mickey Mantle was named series MVP after hitting .407 with two homers -- both in Game 7 -- and 5 RBIs. Denver's Bruce Berenyi won his lone decision while sporting a 1.23 ERA, while Seattle southpaw Dontrelle Willis went 1-0 with a 1.26 ERA of his own. The Boston Minutemen easily handled the Calgary Cattle Rustlers in five games, winning the final four after getting stampeded by Calgary in the opener. Center fielder AJ Pollock was named MVP after hitting .381 and slugging .619 with a homer, while Mel Stottlemyre hurled 8.1 innings of 4-hit ball without yielding an earned run in a Game 4 victory.

Both Division Series matchups in the Frontier League were highly anticlimactic. Buffalo swept Detroit, outscoring the Purple Gang 19-6. Buffalo right fielder Leon Durham was named MVP after hitting .438 with 2 homers and 7 RBIs, while shortstop Ivan DeJesus had a series-high 8 hits, and stole 4 bases in a Game 1 ten-inning win. On the other side of the bracket, Boston swept Denver, with AJ Pollock taking MVP honors yet again after hitting .444 with a homer and 4 RBI's, and Boston's starting pitchers allowed only five earned runs in the series. Denver's Mickey Mantle and Phil Clark ripped 2 homers apiece, and drove in 8 of the Spikes's 11 runs in the series. Boston edged their division rival Buffalo in the League Championship Series, winning in six games, as Pollock earned his third consecutive series MVP award, hitting .391 with six extra-base hits, including a homer and 4 RBI's. Boston righthander Hideo Nomo made a strong case as well, after going 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 16 innings -- plus three hits of his own.

Continental League: The Charlotte Aviators had the best offense in baseball, but their pitching proved to be the difference as they swept the New Orleans Crawfish, as Charlotte's starters allowed just one earned run. Left fielder Jim Edmonds was named MVP with a series-best 7 hits, hitting .417 with a homer and 4 RBI's. Third baseman Tommy Glaviano hit .385 with a homer and 5 RBI's of his own. The Jacksonville Gulls dominated the El Paso Armadillos, missing by one run from doubling El Paso's total in each game of the 4-game series. Bryce Harper took home the hardware after hitting .385 and blasting 2 homers and driving in 5 runs in the series-clinching Game 4. Star infielders Wade Boggs and Keith Hernandez each hit .389 with a homer and 3 RBI's apiece. The Nashville Blues won their final three games to eliminate the red-hot Los Angeles Kangaroos in 6 games despite scoring just 19 runs in the series. Left fielder Gary Matthews, Sr. was awarded MVP after hitting 2 homers and driving in 6 runs. Lefthander Bob Shirley threw 8 shutout innings of four-hit ball in Game Six. In a seesaw series, the Atlanta Ducks outlasted the Virginia Beach Admirals in 7 games, as catcher Tim Laudner hit .320 while ripping 2 homers with 8 RBI's. Virginia Beach third baseman Bill Melton and catcher John Peters each ripped 3 homers, with Melton taking the MVP in a losing cause after hitting .429, slugging .750, and driving in 8 runs.

In a Division Series matchup featuring the top two offenses in baseball, the Jacksonville Gulls outlasted the Charlotte Aviators in six games. Star first baseman Keith Hernandez was named MVP after hitting .480 with 5 RBI's. Bryce Harper hit .450 with an incredible .593 on-base percentage, including a homer and 6 RBI's, while Andy Sonnanstine went 2-0 in 15 shutout innings, allowing just 11 baserunners. Nashville came from behind in dramatic fashion, surviving a 3-games-to-1 deficit, as they won the final three games by one run apiece to take the series in 7 games. Ben Paschal was named MVP after hitting .393 with a .500 on-base percentage, while a Matthews homer provided the only run in a Game 7 1-0 victory. Nashville advanced to the World Series, taking the League Championship Series over Jacksonville in yet another 7-game victory. Right fielder Brian Jordan hit .423 with a series-high 11 hits, including a homer, while second baseman Lew Fonseca hit .300 with a series-best 7 RBI's. Jacksonville shortstop Everett Scott hit two homers and drove in 6 runs in a losing effort

World Series: Although the Boston Minutemen and Nashville Blues featured two of the top pitching staffs in baseball, Game 1 was an unexpected slugfest, with Nashville prevailing 11-7 as catcher Ray Schalk ripped 3 hits and Brian Jordan drove in 3 runs, while Boston's Hideo Nomo yielded 9 runs in just 4 innings. Nashville took control of the series in Game 2, winning 7-3, with Patrick Corbin outdueling Jack Chesbro. Matthews gave Nashville the lead for good with a tie-breaking seventh-inning homer. Boston refused to roll over, however, taking Game 3 by a 3-1 score, as Larry Cheney allowed just three hits in 7 innings, and right fielder Gabe Kapler drove in all three runs with a homer and a 2-run double. Boston tied the series by taking Game 4 by a similar 3-1 tally, notching two runs off Blues closer Don Bessent in the 8th inning, sparked by a leadoff triple by Steve Garvey. Mel Stottlemyre pitched seven innings without allowing an earned run for Boston. Nashville pulled out Game 5 by a 5-3 score, scoring all 5 runs in the 4th inning, while Dave Ferriss yielded just 3 hits in 8.2 innings. Nashville clinched the title in a Game 6 blowout, 9-1, with Corbin going the distance and Ben Paschal popping a three-run homer. Matthews was named Series MVP after hitting .348 and slugging .609, including a homer, 5 RBI's, and 5 runs scored. Corbin also drew strong support after going 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA and a 0.63 WHIP.
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Old 09-28-2018, 12:08 AM   #85
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2021 Awards Winners

Frontier League MVP- Mickey Mantle, RF, DEN (38): .348/ .448/ .659, 203 hits, 34 doubles, 5 triples, 46 HR, 125 RBI, 120 runs, 110 BB, 23 SB, 197 OPS+, 10.8 WAR
Second place- Madison Bumgarner, LHP, MIN (8): 21-6, 1.82 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 276 IP, 254 K, 71 BB, 3 CG, 1 shutout, 216 ERA+, 11.2 WAR
Third place- Phil Clark, 1B, DEN: .321/ .365/ .585, 210 hits, 45 doubles, 1 triple, 42 HR, 145 RBI, 114 runs, 48 BB, 1 SB, 153 OPS+, 6.1 WAR
Fourth place- Justin Verlander, RHP, DET (2): 16-8, 2.31 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 261 IP, 262 K, 54 BB, 6 CG, 3 shutouts, 170 ERA+, 9.9 WAR
Fifth place- Gabby Hartnett, C, STL: .321/ .398/ .575, 158 hits, 27 doubles, 1 triple, 32 HR, 103 RBI, 100 runs, 68 BB, 17 SB, 165 OPS+, 7.4 WAR

Frontier League Cy Young Award- Madison Bumgarner, MIN (47): 21-6, 1.82 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 276 IP, 254 K, 71 BB, 3 CG, 1 shutout, 216 ERA+, 11.2 WAR
Second place- Justin Verlander, DET (1): 16-8, 2.31 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 261 IP, 262 K, 54 BB, 6 CG, 3 shutouts, 170 ERA+, 9.9 WAR
Third place- Don Drysdale, CIN: 12-8, 2.33 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 209 IP, 232 K, 24 BB, 1 CG, 1 shutout, 169 ERA+, 9.0 WAR
Fourth place- Dwight Gooden, DET: 18-5, 2.28 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 225 IP, 239 K, 99 BB, 3 CG, 2 shutouts, 173 ERA+, 5.8 WAR
Fifth place- Ray Collins, BUF: 17-5, 2.04 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 212 IP, 91 K, 20 BB, 3 CG, 189 ERA+, 7.4 WAR

Frontier League Rookie of the Year: Sherry Magee, LF, PIT (45): .332/ .397/ .529, 201 hits, 40 doubles, 8 triples, 21 HR, 93 runs, 66 BB, 68 SB, 153 OPS+, 6.2 WAR
Second place- Francisco Lindor, SS, STL (1): .280/ .355/ .451, 168 hits, 29 doubles, 7 triples, 20 HR, 74 RBI, 107 runs, 73 BB, 36 SB, +20.6 Zone Rating, 121 OPS+, 7.8 WAR
Third place- Fred Odwell, LF, DEN (2): .283/ .342/ .522, 182 hits, 27 doubles, 3 triples, 40 HR, 101 RBI, 117 runs, 57 BB, 26 SB, 131 OPS+, 4.3 WAR

Continental League MVP: Heinie Berger, RHP, NO (40): 23-7, 1.68 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 300 IP, 220 K, 83 BB, 17 CG, 6 shutouts, 261 ERA+, 10.5 WAR
Second place- John Peters, C, VB (4): .311/ .341/ .595, 169 hits, 22 doubles, 3 triples, 42 HR, 117 RBI, 89 runs, 24 BB, 3 SB, 150 ERA+, 7.2 WAR
Third place- Keith Hernandez, 1B, JAX (3): .334/ .435/ .550, 203 hits, 49 doubles, 8 triples, 22 HR, 99 RBI, 130 runs, 112 BB, 5 SB, 164 OPS+, 8.8 WAR
Fourth place- Jim Edmonds, LF, CHA: .312/ .413/ .579, 175 hits, 40 doubles, 1 triple, 36 HR, 123 RBI, 115 runs, 98 BB, 7 SB, +13.2 Zone Rating, 163 OPS+, 8.7 WAR
Fifth place- Wade Boggs, 3B, JAX (1): .357/ .434/ .514, 214 hits, 47 doubles, 4 triples, 13 HR, 85 RBI, 111 runs, 82 BB, 155 OPS+, 8.7 WAR

