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Old 07-14-2019, 02:31 AM   #181
Dukie98
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2039 Mid-Year Review

Here are some of the major storylines across the league at the 2039 All-Star Break:

Exceeding expectations: The Toronto Predators, coming off a 67-win season, looked to snap a ten-year postseason drought, as they entered the break with a 3-game lead in the Great Lakes Division with a 40-34 record. Right fielder Chuck Klein starred, hitting .347 and slugging .641 with 19 homers and 65 RBI's. Catcher Bill Sarni came out of nowhere to hit .355 with 12 homers and 37 RBI's. Third baseman Garrett Atkins hit .302 with 10 round-trippers and 36 RBI's. Rookie righthander Tim Belcher led a middling pitching staff, going 6-3 with a 2.33 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP and 95 strikeouts. Ron Klimkowski posted 19 saves with a 2.25 ERA. The Portland Skunks rebounded from three straight seasons under .500 to post a 46-27 first-half record and take a seven-game lead in the Northwest Division. Eight players bopped double-digit homers, as the Skunks ranked second in the Frontier League. Third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo hit .337 with 15 homers and 54 RBI's. Left fielder Mike Easler hit at a .331 clip with 16 longballs and drove in 60 runs. Rookie first baseman Hank Blalock hit .292, ripping 12 homers and driving in 43 runs. On the mound, southpaw Steve Avery went 8-4 with a 2.69 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. Roger Wolff took an 11-2 record and a 3.78 ERA into the break.

In the Continental League, the Nashville Blues looked poised to snap a nine-year streak without clearing .500, which included 5 straight seasons below 60 wins. The Blues led the Southeast Division for much of the first half, and took a 41-31 record into the break. Left fielder Jim Greengrass hit .273 and slugged .521 with 17 homers and 59 RBI's. Rookie first baseman Ted Kluszewski hit .285 with 14 jacks and drove in 44 runs. Once again, the Blues' pitching staff dominated, as Mark Prior went 10-3 with a 2.19 ERA, a microscopic 0.83 WHIP, and 141 strikeouts. Southpaw Herb Score rebounded from last year's hard-luck 8-17 campaign to post a 9-5 record with a 2.15 ERA, a 0.98 WHIP, and 128 strikeouts. Ron Guidry notched 17 saves and a 2.02 ERA. The San Diego Zookeepers were perhaps the biggest surprise in baseball, going 45-29 after winning just 75 games last year. San Diego posted an unexpectedly potent offense, led by first baseman Dick Burrus, who hit .365 with 26 doubles, 6 homers, 48 RBI's, and 56 runs scored. Journeyman right fielder Mike Vail hit .332 and slugged .542, popping 9 homers and driving in 62 runs. Second sacker Luis Aguayo bopped 15 homers and drove in 57 runs. Righthander Rick Porcello posted an 8-3 record with a 3.57 ERA. Russ Christopher sported a matching 8-3 record with a stellar 2.27 ERA and 1.08 WHIP, but underwent season-ending elbow surgery in early June.

Disappointments: The Ottawa Parliamentarians' streak of four straight postseason appearances was in jeopardy after a 32-42 half. Ottawa ended the half with one of the lowest-scoring offenses in the Frontier League, despite finishing in the top five in homers, as their teamwide on-base percentage ranked dead last in the league at .306. Frank Thomas was the lone bright spot offensively, hitting .317 with 24 homers and 58 RBI's. But right fielder Charlie Blackmon missed the entire first half with a broken elbow, and his return was in doubt. Catcher Ron Karkovice hit just .229, with 12 longballs and 33 RBI's. Shortstop Tim Anderson managed to end the half with a lower on-base percentage than batting average, hitting just .267 while posting a .263 on-base percentage, posting an embarrassing 33-0 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 42 games. On the mound, Dick Weik saw his ERA spike by two and a half runs per game, going 2-8 with a 5.83 ERA, while Gary Serum, a 12-game winner a year ago, went just 3-6 with a 5.18 ERA. The Seattle Whales' streak of eight straight postseason appearances was jeopardized by a 36-38 half, where they ended in fourth place, 10 1/2 games out of first place. Seattle's offense tailed off badly, ranking 19th in the Frontier League at the break. Leadoff hitter Roy White hit just .252 with a subpar .309 on-base percentage. Free agent signee George Hendrick dropped 40 points of batting average and 100 points in slugging percentage, hitting a middling .267 with 15 homers and 49 RBIs. Shortstop Mickey Stanley, an All-Star last season with a .300 average and 111 RBI's, hit just .257 with 4 homers and 16 RBI's, while catcher David Ross hit just .197 and slugged .303, with 4 round-trippers and 13 RBI's. Free agent signee Jack Coombs, who finished in the top three of the Cy Young Award voting three years running, went just 6-7 with a mediocre 4.41 ERA. Zane Smith, who finished fifth in the Cy Young voting last season, went just 2-2 with a 4.55 ERA.

In the Continental League, the Austin Mustangs were a popular preseason pick, after adding Smoky Joe Wood and closer Billy Loes in free agency to a team that made the League Championship Series last season. But Austin ended the first half at 37-37, tied for third in the Texas Division behind El Paso. Austin's explosive offense ended the first half ranked just 10th in the league in runs scored. Left fielder Bob Johnson, the runner-up for the MVP last season, dropped off from a .345 average with a .670 slugging percentage to a .289 mark with a .586 slugging percentage. Right fielder Wally Post declined from a .323 average with a league-leading 46 homers to just .243 with 15 homers and a modest .449 slugging percentage. On the mound, Wood was solid, but hardly dominant, going 6-2 with a 3.68 ERA and 1.31 WHIP, both of which would be career-worst marks. Rene Arocha's ERA spiked by over two runs per game, going 1-5 with a 6.75 ERA and a bloated 1.74 WHIP, while Blix Donnelly managed to go 4-6 despite a 6.43 ERA and an embarrassing 1.90 WHIP. The Los Angeles Kangaroos ended the first half with a disappointing 32-42 record, on target for the worst winning percentage in franchise history, and their streak of four straight playoff appearances was at risk. Los Angeles got off to an awful start, bumbling to a 2-11 start and sporting a 9-21 mark in early May. Third baseman Frank Baker, recovering from a torn MCL, missed the first eight weeks of the season; upon his return, he hit .313 with a .485 slugging percentage, which would be the lowest of his career. DH Johnny Mize had a disappointing half, hitting just .225 and slugging .404, while hitting just 10 homers and 43 RBI's - a far cry from last season's 40 homers and 132 RBI's. But the Kangaroos really struggled with their pitching. Ricky Romero went just 3-8 with a 5.98 ERA, and second-year Hayden Penn was atrocious, going 1-8 with a 13.99 ERA and a 2.96 WHIP -- those are not misprints.

Runaway Buffalo: The defending champion Buffalo Fighting Elk, winners of 119 games last season, expected to coast to another division title, but the path proved somewhat more difficult than expected. Buffalo sputtered to an 11-10 start before gradually pulling away, ending the half with a 51-23 mark. But other than second baseman John Knight and free agent signee Merv Rettenmund, many of Buffalo's key players put forth mildly disappointing performances. Defending MVP Tris Speaker took a step back, hitting .309 with 12 homers, but posted an on-base percentage nearly 60 points lower than last year, with his slugging percentage declining from .712 to .538. Third baseman Eric Chavez stumbled to hit just .221 with 14 homers, seeing his slugging percentage decline from .600 to .413. Third-year shortstop Rico Petrocelli declined from 19 longballs to just 2. On the mound, Don Wilson was still strong, but no longer an MVP candidate, going 9-4 with a 3.12 ERA, which would be his highest since 2033. Nonetheless, Buffalo was in strong shape for the postseason, taking a 9-game lead into the break.

Streaking Mules: The Chicago Mules had an up-and-down season which gave their fans whiplash. After starting the season 0-3, they ripped off a 20-7 stretch, including winning 14 of 15 at one point. But after starting May in first place, the Mules then dropped 22 of 30 -- only to snap that slump by winning six straight. Overall, the Mules ended the half in fourth place in the Great Plains Division, 11 games behind Minneapolis. They were led by veteran slugger Minnie Minoso, who hit .319 with 26 homers, and drove in 60 runs.

Weekend of Doom: In a two-day span, significant injuries felled three major stars. Detroit third baseman Nolan Arenado, leading the Frontier League in batting average, broke his hand and was knocked out for six weeks. Memphis ace Clayton Kershaw pulled his groin and was sidelined for eight weeks. Birmingham center fielder Willie Mays saw his breakout season stalled by a pulled hamstring, which knocked out of commission for six weeks.

Major Injuries: Anaheim second baseman Rougned Odor, who signed as a free agent in the offseason, broke his ankle in late May and would be sidelined until late September. Atlanta first baseman Dots Miller tore his ACL in spring training, knocking him out for the season. Baltimore southpaw Randy Johnson strained his hamstring in mid-May, and would not be back until August. Cincinnati rookie righthander Larry Dierker tore his rotator cuff in June and would likely miss the season. Detroit righthander Hank Borowy suffered a season-ending labrum tear in early May. Oklahoma City hurler Jason Bere ended his season prematurely with a labrum tear, while teammate Bob Ewing suffered a nerve injury that would sideline him for four months. Washington center fielder Johnny Groth suffered a concussion in late April after being beaned, and it was feared that he would miss the season.

Major milestones: Chicago left fielder Minnie Minoso joined the 500-homer club in his first week with the club, while Houston catcher Tex Erwin smacked his 500th homer in the final game before the All-Star break. Albuquerque first baseman George Brett, Austin second baseman Ryne Sandberg, Washington third baseman Willie Jones, and New Orleans first baseman Eddie Murray each joined the 400-homer club. Charlotte shortstop Corey Seager, Miami right fielder Frank Robinson, Atlanta second baseman Roberto Alomar, and Chicago first baseman Mark Grace each popped their 2,500th career hits. Brett and Sandberg each had an outside chance of notching their 3,000th hits before year's end. Detroit right fielder Sherry Magee would likely hit his 600th career homer by year's end, and Omaha second baseman Francisco Lindor would likely pound his 550th homer before the end of July. Kansas City third baseman Manny Machado and Los Angeles third baseman Frank Baker were each likely to hit their 500th homers before July 4. On the mound, Austin righthander Smoky Joe Wood was likely to hit 4,000 strikeouts before the end of July.

Last edited by Dukie98; 07-14-2019 at 03:16 AM.
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Old 07-15-2019, 02:30 AM   #182
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2039 Year in Review

Frontier League: The defending champion Buffalo Fighting Elk coasted to another Northeast Division title, winning 109 games despite sputtering to an 11-10 start, led by a dominant pitching staff. Center fielder Tris Speaker rebounded from a slow start to hit .325 with 201 hits, 52 doubles, 10 triples, 26 homers, 117 RBI's, 124 runs scored, and 44 steals. First baseman Don Hurst hit .277 with 35 homers and drove in 146 runs, leading the league in RBI's for the second straight year. Third baseman Eric Chavez popped 36 homers and drove in 104 runs. On the mound, Don Wilson rode a hot second half to challenge for his sixth straight Cy Young Award, leading the league in wins, strikeouts, and WHIP, as he went 20-8 with a 2.77 ERA, a 0.92 WHIP, and 260 strikeouts. Jordan Zimmerman posted a 10-10 record despite a strong 3.21 ERA before being sidelined with a season-ending elbow injury. Hal Carlson and Chad Kuhl posted matching 13-7 marks, with Carlson sporting a stellar 2.53 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. Closer Michael Feliz was brilliant, posting 38 saves, a 1.51 ERA, and 111 strikeouts in 71 innings. The Pittsburgh Golden Gorillas were in the playoff hunt for nearly the entire season before being eliminated on the final day of the season, as they went 7-15 in September and dropped 6 of their final 7 games. Third baseman Bill Madlock starred, hitting .327 with 43 doubles, 21 homers, 119 RBI's, and 24 steals. Right fielder Chet Laabs hit .313 and slugged .548, pounding 32 longballs and driving in 96 runs. Righthander Don Aase led the Frontier League's fifth-ranked pitching staff, going 16-9 with a 3.23 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. The Philadelphia Hawks were also in the playoff picture for most of the year, threatening to earn their first playoff spot since 2033 before a 9-14 September swoon. First baseman Chick Gandil won the batting title, hitting .363 with 249 hits, including 56 doubles, 12 homers, 44 steals, and scored 134 runs. Center fielder Pedro Guerrero hit .313 and slugged .581, blasting 35 homers and driving in 96 runs in just 124 games. Closer Larry Christenson provided one of the few bright spots for a subpar staff, notching a league-leading 43 saves.

The Toronto Predators won their first division title in 14 years, and they earned their first playoff spot in 10 years, winning the Great Lakes Division with an 86-76 record. Right fielder Chuck Klein hit .310 and slugged .557, drilling 36 homers and 130 RBI's. Left fielder Danny Moeller hit .319 with a .408 on-base percentage, knocking 49 doubles, 25 round-trippers, driving in 87 runs, scoring 118 runs, and stealing 65 bases. Catcher Bill Sarni hit .316 with 22 homers and 79 RBI's. Rookie righthander Tim Belcher was brilliant, going 16-8 with a 2.27 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, and 225 strikeouts. Scott Bankhead posted a 17-8 mark with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. Toronto edged out the Cleveland Rocks, who seized the division lead in late August, but stumbled down the stretch with a 7-11 mark. Cleveland was led by right fielder Red Murray, who hit .313 with 26 homers, 106 RBI's, and 26 steals. Center fielder Pete Reiser hit .346 with a .437 on-base percentage, and scored 86 runs in 121 games. Rookie righthander Jose DeLeon went 16-11 with a 2.99 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, and 248 strikeouts.

The Minneapolis Penguins won their first Great Plains Division title in 20 years, posting a 104-58 record. Center fielder Mike Trout led the league's second-ranked offense, hitting .325 with a .603 slugging percentage, with 82 extra-base hits including 42 homers, 122 RBI's, 67 steals, and a league-high 141 runs scored. Darryl Strawberry narrowly missed becoming a charter member of the 50-50 club: he blasted 49 homers and stole 49 of 56 bases, while driving in 123 runs and scoring 132. Catcher Javy Lopez hit .330 with 33 homers and a career-high 125 RBI's. Veteran first baseman Lee May hit .275 with 28 round-trippers and 106 RBI's. Jose Rijo went 14-6 with a 2.76 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP, and 192 strikeouts, while Wade Miller had a breakout season, going 15-7 with a 2.74 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, and 195 strikeouts. The Milwaukee Raccoons won 98 games for the second consecutive season. Right fielder Larry Walker had another MVP-caliber season, as he hit .359 and led the league with a .463 on-base percentage and a .701 slugging percentage, including 205 hits 48 homers, 118 RBI's, 131 runs scored, and 22 steals. Left fielder Don Baylor hit .301, blasting 45 doubles, 44 longballs, drove in 109 runs and scored 128. Third baseman Jeff Hamilton hit .288 and slugged .500, ripping 25 homers and driving in 102 runs. Lefty junkballer Dave Fleming went 16-9 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. Fellow lefty Howie Pollet went 15-7 with a 3.39 ERA, while closer Francisco Rodriguez notched 27 saves with a 1.50 ERA, fanning 76 hitters in just 54 innings. The Kansas City Mad Hatters won 88 games, making the playoffs for the second straight season, led by the league's third ranked offense. Third baseman Manny Machado hit .291 with 34 homers and 126 RBI's. Right fielder Bernie Carbo hit .310 with a .419 on-base percentage and .555 slugging percentage, drilling 33 round-trippers, scoring 127 runs, and driving in 108 runs. Left fielder Kal Daniels hit .305 with a .438 on-base percentage, ripping 32 homers, swiping 34 bags in 38 chances, and scoring 126 runs. Kirk Gibson and Paul Goldschmidt combined for 49 homers and 179 RBI's. All that firepower was necessary to overcome the league's fourth-worst pitching staff. Jim Shaw was the best of a bad lot, going 9-6 with a 4.30 ERA and a hefty 1.49 WHIP.

The Portland Skunks returned to the postseason after three straight sub-.500 seasons, winning 92 games and clinching the division title on the last day of the season. Six Skunks hit at least 20 homers, as the team's 219 blasts ranked third in the Frontier League. Left fielder Mike Easler hit .325 and slugged .590, pounding 40 doubles, 30 homers and 98 RBI's in just 128 games. Rookie first baseman Hank Blalock hit .288 with 44 doubles, 30 homers, and plated 99 runs. Third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo hit .299 with 25 homers, 105 RBI's, and scored 91 runs. Southpaw Steve Avery went 19-10 with a 2.91 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. Roger Wolff posted a 19-9 mark with a 4.03 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP. Portland held off the 91-win Vancouver Viceroys, who returned to the postseason for the first time since 2035 thanks to the league's leading offense. Right fielder Hal McRae hit .327 with 50 doubles, 17 homers, 107 RBI's, and 104 runs scored. First baseman Aledmys Diaz hit .328 and slugged .513, drilling 41 doubles, 22 homers, and driving in 98 runs. Left fielder Bernard Gilkey hit .314 and slugged .548, ripping 36 doubles, 21 homers, and driving in 99 runs before suffering a season-ending broken elbow. Southpaw Steve Barber polished his Hall of Fame resume, going 15-9, topping the 250-win milestone, with a 2.83 ERA, a 1.09 WHIP, and 206 strikeouts. The Seattle Whales used a strong second half to win 88 games and clinch their ninth straight postseason appearance. Center fielder Lee Mazzilli hit .326 with a .417 on-base percentage, with 37 doubles, 23 homers, 98 RBI's, and 103 runs scored. Right fielder George Hendrick hit .296 and slugged .542 with 38 homers and 130 RBI's. Third baseman Leo Gomez pounded 29 round-trippers and drove in 99 runs. Righthander Jack Coombs led an otherwise middling pitching staff with a 17-10 mark, a 3.61 ERA, and 210 strikeouts. But southpaw Mickey Mahler was the only other Seattle hurler to pitch enough to qualify for the ERA title, and he posted an 11-12 record with a hefty 5.34 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP.

Continental League: The Charlotte Aviators took the Atlantic Division title for the first time in nine seasons, with 94 wins. Six different Aviators hit at least 20 homers, led by right fielder Jay Buhner, who hit .309 and slugged .570 with 36 longballs and 88 RBI's. Left fielder Dick Wakefield hit .310 with 41 doubles, 33 homers, 104 RBI's, and 118 runs scored. Veteran shortstop Corey Seager hit .317 with a .411 on-base percentage, with 52 doubles, 24 homers, 109 RBI's, and 102 runs scored. Catcher Michael Barrett hit .284 with 20 homers and 74 RBI's. Righthander Ben Tincup posted an 18-7 record with a 3.37 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. Southpaw Bob Ojeda went 17-10, despite a middling 4.55 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP. Closer BJ Ryan saved 33 games while yielding a 2.09 ERA. The New York Emperors tied a franchise record with 90 wins, making the playoffs for just the third time in league history. Third baseman David Wright and first baseman Don Mattingly each set a team record with 37 homers; Wright hit .332 with 45 doubles, 27 steals, and a league-high 145 RBI's, while Mattingly hit .326 with 206 hits, 41 doubles, and 130 RBI's. Centerfielder Johnny Mostil hit .335 and slugged .584, with 17 homers, 84 RBI's, and 87 runs scored in just 100 games before being sidelined with a hip injury. Lefty Paul Splittorff led the league in victories, going 21-6 with a 2.75 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Fellow southpaw Rich Nye posted a 15-6 mark with a 3.73 ERA. The Jacksonville Gulls made the playoffs for the second straight year, combining a dominant offense with an execrable pitching staff. The Gulls scored 1119 runs, led baseball with a .306 team batting average, and hit 300 homers -- second all-time. Seven players hit at least 22 homers, and five topped 30 homers. First baseman Jim Thome took the next step into stardom, hitting a league-high .351 with a .461 on-base percentage, a .644 slugging percentage, 42 homers and 137 RBI's. Left fielder Beals Becker hit .328 with 40 longballs and 121 RBI's. Center fielder Edd Roush hit .347 with 217 hits, 44 doubles, 28 homers, 95 RBI's, 138 runs scored, and 38 steals. Shortstop Robin Young hit .316 and slugged .537, ripping 47 doubles, 31 homers, 127 RBI's, and scoring 136 runs. But the Gulls surrendered 972 runs -- next-to-last in baseball. Rich Gale was the lone bright spot, going 14-7 with an uninspiring 4.19 ERA and 1.42 WHIP.

The New Orleans Crawfish won the Southeast Division with 100 wins, riding an offense which would have dominated the league, apart from Jacksonville. New Orleans finished second in baseball, scoring 987 runs, posting a team .302 average, and drilling 293 longballs, as six players cleared 30 homers. First baseman Eddie Murray, a free agent signee, had the best all-around season of his career, hitting .330 with 214 hits, including 42 homers and 129 RBI's. Rookie center fielder Austin Kearns hit .324 with a .419 on-base percentage, drilling 44 homers, driving in 129 runs, and scoring a league-high 150 runs. DH Hank Lieber hit .322 and slugged .569, popping 40 homers and driving in 134 runs. Lefty Wilbur Cooper went 16-4 with a 3.56 ERA, allowing just 4 homers in 162 innings. Rube Vickers notched a 12-3 mark, with a 3.53 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. Chad Ogea sported an 11-3 record, yielding a 3.38 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. The Nashville Blues rode a dominant starting rotation into playoff contention, but they faded in the second half, narrowly missing their first playoff spot since 2030 after winning 86 games. Rookie first baseman Ted Kluszewski was one of the only bright spots offensively, as the Blues finished last in the league with a .245 team batting average and third-from-last in runs scored, as Big Klu hit .292 with 44 homers and 128 RBI's. Left fielder Jim Greengrass hit .264 with 39 jacks and 120 RBI's. Mark Prior had another dominant season, going 20-9 with a 2.84 ERA, a 0.98 WHIP, and a league-best 297 strikeouts. Southpaw Herb Score went 17-10 with a 2.81 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP, and 290 strikeouts. Ron Guidry saved 34 games while yielding a 2.41 ERA.

The El Paso Armadillos returned to the postseason for the first time in five seasons, winning the Texas Division by 5 games with 88 wins. Second-year left fielder Kevin McReynolds led the Armadillos' middle-of-the-pack offense, hitting 35 homers and driving in 118 runs. Center fielder Adolfo Phillips blasted 30 round-trippers and drove in 92 runs, while scoring 101 runs and swiping 33 bags. El Paso's pitching staff ranked second in the Continental League, led by Al Grabowski, who went 11-7 with a 3.11 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP, and righthander LaMarr Hoyt and lefty Fred Link, who sported matching 15-7 records with ERA's of 3.39 and 3.20, respectively.

The overachieving Phoenix Lizards came from out of nowhere to take the Southwest Division with 93 wins, marking their first division title in 26 years and their first playoff appearance in 8 seasons. Phoenix overachieved their Pythagorean projection by 9 games -- and won the division by a scant two games over Anaheim. The Lizards finished fifth in the Continental League in runs scored, led by rookie right fielder Billy Conigliaro, who hit .319 and slugged .589, ripping 88 extra-base hits, including 36 homers, and drove in 143 runs. Second sacker Jim Viox hit .323 with a .402 on-base percentage, with 40 doubles, 23 homers, 99 RBI's, 125 runs scored, and 32 steals. Speedy leftfielder Clyde Milan hit .307 with 200 hits, including 20 homers, 83 RBI's, 128 runs scored, and 65 steals. Shortstop Carlos Guillen hit .298 with a .507 slugging percentage with 74 extra-base hits, including 21 homers, 88 RBI's, and 109 runs scored. Lefty Pete Wilson led a subpar rotation, going 12-12 with a 4.89 ERA. Journeyman Dick Bokelmann led a deep bullpen with 35 saves and a 2.70 ERA. The Anaheim Antelopes clinched their fourth straight playoff spot with 92 wins. Defending MVP Dale Murphy had another banner campaign, hitting .335 with 46 doubles, 32 round-trippers, 125 RBI's, 124 runs scored, and 24 steals. Veteran third baseman Ray Boone hit .294 with 40 homers and 116 RBI's. Second baseman Rougned Odor ripped 21 homers and drove in 49 runs in just 69 games in an injury-riddled campaign, but hit just .236. Lefty Frank Tanana had a strong rebound season, going 17-10 with a 3.35 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP and 262 strikeouts. Junkballer Lou Fette went 16-12 with a 4.51 ERA. Setup man Clay Bryant rebounded brilliantly after missing 2038 with an elbow injury, winning 9 games and posting a 1.72 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP, and 103 strikeouts in 78 innings.
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Old 07-21-2019, 10:41 PM   #183
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2039 Playoff Report

Frontier League: The Buffalo Fighting Elk dominated the Kansas City Mad Hatters, outscoring them 40-18 in a four-game sweep. Buffalo right fielder Gary Roenicke was named MVP after hitting .588 and slugging .941, with a homer and 10 RBI's, including 7 RBI's in the first two innings of Game 1 and a two-run 10th inning double in the clinching Game 4. Center fielder Tris Speaker hit .533 with 2 homers, 4 RBI's, and 9 runs scored. First baseman Don Hurst hit .333 with a homer and 7 RBI's. While Buffalo's starters struggled, their bullpen triumvirate of Michael Feliz, Mark Clear, and Gregg Olson sparkled, hurling 6.1 shutout innings. Kansas City was led by left fielder Kal Daniels, who hit .471 with 2 homers and 4 RBI's in defeat. The 86-win Toronto Predators stunned the favored 98-win Milwaukee Predators, outscoring Milwaukee 37-17 in a four-game sweep. Third baseman Garrett Atkins earned MVP honors after hitting .556 with 2 homers and 6 RBI's. Left fielder Danny Moeller hit .550 with 2 homers, 4 RBI's, 10 runs scored and 2 steals. Right fielder Chuck Klein hit .471 and battered 3 round-trippers and drove in 7 runs. Righthander Javier Vazquez threw 8 shutout innings in a Game 3 win, yielding just 2 hits and fanning 5. Remarkably, Eric Davis led Milwaukee with a mediocre .250 average, with a homer and 2 RBI's. In the tightest series of the Wild Card round, the Vancouver Viceroys ousted division rival Portland Skunks in seven games. Vancouver center fielder Abraham Almonte was tabbed MVP after hitting .360 with 2 homers, 4 RBI's, 5 runs scored, and 4 steals. Shortstop Chris Speier hit .346, and both he and first baseman Aledmys Diaz matched Almonte with 2 homers and 4 RBI's. Righthander Joe Presko was brilliant, going 2-0 with a 0.52 ERA, including 8.1 shutout innings of 4-hit ball in a 2-0 Game 7 win. Third baseman Edgardo Alfonzo led Portland, hitting .320 and slugging .600 with 2 homers and 7 RBI's. The Seattle Whales upset the 104-win Minneapolis Penguins in six games, holding the Penguins to just two runs in Seattle's four wins. Center fielder Lee Mazzilli earned MVP honors after hitting .480 with a round-tripper, 4 RBI's, and 4 runs scored. Right fielder George Hendrick slugged .846, popping 4 homers with 8 RBI's. Left fielder Mickey Mahler made a strong push for MVP honors, going 2-0 and allowing just 5 hits in 16 shutout innings, while fanning 11, clinching Game 6 with a 4-hit shutout. Minneapolis was led by catcher Javy Lopez, who hit .304 with 2 homers and 5 RBI's, but was weighed down by the 1-for-24 showing of Darryl Strawberry.