Continental League Cy Young Award- Heinie Berger, NO (48): 23-7, 1.68 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 300 IP, 220 K, 83 BB, 17 CG, 6 shutouts, 261 ERA+, 10.5 WAR
Second place- Dave Ferriss, NAS: 16-9, 2.06 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 284 IP, 128 K, 58 B, 12 CG, 4 shutouts, 196 ERA+, 5.3 WAR
Third place- Joe Gibbon, VB: 14-14, 2.85 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 275 IP, 207 K, 58 BB, 9 CG, 2 shutouts, 154 ERA+, 7.9 WAR
Fourth place- Brett Anderson, LA: 17-7, 2.63 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 256 IP, 144 K, 56 BB, 4 CG, 1 shutout, 165 ERA+, 7.6 WAR
Fifth place- Chris Van Cuyk, LV: 17-11, 2.90 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 251 IP, 220 K, 48 BB, 5 CG, 2 shutouts, 145 ERA+, 4.9 WAR

Continental League Rookie of the Year- Yasiel Puig, RF, ALB (48): .332/ .414/ .569, 204 hits, 31 doubles, 11 triples, 31 HR, 113 RBI, 126 runs, 82 BB, 8 SB, 163 OPS+, 7.7 WAR
Second place- Orlando Arcia, SS, JAX: .311/ .341/ .401, 162 hits, 16 doubles, 2 triples, 9 HR, 66 RBI, 63 runs, 24 BB, 12 SB, +15.8 Zone Rating, 99 OPS+, 4.7 WAR
Third place- Junior Spivey, 2B, HAR: .274/ .363/ .439, 115 hits, 18 doubles, 6 triples,13 HR, 50 RBI, 60 runs, 58 BB, 4 SB, 121 OPS+, 3.6 WAR

Top draft picks: 1. Ed Halicki, RHP, BIR
2. Irish Meusel, LF, BAL
3. Bill Sayles, RHP, SD
4. Scott Brosius, 3B, PIT
5. Denny McLain, RHP, CLE
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Old 09-28-2018, 01:26 AM   #86
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2021 Hall of Fame Voting

In the second year of balloting, Sandy Koufax was elected as the charter member of the Hall of Fame by a hair. Top vote recipients include:

Sandy Koufax (HAR): 75.1%
Jakie May (VAN/ BUF/ CHA) - 56.4%
Jim Northrup (BIR) - 11.5%
Dick Allen (SEA/ LA) - 10.9%
David Cone (POR/ NO/ WAS) - 6.5%

Jack Kralick, Craig Biggio, Rube Walbert, Dellin Betances, Fred Olmstead, Fresco Thompson, and Orlando Cabrera were dropped from the ballot after failing to reach 2%.

Here is a look of Koufax's Hall of Fame career, which includes making the All-Star team in all five of his healthy seasons, and winning the 2011, 2012 and 2015 Cy Young Awards:
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Old 10-01-2018, 12:13 AM   #87
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2022 Mid-Year Review

Here's a quick overview of the leading storylines in the league at the 2022 All-Star Break:

Exceeding expectations: The Omaha Falcons, who had never finished above fourth place and who had only a single season above .500 to their name, entered the All-Star Break flirting with the postseason with a 40-35 record, just one game out of a wild card spot. The Falcons ranked near the bottom of the league in nearly every offensive category, although left fielder Bobby Thomson ripped 24 homers and drove in 63 runs, while center fielder JD Drew hit .305 with 9 homers. Ed Walsh and Jerry Reuss anchored a strong starting rotation, with Walsh carrying a ridiculous 0.57 ERA into the break -- yet perhaps even more ridiculously, he sported a won-lost record of only 7-3. The San Francisco Longshoremen, coming off a disappointing 76-win season, appeared poised to return to postseason play with a 41-34 record, as All-Star first baseman Aaron Boone had a breakout season, hitting .327 with 19 homers and 58 RBI's at the break, while Yu Darvish sported a 10-2 record with 130 strikeouts. In the Continental League, the Austin Mustangs, who had not finished above .500 since 2012, jumped out to a 10-1 start and spent most of the first half in first place in the Texas Division, entering the break with a 40-35 record. Left fielder Mike Menosky led a balanced offense with a .353 average, 10 homers, and 47 RBI's, while Alfonso Soriano ripped a team-best 16 homers and 56 RBI's. The San Diego Zookeepers had gone four straight seasons without sniffing 70 wins, and despite winning just 57 games last year, spent most of the first half above .500, entering the break with a 37-38 record. Paul Waner and Bill Terry anchored a line-drive hitting offense (despite ranking last in the league in homers). Dave Righetti went 7-3 with a 2.90 ERA, while Bartolo Colon jumped out to an 8-1 start before sputtering in June.

Disappointments: The Cincinnati Spiders proved that baseball is not a two-man game; despite superlative seasons from Lou Gehrig and Don Drysdale, the Spiders entered the break with a disappointing 25-50 record, ranking 21st in the Frontier League in runs scored and 23rd in runs allowed. Star-crossed outfielder Carl Yastrzemski missed the entire first half with a knee injury, and only two regulars hit above .242. Other than Drysdale, no other pitcher had an ERA below 5.00. The Seattle Whales, coming off a 95-win season, appeared likely to miss the playoffs, stumbling to a 36-38 record, as Troy Tulowitzki struggled mightily, hitting just .216 and slugging .315, while ace Dontrelle Willis blew out an elbow tendon in his second start of the year. In the Continental League, the New York Emperors had been a good-if-not-great squad, winning between 83 and 90 games each of the past four years, but they tumbled to a 29-46 start. The squad ranked near the bottom in nearly all offensive categories, led by first baseman Jeff Manto, who declined from 36 homers, 99 RBI's, and a .494 slugging percentage in 2021 to just 8 homers, 36 RBI's, and a weak .340 slugging percentage in 2022. The starting rotation struggled to replace Mudcat Grant, who decamped to Boston in free agency, and 19-game winner Bill Doak, who missed the first half with a shoulder injury. The Atlanta Ducks, a surprise 96-game winner the year before, entered the break at 32-42. Catcher Tim Laudner led the squad with just 8 homers -- a marked dropoff from his breakout 28-homer season a year before, while Schoolboy Rowe and Spud Chandler went a combined 7-16, with ERA's of 4.67 and 5.82, respectively.

Aviators take flight: The Charlotte Aviators have been one of the most consistent franchises in HRDL history, with 10 straight seasons over 89 wins. In 2022, their high-octane offense soared to a new level, scoring 473 runs in just 74 games - an average of nearly 6.4 runs per game, with the team ranking either first or second in every significant offensive category. Ageless first baseman Ed Morgan hit an incredible .422 with 16 homers and 63 RBI's, winning the Continental League's Player of the Month award for both April and May. Left fielder Jim Edmonds led six players with double-digit homers, hitting 23 homers and driving in a league-leading 74 runs, while fellow outfielders Tommie Agee and Clint Heathcote combined for 69 steals.

Tight pennant races abound: In some years, a tight, multi-team pennant race is a sign of widespread mediocrity, but that was not the case in 2022. In the Atlantic Division, the Jacksonville Gulls took a 48-26 record into the break, but the explosive Charlotte Aviators were hot on their heels at 46-28 with an incredible +177 run differential. The story was the same in the Southeast Division: the overachieving New Orleans Crawfish went 47-27, while the defending champion Nashville Blues went 46-27. But the Great Plains Division presented the tightest pennant race at the midway point, with the Kansas City Mad Hatters and Minneapolis Penguins tied at 45-30, the St. Louis Pilots close behind at 43-32, the Chicago Mules at 42-33, and the upstart Omaha Falcons in the running at 40-35.

Major milestones: Bryce Harper became the first player in league history to hit 400 homers, while Mickey Mantle was expected to reach that milestone by July 4. Baltimore third baseman Harmon Killebrew (who was enjoying a career-best season smashed his 300th homer, as did Seattle shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Buffalo rightfielder Leon Durham and Anaheim leftfielder Roy Foster entered the break with 297 homers apiece. Houston center fielder Kirby Puckett surpassed 2,000 career hits. New Orleans righthander Jack Chesbro became the first player in league history to win 200 games, while London's Gary Nolan and Buffalo's Ray Collins entered the break with 199 and 198 wins, respectively.

Major injuries: Cincinnati left fielder Carl Yastrzemski's snakebitten career continued, as he missed the entire first half with a severe knee injury, and likely would not return until September. Jacksonville ace Ray Sadecki tore his labrum in early May and would likely not return until the postseason, if at all. Miami righthander Bill Steen injured his radial nerve on Opening Day, and likely would not return until August. London third baseman Matt Chapman fractured his kneecap in spring training, but was expected to return after the All-Star Break. Seattle southpaw Dontrelle Willis tore an elbow tendon in early April, and would miss the rest of the season.
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Old 10-05-2018, 03:03 AM   #88
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2022 Year in Review

Frontier League: The Boston Minutemen, long an afterthought, dominated the Northeast Division, nearly leading wire-to-wire on their way to a 106-win season. First baseman Steve Garvey led a balanced offense, hitting .333 with 44 homers and 107 RBI's, while center fielder AJ Pollock hit .348 with 20 homers, 91 RBI's, 111 runs scored, and a league-high 234 hits. Mel Stottlemyre went 20-9, while closer Bud Daley - a replacement for oft-injured Kelvim Escobar -- saved 40 games with a 1.03 ERA and a microscopic 0.71 WHIP. The Buffalo Fighting Elk rallied from an uncharacteristic 10-19 start to seize the wild card with 97 wins. Traditionally a slap-hitting franchise, they finished fifth in the league in homers, as four players cleared 25 homers, led by new left fielder Ken Singleton, who hit .317 with 32 homers, 103 RBI's, and a .418 on-base percentage. Once again, Buffalo's mighty pitching staff led the league in ERA, as four starters sported ERA's below 3.00, led by Ray Collins, who went 11-7 with a 2.38 ERA and 1.03 WHIP before undergoing elbow surgery, and Marcus Stroman, who went 14-10 with a 2.59 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. The Detroit Purple Gang jumped out to a double-digit lead in the Great Lakes Division by Memorial Day, and they cruised to the postseason, taking the division by 8 games with 95 wins. Ace Justin Verlander went 18-10 with a 2.68 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP, and 263 strikeouts, while veteran righthander Steve Hargan went 18-11 with a 2.94 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. First baseman Del Bissonnette led a powerful offense with 38 homers and 101 RBI's, while left fielder Candy Maldonado hit .306 with 29 homers and 102 RBI's.