The Buffalo Fighting Elk continued to cruise in the Division Series, eliminating the overmatched Toronto Predators in 5 games. Right fielder Gary Roenicke continued his postseason rampage, hitting .611 and slugging 1.222, with 3 homers and 6 RBI's. Third baseman Eric Chavez hit .300 with a pair of longballs and 5 RBI's. Don Wilson went 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 14 innings. Catcher Bill Sarni hit .375 with two homers and 4 RBI's, while righthander Tim Belcher posted a 1.38 ERA in two no-decisions. The Seattle Whales continued to knock off their division rivals, sweeping the Vancouver Viceroys in four games. Right fielder George Hendrick took home the hardware, hitting .333 with 2 homers and 2 RBI's, while catcher David Ross hit .333 with a homer and 5 RBI's. Seattle held Vancouver, the league's top-ranked offense, to just 7 runs in 4 games. Southpaw Zane Smith hurled 6.1 shutout innings of three-hit ball, and the other Seattle starters yielded just one earned run apiece. Left fielder Xavier Paul was the lone bright spot for Vancouver, hitting .333 with a pair of doubles and an RBI. In a League Championship Series for the ages, the Buffalo Fighting Elk outlasted the Seattle Whales in seven games. After Buffalo jumped out to a 3-1 series lead, Seattle ace Jack Coombs outdueled Don Wilson 6-4 in Game 5, and three Seattle pitchers, led by Zane Smith, combined for a 4-hit shutout in a 1-0 Game 6 victory. In Game 7, Seattle's Mickey Mahler held Buffalo to 3 hits in 8 innings, departing with a 3-1 lead, thanks to a George Hendrick first-inning homer. But Seattle collapsed in the ninth inning, as reliever Ramon Troncoso, who walked just 11 hitters in 63 innings all season, yielded 4 walks in one-third of an inning, and pinch hitter Frank Malzone blasted a two-out, ninth-inning, tiebreaking walk-off grand slam off Brad Boxberger -- the lone hit in a six-run inning. Buffalo shortstop Rico Petrocelli was named MVP after hitting .333 with 3 homers and a series-high 11 RBI's. Center fielder Tris Speaker hit .391 with 6 runs scored, 2 RBI's, and 2 steals. Buffalo's bullpen was brilliant, yielding 2 runs in 23 innings, led by Saul Rogovin, who hurled 7.1 shutout innings and Michael Feliz, who notched two saves in 5 shutout innings while fanning 7. Mahler was brilliant in defeat for Seattle, going 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA while Hendrick hit .345 with a round-tripper and 7 RBI's.

Continental League: In a divisional showdown, the New Orleans Crawfish ousted the Miami Flamingos in five games. DH Hank Leiber earned MVP honors after hitting .450 with 4 homers and 11 RBI's. Rookie centerfielder Austin Kearns hit .381 with 4 RBI's, while shortstop Dave Concepcion hit .417. Wilbur Cooper threw six innings of two-hit shutout ball in Game 3, while Rube Vickers went 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 10 innings with 10 strikeouts. Shortstop Glenn Wright hit .444 with a homer and 5 RBI's. In a mild upset, the El Paso Armadillos eliminated the Anaheim Antelopes in six games. El Paso second baseman Frankie Gustine was selected MVP after hitting .458 and slugging .792 with 2 homers and 3 RBI's. Right fielder Goose Goslin hit .300 with 3 longballs and 10 RBI's, while center fielder Adolfo Phillips hit .280 with 3 jacks and 5 RBI's. Righthanders LaMarr Hoyt and Al Grabowski each went 2-0, with Hoyt posting a 3.00 ERA and 15 strikeouts and Grabowski notching a 3.46 mark with 13 whiffs. Defending MVP Dale Murphy led Anaheim, hitting .318 with 4 homers and 6 RBI's. The New York Emperors ousted the Phoenix Lizards in 7 games, for the first series victory in franchise history. New York erased a 3-1 deficit, scoring 32 runs in the final three games. Emperors catcher Yadier Molina took home MVP honors after hitting .323 with 3 homers and 5 RBI's. Outfielders Cliff Floyd and Hank Sauer each popped 2 homers and drove in 4 runs apiece. Second sacker Bill Wambsganss hit .286 with a team-high 8 RBI's. Southpaw Paul Splitorff posted a 1-0 record with a 2.70 ERA in 13.1 innings. Rookie right fielder Billy Conigliaro led Phoenix, hitting .367 with 3 homers and 8 RBI's, while second baseman Jim Viox hit .323 with 2 homers, 6 runs scored, and a series-high 11 RBI's. The Charlotte Aviators upended their division rival Jacksonville Gulls in 6 games. Right fielder Jay Buhner earned MVP honors after hitting .308 with 3 homers and 8 RBI's. Catcher Michael Barrett hit .346 for the Aviators, with a homer and 6 RBI's. Center fielder Tony Scott chipped in with a pair of homers and 5 RBI's. Relievers Nick Tropeano and Doc Crandall combined for two wins in six shutout innings. In defeat, Jacksonville battered Charlotte's pitching for 39 runs in 6 games, as shortstop Robin Yount hit .391 with 4 doubles, a homer, 4 RBI's, and 5 runs scored, and Jim Thome popped 3 homers and drove in 7 runs.

In the Division Series, the New Orleans Crawfish erased 2-0 and 3-2 deficits in defeating the upstart El Paso Armadillos. DH Hank Leiber was tabbed MVP after hitting .423 and slugging .923 with 4 homers nad 8 RBIs. First baseman Eddie Murray and second baseman Jose Altuve each hit .393 with a pair of homers apiece, with Murray driving in 5 runs and Altuve plating 3. Right fielder Larry Sheets hit .296 with 2 longballs and 6 RBI's. Righthander Ed Walsh notched a win with a 1.50 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. El Paso was led by center fielder Adolfo Phillips, who hit .393 and slugged .786 with 3 round-trippers and 8 RBIs, and second sacker Frankie Gustine, who hit .452 with 6 RBI's. The New York Emperors, after dropping the first game to the Charlotte Aviators, swept the next four games to advance. Second baseman Bill Wambsganss hit .400 with a pair of steals for the Emperors, while third baseman David Wright hit .389 with 5 RBI's. Right fielder Cliff Floyd popped a paid of homers and drove in 6 runs, while catcher Yadier Molina hit .300 with 2 homers and 3 RBI's. Middle relievers Roy Face and Jeff Manship notched a win apiece while hurling six hitless innings. Charlotte centerfielder Tony Scott earned MVP honors in a losing effort, hitting .409 with 2 longballs and 7 RBI's. In a League Championship Series consisting of two first-time participants, New Orleans swept New York, with rookie Crawfish center fielder Austin Kearns earning MVP honors after hitting .444 with a homer and 6 RBI's. DH Hank Lieber continued to wield a hot bat, hitting .385 with a homer and 7 RBI's, while Jose Altuve set the table, hitting .471 with 5 runs scored. The Crawfish bullpen was brilliant, going 3-0 while surrendering just 1 run in 16 innings. Cliff Floyd led the Emperors, hitting .429 with a homer, 3 RBI's, and 2 steals.

World Series: The Buffalo Fighting Elk, despite their dramatic escape in the League Championship Series, were nonetheless favored to repeat as World Series champions, with their dominant pitching staff expected to outperform the middle-of-the-pack staff of the New Orleans Crawfish. In a substantial upset, the Crawfish swept the stunned Fighting Elk, winning three close games before clinching the series in a Game 4 romp for the first title in franchise history.

The Crawfish won a dramatic Game 1 4-3 in 13 innings, as backup outfielder Don Mueller ripped a tiebreaking single off Buffalo reliever Gregg Olson. New Orleans third baseman Dave Hollins ripped three hits, including a three-run homer. Outfielders Tris Speaker and Gary Roenicke each popped 2 hits, including a double, and drove in a run apiece. Buffalo ace Don Wilson allowed 3 runs in 7 innings, while Rube Vickers yielded one run on four hits in 5.1 innings for New Orleans. New Orleans pulled out another extra-inning win in Game 2, prevailing 3-1 in 10 innings. Center fielder Austin Kearns hit a game-tying homer off Olson in the top of the ninth inning, then drove in one of New Orleans' two tenth-inning runs with an RBI single. Third baseman Eric Chavez led the Fighting Elk with two hits. Buffalo righthander Chad Kuhl was brilliant, hurling 7.1 shutout innings of three-hit ball, while Chad Ogea allowed just 4 hits and one run in 7 innings for New Orleans.

New Orleans won another tense, low-scoring affair in Game 3, pulling out a 1-0 victory. Kearns drove in the lone run with a fourth-inning triple, as he and left fielder Tommy Davis each popped two hits. Crawfish starter Ed Walsh left in the second inning with an injury. Relievers Ryan Scarborough, TIm Spooneybarger, and Ken Powell scattered three hits in 7.2 shutout innings. Buffalo's Hal Carlson took the loss, allowing five hits and one run in six innings. After three close wins by a combined four runs, New Orleans exploded in Game 4 for a 12-3 series-clinching victory, as catcher Pat Donahue popped two homers and drove in six runs, while Jose Altuve and Tommy Davis also homered. First baseman Don Hurst rapped two doubles, while Tris Speaker drilled 2 singles and drove in 2 runs. Knuckleballer Wilbur Wood earned the win, yielding just one run in 7 innings, while Buffalo's Kip Wells was racked for 8 earned runs in 1.2 innings.

New Orleans centerfielder Austin Kearns was named MVP after hitting a series-best .389 and slugging .667, with a dramatic Game 2 homer, 4 RBI's, and 3 runs scored. Catcher Pat Donahue blasted two homers and drove in 6 runs -- all in Game 4 -- but only had one hit in the other three games. The Crawfish's pitching was brilliant, yielding just 7 runs in 4 games -- and two of those were in the ninth inning of Game 4 with an 11-run lead. Tris Speaker led Buffalo, hitting .375 with 3 RBI's.
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Old 07-23-2019, 02:41 AM   #184
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2039 Awards Winners

Frontier League MVP- Larry Walker, RF, MIL (42): .359/ .463/ .701, 205 hits, 41 doubles, 5 triples, 48 HR, 118 RBI, 131 runs, 97 BB, 22 SB, 197 OPS+, 10.0 WAR
Second place- Mike Trout, CF, MIN (3): .325/ .417/ .603, 201 hits, 34 doubles, 6 triples, 42 HR, 122 RBI, 141 runs, 93 BB, 67 SB, +12.1 Zone Rating, 161 OPS+, 9.9 WAR
Third place- Tim Belcher, RHP, TOR (3): 16-8, 2.27 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 234 IP, 225 K, 44 BB, 2 CG, 1 shutout, 198 ERA+, 9.7 WAR
Fourth place- Tris Speaker, CF, BUF: .325/ .422/ .568, 201 hits, 52 doubles, 10 triples, 26 HR, 117 RBI, 124 runs, 95 BB, 44 SB, +19.2 Zone Rating,161 OPS+, 9.3 WAR
Fifth place- Don Wilson, RHP, BUF: 20-8, 2.77 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 266 IP, 260 K, 49 BB, 6 CG, 3 shutouts, 159 ERA+, 8.4 WAR

Frontier League Cy Young Award- Tim Belcher, TOR (38): 16-8, 2.27 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 234 IP, 225 K, 44 BB, 2 CG, 1 shutout, 198 ERA+, 9.7 WAR
Second place- Don Wilson, BUF (7): 20-8, 2.77 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 266 IP, 260 K, 49 BB, 6 CG, 3 shutouts, 159 ERA+, 8.4 WAR
Third place- Walter Johnson, CAL (3): 13-9, 2.06 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 227 IP, 242 K, 55 BB, 2 CG, 218 ERA+, 8.4 WAR
Fourth place- Steve Barber, VAN: 15-9, 2.83 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 236 IP, 206 K, 70 BB, 2 CG, 159 ERA+, 6.8 WAR
Fifth place- Steve Avery, POR: 19-10, 2.91 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 247 IP, 184 K, 51 BB, 4 CG, 154 ERA+, 6.8 WAR

Frontier League Rookie of the Year- Tim Belcher, RHP, TOR (43): 16-8, 2.27 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 234 IP, 225 K, 44 BB, 2 CG, 1 shutout, 198 ERA+, 9.7 WAR
Second place- Walter Johnson, CAL (3): 13-9, 2.06 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 227 IP, 242 K, 55 BB, 2 CG, 218 ERA+, 8.4 WAR
Third place- Jose DeLeon, CLE: 16-11, 2.99 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 220 IP, 248 K, 92 BB, 151 ERA+, 7.1 WAR

Continental League MVP- Austin Kearns, CF, NOR (23): .324/ .419/ .588, 202 hits, 25 doubles, 4 triples, 44 HR, 129 RBI, 150 runs, 95 BB, 11 SB, +10.2 Zone Rating, 156 OPS+, 9.4 WAR
Second place- Jim Thome, 1B, JAX (15): .351/ .461/ .644, 195 hits, 19 doubles, 9 triples, 42 HR, 137 RBI, 141 runs, 105 BB, 178 OPS+, 8.7 WAR
Third place- Ralph Kiner, LF, MEM (9): .337/ .426/ .689, 196 hits, 25 doubles, 60 HR, 127 RBI, 114 runs, 86 BB, 184 OPS+, 8.7 WAR
Fourth place- Dale Murphy, CF, ANA: .335/ .424/ .570, 202 hits, 46 doubles, 32 HR, 125 RBI, 124 runs, 95 BB, 24 SB, 14 Assists, 156 OPS+, 8.0 WAR
Fifth place- Edd Roush, CF, JAX: .347/ .402/ .558, 217 hits, 44 doubles, 2 triples, 28 HR, 95 RBI, 138 runs, 46 BB, 38 SB, +12.0 Zone Rating, 141 OPS+, 8.2 WAR

Continental League Cy Young Award- Paul Splittorff, NY (34): 21-6, 2.75 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 239 IP, 145 K, 45 BB, 6 CG, 1 shutout, 180 ERA+, 6.6 WAR
Second place- Mark Prior, NAS (11): 20-9, 2.84 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 250 IP, 297 K, 64 BB, 162 ERA+, 5.8 WAR
Third place- Herb Score, NAS (1): 17-10, 2.81 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 224 IP, 290 K, 79 BB, 164 ERA+, 6.6 WAR
Fourth place- Clayton Kershaw, MEM (2): 13-5, 1.94 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 176 IP, 220 K, 26 BB, 2 CG, 1 shutout, 254 ERA+, 8.9 WAR
Fifth place- Frank Tanana, ANA: 17-10, 3.35 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 234 IP, 262 K, 53 BB, 148 ERA+, 5.9 WAR

Continental League Rookie of the Year- Austin Kearns, CF, NOR (33): .324/ .419/ .588, 202 hits, 25 doubles, 4 triples, 44 HR, 129 RBI, 150 runs, 95 BB, 11 SB, +10.2 Zone Rating, 156 OPS+, 9.4 WAR
Second place- Ralph Kiner, LF, MEM (15): .337/ .426/ .689, 196 hits, 25 doubles, 60 HR, 127 RBI, 114 runs, 86 BB, 184 OPS+, 8.7 WAR
Third place- Billy Conigliaro, RF, PHO: .319/ .389/ .589, 198 hits, 45 doubles, 7 triples, 36 HR, 143 RBI, 105 runs, 62 BB, 5 SB, +9.1 Zone Rating, 150 OPS+, 7.1 WAR

Top draft picks: 1. Fred Beebe, RHP, San Francisco Longshoremen
2. George Sisler, 1B, Oklahoma City Otters
3. Zach Wheat, Dallas Wildcatters
4. Dwight Evans, RF, Ottawa Parliamentarians
5. Manny Ramirez, LF, Boston Minutemen
6. Jon Lester, LHP, Albuquerque Conquistadors
7. Greg Swindell, LHP, Denver Spikes
8. Jack Sanford, RHP, London Werewolves
9. Jim Wynn, CF, Omaha Falcons
10. Jack McDowell, RHP, Birmingham Steelers
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Old 07-27-2019, 11:16 PM   #185
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2039 Hall of Fame Voting

Although the Hall of Fame was dominated by pitchers in the early years, the 2039 ballot was dominated by position players. For the first time in HRDL history, four position players were elected to the Hall -- and no pitchers finished in the top ten of the balloting. Outfielders Reggie Smith and Heinie Manush were elected on their first time on the ballot with 97.8% and 85.1%, respectively, as was second baseman DJ LeMahieu, with 87.3%. Center fielder George Altman earned election with 82.3% on his third time on the ballot. All four players were members of the increasingly-crowded 3000-hit club.

Smith, a three-time MVP, was drafted third overall by the Birmingham Steelers following the 2017 season. After a strong rookie season, when Smith hit .309 with 17 homers, 87 RBI's, and 16 steals, he had a breakout campaign in 2019, hitting .350 and slugging .629, with 46 doubles, 39 homers, 105 RBI's, and a league-high 140 runs scored while finishing third in the MVP voting. After three more good-to-excellent seasons, he won his first MVP award in 2023, winning the batting title while hitting .364 with 42 doubles, 38 homers, 119 RBI's, and 30 steals. After signing as a free agent with Detroit in the offseason, he duplicated the feat, becoming the first player to win MVP awards in both leagues. In 2024, Smith hit .353 with 30 homers, 106 RBI's, and 105 runs scored, earning his second MVP trophy. Smith earned the trifecta in 2027, winning his second batting title by hitting .333, leading the league with 38 homers, driving in 121 runs, and scoring 131 runs. After a rare off-season, he rebounded with a vengeance in 2029, hitting .350 with 42 homers and a league-high 132 RBI's, finishing second in the MVP voting. After hitting .320 with 28 homers the following season, Smith signed with the London Werewolves in free agency, where he slugged over .500 three years in a row, including a 41-homer, 112 RBI season in 2033. Smith spent the last three years of his career with the Las Vegas Aces, sporting matching .533 slugging percentages in his first two seasons, while hitting 27 homers and driving in 107 runs in his age-38 farewell season. Over his 19-year career, he hit .313 with a .397 on-base percentage and a .532 slugging percentage, with 3332 hits (9th all-time), 651 doubles (10th all-time), 513 homers, 1820 RBI's (10th all-time), 1919 runs (6th all-time), 302 steals, and 113.5 WAR (10th all-time). In addition to winning 3 MVP awards, Smith made seven All-Star teams and won six Silver Slugger awards. He had a relatively sparse postseason career, hitting .273 and slugging .431 with 8 homers in 64 games spread out over six postseasons.

Seven-time All-Star LeMahieu was drafted sixth overall by the St. Louis Pilots after the 2018 season. He started with a bang, winning the 2019 Frontier League Rookie of the Year award, after leading the league with 222 hits while hitting .334 with 38 doubles, 6 homers, 81 RBI's, and 27 steals while earning a Gold Glove. The following year, he won the batting title, hitting .348 and leading the league again with 216 hits, while ripping 34 doubles and 15 triples, while stealing 53 base. LeMahieu topped .300 in each of his first four seasons, clearing 200 hits each year while winning four consecutive Gold Gloves. In 2024, LeMahieu set a career-high with 226 hits, as he hit .334 and slugged .442 while swiping 25 bags. The following year, he led the league in hits again with 211, while batting .323 and scoring 99 runs. In 2026, he hit .322 with 208 hits and a career-high 121 runs scored. Following an injury-riddled 2028 campaign, he signed with the Calgary Cattle Rustlers in free agency, where he topped 200 hits three times in four years. In 2032, LeMahieu set career highs by hitting .369 and slugging .512, with 18 homers and 84 RBI's, while scoring 111 runs. He then signed with El Paso in the offseason, where he spent three years, hitting between .291 and .308 each year, and spent a final season with the Detroit Purple Gang. Over his storied career, LeMahieu hit .317 with a .380 on-base percentage and a .419 slugging percentage, including 3356 hits (7th all-time), 462 doubles, 133 homers, 1071 RBI's, 1587 runs scored, 360 steals, and 91.9 WAR. LeMahieu made six All-Star teams, won four Silver Sluggers and four Gold Gloves. Remarkably, he never made it out of the first round of the playoffs, losing six straight times in the first round, despite hitting .375 in both 2025 and 2026. LeMahieu hit .282 and scored 19 runs in 32 career playoff games.

Lett fielder Heinie Manush was drafted 13th overall by the Seattle Whales following the 2018 season. Manush broke out with a bang, winning the Frontier League Rookie of the Year award in 2019 after hitting .309 with 21 homers, 83 RBIs, and 33 steals, and he won both the League Championship Series MVP and World Series MVP awards. After a solid sophomore campaign, where he hit .335 and slugged .516, Manush broke into stardom in 2022, winning the batting title by hitting .369, with 223 hits, 42 doubles, 25 homers, 104 RBI's, 114 runs scored, and 39 steals. He followed up with another strong season, hitting .359 with 56 doubles, 26 homers, 94 RBI's, and 112 runs scored in 2023. While Manush took a step back during the 2024 regular season, declining to .308 with 15 homers, he led the Whales to their second world championship, earning MVP honors once again for both the League Championship Series and the World Series, hitting over .450 in each series. The next year, Manush finished second in the MVP voting after hitting .344 with a league-high 47 doubles, along with 17 homers, 89 RBI's, 105 runs scored, and 31 steals. In the offseason, Manush signed with Virginia Beach as a free agent, and he immediately lived up to his contract: in his first season in the green and gold, he won his second batting title, hitting .355 and slugging .556, with 45 doubles, 23 homers, and 111 RBI's, while finishing fifth in the MVP balloting. He spent seven seasons in Virginia Beach, hitting over .315 with at least 30 steals every season, and he slugged over .500 five times. Perhaps his finest season for the Admirals was 2030, when he hit .345 with 48 doubles, 26 homers, a career-high 116 RBI's, and 37 steals. He followed that up with consecutive seasons batting .347 and .349, including 50 doubles, 23 homers, 106 RBI's, and 41 steals in 2032. Manush closed out his career by spending four seasons with the San Antonio Marksmen, and he hit .322 with 15 homers and 39 steals in 2033, his first season with the club. He retired with a career .328 average (14th all-time), a .402 on-base percentage, and a .513 slugging percentage, with 3044 hits, 640 doubles (11th all-time), 313 homers, 1447 RBI's, 1531 runs scored, 541 steals, and 81.9 WAR. He made six All-Star teams and won three Silver Slugger awards. Manush was a terrific postseason hitter, winning two World Series MVP awards, and posting a career, 323 average with 45 runs scored and 19 steals in 68 career games.

Altman, a five-time All-Star vastly exceeded the modest expectations that arrived when he was drafted 73rd overall by the Washington Ambassadors after the 2015 season. After a solid rookie season, where he hit .270 with 19 homers and 96 RBI's, Altman had a br.eakout sophomore campaign, hitting .340 and slugging .556 with 68 extra-base hits, including 24 homers and 104 RBI's. The next three years, he hit either 33 or 34 homers and topped 100 RBI's each season, peaking with a .335 average, a league-high 54 doubles, and 33 homers in 2019, when he finished fourth in the league in MVP voting. Altman continued to be a prodigious hitter, and in 2024, he hit .323 with 27 homers, and a league-leading 148 RBI's. He led the league in RBI's again the following year, hitting .324 with 21 round-trippers and plated 126 runs. Following the 2025 season, he joined the Toronto Predators as a free agent where he spent four solid seasons, including a 30-homer, 106 RBI campaign in 2027. Altman continued to rake after joining the Chicago Mules as a free agent, hitting over .300 and slugging at least .499 all four seasons. Most notably, he hit .307 with 49 doubles, 32 longballs, and 120 RBI's in 2031, when he also earned the MVP of the Wild Card round of the playoffs in a losing effort -- at age 40, no less. The ageless Altman hit .341 and slugged .594, with 33 extra-base hits in 229 at-bats at age 42. He retired with a career batting average of .303, an on-base percentage of .371, and a .505 slugging percentage. Altman rapped 3062 hits, 561 doubles, and 440 homers, while driving in 1748 runs and scoring 1506, while garnering 66.5 WAR. He made five All-Star teams and earned one Silver Slugger award. Surprisingly, Altman never made it out of the first round of the playoffs in five tries, but he hit .327 and slugged .500 with 4 homers and 20 RBI's in 29 postseason games.

The leading vote recipients are as follows:
Reggie Smith, RF, BIR/ DET/ LON/ LV: 97.8%
DJ LeMahieu, 2B, STL/ CAL/ ELP/ DET: 87.3%
Heinie Manush, LF, SEA/ VB/ SA: 85.1%
George Altman, CF, WAS/ TOR/ CHI/ KC: 82.3%
Kirby Puckett, CF, HOU/ CAL/ PHI: 65.8%
Larry Parrish, 3B, ANA/ CHA: 60.8%
Elston Howard, C, MON/ LA: 57.0%
Trevor Story, SS, LA/ CHA/ ATL/ MIL: 50.3%
Bernie Friberg, 2B, OKC/ DEN/ WAS: 49.7%
High Pockets Kelly, 1B, TOR/ JAX: 46.2%
Aroldis Chapman, RHP, OTT/ WAS/ POR: 44.6%
Gil Hodges, 1B, VAN/ ELP/ OMA: 43.7%

Noteworthy players who fell off the ballot include 533-homer slugger Norm Cash, 229-game winner Steve Hargan (whose eligibility expired in his tenth season), slugging centerfielder Larry Doby, and righthander Bob Osborn, who won 216 games and posted a career 2.98 ERA.

Here's a look at the newest Hall of Famers:
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Old 08-02-2019, 12:38 AM   #186
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2040 Mid-Year Review

Here's a look at the major storylines across the league at the 2040 All-Star break:

Exceeding Expectations: The Ottawa Parliamentarians' four-year playoff run came to an abrupt end last season, as they unexpectedly dropped 99 games. They rebounded nicely, however, entering the All-Star break with a 39-35 record, just 2 1/2 games out of first place. Second-year left fielder Lee Thomas led the way, hitting .294 with 14 homers and 61 RBI's. Right fielder Charlie Blackmon took a .333 average into the break, along with 21 doubles, 4 homers, and 35 RBI's in just 59 games. Catcher Harry Danning hit a solid .280 with 7 homers and 30 RBI's. Righthander Dick Weik went just 5-6, but posted a strong 3.50 ERA, while closer Bert Maxwell notched 17 saves and a 2.48 ERA. The Chicago Mules appeared poised to snap a two-year postseason drought, as they rebounded from a 77-win season to post a 44-29 first-half mark. The Mules entered the break ranked second in the Frontier League in runs scored despite ranking just 19th in homers, thanks to a league-best .285 team batting average. Right fielder Cleon Jones starred, hitting .360 and slugging .554 with 11 homers and 63 RBI's. Third baseman Pie Traynor hit .347 with 20 doubles, 11 round-trippers and 45 RBI's. Catcher Ted Simmons had a breakout season, taking a .355 average, 7 homers and 51 RBI's into the break. Southpaw Odalis Perez starred, going 9-5 with a 2.36 ERA, a 1.04 WHIP, and 104 strikeouts. Closer Louis Leroy went 3-1 with 23 saves, a 2.34 ERA, and 48 strikeouts in just 35 innings.