The Great Plains Division was the deepest in baseball, with four teams remaining in playoff contention until the final ten days of the season. The St. Louis Pilots narrowly won the division with 95 wins, led by MVP front-runner shortstop Francisco Lindor, who hit .334 with 35 homers, drove in 106 runs, stole 49 bases, slugged .557, and provided Gold Glove-caliber defense. Catcher Gabby Hartnett hit .323 with 38 homers and 105 RBI's, while right fielder Jack Clark hit .302 with 39 homers and 117 RBI's. The Pilots narrowly held off the 93-win Kansas City Mad Hatters, who sported the top offense in the Frontier League. Left fielder Kevin Bass hit .334 with 25 homers and 136 RBI's, while free agent signee Todd Helton hit .310 with 34 homers and 125 RBI's in his maiden campaign. Right fielder Gary Sheffield chipped in by hitting .276 with 29 homers, 104 RBI's, 29 steals, and a league-best 130 runs scored, while lefty Jose Rosado went 19-9 with a 3.53 ERA and 222 strikeouts. Despite losing ace Madison Bumgarner at midseason with an elbow injury, the Minneapolis Penguins still won 92 games to take the final wild card slot. Slugging left fielder Del Ennis hit .295 with 30 homers and 116 RBI's, while third baseman Andy Van Slyke hit 20 homers, stole 51 bases, and scored 98 runs. Rookie southpaw Zach Duke went 19-12 with a 3.56 ERA and a 1.28 WHIP. Although the Chicago Mules flirted with the postseason after a midseason, they sputtered down the stretch, finishing with just 85 wins, as second baseman Brad Miler ripped 26 homers and 85 RBI's, and lefty Russ Van Atta went 15-9 with a 2.5 ERA. Although the Denver Spikes led the Northwest Division for nearly the entire season, the Calgary Cattle Rustlers forced a tie on the last day of the season with 96 wins apiece before Denver won a one-game playoff. Denver was led once again by star right fielder Mickey Mantle, who hit .346 with 41 homers, 104 RBI's, and scored 123 runs. Righthander Bruce Berenyi went 20-10 with a 2.32 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. Calgary was led by first baseman Kevin Millar, who hit 26 homers and drove in 97 runs, right fielder Mike Mitchell, who hit .341 with 16 homers and 81 RBI's, and righthander Fred Newman, who went 19-9 with a 2.11 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP.

Continental League: The powerful Charlotte Aviators used a league-best offense to soar into the postseason with 109 wins, scoring an incredible 986 runs. Ageless first baseman Ed Morgan hit .388 with 25 homers and 116 RBI's, while Jim Edmonds pounded 44 homers, drove in a league-best 143 runs, and slugged .553. Bill Gogolowski led a deep pitching staff that lacked in star power, going 18-8 with a 3.18 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. Charlotte narrowly held off the Jacksonville Gulls, who won 101 games, as third baseman Wade Boggs hit .376 with 11 homers, and right fielder Bryce Harper hit .328 with 36 homers and 116 RBI's. The Virginia Beach Admirals returned to the postseason with 92 wins, as MVP candidate Bill Melton hit .323 with 43 homers and 128 RBI's, while shortstop Eddie Bressoud hit .324 with 24 homers and 107 RBI's. Righthander Joe Gibbon led baseball with a stellar 26-5 record, a 2.19 ERA, and a league-best 0.97 WHIP. The overachieving New Orleans Crawfish won 100 games, as new left fielder Cy Williams blasted 47 homers with 103 RBI's, and shortstop Jean Segura hit .323 with 19 homers, 35 steals, and 95 RBI's. Righthander Heinie Berger went 19-7 with a 2.88 ERA, while free agent signee Jack Chesbro punched his ticket for Cooperstown, going 17-5 with a 2.00 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. The defending champion Nashville Blues overcame the offseason loss of star outfielder Gary Matthews, Sr., winning 97 games, as Greg Luzinski and Brian Jordan combined for 72 homers and drove in 95 runs apiece.
Patrick Corbin paced a league-best pitching staff, going 20-7 with a 3.53 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP, and Bob Shirley went 16-9 with a 2.88 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.

The Oklahoma City Otters returned to the postseason after a one-game hiatus, winning 8 of 11 down the stretch to take the Texas Division by a single game with 89 wins. Slugging leftfielder Khris Davis hit .306 with 36 homers and 114 RBI's, and his stats were nearly duplicated by rookie rightfielder Johnny Rizzo, who hit .305 with 34 homers and 114 RBI's. A deep Otters bullpen led by Dave Giusti, who had 38 saves and a 2.30 ERA, overcame a subpar rotation. On the outside looking in with 88 wins were the El Paso Armadillos, who led the division for a majority of the season. All-star second baseman Joe Gordon paced El Paso with 36 homers and 97 RBI's, while Kerry Wood went 17-6 with a league-best 1.73 ERA and 283 strikeouts, along with a 1.08 WHIP. The Los Angeles Kangaroos' streak of eight straight Southwest Division titles was snapped by the Las Vegas Aces, who won 95 games, clinching the division title on the final day of the season. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval hit ..296 with 23 homers and a team-high 111 RBI's, while Dolph Camilli and Jason Thompson combined for 58 homers and 198 RBI's. Chris Van Cuyk led a deep pitching staff with a 20-8 record, a 3.08 ERA, and 250 strikeouts. Los Angeles returned to the postseason with 94 wins, as do-it-all shortstop Trevor Story hit .305 with 30 homers and 123 RBI's, while free agent signee Gary Matthews, Sr. hit .316 with 27 homers, 85 RBI's, 19 steals, and 117 runs scored. Ace Brett Anderson sported a 21-7 record, including his 200th career victory, with a 3.02 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP.
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Old 10-09-2018, 03:15 AM   #89
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2022 Playoff Report

Frontier League: The 106-win Boston Minutemen easily dispatched the Minneapolis Penguins, who were missing their injured ace, Madison Bumgarner, in five games. Boston first baseman Steve Garvey won MVP honors after hitting .364 with 3 homers and a series-high 9 RBI's, including 2 homers and 5 homers in Game 5, while Minneapolis second baseman Billy Herman hit a series-best .478 with 3 RBI's. In perhaps the best matchup of the wild card round, the Buffalo Fighting Elk won a back-and-forth series against the upstart St. Louis Pilots, taking games 6 and 7 on the road. Buffalo's Marcus Stroman won both his starts, including Game 7, allowing just a single run in 14.2 innings, and first baseman Rick Renick ripped 3 homers and drove in 7 runs. Star St. Louis catcher Gabby Hartnett took home MVP honors in a losing effort, hitting .360 with 4 homers and 6 RBI's. The Calgary Cattle Rustlers dominated the favored Detroit Purple Gang, winning in 5 games, as first baseman Kevin Millar hit .421, pounding two homers and driving in 5 runs and second baseman Bob Sheldon hit .412, with three triples and drove in 4 runs. Although the Kansas City Mad Hatters had the shakiest pitching staff in the playoff field, they held the mighty Denver Spikes offense in check, surrendering just 17 runs in a five-game victory. Kansas City shortstop Jose Reyes, coming off the worst season of his career, took home the hardware after hitting .471 and slugging .882, including 3 triples, and drove in 4 runs, while left fielder Kevin Bass hit .316 with a homer and 5 RBI's.

In the Divisional Round, Boston jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead against division rival Buffalo before dropping the next three games, with the Minutemen prevailing 4-3 in the decisive Game 7. Boston catcher Joe Mauer was named MVP after hitting .357 with a homer, 5 RBI's, and 6 runs scored. Boston righthander Don Nottebart won both his starts, including Game 7, scattering just 7 hits across 13.2 shutout innings. Buffalo shortstop Ivan DeJesus hit .522 with a series-high 12 hits, including a dramatic two-out ninth-inning triple in Game 7 which cut Boston's lead to a single run. Calgary also needed seven games to outlast Kansas City. Calgary first baseman Kevin Millar took home another series MVP trophy after hitting .407 with 2 homers and 6 RBI's, while left fielder Jerome Walton hit .448 with a series-high 13 hits and drove in 7 runs. In the League Championship Series, Calgary edged Boston in yet another seven-game series to make their first World Series. Kevin Millar's magical postseason continued, as he hit .407 with a series-high 3 homers and 9 RBI's, while Larry Jaster went 2-0 with a 1.15 ERA. Steve Garvey led Boston by hitting .444 with 2 homers and 4 RBI's.