In the Continental League, the New York Emperors looked likely to shatter their franchise-record 90 win mark from last season, taking a 53-21 record into the break -- a feat made all the more remarkable by the fact that last season's Cy Young Award winner, Paul Splittorff, missed the entire first half after tearing his UCL in the playoffs last year. Third baseman David Wright was an MVP favorite, hitting .379 and slugging .702, with 31 doubles, 17 homers, 58 RBI's, and 13 steals at the break. Catcher Yadier Molina led baseball with a .395 average, and he chipped in with 16 doubles, 5 homers, 33 RBI's, and 41 runs scored. Veteran right fielder Cliff Floyd hit .293 with 19 homers, 53 RBI's, and 59 runs scored. Fireballer Corey Kluber had a breakout season, going 9-4 with a 3.38 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP. Crafty southpaw Rich Nye went 9-2 with a 3.08 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. The Birmingham Steelers had lost more than 90 games three years running, but posted a 40-32 first-half mark. Blossoming star Willie Mays hit .348 and slugged .644 with 19 homers and 72 first-half RBI's, while third baseman Scott Rolen had a dazzling sophomore campaign, taking a .341 average, 17 round-trippers, and 80 RBI's into the break. Ageless DH Lee May pounded 15 longballs and drove in 45 runs. Righthander Steve Kline posted a 9-3 record despite a middling 4.55 ERA.

Disappointments: The Cincinnati Spiders made a valiant push for the postseason last year, finishing with 82 wins, but they took a dreadful 26-45 record into the break this year despite the best starting pitching in baseball. The Spiders' offense finished the half ranked 22nd with just 253 runs scored, and dead last in baseball with only 43 homers. Star center fielder Al Oliver struggled, hitting just .283 with 8 homers and 34 RBI's. Veteran first baseman Mike Epstein hit .278 with just 6 homers and 24 RBI's in 71 games. Catcher Larry Howard hit a punchless .183 while slugging .242 and driving in just 13 runs. For the second straight season, the Seattle Whales' postseason streak- now at nine seasons -- was in dire jeopardy, as they entered the break in fourth place with a 36-38 record. Free agent first baseman Mo Vaughn missed the entire first half with a groin injury. Seattle's offense remained solid, ending the half ranked fourth in the league in runs scored, but the pitching staff was subpar. Jack Coombs, a 17-game winner last season, went 4-1 with a subpar 4.84 ERA. Johnny Podgazny stumbled to a 2-5 mark and a 5.59 ERA.

In the Continental League, the Virginia Beach Admirals hoped to improve on last year's 84-win pace, but they entered the break with a dreary 29-43 record. The offense wasn't the problem: led by Reggie Jackson, Mike Schmidt, and All-Star DH Steve Evans, the Admirals ranked third in the league in runs scored. But after losing ace Harvey Haddix in free agency, their rotation was atrocious, as they ranked next-to-last in baseball in runs allowed. Offensively, Schmidt was a mild disappointment, taking a .255 average and a .493 slugging percentage into the break after a stellar sophomore campaign. Only one pitcher who hurled even 10 innings had an ERA below 5.00. Scott Aldred was perhaps the worst culprit, going 2-4 with a ghastly 8.23 ERA and a 1.95 WHIP, while Joba Chamberlain went 0-4 with a 8.76 ERA and a 1.92 WHIP. The Austin Mustangs flirted with a division title last year with 83 wins, but they slumped to a 30-42 first half record, as their offense proved to be less than the sum of the parts: despite ending the half 8th in the Continental League in batting average and 5th in homers, they were a mediocre 13th in runs scored. Ryne Sandberg was the biggest culprit, hitting .207 with 3 homers and 14 RBI's. Slugging left fielder Bob Johnson, who topped 40 homers in each of the last two seasons, bopped just 8 longballs in 69 games. Veteran hurler Smokey Joe Wood suffered a season-ending broken elbow two games into the season, while closer Ray Narleski posted a 6.03 ERA, walking 18 hitters in 22 innings before being sidelined with shoulder tendinitis. Jason Vargas was similarly ineffective and wounded, going 0-4 in 8 starts with a 6.63 ERA before being sidelined with tendinitis as well.

No Middle Class: The standings were heavily stratified, with no shortage of teams playing over .600 ball, but also, many teams scuffling below .400, and in Albuquerque and Memphis, below .300. The Continental League featured 6 teams playing at .600 or better -- including the New York Emperors at .716 - and three more at .575 or better. But six Continental League teams were playing sub-.400 baseball, with the Memphis River Pirates carrying an embarrassing 19-55 record into the break. In the Frontier League, five teams topped .600, led by the Buffalo Fighting Elk, who matched the Emperors with a .716 winning percentage, and the Minneapolis Penguins, who sported a .689 winning percentage. But Montreal, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Baltimore all were scuffling below .400, with Baltimore - just three years removed from a 104-win season -- pulling up the rear with an ugly 23-51 mark.

Changing of the Guard: Several of the HRDL's biggest stars over the last fifteen years saw a sudden decline. Austin ace Smoky Joe Wood, a four-time Cy Young Award winner and two-time MVP, suffered a broken elbow in his second start, ending his season with a 11.12 ERA in 5.2 innings. Vancouver southpaw Steve Barber, a seven-time all-star, tore his UCL after nine starts and would be out until mid-2041. Ottawa's ten-time all-star first baseman Frank Thomas found himself benched, starting just 14 games, although he hit .318 with 7 homers in 85 at-bats. Teammate Francisco Lindor, a six-time all-star and 2023 MVP winner, hit just .208 and slugged .323 with 3 homers and 6 RBI's in part-time play. Seven-time all-star left fielder Minnie Minoso, a career .330 hitter with 544 homers, slipped to hit just .249 with 4 homers and 31 RBI's for the Chicago Mules. Los Angeles third baseman Frank Baker, a five-time MVP, was on track for career lows in batting average and slugging percentage, posting a .260/ .313/ .488 slash line, although he did launch 16 homers.

Major injuries: In addition to the season-ending injuries to Wood and Barber detailed above, several other star players suffered major injuries. Memphis ace Clayton Kershaw went down with a forearm injury in mid-May, and would miss approximately eight weeks. Buffalo righthander Jordan Zimmermann, off to a 6-0 start, fell victim to bone chips, and would be out until September. Los Angeles DH Johnny Mize, off to a monster start, broke his thumb in mid-May and missed six weeks. Boston center fielder Joe DiMaggio suffered multiple quadricep and groin injuries and missed 25 games. Calgary rookie southpaw Jimmy Key tore his labrum in spring training, knocking him out of commission for the year. Las Vegas right fielder Willie Horton tore his PCL in mid-April , ending his season prematurely. Nashville southpaw Ron Guidry went down with a forearm injury in late April, knocking him out through August. Seattle first baseman Mo Vaughn tore his hamstring injury in spring training, but was expected to return in July.

Major milestones: The ranks of the 3,000-hit club swelled, as Albuquerque first baseman George Brett, Austin second sacker Ryne Sandberg, and Memphis right fielder Jerry Mumphrey all topped that milestone in otherwise disappointing seasons. Buffalo second baseman John Knight, Austin center fielder Hank Lieber, and Dallas second baseman Buddy Myer all notched their 2,500th hits. Milwaukee center fielder Eric Davis and St. Louis left fielder Larry Hisle did double duty, each popping their 2500th hit and their 500th homer. Austin DH Sherry Magee blasted his 600th round-tripper. Austin left fielder Bob Johnson and Miami shortstop Glenn Wright each launched their 400th longball. Looking ahead, Montreal right fielder Ralph Garr was likely to join the 3,000 hit club by September, while Birmingham first baseman Lee May was preparing to hit his 500th homer by year's end. Minneapolis closer Chris Short was weeks away from topping 500 saves.
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Old 08-03-2019, 03:00 AM   #187
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2040 Year in Review

Frontier League: The Buffalo Fighting Elk continued their reign of dominance over the Northeast Division, topping 100 wins for the fourth straight season with 102 victories, taking the division by a mere 27 games. Buffalo sported the Frontier League's leading offense, scoring 963 runs and bashing 253 homers. Third baseman Eric Chavez starred, hitting .329 with 46 homers and a league-leading 161 RBI's, which set a franchise record. Center fielder Tris Speaker set the table, hitting ..340 with a .431 on-base percentage, scoring 131 runs and swiping 63 bags. First baseman Don Hurst hit .298 and slugged .578, bashing 45 homers and driving in 147 runs. Left fielder Eddie Lukon hit .292, smashing 46 round-trippers and driving in 116 runs. Right fielder Gary Roenicke and shortstop Rico Petrocelli combined for 69 homers and 231 RBI's between them. Ace Don Wilson had an off year, but still went 14-5 with a 3.49 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP -- both figures being his worst since 2033. Righthander Jose Lima posted a 14-10 mark with a 4.35 ERA. The Fighting Elk entered the playoffs shorthanded, however, as Speaker was expected to miss the playoffs with a back injury, and veteran righthander Jordan Zimmermann and relievers Gregg Olson and Randy Choate were similarly sidelined.

The Detroit Purple Gang used a strong second half to pull away in the Great Lakes Division, going 54-33 after the All-Star break to finish with 89 wins. The Purple Gang relied on the league's second-best pitching staff to overcome a top-heavy lineup. Third baseman Nolan Arenado returned to form, hitting .344 with a franchise-record .450 on-base percentage, 46 homers and 133 RBI's. Left fielder Rafael Palmeiro hit .323 with 34 round-trippers and 104 RBI's. First baseman Adam LaRoche launched 28 longballs and drove in 92 runs, but hit just .234. Fireballer Nolan Ryan, finally moved into the rotation after five years in the bullpen, starred, going 17-9 with a 2.81 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP, and a league-leading 309 strikeouts. Journeyman Percy Jones had a career season, going 14-8 with a 2.83 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. Closer Hal Kleine notched 33 saves with a 2.29 ERA. The Purple Gang held off the 83-win Ottawa Parliamentarians, who rebounded from a 63-win disaster in 2039, but lacked the firepower to make a sustained run for the postseason. Left fielder Lee Thomas led Ottawa, hitting .312 with 30 homers and 121 RBI's, while shortstop Tim Anderson hit .310 with 22 round-trippers, 93 RBI's, 103 runs scored, and 19 steals.

The Great Plains Division was the strongest division in baseball, as all six teams won at least 83 games, and four teams made the playoffs. The Minneapolis Penguins increased their win total for the seventh straight season, winning a league-high 106 games. Center fielder Mike Trout dominated again, hitting .333 with a league-best .458 on-base percentage, 37 homers, 97 RBI's, 100 runs scored, and 27 steals. Catcher Javy Lopez hit .344 and slugged .660, bashing 44 homers and driving in 112 runs. Right fielder Darryl Strawberry hit .284 with 42 homers, 107 runs, and 111 RBI's. The Penguins' posted the best pitching staff in the league, surrendering just 587 runs. Righthander Wade Miller went 16-6 with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. Paul Derringer posted a 16-12 mark with a 3.69 ERA and 199 strikeouts. Ageless closer Chris Short set a single-season record with 49 saves, while yielding a 2.04 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. The Kansas City Mad Hatters rode the league's second-ranked offense to a 100-win season, despite a subpar pitching staff. Right fielder Bernie Carbo posted a .315/ .445/ .650 slash line, pounding a league-high 50 homers and 149 RBI's. Left fielder Kirk Gibson hit .328 and slugged .606 with 30 homers and 84 RBI's in just 108 games. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt hit .323 with 41 doubles, 32 longballs, 90 RBI's, and 134 runs scored. Manny Machado hit .297 and slugged .556, popping 26 homers and driving in 70 runs before suffering a season-ending back injury in mid-August. Mike Foltynewicz led a mediocre pitching staff, going 9-3 with a 3.89 ERA and a middling 1.33 WHIP, while closer Earl Henry saved 33 games with a 2.35 ERA. The Chicago Mules won 96 games, returning to the playoffs for the first time after a two-year absence. Third baseman Pie Traynor starred, hitting .336 with 39 doubles, 16 homers, 79 RBI's, and 129 runs scored. Catcher Ted Simmons had a breakout season, hitting .331 and slugging .513, ripping 48 doubles, 14 homers, 99 RBI's, and scoring 99 runs. Right fielder Cleon Jones hit .313 with 16 homers and plated 103 runs. Southpaw Odalis Perez posted a 17-9 record with a 2.95 ERA, a 1.04 WHIP, and 204 strikeouts, while righthander Tyler Duffey notched a 13-8 mark with a 3.78 ERA. The Milwaukee Raccoons earned their fourth straight playoff spot, winning 91 games. Larry Walker led the Frontier League in slugging percentage for the fourth straight season, hitting .360 and slugging .682 with 44 doubles, 35 homers, and 106 RBI's despite missing 35 games. First baseman Chris Parmelee hit .300 and slugged .543, bashing 28 homers and driving in 111 runs. Center fielder Eric Davis ripped 26 jacks and drove in 78 runs while scoring 95, but suffered a late-season ankle injury that would sideline him for the playoffs.
Southpaw Dave Fleming posted a 12-10 record with a 4.16 ERA, while David Wells registered a 8-3 record with a 3.73 ERA. Francisco Rodriguez saved 29 games while fanning 107 hitters, posting a 1.75 ERA along the way.

The Vancouver Viceroys, always solid but rarely spectacular, won 92 games to earn their first Northwest Division title since 2027, surviving season-ending injuries to stars Steve Barber and Hal McRae. First baseman Aledmys Diaz popped 29 homers and drove in 101 runs while scoring 87 runs. Catcher Charles Johnson ripped 25 round-trippers while driving in 72 runs. Second-year shortstop Chris Speier hit .299, launching 19 homers and driving in 87 runs. Righthander Tom Milone notched an 11-7 mark with a 3.43 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP, while Milt Wilcox went 13-11 with a 4.57 ERA. Vancouver narrowly held off the 89-win Portland Skunks by three games. Right fielder Drew Stubbs hit .270 with a career-high 43 homers, 105 RBI's, and 106 runs scored. Third baseman Hank Blalock hit .282 with 33 round-trippers and drove in 89 runs, while Mike Easler and Mike Epstein blasted 28 homers apiece. Southpaw Steve Avery posted a 15-9 record with a 3.32 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP, and 197 strikeouts. Roger Wolff notched a 15-8 mark with a 3.73 ERA. Journeyman reliever Brad Boxberger had a career season, saving 27 games with a 1.82 ERA and a microscopic 0.83 WHIP.

Continental League: The New York Emperors had never won more than 90 games, and had not won an Atlantic Division title in the prior 29 years of the league. Both streaks ended in grand fashion, as New York dominated with 114 victories - even though defending Cy Young Award winner Paul Splittorff missed nearly the entire season. David Wright had an MVP-caliber season, hitting .350 with 50 doubles, 36 homers, 135 runs, 127 RBI's, and 29 steals. Catcher Yadier Molina flirted with the batting title, hitting .374 and slugging .558, with 36 doubles, 17 homers, and 92 RBI's. But New York would have to enter the playoffs without the services of the wounded Cliff Floyd, who hit .292 and slugged .559, with 32 homers, 86 RBI's, and 99 RBI's in just 118 games, and Don Mattingly, who hit .299 with 25 homers and 114 RBI's. Southpaw Rich Nye had a career year, leading the HRDL with a 22-4 record and a 3.09 ERA, while Corey Kluber went 16-10 with a 3.57 ERA and 1.05 WHIP, fanning 209 hitters. Closer Lee Smith registered 47 saves with a 2.09 ERA. The Jacksonville Gulls won 105 games behind the most explosive offense in league history, which scored a record 1225 runs with a .324 team batting average. Seven players blasted at least 28 homers -- all of whom topped .300. Left fielder Beals Becker hit .369 with 49 doubles, 43 homers, 160 RBI's, and 62 steals, leading the league with 241 hits and 163 runs scored. First baseman Jim Thome hit .339, blasting 43 homers, driving in 154 runs, while scoring 147. Veteran catcher Victor Martinez had a career season, hitting .364 and slugging .589, popping 28 round-trippers while driving in 125 runs. Shortstop Robin Yount hit .344 and slugged .636, drilling 39 doubles, 36 homers, driving in 118 runs while scoring 137. The less said about Jacksonville's pitching staff, the better; Lance Davis posted an 11-7 record despite a mediocre 4.86 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP, while Dave Rozema and Zach Davies each won 15 games despite ERA's over 6.00. The Charlotte Aviators won 15 of their final 16 games, including an 11-game winning streak, to sneak into the playoffs for the third straight season. Charlotte's third-ranked offense ripped 264 homers, led by rookie first baseman Mark Teixeira, who hit .314 with 51 doubles, 53 homers and 166 RBI's - including 14 homers and 38 RBI's in September. Shortstop Corey Seager hit .303 with 27 homers and 99 RBI's, while third baseman Wayne Garrett had a career year, hitting .299 with a .403 on-base percentage, ripping 30 longballs and 83 RBI's. Right fielder Tony Gwynn nearly tripled his career high in homers, hitting .332 with 22 homers, as well as 49 doubles and 132 runs scored. Righthander Ray Caldwell went 12-8 with a 4.25 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP, while Bob Ojeda posted a 13-7 mark with a 4.70 ERA.

The defending champion New Orleans Crawfish won 100 games, making the playoffs for the sixth straight season, and the 17th time in the last 20 seasons. The Crawfish finished fourth in the league in runs scored and in homers, led by Eddie Murray, who hit .320 and slugged .620, with 54 homers and 163 RBI's. Right fielder Chuck Klein, a free agent signee, hit .313 with 43 doubles, 43 homers, 134 RBI's, and 118 runs scored. Leadoff hitter Tommy Davis hit .351 with 239 hits, including 43 doubles, 21 homers, 94 RBI's, and 118 runs scored. On the mound, southpaw Wilbur Cooper somehow notched a 20-4 record despite a bloated 5.15 ERA; bizarrely, he jumped from yielding just 4 homers last season to 41 round-trippers this year. Nick Neugebauer registered a 14-9 mark with a 4.21 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP. Closer Ken Howell saved 37 games with a 2.02 ERA. New Orleans held off the Atlanta Ducks, who won 94 games. First baseman Hank Greenberg had a long-awaited breakout season for Atlanta, hitting .328 with 35 longballs and 98 RBI's. Third baseman Ken Reitz hit .293 with 23 homers and drove in 108 runs. Second sacker Roberto Alomar set the table, hitting .312 with 14 homers, 75 RBI's, and 115 runs scored. Sophomore southpaw Mel Parnell went 15-5, yielding a 2.76 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. Stan Coveleski notched an 18-10 record with a 4.45 ERA, a 1.26 WHIP, and 227 strikeouts. For most of the season, the Birmingham Steelers were firmly in the playoff hunt, playing nearly .600 ball for the first half of the season as they looked to seize their first playoff spot in thirteen years. But after a season-ending injury to Willie Mays in late August, the Steelers collapsed, going 8-24, and finishing with just 82 wins. Mays was an MVP favorite before his injury, posting a .389/ .472/ .750 slash line, leading the league in all three categories, while ripping 43 homers and driving in 155 runs and scoring 121. Second-year third baseman Scott Rolen hit .337 and slugged .624, with 42 homers and an incredible 177 RBI's -- a single-season record.

The El Paso Armadillos won the Texas Division easily with 103 wins, relying on a strong pitching staff and a middling offense. Right fielder Kevin McReynolds led the Armadillos offensively, hitting .304 and slugging .574, blasting 40 homers and 134 RBI's. First baseman Eric Hinske hit .291 with 31 round-trippers, 92 RBI's, and 101 runs scored. Center fielder Adolfo Phillips launched 28 homers, drove in 90 runs, and scored 86 runs in just 123 games while swiping 15 bags. Free agent signee Randy Johnson flirted with the Triple Crown, going 20-7 with a 2.60 ERA, a league-best 0.92 WHIP, and 312 strikeouts. Righthander Spec Harkness notched a 13-5 mark with a 3.71 ERA. The San Antonio Marksmen remained in contention for a wild card spot until the final days of the season, winning 88 games. Catcher Mike Sweeney hit .300 with 23 homers and 100 RBI's, while Matt Dominguez drilled 34 jacks and drove in 113 runs. Greg Maddux posted a 14-7 record with a 2.96 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP, while Mark Langston went 13-11 with a 3.20 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP, and fanned 264 hitters.

The Phoenix Lizards won the Southwest Division with 99 wins behind a balanced approach. Second sacker Jim Viox hit a team-high .353 with 50 doubles, 16 homers, 113 RBI's, and 96 runs scored. Billy Conigliaro hit .301 and slugged .567, ripping 26 homers and 113 RBI's. Roger Maris drilled 37 homers and 112 RBI's. Left fielder Clyde Milan hit .313 with a .400 on-base percentage, ripping 47 doubles, scoring 154 runs, and swiping a league-leading 89 bases. Southpaw Pete Wilson went 15-6 with a 4.04 ERA despite a hefty 1.53 WHIP. Zane Smith registered a 13-7 mark with a 4.08 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP while surrendering just 10 homers in 181 innings. The Anaheim Antelopes topped 1000 runs, with the second-best offense in baseball, as they clinched a playoff spot on the final day of the season with 90 wins, as they edged the San Diego Zookeepers in 12 innings on a walk-off single by journeyman Tim Cullen. Rougned Odor had a brilliant, if bizarre, season for the Antelopes: he hit .300 and slugged .721, drilling an incredible 62 homers and driving in 165 runs in just 123 games. Odor seemed like a shoo-in to set the all-time single season home run record when he sprained his knee with 3 weeks left in the season, only to return and homer again in the final game of the season. Incredibly, Odor also hit 7 triples -- but only 5 doubles despite his 62 round-trippers. Center fielder Dale Murphy hit .310 with a .414 on-base percentage, blasting 44 homers while scoring 144 runs and driving in 136. 38-year-old third baseman Ray Boone hit .333 and slugged .565, drilling 29 round-trippers while plating 125 runs. Southpaw Frank Tanana anchored the rotation, going 16-10 with a 4.14 ERA, a 1.31 WHIP, and 188 strikeouts. Closer Roy Parmalee saved 29 games while yielding a 1.70 ERA. The San Diego Zookeepers remained until contention until the final game of the year, winning 88 games, but they dropped five of their final six games. San Diego challenged for the postseason despite one of the weakest offenses in baseball, ranking 21st in the Continental League in runs scored. Shortstop Ron Hansen starred, hitting .310 with 19 homers and 95 RBI's, but he was sidelined for the final week of the season with a rib injury. Right fielder Mike Vail hit .289 with 28 longballs and 110 RBI's. Left fielder Luke Scott hit 26 homers and drove in 85 runs. On the mound, Denny Lemaster posted a 12-7 mark with a 3.81 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, and 203 strikeouts. Crafty junkballer Ron Herbel went 11-6 with a 3.94 ERA. Groundballer Russ Christopher went just 9-10 despite a 3.94 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP, allowing just 8 homers in 192 innings.
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:11 AM   #188
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2040 Playoff Report

Frontier League: The 106-win Minneapolis Penguins narrowly avoided a first round upset at the hands of the 89-win Portland Skunks, erasing a 3-2 deficit by winning Games 6 and 7 by a combined 15 runs. Minneapolis catcher Javy Lopez earned MVP honors after leading all hitters with 10 hits, batting .345 with 2 homers and 5 RBI's. Left fielder Mike Greenwell hit .318 with 2 round-trippers and 4 RBI's. Third baseman Kevin Orie and first baseman Mark Grace each homered with five RBI's. Penguins righthander Wade Miller yielded a 2.45 ERA in 11 innings, striking out 20 while walking just 1 in two no-decisions. Portland was led by third baseman Hank Blalock, who hit .321 with 2 homers and 5 RBI's, while southpaw Steve Avery hurled 12 shutout innings, yielding just five hits while striking out 14. The Kansas City Mad Hatters ousted the Detroit Purple Gang in five games, with catcher Ramon Hernandez taking home the MVP honors after hitting .500 with 6 RBI's. Kansas City shortstop Dick Groat nearly matched Hernandez, hitting .450 with 6 RBI's. RighthanderJim Baskette went 1-0 with a 0.93 ERA, allowing just one earned run on four hits in 9.2 innings. Third baseman Nolan Arenado led Detroit with a .412 average and 2 RBI's, while Percy Jones hurled 6 shutout innings of four-hit ball in a losing effort. The Vancouver Viceroys dominated the Chicago Mules, holding the league's fifth ranked offense to just 16 runs in 5 games. Vancouver first baseman Aledmys Diaz earned MVP honors, hitting .350 with 2 homers and a series-high 8 RBI's. Center fielder Juan Beniquez hit .421 with a homer and 3 RBI's, while catcher Charles Johnson launched 4 round-trippers and drove in 5 runs. Southpaw Brett Oberholtzer went 2-0 with a 1.32 ERA, while Joe Presko earned a Game 2 win, yielding just 1 run in 7 innings. Rookie second baseman Carlos Baerga provided the lone bright spot for Chicago, hitting .500 with 3 RBI's. In the tightest series of the first round, the 102-win Buffalo Fighting Elk outlasted the pesky Milwaukee Raccoons in seven games, taking Game 7 by a 5-4 count. Buffalo backup catcher Jason LaRue, pressed into emergency service after star centerfielder Tris Speaker was injured, took home a most unexpected MVP award after hitting a series-high .435 with 3 homers and 4 RBI's. First baseman Don Hurst hit .379 and drove in 8 runs, while catcher Sherm Lollar hit .375 and slugged .750, blasting 2 round-trippers and driving in 5 runs. Ace righthander Don Wilson went 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in 12 innings. Milwaukee was led by star right fielder Larry Walker, who played an admirable center fielder in place of the injured Eric Davis, and hit .370 with 4 homers and 11 RBI's.

In the Wild Card Round, the Minneapolis Penguins destroyed the overmatched staff of the Kansas City Mad Hatters, averaging nearly 8 runs per game in a five-game romp. Star catcher Javy Lopez added another trophy to his mantle, hitting .565 and slugging .957, with 2 homers and 7 RBI's. First baseman Mark Grace hit .350 with 2 longballs and 6 RBI's, while Darryl Strawberry hit .318 with 3 homers and 6 RBI's. Left fielder Mike Greenwell had only 4 hits, but managed to drive in 10 runs, including a 5 RBI performance in Game 7. Wade Miller won both his starts with a 2.92 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 12 innings. Kansas City was led by center fielder Jim Piersall, who hit .389 with a homer and 5 RBI's. After dropping Game 1 to Buffalo on a walk-off, pinch-hit 2-run double by Darrin Fletcher, the Vancouver Viceroys took the next four games. Shortstop Chris Speier was tabbed MVP after hitting .409 and slugging .727, ripping 2 homers and driving in 9 runs. Catcher Charles Johnson hit .350 with 2 homers and 8 RBI's, while right fielder Xavier Paul hit .471 with a homer, 3 RBI's, and 5 runs scored. Brett Oberholtzer notched a 3.18 ERA in 11.1 innings, but had two no-decisions. Shortstop Rico Petrocelli led Buffalo with a .333 average, 3 doubles, and 4 runs scored. The Viceroys continued their dominant postseason run in the League Championship Series, sweeping the favored Penguins while holding the powerful Minneapolis offense to just 10 runs. Vancouver shortstop Chris Speier earned another MVP trophy after hitting .400 and slugging .800, with 2 homers and 4 RBI's. Right fielder Xavier Paul popped 2 homers of his own and drove in 5 runs, while Charles Johnson managed to drive in 7 runs despite hitting just 2-for-16. Tom Milone hurled 5.1 shutout innings in Game 3, while Guy Cantrell earned 2 wins in relief. Mike Trout led Minneapolis, hitting .375 with a homer and 3 RBI's.