Continental League: In an upset for the ages, the Virginia Beach Admirals swept the 109-win Charlotte Admirals, despite allowing at least seven runs in each of the first three games, and the Admirals scored 37 runs against the league's second-ranked pitching staff. Left fielder Joe Lahoud led the way, hitting .389 with 2 homers and 8 RBI's, while Chili Davis and Bill Melton matched Lahoud with a pair of homers apiece, and first baseman Brian Daubach hit .444 with a homer and 7 RBI's. The Jacksonville Gulls narrowly avoided a similar fate, winning games 6 and 7 to prevail against the upset-minded Oklahoma City Otters. Jacksonville left fielder Larry Herndon won MVP honors after hitting .441, including a series-high 15 hits, a homer, 4 RBI's, and 3 steals. Ace Dizzy Trout allowed just 5 hits and 1 run in 15 innings, and earned the win in a Game 7 romp. Oklahoma City sluggers Khris Davis and Steve Bilko each mashed two homers and drove in 7 runs. The Nashville Blues outlasted the Las Vegas Aces in a low-scoring five-game series, with walk-off wins in Games 4 and 5 -- the latter being a 10-inning 1-0 affair. Nashville right fielder Brian Jordan was named MVP after hitting .421 with a homer and 3 RBI's, while left fielder Ben Paschal hit .318 with 3 homers and 5 RBI's, and righthander Dave Ferriss threw 15.2 shutout innings. The New Orleans Crawfish dispatched the Los Angeles Kangaroos in five games. In a controversial decision, first baseman Gordy Coleman was named series MVP after hitting .381 with 2 homers and 5 RBI's over righthander Heinie Berger, who gave up just 6 hits in two dominant starts with a 0.56 ERA, including a Game 5 three-hit shutout.

The Jacksonville Gulls took the Virginia Beach Admirals down to the wire in the Divisional Series, with Jacksonville prevailing after scoring in the bottom of the ninth and tenth innings of Game 7, with the series-winning hit coming from backup catcher Jimmie Coker. Jacksonville's Larry Herndon remarkably turned in another 15-hit series, winning MVP again after hitting .484 and slugging .613. Virginia Beach third baseman Bill Melton hit .346 with 3 homers and 4 RBI's. The Nashville-New Orleans battle of divisional rivals featured similar drama, with Nashville prevailing in seven games, after tying Game 7 in the top of the ninth inning and scoring 4 runs in the top of the 10th, as left fielder Ben Paschal cleared the bases with a three-run double. Nashville center fielder Bob Brower led the way, hitting .379 for the series with 3 homers and 10 RBI's. For the Crawfish, left fielder Cy Williams hit .379 with 2 homers and 4 RBI's, while Heinie Berger continued his remarkable postseason with a 0.59 ERA. In a League Championship Series for the ages, Jacksonville edged Nashville in seven games, with the home team winning all 7 games, and four of the games were decided by a single run. In Game 6, Jacksonville erased a 5-run 8th inning deficit before winning in 11 innings. Jacksonville's Keith Hernandez took home MVP honors after hitting .355 with 3 homers and 5 RBI's, while Wade Boggs hit .424 with 4 RBI's. Nashville was led by Greg Luzinski, who hit two homers and drove in 8 runs, and Brian Jordan, who slugged .670, ripping 2 homers and driving in 7 runs of his own.

World Series: The upstart Calgary Cattle Rustlers rode a deep bullpen, headed by the three-headed monster of Dick Radatz, Bob Veale, and Steve Bedrosian, to an unexpected championship, sweeping the favored Jacksonville Gulls. Calgary took Game 1 by a 6-5 tally, as left fielder Jerome Walton homered and drove in 4 runs, with Fred Newman earning the win over the Gulls' Andy Sonnanstine. Calgary won a pitcher's duel in Game 2 by a 3-0 score, as center fielder Homer Summa broke open a scoreless game with a three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning. Willard Nixon and Radatz scattered six hits in the combined shutout. Calgary took Game 3, winning 3-2 on a tiebreaking Walton solo homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to give Veale the win. Larry Jaster surrendered just one earned run in 6 innings for Calgary, while Dizzy Trout gave Jacksonville seven solid innings of two-run ball. Calgary romped in Game 4, prevailing 9-3, as Kevin Millar had three hits and Walton hit another three-run homer. In a controversial decision, Millar was named Series MVP -- the first player in league history to win the MVP for all four playoff rounds -- after going 10-for-17 with a single RBI, while Walton hit just .278, but blasted three homers and drove in 8 runs. Bryce Harper led Jacksonville, hitting .571 with a homer and 4 RBI's. For the postseason, Millar hit .444 and slugged .811 with 7 homers and 21 RBI's in 23 games. Jacksonville's Larry Herndon set a postseason record with 42 hits in 25 games.
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Old 10-15-2018, 12:03 AM   #90
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2022 Awards Winners

Frontier League MVP- Mickey Mantle, RF, DEN (30): .346/ .406/ .613, 218 hits, 39 doubles, 3 triples, 41 HR, 104 RBI,123 runs, 69 BB, 13 SB, +9.5 Zone Rating, 171 OPS+, 9.5 WAR
Second place- Francisco Lindor, SS, STL (14): .334/ .403/ .557, 208 hits, 30 doubles, 2 triples, 35 HR, 106 RBI, 108 runs, 75 BB, 49 SB, +21.7 Zone Rating, 161 OPS+, 11.5 WAR
Third place- Steve Garvey, 1B, BOS: .333/ .370/ .574, 225 hits, 27 doubles, 2 triples, 44 HR, 107 RBI, 117 runs, 40 BB, 5 SB, +10.5 Zone Rating, 155 OPS+, 8.0 WAR
Fourth place- Gabby Hartnett, C, STL: .323/ .402/ .622, 164 hits, 32 doubles, 3 triples, 38 HR, 105 RBI, 103 runs, 67 BB, 16 SB, 176 OPS+, 8.4 WAR
Fifth place- Bruce Berenyi, RHP, DEN (3): 20-10, 2.32 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 252 IP, 259 K, 88 BB, 5 CG, 2 shutouts, 174 ERA+, 9.0 WAR

Frontier League Cy Young Award- Joe Ross, BAL (32): 17-10, 2.26 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 262 IP, 256 K, 33 BB, 8 CG, 4 shutouts, 176 ERA+, 11.3 WAR
Second place- Bruce Berenyi, DEN (16): 20-10, 2.32 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 252 IP, 259 K, 88 BB, 5 CG, 2 shutouts, 174 ERA+, 9.0 WAR
Third place- John Montefusco, STL: 16-10, 2.34 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 262 IP, 217 K, 85 BB, 9 CG, 5 shutouts, 171 ERA+, 7.4 WAR
Fourth place- Fred Newman, CAL: 19-9, 2.11 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 255 IP, 136 K, 33 BB, 3 CG, 1 shutout, 188 ERA+, 7.8 WAR
Fifth place- Justin Verlander, DET: 18-10, 2.68 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 238 IP, 263 K, 63 BB, 3 CG, 2 shutouts, 148 ERA+, 7.8 WAR

Frontier League Rookie of the Year: Jonathan Papelbon, RHP, POR (25): 3-3, 35 saves, 1.37 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 72 IP, 69 K, 19 BB, 291 ERA+, 3.1 WAR
Second place- Zach Duke, LHP, MIN (13): 19-12, 3.56 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 250 IP, 136 K, 61 BB, 3 CG, 1 shutout, 112 ERA+, 5.4 WAR
Third place- Norm Larker, LF, BOS (9): .302/ .368/ .457, 130 hits, 32 doubles, 1 triple, 11 HR, 53 RBI, 58 runs, 45 BB, 125 OPS+, 2.9 WAR

Continental League MVP- Harry Lumley, DH/RF, BIR (36): .348/ .412/ .666, 222 hits, 36 doubles, 1 triple, 55 HR, 158 RBI, 136 runs, 71 BB, 45 SB, 186 OPS+, 9.6 WAR
Second place- Bill Melton, 3B, VB (4): .323/ .406/ .595, 190 hits, 31 doubles, 43 HR, 128 RBI, 102 runs, 84 BB, 1 SB, 168 OPS+, 8.9 WAR
Third place- Ed Morgan, 1B, CHA: .388/ .482/ .587, 228 hits, 42 doubles, 25 HR, 117 RBI, 115 runs, 110 BB, 2 SB, 184 OPS+, 7.8 WAR
Fourth place- Joe Gibbon, LHP, VB (8): 26-5, 2.19 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 280 IP, 224 K, 66 BB, 8 CG, 4 shutouts, 203 ERA+, 7.9 WAR
Fifth place- Bobby Bonds, RF, MEM: .321/ .391/ .600, 192 hits, 23 doubles, 6 triples, 44 HR, 112 RBI, 115 runs, 64 BB, 58 SB, 168 OPS+, 8.6 WAR

Continental League Cy Young Award- Joe Gibbon, VB (48): 26-5, 2.19 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 280 IP, 224 K, 66 BB, 8 CG, 4 shutouts, 203 ERA+, 7.9 WAR
Second place- Kerry Wood, ELP: 17-6, 1.73 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 234 IP, 283 K, 103 BB, 243 ERA+, 7.5 WAR
Third place- Heinie Berger, NOR: 19-7, 2.88 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 266 IP, 239 K, 129 BB, 7 CG, 2 shutouts, 154 ERA+, 7.5 WAR
Fourth place- Cy Blanton, WAS: 18-13, 2.42 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 257 IP, 254 K, 75 BB, 6 CG, 2 shutouts, 181 ERA+, 8.5 WAR
Fifth place- Brett Anderson, LA: 21-7, 3.02 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 262 IP, 166 K, 62 BB, 6 CG, 3 shutouts, 145 ERA+, 7.6 WAR

Continental League Rookie of the Year: Mitchell Page, LF, SA (26): .302/ .398/ .516, 174 hits, 32 doubles, 2 triples, 29 HR, 105 RBI, 105 runs, 88 BB, 37 SB, 162 OPS+, 5.4 WAR
Second place- Johnny Rizzo, RF, OKC: .305/ .377/ .562, 156 hits, 23 doubles, 3 triples, 34 HR, 114 RBI, 82 runs, 57 BB, 148 OPS+, 5.1 WAR
Third place- Bob Brower, CF, NAS: .237/ .316/ .443, 136 hits, 12 doubles, 4 triples, 33 HR, 76 RBI, 79 runs, 68 BB, 23 SB, 122 OPS+, 4.4 WAR

Top draft picks: 1. Smoky Joe Wood, RHP, PIT
2. Frank Thomas, 1B, OTT
3. Jon Matlack, LHP, CIN
4. Jose Altuve, 2B, PHO
5. Tex Erwin, C, ALB
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Old 10-15-2018, 02:36 AM   #91
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2022 Hall of Fame Report

In the third year of balloting, no new members of the Hall of Fame were selected. However, several players making their debut appearance on the Hall of Fame's ballot gave hope that Sandy Koufax would have company in the Hall sooner rather than later. Top vote recipients included:

Jakie May (VAN/ BUF/ CHA) - 64.0%
Richard Hidalgo (ELP/ CHA/ CAL/ ALB/ MEM) - 34.1%
Joey Votto (ATL/ CHA/ MTL) - 34.1%
Nomar Garciaparra (OTT) - 32.2%
Bill Bevens (MIN/ BUF/ CHI) - 31.4%

Bob Shaw, Bob Tillman, Manny Parra, Rocky Colavito, and Don Newcombe were dropped from the ballot after failing to reach 2%.
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Old 10-17-2018, 12:01 AM   #92
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2023 Mid-Year Review

Here's a look at the major storylines across the league at the 2023 All-Star Break:

Exceeding expectations: After five straight 100-loss seasons -- including a worst-in-baseball 51-111 record in 2022 - the Pittsburgh Golden Gorillas were an unexpected wild card contender, entering the break with a 40-35 record. Rookie Smokey Joe Wood anchored a vastly-improved pitching staff with an 8-2 record and a 2.78 ERA, while left fielder Sherry Magee hit .367 and slugged .659 with 18 homers, 59 RBI's, and 42 steals. Leadoff hitter Tom Goodwin hit .304 and led baseball with 51 steals in 72 games. The Portland Skunks had finished in last place for seven straight seasons, and they had not topped .500 since 2014, but they took a 48-26 record, a 5 1/2 game lead, and a 9-game winning streak into the break. They were led by slugging first baseman Jeff Bagwell, who hit .364 with 14 homers and an incredible .494 on-base percentage, and a no-name rotation led by Steve Busby, who sported a 2.57 ERA and Jeremy Hefner, who took an 11-3 record and a 3.28 into the break. In the Continental League, the Memphis River Pirates overcame the absence of star center fielder Larry Doby for much of the first half to go 41-34, as rookie shortstop Glenn Wright had a breakout season, hitting .312 with 21 homers and a league-best 77 RBI's, while star right fielder Bobby Bonds hit .343 with 17 homers and 29 steals, scoring an incredible 73 runs in 74 games. The Austin Mustangs looked to snap a ten-year streak of finishing below .500, carrying a 42-33 record into the break. Right fielder Von Hayes led the Mustangs offensively, hitting .306 with 21 homers, 56 RBI's, and 41 steals, while Trevor Hoffman anchored one of the best bullpens in baseball, yielding a microscopic 1.55 ERA and 0.66 WHIP while garnering 14 first-half saves.

Disappointments: The London Werewolves had been one of the most consistent franchises in the HRDL, winning at least 85 games for seven straight years, and finishing third place or better every year since 2012. But after a series of free agency departures, including ace Cy Blanton and star third baseman Matt Chapman, the Werewolves' depth was sapped, and they took a 30-45 record into the break. Their pitching was among the worst in the league, as Bert Blyleven, who went 36-14 over the prior two years, sported a ghastly 2-11 record and a 4.98 ERA, while their offense's 37 homers and .353 slugging percentage ranked dead last in baseball. The Omaha Falcons remained in contention into September and upgraded heavily in free agency, signing All-Star shortstop Eddie Bressoud, leadoff hitter Mike Mitchell, crafty righthander Chris Young, and trading for Eric Karros. But the Falcons went just 32-43, finishing the first half in fifth place, fifteen games off the pace. Despite a return to form by star center fielder J.D. Drew, the rest of the offense sputtered, as Bressoud missed several weeks, hitting just .255 with a mediocre .373 slugging percentage, while Karros slugged just .312, with just 3 homers in 298 at bats. In the Continental League, the Nashville Blues appeared unlikely to extend their streak of three straight playoff appearances, going just 35-40, with the lowest team batting average and on-base percentage in the league. Right fielder Brian Jordan, who hit 31 homers last season and topped 30 homers in 4 of the past 5 years, hit just .213 with 2 homers, while free agent signee Al Rosen struggled mightily, hitting just .201 and slugging .280.

Offensive explosions: Offense was on the rise throughout baseball. Both league ERA's jumped by approximately a quarter-run per game. Moreover, there were several superlative offensive performances which threatened to rewrite the record books. St. Louis right fielder Jack Clark led baseball with 26 first-half homers, while El Paso first baseman Steve Bilko blasted 25 bombs. Birmingham center fielder Reggie Smith hit .409 and slugged .722, including 22 homers, and drove in 66 runs. St. Louis star shortstop Francisco Lindor turned in perhaps the most astounding performance of all, hitting .399 and slugging .720, with 21 homers, 81 RBI's, and 21 steals.

Boiling-hot Crawfish: New Orleans loves a parade, and the New Orleans Crawfish planned a victory parade after splurging on the free agent market, following an unexpected 100-win season last year. The Crawfish imported star third baseman Matt Chapman, defending batting champion Ed Morgan, left fielder Rickey Henderson, catcher Jody Davis, and Buffalo ace Ray Collins, and they traded for Dallas DH Brian Giles in June. The Crawfish went 52-23 in the first half, as Morgan followed up on his career year by hitting .377 with 12 homers and a .498 on-base percentage, Henderson hit .325 and scored 46 runs in just 58 games, Chapman ripped 18 homers and slugged .519, and Collins won 10 games.

Detroit arms race: The Detroit Purple Gang possessed one of the strongest starting rotations in baseball, led by Justin Verlander, Dwight Gooden, and Steve Hargan. Early in free agency, they signed San Diego's Dave Righetti, who went 8-6 with a 2.44 ERA and 1.06 WHIP, leading Detroit to a dominant 48-27 first half and a 12-game lead at the break.

Major milestones: Baltimore first baseman Hank Thompson hit his 400th homer, while Kansas City first baseman and New Orleans DH Brian Giles each hit their 300th career round-tripper, while Pittsburgh first baseman Cody Bellinger and Kansas City right fielder Gary Sheffield were each likely to top 400 homers before the end of July. Felix Hernandez of the Los Angeles Kangaroos and Kansas City's George Earnshaw each surpassed 2,500 strikeouts. London's Gary Nolan, Los Angeles's Brett Anderson, and New Orleans's Ray Collins and Jack Chesbro had a remarkable four-way jousting for the all-time lead in victories, while St. Louis's Clay Buchholz was poised to join them in the 200-win club.

Major injuries: This season was, compared to prior years, relatively free of major injuries, with several of the most significant injuries being lingering effects from the prior season. Fireballer Bob Feller, who signed an expensive free agent contract with Buffalo after spending his career with the hapless Albuquerque Conquistadors, tore his labrum on opening day. Cincinnati ace Don Drysdale missed nearly the entire first half after tearing his UCL last summer. Seattle southpaw Dontrelle Willis suffered a major setback in his recovery from elbow surgery, and was likely to miss not only the balance of 2023, but likely 2024 as well. Memphis center fielder Larry Doby played just 32 games, suffering two separate monthlong injuries
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Old 10-18-2018, 12:27 AM   #93
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2023 Year in Review

Frontier League: The Boston Minutemen cruised to the Northeast Division title, jumping out to a 45-14 start on their way to a 108-win regular season. Center fielder AJ Pollock hit .322 with 36 homers and a team-high 129 RBI's, while corner infielders Steve Garvey and Gary Gaetti each topped 30 homers and 100 RBI's. Hideo Nomo went 20-9 with 263 strikeouts, while Larry Cheney went 18-9 with a 3.20 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP, and 217 strikeouts. The Philadelphia Hawks returned to the postseason for the first time since 2018, winning 91 games despite being under .500 at the end of June. Shortstop Charlie Hollocher led a balanced attack, hitting .291 with 45 doubles, 15 homers, 70 RBI's, and 57 steals, while Jake Arrieta and Tom Underwood won 17 games apiece. The Pittsburgh Golden Gorillas remained in playoff contention through the final week of the year, winning 83 games as star left fielder Sherry Magee hit .348 with 38 homers, 128 RBI's, and 77 steals, while first baseman Cody Bellinger bopped 39 homers and drove in 110 runs. Leadoff hitter Tom Goodwin hit .295, scored 113 runs, and led baseball with 98 steals. The Detroit Purple Gang won a mediocre Great Lakes Division in a cakewalk, winning 105 games to take the division by a mere 24 games. Detroit was led by a league-best pitching staff, as starters Justin Verlander, Dwight Gooden, Dave Righetti, and Steve Hargan all sported ERA's below 3.00 and WHIP's at or below 1.11. Closer Mike Schooler saved 42 games with a 1.43 ERA and a 0.90 ERA. Right fielder Mel Hall was the breakout star offensively, hitting .308 with 44 homers and 125 RBI's.