Continental League: In the biggest upset of the postseason, the 90-win Anaheim Antelopes, who did not clinch a postseason berth until extra innings on the final game of the year, upended the 114-win New York Emperors in seven games. Anaheim right fielder Jarrett Parker hit .500, including 3 doubles, 3 homers and 7 RBI's. Center fielder Dale Murphy hit .321 with a pair of homers and 4 RBI's. Righthander Ryan Drese went 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings, including 7 shutout innings of 3-hit ball in Game 7. Second sacker Bill Wambsganss led New York, hitting .433 with 13 hits, a homer, 4 RBI's, and 5 runs scored. Catcher Yadier Molina matched Wambsganss with 13 hits, hitting .419 with a homer and 3 RBI's. The Phoenix Lizards swept the Jacksonville Gulls and their record setting offense, averaging nearly 8 runs per game. Center fielder Jackie Brandt took home the hardware after hitting .444 with 3 homers and 7 RBI's. Right fielder Billy Conigliaro hit .412 with 2 homers and plated 3 runs. DH Richie Sexson, a trade deadline acquisition, hit .400 with a round-tripper and 4 RBI's. Southpaw Zane Smith set the tone with six shutout innings in a Game 1 victory. In a revenge matchup from last year, the Atlanta Ducks ousted division rival and the defending champion New Orleans Crawfish in seven games. DH Mike Fiore was an out-of-nowhere MVP winner, hitting .370 with 2 homers and 4 RBI's. First baseman Hank Greenberg hit .333 with 2 jacks and 4 RBI's as well, and catcher Keith Moreland hit .400 and drove in 5 runs while scoring 7. Righthander Stan Coveleski notched a 3.00 ERA in 15 innings, going the distance in a 5-2 Game 7 victory. Wilbur Cooper was brilliant in defeat for New Orleans, going 2-0 in 15.2 shutout innings, while fanning 22, including a 15-whiff shutout in Game 1. Eddie Murray hit .407 with 3 longballs and 9 RBI's for the Crawfish. The El Paso Armadillos shot down the Charlotte Aviators in six games, outscoring Charlotte 25-5 in the first 3 games as the Armadillos coasted to victory. First baseman Eric Hinske was tabbed MVP after hitting .423 with 3 homers and 6 RBI's. Left fielder Kal Daniels matched Hinske in run production, while hitting .360. Right fielder Kevin McReynolds hit .393 with 2 longballs and 5 RBI's. Crafty southpaw Fred Link earned a win and posted a 1.38 ERA in 13 innings. Center fielder Kevin Kiermaier led Charlotte, hitting .296 with a pair of homers and 4 RBI's in defeat.

In the Divisional Series, the Phoenix Lizards nearly blew a 3-1 lead to their division rival, the Anaheim Antelopes, but romped to victory in Game 7. Phoenix center fielder Jackie Brandt continued his explosive postseason, earning MVP honors after hitting .452 and slugging .871 with 2 homers, 3 triples, 9 runs scored, and 14 RBI's. Right fielder Billy Conigliaro hit .379 with 4 homers and 12 RBI's. Speedy left fielder Clyde Milan hit .387 with 7 steals and 9 runs scored. Southpaw Cliff Lee went 1-0, including a Game 7 victory, with a 2.25 ERA in 12 innings. First baseman JT Snow led Anaheim, hitting .321 with 2 longballs and 4 RBI's. The El Paso Armadillos eliminated the Atlanta Ducks in 5 games, in a closer-than-it-seemed series, winning three one-run games and one game by two runs. In a controversial decision, left fielder Kal Daniels was named MVP after hitting .350 with 4 extra-base hits, 3 RBI's, and 4 runs scored. DH Sal Bando hit .353 with a homer and 3 RBI's. But Randy Johnson was brilliant, going 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 14 innings. Third baseman Ken Reitz led Atlanta, hitting .353 with 2 homers and 5 RBI's. Atlanta reliever Kent Mercker starred, yielding just one hit in 5.1 shutout innings. In the League Championship Series, El Paso took the first two games from Phoenix, but the Lizards stormed back to win the next four games and advance to the World Series. Phoenix third baseman Butch Hobson earned MVP honors after hitting .364 with 2 homers and 7 RBI's. Left fielder Clyde Milan set the table, hitting .375 with 5 steals and 4 runs scored. Shortstop Kevin Bell hit .333 with a ninth-inning tiebreaking homer in Game 6, and drove in 3 runs. Gene Walter won 3 games in relief, yielding just 2 hits and 1 run in 5 innings. Randy Johnson continued his brilliant postseason for the Astros, going 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 11 innings, including a 14-strikeout, 5 hit-shutout in Game 2.

World Series: The 99-win Phoenix Lizards were mild favorites over the 92-win Vancouver Viceroys based on their won-lost record and run differential, but Vancouver had dominated superior competition in the first three rounds, losing just one game to 96-win Chicago and 102-win Buffalo, and sweeping the 106-win Minneapolis Penguins. Although they split the first four games, Phoenix won Games 5 and 6 to take their first World Series in franchise history. Rookie third baseman Butch Hobson earned MVP honors, hitting .417 with 2 round-trippers and 6 RBI's.

Phoenix won Game 1 6-2, as Hobson ripped two doubles and a homer, driving in 3 runs. Southpaw Pete Wilson notched the win over Vancouver veteran Brett Oberholtzer, fanning 7 in 5 innings. In Game 2, Phoenix scored 7 second-inning runs, cruising to a 9-4 victory. Center fielder Jackie Brandt ripped 3 hits and scored 2 runs, while first baseman Richie Sexson blasted a three-run homer. Cliff Lee earned the win with 5 solid, if unspectacular, innings, while Vancouver's Joe Presko surrendered 9 runs in 3.1 innings. Vancouver avoided disaster in Game 3, erasing a 5-0 deficit, as first baseman Aledmys Diaz hit a walk-off grand slam off George Susce, giving Vancouver a 7-5 victory. Left fielder Bernard Gilkey had two hits, including a double, for the Viceroys. Phoenix center fielder Jackie Brandt continued hit blistering postseason, ripping 3 hits including a double, while catcher Pat Borders homered and singled.

Vancouver evened the series in Game 4, winning 4-1, as second baseman Juan Uribe hit a two-run homer, and shortstop Chris Speier had two hits and 2 RBI's. Righthander Milt Wilcox outdueled Josh Fogg, yielding just one run in 6.1 innings, and Guy Cantrell hurled two perfect innings for the save. Hobson punched three hits, and Borders hit a solo homer to lead Phoenix. Phoenix pulled out the win in Game 5, prevailing 6-5, as Hobson ripped a solo homer off Frankie Montas in the tenth inning. Second baseman Jim Viox ripped three hits, including two doubles, and drove in a run. Vancouver was led by Aledmys Diaz, who homered, doubled, and drove in three runs. Phoenxi left no doubt in Game 6, winning 9-3, as they pulled away with five runs in the seventh inning, as Borders hit a grand slam, and Sexson homered and drove in three runs. Although Phoenix starter Cliff Lee departed early with a third-inning injury, long reliever Jack Creel hurled four shutout innings, fanning six. Center fielder Juan Beniquez led Vancouver with two doubles.

Hobson was named World Series MVP after hitting .417 and slugging .792, with 3 doubles, 2 homers, and 6 RBI's. Borders hit .280 with 3 homers and a series-high 11 RBI's. Left fielder Clyde Milan scored 5 runs and swiped 7 bags, bringing his total for the postseason to an all-time record 18 steals. On the mound, Creel went 1-0 with a 1.23 ERA and 7 strikeouts in 7.1 innings, while Zane Smith yielded a 1.68 ERA. Aledmys Diaz led Vancouver with 3 homers and 9 RBI's, despite hitting just .238, while Milt Wilcox went 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA.
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Old 08-09-2019, 12:40 AM   #189
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2040 Awards Winners

Frontier League MVP- Eric Chavez, 3B, BUF (31): .329/ .407/ .623, 207 hits, 45 doubles,1 triple, 46 HR, 161 RBI, 122 runs, 81 BB, 7 SB, 166 OPS+, 8.8 WAR
Second place- Nolan Arenado, 3B, DET (11): .344/ .450/ .669, 189 hits, 33 doubles, 4 triples, 46 HR, 133 RBI, 115 runs, 114 BB, 183 OPS+, 9.7 WAR
Third place- Chipper Jones, 3B, STL (1): .346/ .435/ .649, 202 hits, 33 doubles, 6 triples, 44 HR, 112 RBI, 127 runs, 95 BB, 17 SB, 174 OPS+, 8.7 WAR
Fourth place- Bernie Carbo, RF, KC: .315/ .445/ .650, 179 hits, 40 doubles, 50 HR, 149 RBI, 119 runs, 126 BB, 177 OPS+, 9.0 WAR
Fifth place- Javy Lopez, C, MIN: .344/ .381/ .660, 182 hits, 25 doubles, 5 triples, 44 HR, 112 RBI, 97 runs, 26 BB, 161 OPS+, 7.5 WAR

Frontier League Cy Young Award- Walter Johnson, CAL (33): 14-7, 2.08 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 212 IP, 284 K, 43 BB, 2 CG, 225 ERA+, 10.1 WAR
Second place- Nolan Ryan, DET (14): 17-9, 2.81 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 212 IP, 309 K, 110 BB, 1 CG, 1 shutout, 166 ERA+, 8.0 WAR
Third place- Bob Moose, CIN (1): 14-9, 2.20 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 221 IP, 225 K, 49 BB, 212 ERA+, 8.6 WAR
Fourth place- Odalis Perez, CHI: 17-9, 2.95 ERA, 1.04 IP, 220 IP, 204 K, 29 BB, 2 CG, 158 ERA+, 6.1 WAR
Fifth place- Bob Welch, STL: 19-8, 3.00 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 210 IP, 202 K, 50 BB, 1 CG, 156 ERA+, 4.4 WAR

Frontier League Rookie of the Year- Ryon Healy, 1B, DEN (40): .329/ .366/ .629, 172 hits, 34 doubles, 41 HR, 104 RBI, 85 runs, 34 BB, 145 OPS+, 4.8 WAR
Second place- Allan Sothoron, RHP, SF (8): 19-7, 2.99 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 229 IP, 166 K, 67 BB, 2 CG, 156 ERA+, 4.9 WAR
Third place- Carlos Baerga, 2B, CHI: .344/ .392/ .595, 123 hits, 23 doubles, 2 triples, 21 HR, 71 RBI, 64 runs, 25 BB, 149 OPS+, 4.3 WAR

Continental League Rookie of the Year- Beals Becker, LF, JAX (40): .369/ .432/ .662, 241 hits, 49 doubles, 7 triples, 43 HR, 160 RBI, 163 runs, 74 BB, 62 SB, 170 OPS+, 9.0 WAR
Second place- Willie Mays, BIR (7): .389/ .472/ .750, 195 hits, 34 doubles, 9 triples, 43 HR, 155 RBI, 121 runs, 81 BB, 16 SB, +13.3 Zone Rating, 203 OPS+, 10.8 WAR
Third place- Jim Thome, 1B, JAX: .339/ .436/ .626, 211 hits, 42 doubles, 4 triples, 43 HR, 154 RBI, 147 runs, 106 BB, 2 SB, 163 OPS+, 7.8 WAR
Third place (tie)- Scott Rolen, 3B, BIR: .337/ .431/ .624, 201 hits, 39 doubles, 3 triples, 42 HR, 177 RBI, 130 runs, 95 BB, 21 SB, +10.2 Zone Rating, 163 OPS+, 9.4 WAR
Fifth place- David Wright, 3B, NY: .350/ .436/ .629, 208 hits, 50 doubles, 4 triples, 36 HR, 127 RBI, 135 runs, 93 BB, 29 SB, 170 OPS+, 8.8 WAR

Continental League Cy Young Award winner- Randy Johnson, ELP (48): 20-7, 2.60 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 239 IP, 312 K, 37 BB, 5 CG, 2 shutouts, 190 ERA+, 9.2 WAR
Second place- Mark Prior, NAS: 20-9, 2.59 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 230 IP, 275 K, 57 BB, 2 CG, 1 shutout, 185 ERA+, 5.8 WAR
Third place- Rich Nye, NY: 22-4, 3.09 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 207 IP, 131 K, 56 BB, 166 ERA+, 5.1 WAR
Fourth place- Corey Kluber, NY: 16-10, 3.57 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 212 IP, 209 K, 42 BB, 1 CG 144 ERA+, 5.4 WAR
Fifth place- Mark Langston, SA: 13-11, 3.20 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 225 IP, 264 K, 75 BB, 3 CG, 1 shutout, 153 ERA+, 3.8 WAR

Continental League Rookie of the Year- Mark Teixeira, 1B, CHA (48): .314/ .390/ .656, 200 hits, 51 doubles, 4 triples, 53 HR, 166 RBI, 135 runs, 69 BB, 155 OPS+, 7.4 WAR
Second place- George Sisler, 1B, OKC: .333/ .393/ .558, 211 hits, 41 doubles, 4 triples, 31 HR, 104 RBI, 128 runs, 59 BB, 68 SB, 136 OPS+, 5.6 WAR
Third place- Tony Pena, C, CHA: .300/ .361/ .444, 135 hits, 25 doubles, 2 triples, 12 HR, 77 RBI, 64 runs, 42 BB, 100 OPS+, 3.2 WAR

Top draft picks: 1. Pat Collins, C, Memphis River Pirates
2. Lenny Dykstra, CF, Oklahoma City Otters
3. Lefty O'Doul, LF, Albuquerque Conquistadors
4. Cesar Cedeno, CF, Baltimore Robins
5. Josh Hamilton, CF, Montreal Knights
6. Johnny Frederick, CF, Philadelphia Hawks
7. Ernie Lombardi, C, Cleveland Rocks
8. Doug DeCinces, 3B, Dallas Wildcatters
9. Joe Magrane, LHP, Virginia Beach Admirals
10. Richie Zisk, LF, Pittsburgh Golden Gorillas
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Old 08-11-2019, 03:45 AM   #190
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2040 Hall of Fame Voting

For the second straight season, four players were inducted into the Hall of Fame. Sluggers Gabby Hartnett and Lou Gehrig joined hurlers Joe Ross and Bob Shirley in the Hall of Fame, with all four stars being inducted on the first ballot. Two-time Cy Young Award winner Ross received 95.8% of the vote, eight-time All-Star Hartnett was tabbed on 82.6% of ballots, 2020 MVP Gehrig drew 81.5%, and 321-game winner Shirley pulled 79.5% of the vote.