The St. Louis Pilots won 95 games for the second straight season, taking the Great Plains Division by 5 games with the best offense in the Frontier League. Although many analysts thought that shortstop Francisco Lindor was robbed of the MVP award last season, he left no doubt this year, hitting .347 and slugging .671, leading the Frontier League with 50 homers and 150 RBI's, and stealing 41 bases to boot. Right fielder Jack Clark hit .291 with 47 homers and 121 RBI's. Righthander John Montefusco flirted with the Cy Young Award, going 21-9 with a 2.40 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. The Minneapolis Penguins returned to the postseason for the sixth time in seven seasons with 90 wins. Andy Van Slyke led a balanced, if unspectacular offense, hitting .312 and slugging .530 with 24 homers, 85 RBI's, and 46 steals, while left fielder Del Ennis hit 29 homers and drove in 111 runs. Southpaws Madison Bumgarner and Zach Duke won 17 games apiece, with 3.16 and 3.29 ERA's, respectively. The Kansas City Mad Hatters rallied from a slow start to seize the final wild card slot with 85 victories, led by first baseman Todd Helton, who hit .327 and slugged .609, with 44 homers and 124 RBI's and left fielder Kevin Bass, who hit .324 and slugged .538, with 23 homers and 93 RBI's. The defending champion Calgary Cattle Rustlers pulled away from the pack with a strong September to win the Northwest Division with 93 wins, as last season's postseason hero Kevin Millar hit .335 with 37 homers and 107 RBI's and free agent acquisition Bobby Grich hit .285 with 31 homers and 117 RBI's. Righthander Fred Newman anchored a deep pitching staff, going 22-8 with a 3.03 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. The upstart Portland Skunks led the division for much of the season, as they set a franchise record with 88 wins and topped .500 for the first time in nine seasons. Star first baseman Jeff Bagwell led an explosive offense, hitting .348 with a league-best .458 on-base percentage, ripping 38 homers with 118 RBI's and 136 runs scored. Third baseman Kevin Mitchell and left fielder Eric Thames combined for 62 homers and 235 RBI's, and closer Jonathan Papelbon notched 33 saves with a 1.82 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP.

Continental League: Despite losing last season's batting champion Ed Morgan to free agency, the Charlotte Aviators managed to improve upon last season's 109 wins by winning 114 contests. Led by six players with at least 24 homers, the Aviators led all of baseball by a wide margin with 976 runs and 247 homers. Right fielder Cliff Heathcote had a tremendous all-around season, hitting .309 and slugging .618, ripping 48 doubles, 47 homers, 143 RBIs, and stealing 88 bases. Veteran first baseman Rick Renick more than filled Morgan's shoes, hitting .329 with a .421 on-base percentage, with 45 homers and 129 RBI's. Left fielder Jim Edmonds pounded 38 homers and drove in 131 runs. Eight pitchers finished with double-digit wins, led by Bill Gogolewski, who went 19-6 with a 2.79 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. The Jacksonville Gulls won 106 games with a similarly elite offense, but they never seriously threatened the Aviators. Four Gulls drove in over 100 runs, led by Bryce Harper, who hit .337 with 34 homers and 128 RBI's and first baseman Keith Hernandez, who hit .359 with a .439 on-base percentage with 27 homers and 125 RBI's. Dizzy Trout and Ray Sadecki led the league's second-ranked pitching staff with 17 wins apiece. The Virginia Beach Admirals narrowly missed the postseason with 85 wins, as perennial MVP candidate Bill Melton hit .312 with 43 homers and 123 RBI's, and righthander Joe Benz went 20-8 with a 2.85 ERA. The New Orleans Crawfish won the Southeast Division with their second straight season of 100 wins. Shortstop Jean Segura hit .340, leading the league with 230 hits, as he ripped 27 homers, drove in 101 runs, and stole 75 bases, while first baseman Ed Morgan hit .344 with a .464 on-base percentage and 25 homers. Ace Heinie Berger went 22-8 with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP, while Chris Devenski had a league-high 41 saves and a 2.10 ERA. The 91-win Memphis River Pirates improved by 23 games, making their first postseason in franchise history despite losing Larry Doby for nearly half the season. Rookie shortstop Glenn Wright was spectacular, hitting .320 with 40 homers and 149 RBI's, while right fielder Bobby Bonds hit .344 and slugged .596, pounding 44 homers, driving in 110 runs, and stealing 72 bases. Al Hollingsworth and Big Jeff Pfeffer sported matching 19-8 records, with Hollingsworth leading the Continental League with a 2.43 ERA. Despite a 7-15 start, the Nashville Blues made their fourth straight postseason with 88 wins. Greg Luzinski led an otherwise underwhelming offense, hitting .325 with 45 homers and 130 RBI's, while Dave Ferriss, Bob Shirley, and Patrick Corbin anchored the stingiest pitching staff in the league.

The El Paso Armadillos had perhaps the most under-the-radar season of the HRDL's elite teams, winning 99 games behind a power-hitting offense and stingy pitching staff. First baseman Steve Bilko hit .284 with 46 homers and 131 RBI's, while second baseman Joe Gordon blossomed, hitting .287 with 36 homers and 123 RBI's. Brad Radke led a balanced pitching staff with 16 wins, while Kerry Wood went 11-8 with 203 strikeouts and a 3.34 ERA before blowing out his UCL in August. George Mohart led a deep bullpen with 35 saves, a 1.69 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. The 86-win Austin Mustangs remained in contention until the final days of the season, led by right fielder Von Hayes, who hit .290 with 38 homers, 108 RBI's, and 73 steals, and righthander Pete Donohue, who went 16-6 with a 2.92 ERA and 1.24 WHIP. The Los Angeles Kangaroos returned to the postseason for a record 13th straight season, although they sent a franchise low with "just" 91 wins to win the Southwest Division. First baseman Rhys Hoskins hit 36 homers and drove in 117 runs, while leftfielder Gary Matthews Sr. and shortstop Trevor Story combined for 54 homers and 199 RBI's. The Kangaroos' rotation was strong if not spectacular, with Brett Anderson leading the way with a 14-8 record and a career-worst 3.70 ERA. The Las Vegas Aces rallied with 9 wins in their final 11 games to snatch a wild-card spot with 87 wins, as first baseman Jason Thompson hit .294 with 38 homers and 117 RBIs, and Dolph Camilli and Pablo Sandoval popped 30 homers apiece and drove in a combined 206 runs. Joey Jay led a strong bullpen with 30 saves, a 1.45 ERA and 0.94 WHIP.
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Old 10-20-2018, 02:30 AM   #94
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2023 Playoff Report

Frontier League: Upsets were the story of the day, as four of the HRDL's five 100-win teams were upended by lesser opponents. In the Frontier League, the 85-win Kansas City Mad Hatters systematically upended the 108-win Boston Minutemen in shockingly easy fashion, holding the second-ranked offense in the Frontier League to just 13 runs in 5 games. Kansas City left fielder Kevin Bass was tabbed as series MVP after hitting .412 with a homer and 8 RBI's -- including tie-breaking hits in the ninth inning of both Games 1 and 2, and a three-run homer in Game 5. Kansas City second baseman George Grantham hit .368 with a homer, 2 RBI's, 4 runs scored, and 2 steals. Boston catcher Joe Mauer led all hitters with a .500 average and drove in 2 runs. The defending champion Calgary Cattle Rustlers outlasted the pesky Philadelphia Hawks in six games, with shortstop Alcides Escobar taking home MVP honors, garnering 13 hits, slugging .654, and scoring 5 runs. Righthander Fred Newman made a strong push for the hardware, going 2-0 with 14.1 shutout innings. Calgary second baseman Bobby Grich led all hitters with 3 homers and 6 RBI's. In a Great Plains Division showdown, the Minneapolis Penguins upended the St. Louis Pilots in five games, as leftfielder Del Ennis hit .444 with 3 homers and 9 RBI's, and southpaw Madison Bumgarner threw a six-hit shutout in Game 2. The upstart Portland Skunks upset the 105-win Detroit Purple Gang in five games, as leftfielder Eric Thames hit .412 with 3 homers and 8 RBI's, and righthander Jeremy Hefner went 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 15 innings, outdueling Justin Verlander twice, including a 1-0 victory in the final Game 5.

Kansas City's magic ran out in the Divisional Series, as Calgary topped off the Mad Hatters in six games. Calgary first baseman Kevin Millar repeated his postseason heroics from 2022, hitting .455 with 3 homers and 8 RBI's, while southpaw Larry Jaster went 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA, including 8 shutout innings in the clinching Game 6. Kansas City rightfielder Gary Sheffield hit .409 with 3 homers and 6 RBI's. Despite scoring just 20 runs for the series, the Portland Pilots upset the Minnesota Penguins in 7 games, holding Minnesota to just 5 runs in their four victories. Portland leftfielder Eric Thames continued to swing the hot bat, hitting .308 with 2 homers and 6 RBI's. Portland's Jeremy Hefner went 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA, allowing just one run in seven innings in a 3-1 Game 7 victory, and Jonathan Papelbon notched four saves. Penguins leftfielder Del Ennis led all hitters with a .476 average, a homer, and 3 RBIs. Calgary returned to the World Series after defeating Portland in a six-game League Championship Series between two Northwest Division rivals. Calgary rightfielder Paul Waner took home MVP honors after hitting .435 with six doubles, a homer, and 3 RBI's, while Alcides Escobar chipped in with 12 hits, batting .444 with 7 RBI's and 4 steals. Righthander Fred Newman went 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA for the Cattle Rustlers.

Continental League: For the fourth time in five years, a dominant regular season by the Charlotte Aviators ended in a wild-card upset -- this time at the hands of the 87-win Las Vegas Aces in just five games. Although Charlotte dominated the regular season matchup, winning eight of nine games, Las Vegas pulled out 3 one-run wins, including a walk-off series-clinching win in Game 5 when Stephen Piscotty ripped a pinch-hit single. Las Vegas first baseman Jason Thompson was named MVP after hitting .400 with 2 homers and 5 RBI's, including a tie-breaking double in the 11th inning of Game 2. Reliever Javier Lopez earned three wins in relief, while Ryan Rupe garnered the Aces' other win with a four-hit shutout in Game 4. Charlotte centerfielder Tommie Agee hit .318 with 3 homers and 6 RBI's. In perhaps the most dramatic series of the Wild Card round, the 106-win Jacksonville Gulls edged the Los Angeles Kangaroos in 7 games, erasing a three-run deficit in the 9th inning of Game 6. Jacksonville third baseman Grady Hatton was named MVP after hitting .393 and slugging .821, with 3 homers and 8 RBI's. Los Angeles leftfielder Gary Matthews, Sr. hit .367 with 3 homers and 5 RBI's. The El Paso Armadillos dominated the Memphis River Pirates, who were making their maiden postseason appearance, scoring 41 runs in a 4-game sweep -- and drawing an incredible 40 walks in the series, including 20 in a 20-4 Game 4 rout. El Paso rightfielder Frank Howard hit .353 with 3 homers and 6 RBI's, while fellow slugger Steve Bilko hit .375 with a homer and 4 RBI's. The Nashville Blues ousted the 100-win New Orleans Crawfish in 7 games, erasing a 3-games-to-1 deficit. Nashville leftfielder Ben Paschal led all hitters with 14 hits, batting .483 with a homer and 6 RBI's, while Blues first baseman Greg Luzinski hit .370 with 2 homers and 8 RBI's. New Orleans third baseman Matt Chapman hit .333 and slugged .583, with 3 doubles, a homer, and 2 RBI's.

In the Divisional Series, Jacksonville blasted Las Vegas, scoring 37 runs in the five-game series. Jacksonville left fielder Larry Herndon was an easy MVP choice after hitting .435 with 5 homers and 11 RBI's, while Jacksonville shortstop Orlando Arcia and Milt May each rapped 2 homers and drove in 4 runs. Las Vegas first baseman Jason Thompson hit .333 with 3 homers and 8 RBI's in a losing effort. Nashville dispatched El Paso in 6 games, winning the final game on a 13th inning double by backup catcher Hobie Landrith in his lone at bat of the series. Nashville's Greg Luzinski was named MVP after hitting .348 with a homer and 6 RBI's, while right fielder Brian Jordan hit .292 with a homer and 3 RBI's. El Paso's Rube Foster won both of his starts and did not surrender an earned run in 14.2 innings, allowing only 7 hits along the way. Jacksonville outlasted Nashville in seven games in the League Championship Series, taking Game 6 2-0 behind 8 shutout innings from Ray Sadecki, and winning Game 7 15-7 after a 10-run explosion in the 7th inning. Jacksonville first baseman Keith Hernandez ended his postseason slump, ripping 13 hits on his way to a .481 average, the game-tying homer in the 7th inning of Game 7, and 3 RBIs. Left fielder Larry Herndon hit .375 with 7 RBI's, and catcher Milt May ripped a homer with 8 RBI's. Sadecki went 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA, allowing just 9 hits in 17 innings. Nashville right fielder Brian Jordan hit .357 with 3 homers and 6 RBI's in defeat.

World Series: Remarkably, the first repeat matchup in HRDL history resulted in an identical result -- the Calgary Cattle Rustlers sweeping the Jacksonville Gulls. Calgary battered Jacksonville ace Dizzy Trout in a 10-5 Game 1 victory, as Paul Waner homered, doubled, and drove in 3 runs. Calgary prevailed 7-2 in Game 2, as left fielder Jerome Walton ripped four hits and scored three runs. Willard Nixon outdueled Jacksonville's Adam Conley, and Doc Ayers earned an unexpected save with 2.2 innings of shutout relief. Calgary took Game 3 5-1 behind a dominant two-way performance from Larry Jaster, who surrendered just two hits in 7 innings and also homered off Ray Sadecki; Walton also chipped in with a two-run homer. The Cattle Rustlers pulled out Game 4 by a 4-3 margin, as Ruppert Jones ripped a pinch-hit RBI double in the seventh inning, and Kevin Millar singled in Jay Porter, a defensive replacement who hit a leadoff triple in the eighth inning, to score the tiebreaking run. Closer Bob Veale got the win in relief, with Joakim Soria taking the loss. Waner was named series MVP after going 8-for-17 with 2 doubles, a triple, a homer, 3 RBI's, and 5 runs scored. Walton hit .500 with a homer and 2 RBI's, while center fielder Homer Summa hit .400 with 6 RBI's. Bryce Harper paced Jacksonville with a .429 average and 4 RBI's in a losing effort.
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:08 PM   #95
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2023 Awards Winners

Frontier League MVP- Francisco Lindor, SS, STL (48): .347/ .410/ .671, 212 hits, 44 doubles, 2 triples, 50 HR, 150 RBI, 138 runs, 67 BB, 41 SB, +21.1 Zone Rating, 180 OPS+, 12.6 WAR
Second place- Jeff Bagwell, 1B, POR: .348/ .458/ .598, 207 hits, 30 doubles, 2 triples, 38 HR, 118 RBI, 136 runs, 120 BB, 20 SB, 177 OPS+, 8.5 WAR
Third place- Lou Gehrig, 1B, CIN: .328/ .426/ .643, 201 hits, 39 doubles, 2 triples, 50 HR, 127 RBI, 131 runs, 104 BB, 8 SB, 178 OPS+, 6.9 WAR
Fourth place- John Montefusco, RHP, STL: 21-9, 2.40 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 277 IP, 226 K, 64 BB, 12 CG, 4 shutouts, 178 ERA+, 10.5 WAR
Fifth place- Sherry Magee, LF, PIT: .348/ .412/ .633, 206 hits, 35 doubles, 10 triples, 38 HR, 128 RBI, 111 runs, 70 BB, 77 SB, 172 OPS+, 7.9 WAR
Fifth place (tie) - Todd Helton, 1B, KC: .327/ .394/ .609, 204 hits, 42 doubles, 1 triple, 44 HR, 124 RBI, 105 runs, 70 BB, 2 SB, 161 OPS+, 6.0 WAR

Frontier League Cy Young Award- John Montefusco, STL (48): 21-9, 2.40 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 277 IP, 226 K, 64 BB, 12 CG, 4 shutouts, 178 ERA+, 10.5 WAR
Second place- Bruce Berenyi, DEN: 17-7, 2.23 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 262 IP, 237 K, 89 BB, 7 CG, 4 shutouts, 194 ERA+, 8.9 WAR
Third place- Dave Righetti, DET: 15-10, 2.49 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 268 IP, 253 K, 85 BB, 6 CG, 2 shutouts, 173 ERA+, 9.2 WAR
Fourth place- Reb Russell, LON: 19-9, 2.49 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 271 IP, 167 K, 25 BB, 11 CG, 5 shutouts, 174 ERA+, 9.5 WAR
Fifth place- Joe Ross, BAL: 9-12, 2.86 ERA, 0.97 WAR, 280 IP, 318 K, 48 BB, 5 CG, 150 ERA+, 11.2 WAR

Frontier League Rookie of the Year- Frank Thomas, 1B, OTT (45): .326/ .431/ .624, 189 hits, 24 doubles, 4 triples, 47 HR, 100 RBI, 114 runs, 109 BB, 172 OPS+, 7.6 WAR
Second place- Jon Matlack, LHP, CIN (3): 15-12, 2.87 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 273 IP, 213 K, 63 BB, 8 CG, 3 shutouts, 149 ERA+, 7.6 WAR
Third place- Smoky Joe Wood, RHP, PIT: 17-8, 2.95 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 271 IP, 228 K, 121 BB, 6 CG, 1 shutout, 145 ERA+, 6.3 WAR

Continental League MVP- Reggie Smith, CF, BIR (28): .364/ .452/ .641, 224 hits, 42 doubles, 7 triples, 38 HR, 119 RBI, 132 runs, 93 BB, 30 SB, 181 OPS+, 10.0 WAR
Second place- Bobby Bonds, RF, MEM (12): .344/ .431/ .596, 217 hits, 31 doubles, 4 triples, 40 HR, 110 RBI, 154 runs, 91 BB, 72 SB, 169 OPS+, 9.1 WAR
Third place- Cliff Heathcote, RF, CHA (2): .309/ .385/ .618, 195 hits, 48 doubles, 3 triples, 47 HR, 143 RBI, 139 runs, 80 BB, 88 SB, 153 OPS+, 7.7 WAR
Fourth place- Harry Lumley, DH, BIR (3): .332/ .406/ .648, 203 hits, 32 doubles, 4 triples, 51 HR, 151 RBI, 133 runs, 77 BB, 37 SB, 169 OPS+, 6.9 WAR
Fifth place- Greg Luzinski, 1B, NAS: .325/ .395/ .589, 197 hits, 19 doubles, 3 triples, 45 HR, 130 RBI, 104 runs, 71 BB, 5 SB, 177 OPS+, 8.1 WAR