Ross was drafted 20th overall by the Baltimore Robins following the 2018 season. He posted an 11-17 record with a 3.69 ERA as a 21-year-old rookie in 2019, but showed his potential in the postseason, going 3-0 with a 2.67 ERA in four starts. He blossomed the following year, going 13-10 with a stellar 2.46 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP, and 232 strikeouts. Ross missed most of the 2021 season with bone chips, but posted a 2.67 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP in ten late-season starts. He rebounded with a vengeance in 2022, winning the Cy Young Award after going 17-10 with a 2.26 ERA, a league-best 0.87 WHIP, 256 strikeouts, and 11.3 WAR. He finished fifth in the Cy Young voting in 2023, despite posting a hard-luck 9-12 record, despite a 2.86 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP, and a league-high 318 strikeouts; Ross managed to post more WAR (11.2) than actual victories. Over the next four seasons, Ross was consistently excellent over the next four years, posting ERA's below 2.60 and more than 200 strikeouts each year, finally making his first All-Star team in 2026. In 2028, Ross posted an 18-8 mark while posting career-bests with a 2.13 ERA and a league-leading 0.86 WHIP. Following the season, he jumped from Baltimore to San Antonio in free agency, and he won his second Cy Young Award for the Marksmen in 2030, going 21-7 with a 2.71 ERA, and leading the league with an 0.97 WHIP and 293 strikeouts. He was off to an even better start the following year, posting a 7-2 mark with a 1.65 ERA before tearing an elbow tendon around Memorial Day. Ross rebounded once again, posting a 15-12 mark the following year with a 2.63 ERA, a league-low 0.94 WHIP, and 260 strikeouts, while coming in a close second in the Cy Young voting despite missing most of September with a back injury. After another strong season in 2033, when he went 16-8 with a 2.74 ERA and 271 strikeouts, he signed with the Cincinnati Spiders in free agency, where he went 33-20 in his first two seasons, before missing most of 2036 with bone chips. He wrapped up with an ineffective season with Pittsburgh in 2037 before retiring with a 233-180 mark, a career 2.84 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP, 3797 strikeouts (4th all-time), and 131.9 WAR (6th all-time). Ross led the league in strikeouts three times, in WHIP four times, and in WAR four times. He made five All-Star teams and despite a middling 3-4 record, he posted a 2.77 ERA in 9 postseason starts.

Hartnett was drafted fourth overall by the St. Louis Pilots after the 2019 season. As a 20-year-old rookie, he hit a respectable .278 with 15 homers, 65 RBI's, and 28 steals. As a sophomore in 2021, he took the leap into stardom, hitting .321 and slugging .575, with 32 homers, 103 RBI's, and 17 steals, while finishing fifth in the MVP voting. The next year, Hartnett finished fourth in the MVP voting after hitting .323 and slugging a league-high .622, with 38 round-trippers and 105 RBI's. He hit .299 and smacked 30 homers while swiping 26 bags the following year. Hartnett spent nine years in St. Louis before signing with the Omaha Falcons after the 2028 season, and after his rookie year, he popped at least 20 homers every year with two more seasons over .300. He hit .294 with 25 homers and 77 RBI's in his first season in Omaha. In 2030, he had a monster season, hitting a career-best .358 and slugging .730, with 35 homer and 104 RBI's in just 102 games, spending multiple stints on the disabled list with hamstring and back injuries. After an off-year in 2031, he rebounded by hitting .309 and slugging .584 with 25 homers and 79 RBI's in 125 games. After slugging .550 with 29 homers and 97 RBI's in 2035 at age-35, Hartnett signed with the Los Angeles Kangaroos, where he ripped 20 homers and plated 85 runs in 2036, and won a World Series title the following season before retiring. Over his career, Hartnett made eight All-Star teams, posting a .283/ .372/ .508 career slash line. He ripped 2342 hits, 521 doubles, 433 homers, and drove in 1426 runs, while stealing 153 bases and posting 98.8 WAR. Among catchers, Hartnett ranked second all-time in homers and RBI's, third in slugging percentage, and first in WAR. He was a potent postseason hitter, batting .290 with a .525 slugging percentage, with 16 homers and 50 RBI's in 91 games, while winning two Wild Card MVP trophies ten years apart.

Gehrig was drafted first overall by the Cincinnati Spiders following the 2014 season. After three seasons of part-time play, he first saw regular playing time in 2018, where he hit a modest .263 with 5 homers and 38 RBI's. The following year, he hit .304 with 39 doubles, 25 homers, 85 RBI's, and 104 runs scored. In 2020, Gehrig took the next step into stardom, winning the Frontier League MVP award after hitting .344 and leading the league with a .448 on-base percentage and a .608 slugging percentage. Gehrig blasted 39 round-trippers, drove in 110 runs, and stole 22 bases while drawing 111 walks. After hitting .303 and leading the league with 112 walks the following year, he hit .309 with 34 homers and 107 RBI's in 2022. Gehrig set career highs in 2023, pounding 50 longballs, slugging .643, and driving in 127 runs, to go with a .328 average, while finishing third in the MVP voting. Following an off-year, he left Cincinnati to sign with the New Orleans Crawfish as a free agent. He was consistently productive in New Orleans, hitting between 25 and 29 homers in 4 of his 5 seasons in the Big Easy, topping 100 RBI's each season. Gehrig signed next with the Omaha Falcons, hitting .295 with 113 walks, 32 homers and 107 RBI's in his first season in the green and gold, and following it up with a 31-homer, 89 RBI campaign. He then signed with the El Paso Armadillos in 2033, where he slugged .538 at age 36, ripping 41 doubles, 35 homers, and driving in 124 runs while hitting .287. He hit 35 homers over his final two seasons in El Paso before finishing up as a pinch hitter with the San Diego Zookeepers. Over his career, Gehrig earned six All-Star nods and won three Silver Slugger awards. He retired with a career .292 average, a .397 on-base percentage, and a .494 slugging percentage, knocking 3,056 hits, 612 doubles, and 493 homers while posting 71.5 WAR. He drove in 1703 runs and scored 1770, ranking in the top 25 all-time in both categories, while drawing 1853 walks (7th all-time). He also popped 16 doubles and 5 homers in postseason play while driving in 29 runs.

Shirley was selected 15th overall by the Nashville Blues following the 2016 season. After going 13-13 with a 3.77 ERA as a rookie, he won 15 games in 2018, and took the leap to the next level the following year, as he went 16-11 with a 2.72 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP - the first of five straight seasons with a sub-3.00 ERA, winning at least 15 games each year while posting a combined 82-46 record. In 2020, he went 20-9 with a 2.83 ERA. After two solid, if unspectacular seasons, he went 16-12 with a 2.67 ERA and a league-leading 0.96 WHIP in 2026, finishing fourth in the Cy Young Award voting, and followed that up by going 18-11 with a 2.76 ERA and 1.07 WHIP the following year. In 2028, he posted a 16-6 record with a career-best 2.42 ERA. After winning 19 games the next season, he posted a career-best 21-6 mark in 2030, with a 2.42 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP, while finishing second in the Cy Young voting. After an off-year in 2031 and a slow start the next year, Shirley was traded to Vancouver in May 2032. Shirley went just 9-13 with a 4.30 ERA with Vancouver, and his career appeared to be on the downswing. But after signing with Detroit in the offseason, he went 18-7 the following year with a 2.82 ERA and 1.17 WHIP, finishing fifth in the Cy Young Award voting. He also earned a 16-5 mark with a 3.29 ERA in 2035 -- at age 39. Shirley then returned to Vancouver as a free agent, winning 22 games in two years to cross the 300-win milestone. In addition to being tremendously durable, Shirley was also a terrific postseason pitcher, posting a 2.77 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP in 47 postseason starts, although his won-lost record was just 18-20. He led Nashville to the 2021 World Series title, going 4-3 with a 2.24 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in 7 starts, and in 2030, he led them to within two games of the title, going 6-1 with a 1.55 ERA and 0.78 WHIP, allowing just 2 homers in 64 postseason innings while averaging 8 innings per start. A six-time All-Star, Shirley sported a career record of 321-220, with a 3.26 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP, fanning 2892 batters while garnering 95.5 WAR. He ranks second all-time in victories and innings pitched.

Leading vote recipients include:

Joe Ross, RHP, BAL/ SA/ CIN/ PIT: 95.8%
Gabby Hartnett, C, STL/ OMA/ LA: 82.6%
Lou Gehrig, 1B, CIN/ NO/ OMA/ ELP/ SD: 81.5%
Bob Shirley, LHP, NAS/ DET/ VAN: 79.6%
Gorman Thomas, CF, HAR/ ELP/ OMA/ CHI/ CHA: 64.1%
Kirby Puckett, CF, HOU/ CAL/ PHI: 63.3%
Larry Parrish, 3B, ANA/ CHA: 62.2%
Elston Howard, C, MON/ LA: 54.1%
Jack Clark, RF, STL/ TOR/ ELP/ LON/ LA: 50.1%
Bernie Friberg, 2B, OKC/ DEN/ WAS: 49.6%
Trevor Story, SS, LA/ CHA/ ATL/ MIL: 48.5%
High Pockets Kelly, RF, JAX/ TOR: 45.7%

Noteworthy players who dropped off the ballot included Puckett, a six-time Gold Glover with 3,052 hits who spent 10 years on the ballot, but peaked at 66.9%, left fielder Mike Menosky, who topped 3100 career hits, six-time All-Star Moises Alou, 2024 Cy Young Award winner Noah Syndergaard, 224-game winner Larry Cheney, and five-time stolen base champ Willie Wilson.

Here's a look at the newest Hall of Famers:
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:50 PM   #191
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2040 Hall of Fame: Veterans' Committee

To commemorate the HRDL's thirtieth year, the Commissioner declared the formation of a Hall of Fame Veterans' Committee. Every five years going forward, the Veterans' Committee could select up to three players for induction in the Hall of Fame, provided that their eligibility expired at least five years earlier. As the early classes of Hall of Famers consisted disproportionately of pitchers, the Veterans Committee tabbed three position players: shortstops Troy Tulowitzki and Nomar Garciaparra and center fielder Rick Monday.

Tulowitzki was selected 15th overall by the Buffalo Fighting Elk in the inaugural dispersion draft, and he had a terrific season for them, hitting .316 with 205 hits, 26 homers, 87 RBI's, 97 runs scored, and 10.9 WAR. Following the season, he departed via free agency to the Atlanta Ducks, where he enjoyed a stellar 2012 season, hitting .332 and slugging .576, with 35 homers and 113 RBI's, while finishing as runner-up in the MVP voting. The following season, he hit .302 and slugged .549, blasting a career-high 44 round-trippers while driving in 117 runs and scoring 131.. After an off season in 2015, he signed with the San Francisco Longshoremen in free agency. Tulowitzki spent six productive seasons in San Francisco, clearing 7.0 WAR five times, and topping 24 homers five times while winning Gold Gloves in 2019 and 2020. Following the 2020 season, he joined the Seattle Whales in free agency. Tulowitzki popped 23 homers and drove in 84 runs in his first season in Seattle (at age 36), before slowing down in his final two seasons. Over his career, batted .282 and slugged .458, with 2091 career hits, including 327 homers, 1105 RBIs, and 1086 runs scored, while posting 90.5 WAR. He also was a productive postseason hitter, batting .292 and slugging .459, with 13 homers and 52 RBI's in 78 games, winning two series MVP awards. A seven-time All-Star, he won two Gold Gloves and five Silver Slugger awards.

Garciaparra was selected fourth overall by the Ottawa Parliamentarians in the inaugural dispersion draft prior to the 2011 season, and immediately became one of the league's biggest stars. He led the Frontier League with 256 hits in 2011, hitting .390 with 22 homers, 104 RBI's, and 100 runs scored. The following season, he won the Frontier League MVP, after hitting .383 and slugging .629, leading the league in both categories, while ripping 233 hits, 37 homers, and driving in 108 runs. He led the Frontier League in WAR in both 2011 and 2012. He had another stellar season in 2015, hitting .326 and slugging .527, blasting 31 homers and driving in 102 runs, and he followed it up by popping 24 homers and driving in 79 runs the following year. Garciaparra became a free agent after the 2019 season, and remained unsigned, choosing instead to retire the following offseason. Garciaparra retired with a career .308 average and a .465 slugging percentage, with 1654 hits, 251 doubles, 186 homers, 742 RBI's, and 59.4 WAR all with Ottawa. He made two All-Star teams, won two Silver Slugger awards, and the 2012 MVP.

Monday was selected 57th overall by Baltimore in the 2011 inaugural dispersion draft. In 2011, he hit .338 with a .426 on-base percentage and a .536 slugging percentage, ripping 70 extra base hits, including 18 homers, 83 RBI's, and 108 runs scored. The following year, he hit .342 with a .440 on-base percentage, with 20 homers, 95 RBI's, and 29 steals. In 2013, Monday hit .315 with a career-high 31 homers, 100 RBI's, 105 runs scored, and 23 steals. In 2015, Monday set career highs in batting average and slugging percentage, leading the league with 216 hits as he hit .343 and slugged .543, with 39 doubles, 25 homers, 102 RBI's, and 112 runs scored. The following year, he hit .299 with 28 homers and a career-high 43 steals. Monday posted an OPS+ over 140 in each of his first seven seasons, and after two more solid seasons in Baltimore, he signed with El Paso as a free agent. Monday popped 64 homers in four seasons in El Paso, including a 22 homer, 76 RBI season in 2023 at age 35. After two years of pinch-hitting duty, Monday retired with a career average of .280, a .376 on-base percentage, and a .457 slugging percentage. He posted 2264 hits, with 407 doubles, 301 homers, 1114 RBI's, 1316 runs scored, 1199 walks, 309 steals, and 68.6 WAR. He led Baltimore to the 2014 Frontier League pennant, hitting .291 with 14 runs scored and 4 steals in 22 postseason games. Monday made seven All-Star teams, and earned five Silver Slugger awards.

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