Continental League Cy Young Award: Al Hollingsworth, MEM (41): 19-8, 2.43 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 278 IP, 216 K, 93 BB, 10 CG, 1 shutouts, 194 ERA+, 8.1 WAR
Second place- Heinie Berger, NOR (7): 22-8, 3.27 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 275 IP, 236 K, 90 BB, 10 CG, 1 shutout, 146 ERA+, 8.3 WAR
Third place- Joe Gibbon, VB: 18-13, 2.73 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 284 IP, 230 K, 59 BB, 11 CG, 175 ERA+, 9.5 WAR
Fourth place- Joe Benz, VB: 20-8, 2.85 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 285 IP, 131 K, 46 BB, 17 CG, 1 shutout, 168 ERA+, 7.2 WAR
Fifth place- Rick Sutcliffe, HAR: 20-9, 2.82 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 255 IP, 226 K, 98 BB, 5 CG, 166 ERA+, 5.1 WAR

Continental League Rookie of the Year- Glenn Wright, SS, MEM (48): .320/ .361/ .583, 202 hits, 34 doubles, 6 triples, 40 HR, 149 RBI, 98 runs, 40 BB, 17 SB, 145 OPS+, 7.5 WAR
Second place- Andrelton Simmons, SS, HOU: .292/ .348/ .461, 175 hits, 29 doubles, 9 triples, 18 HR, 87 RBI, 78 runs, 51 BB, 7 SB, +20.0 Zone Rating, 115 OPS+, 6.4 WAR
Third place- Tommy Henrich, RF, BIR: .295/ .385/ .506, 176 hits, 35 doubles, 5 triples, 27 HR, 91 RBI, 126 runs, 90 BB, 9 SB, 130 OPS+, 4.8 WAR

Top draft picks: 1. Ryne Sandberg, 2B, ALB
2. Roberto Alomar, 2B, ATL
3. Eric Davis, CF, MIL
4. Gary Sanchez, C, BAL
5. Frank Robinson, RF, MIA
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Old 10-21-2018, 12:25 AM   #96
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2023 Hall of Fame Report

Yet another year went by without anyone being elected to join Sandy Koufax in the HRDL Hall of Fame, although fellow southpaw Jakie May fell just a couple votes shy and was expected to join the Hall next season. The remaining leading candidates stagnated, with no significant change in support. Top vote recipients included:

Jakie May (VAN/ BUF/ CHA) - 74.1%
Richard Hidalgo (ELP/ CHA/ CAL/ ALB/ MEM) - 36.3%
Nomar Garciaparra (OTT) - 31.7%
Joey Votto (ATL/ CHA/ MTL) - 30.9%
Bill Bevens (MIN/ BUF/ CHI) - 26.6%

Top newcomers to the ballot included catcher Gary Alexander (OTT/VAN) at 25.9% and lefthander Vean Gregg (MIL/DET) at 20.9%.

Jose Quintana, Ed Ott, Oddibe McDowell, Eric O'Flaherty, Jim Gott, Jeff Fassero, Sheriff Blake, Michael Pineda, Jake Weimer, and Jason Davis were dropped from the ballot after failing to reach 2%.
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Old Yesterday, 12:27 AM   #97
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2024 Mid-Year Review

Here are some of the major storylines across the HRDL at the 2024 All-Star Break:

Exceeding expectations: After going 15 games under .500 during the first half of 2023, the London Werewolves quietly rebounded to flirt with the playoffs in the second half, and they continued their strong play into 2024, entering the break with a 44-30 record and a narrow lead over the Detroit Purple Gang. Despite finishing the first half dead last in baseball with just 30 homers (as part of a league-wide power outage), the Werewolves nonetheless had an above average offense, led by first baseman Geronimo Pena, who hit .292 and slugged .451, with 6 homers and 43 RBI's. London's pitching staff sparkled, allowing just 229 runs in the first half, led by Bert Blyleven, who rebounded from a dreadful 2023 to go 7-3 with a 2.12 ERA and 0.89 WHIP, and ace Reb Russell, who went 11-5 with a 3.04 ERA. The Omaha Falcons -- one of three franchises in HRDL history to never make the playoffs -- looked to end their drought, going 46-29 and leading the Great Plains Division by 3 games. Their offense ranked second in the league in runs scored, as Bobby Higginson hit .304 with 12 homers and 56 RBI's, while JD Drew hit .292 and slugged .506, popping 10 homers and driving in 48 runs. Ed Walsh and Larry Jansen anchored a deep pitching staff, each winning 10 games and sporting a sub- 2.00 ERA at the break. In the Continental League, the hard-hitting Hartford Huskies took baseball's best record into the break, going 48-27, as they looked to return to the postseason for the first time since the league's inaugural 2011 season. Hartford ranked second in baseball in homers, led by center fielder Gorman Thomas, who hit .322 with 17 homers and 64 RBI's, and second baseman Junior Spivey, who hit .307 with 15 homers and 48 RBI's. The Anaheim Antelopes went 46-29, leading the Southwest Division by 5 games. Third baseman Larry Parrish hit 15 homers and led baseball with 67 RBI's, while Kevin Slowey carried a borderline pitching staff, going 10-3 with a 2.35 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP.

Disappointments: The Boston Minutemen, after winning 106 and 108 games during the past two seasons, entered the All-Star Break on a six-game losing streak with a middling 38-37 record, 4 1/2 games out of first place. Boston's two major free agent acquisitions, Carl Yastrzemski and Jim Palmer, were tremendously disappointing. Yastrzemski suffered yet another season ending injury, shredding his PCL for the fourth time (!) after just five games in a Boston uniform. Palmer was completely ineffective, going 2-11 with a 5.14 ERA and a 1.55 WHIP. The St. Louis Pilots appeared to have the makings of a burgeoning dynasty, with several young stars in their prime, but they went just 33-42, and entered the break 13 games behind Omaha, amid rumors of clubhouse strife. Gabby Hartnett hit just .258 and slugged .386 -- a decline of nearly 200 points from the year before. Francisco Lindor came down to earth after his brilliant MVP campaign- and suffered a concussion shortly before the All-Star Break, which threatened to sideline him for the rest of the season. The Memphis River Pirates appeared unlikely to duplicate their breakthrough season, going just 34-41 and entering the break in 5th place, albeit just 7 games out of first. The club struggled to replace All-Star center fielder Larry Doby, who decamped to Vancouver in free agency, and free agent signee Kevin Bass, who drove in 229 runs in the prior two season in Kansas City, drove in just 29 runs and slugged a modest .416. Cy Young Award winner Al Hollingsworth regressed, going just 5-9 with a 3.78 ERA and a 1.45 WHIP, and the back of the rotation was sub-replacement level, as Memphis finished 20th in the league in runs allowed. The Los Angeles Kangaroos vastly underachieved based on their pythagorean ratio, ending the half with a 36-38 record, 9 1/2 games behind Anaheim. Free agent signee Brett Tomko struggled, going 2-3 with a 5.06 ERA, while franchise mainstay Felix Hernandez was sidelined, as he was removed from the rotation after going 1-3 in 7 starts with a 4.37 ERA and ghastly 1.67 WHIP.

Power outage: Leaguewide offensive totals plummeted after an explosive 2023. In the Frontier League, the leaguewide slugging percentage declined from .406 to .362, and the league ERA declined by more than half a run, from 3.98 to 3.46. Not a single Frontier League team was slugging even .400 -- which would have been a below-average figure the year before -- as of the 2024 All-Star Break. In the Continental League, the league slugging percentage fell from .426 to .388 and the league's ERA declined from 4.60 to 4.03. While 7 teams had team ERA's over 5.00 in 2023, just one team -- the hapless Albuquerque Conquistadors -- topped 5.00 the following season. Perhaps most shocking: while 24 players topped 40 homers in 2023, at the 2024 All-Star Break, only one player- Birmingham's Carlos Pena -- had even 20 homers.

Larry's are King: The Frontier League saw a series of dominant performances by starting pitchers named Larry. The seven starting pitchers on the Frontier League squad included Calgary's Larry Jaster (8-3, 1.53 ERA, 0.96 WHIP), Omaha's Larry Jansen (10-2, 1.81 ERA, 0.85 WHIP), Boston's Larry Cheney (10-5, 1.74 ERA, 0.94 WHIP), and Seattle's Larry Benton (8-2, 1.61 ERA, 0.90 WHIP). Pittsburgh's Frank Lary, alas, was a middling 5-7 with a career-worst 3.81 ERA.

Mantle Slipped a Mickey?: After ten dominant years with the Denver Spikes, including 7 MVP Awards and 2 Triple Crowns, Mickey Mantle signed with the Houston Pythons as a free agent before the 2023 season. Mantle had a solid, if not quite spectacular 2023, hitting .326 with 32 homers and 110 RBI's. But his 2024 was an unmitigated disaster: Mantle entered the All-Star break hitting .199 with 8 homers, 35 RBI's, and a meager .321 slugging percentage, pulling his WAR above zero only in the final week before the All-Star game.

Major milestones: Wade Boggs, Del Ennis, Carney Lansford, and Paul Molitor each topped the 2,500 hit mark, with Lonnie Smith and Kirby Puckett expected to do so by year's end. Wes Covington, Glenn Davis, and Eugenio Suarez each joined the 300 home run club. Tom Henke notched his 400th career save, while Patrick Corbin earned his 200th win.

Major injuries: After signing with Boston as a free agent in the offseason, Carl Yastrzemski continued to be bitten by the injury bug, tearing his PCL for the fourth time after just five games. New Orleans' righthander Jack Chesbro tore his labrum in spring training and was expected to miss the entire season. Within a span of three days, Buffalo lost franchise catcher Dave Nilsson to a torn ACL, and righthander Bob Feller to elbow inflammation that would likely sideline him until September. Jacksonville closer Joakim Soria tore his UCL in spring training and was expected to miss the season. Chicago center fielder Willie McGee broke his kneecap, and would likely not return until Labor Day. Although defending MVP Francisco Lindor was healthy throughout the first half, he suffered from a concussion shortly before the all-star break, placing his second half in jeopardy.
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