9-7-2020

Major League's South Dakota Born Players


Index:

Jim Scott

Jiggs Parson

Raleigh Aitchison

Del Paddock

Bob Ingersoll

Tony Faeth

Lou Koupal

Sparky Olson

Dick Ward

Allen Benson

Emmett Nelson

Rube Fischer

Jug Thesenga

Len Rice

Kermit Wahl

Carroll Hardy

Sparky Anderson

John Hoffman

Jerry Crider

John Strohmayer

Terry Forster

Bob Rauch

Tom Hausman

Dave Collins

Floyd Bannister

Kevin Stanfield

Terry Francona

Kelvin Torve

Pat Rice

Kerry Ligtenberg

Keith Foulke

Justin Duchscherer

Mark Ellis

Shane Loux

Brandon Claussen

Jason Kubel

Sean Doolittle

Dusty Coleman

Layne Somsen



Jim Scott

"Death Valley Jim" Scott had one of the more colorful nicknames of all the early twentieth century ballplayers and a colorful life to match. He was a top American League pitcher for nine years, played the vaudeville circuit, was Buck Weaver's brother-in-law, served his country in France during World War I, became a National League umpire, was an evangelist and worked at the RKO/Republic Motion Pictures Studios.


James (Jim) Scott was born in Deadwood, South Dakota, on April 23, 1888. Before he was of school age, his family (which included one brother and three sisters) moved to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation west of Mobridge, South Dakota, and in 1893 to Lander, Wyoming. His father worked for the Federal Weather Bureau and established the first ever office in the Lander area. He also owned a photography studio and ran a telegraph office. All of Jim's formal education came in Lander and he had planed to attend Nebraska Wesleyan University and become a doctor of medicine.


In 1905-07, Bill McMahon, a former catcher who may have played professionally, worked with Jim to develop his playing skills mostly at third base. McMahon managed a high school team in Lander called the "Fremonts" who in 1906 or 1907 played a pick-up game against a very good Casper, Wyoming, team [possibly made up of service men]. Scott pitched a shutout which attracted the attention of a railroad supervisor, in the area, whose brother was Joe Cantillon. Joe, who managed in Des Moines and was soon-to-be manager of the Washington Senators, was advised to give Jim a tryout.

According to an article published in "The Wyoming State Journal" in April 1957, Jim quit high school in his junior year [Spring 1907] and used all of his savings to travel to Des Moines, Iowa, where he had an invitation from Cantillon to try out for the Senators' owned team playing there. Jim wore the best athletic uniform he had to the tryout - overalls and tennis shoes. Cantillon took one look at Jim and told him to go home. Jim replied that he had no money nor a place to stay, but Joe gave him no sympathy and again told him to leave the field, which Jim did.


Scott somehow found the means to travel sixty miles to Oskaloosa, Iowa, where tryouts were being held for a team in the same "Iowa State" league. "The Quakers" managed by Hamilton Patterson signed him and in his first professional game - ironically, against the Des Moines team - Jim threw a shut out. Trying to save face, Cantillon told him that he was really under contract with Des Moines and that he had to play for them. Jim ignored that demand and continued to play for the Quakers throughout the 1907 season.


Another version of his professional discovery and debut appeared in an article dated October, 21, 1910, in a Wyoming newspaper (a copy is on file at the Baseball Hall of Fame). The article is identified as "in his own words", and states that Jim was spotted by Cantillon after making his pitching debut where he won the game in relief. Cantillon was watching the game, signed and sent him to Des Moines where Jim claims he did pitch in one game but then was told to "get lost", whereupon he went to Osakloosa

In 1908, Jim played in the class "C" Western Association for the Wichita "Jobbers" managed by Jack Holland. He tied for the league lead in wins with thirty for their 140-game season and set a league record with 16 strike outs in one game. Before the 1909 campaign, Scott was drafted by the Chicago White Sox who paid $2,000 for him.


The right hander's major league debut was much anticipated by Chicago sportswriters and was covered by Ring Lardner. On April 25, 1909, at the age of twenty, he made his first major league appearance with a 1-0 shutout. Pitching in thirty-six games that year for the Billy Sullivan-managed fourth place White Sox, Jim threw 250 innings allowing 194 hits and 93 walks for an opponents on base percentage (OOB) of .310. He had 135 strikeouts with an ERA of 2.30 and a 12-12 record. Twenty-nine of his appearances were as a starting pitcher with nineteen complete games. Scott took great satisfaction in pitching well against the Washington Senators, who let Joe Cantillon go after the 1909 season.

The White Sox fell to sixth place in 1910 under new manager Hugh Duffy. Jim settled in as the number three starter behind Ed Walsh and Doc White. He pitched 230 innings in 41 games (23 as a starter with 14 complete games) and finished with a record of 8-18 . His ERA increased slightly to 2.43 as he gave up 182 hits and 86 walks (OOB of .303). Again he struck out 135 batters.


In 1911, Jim's innings pitched dropped to 202 and his ERA decreased slightly to 2.39. He started more games (26), but allowed more hits per innings pitched (195 in 202) and his walks remained consistent at 81 (his OOB was .311). The Sox moved up to forth place with the help of Jim's 14-11 record .

Over these early years, Jim became known as a finesse type pitcher who used a spit ball, screwball and other pitches combined with different motions to great effectiveness. His windup was described like a "clock spring" and some of his pitches as "heading for China with a precipitous dip". His large frame (6'1", 200 pounds) allowed him to deceive base runners as he had one of the best pickoff moves of any right hander of his period.


He also picked up the nickname "Death Valley Jim" apparently due to his birthplace (even though Deadwood is a very long way from Death Valley, CA) and the similarity of his name to that of a noted prospector, performer and con man - Walter "Death Valley Scotty" Scott. Jim said in 1916 "I have never been in Death Valley in my life. Odd about nicknames, isn't it?"

Scott's "clock spring" windup

Again the White Sox finished forth in 1912 with new manager Nixey Callahan. Jim was of little help that year (only pitched in six games) due to season-long arm problems [caused by rheumatism] helped along by the notable feat of pitching all fifteen innings of an April 20 duel with the Browns' George Baumgardner which ended in a 0-0 tie. To pick up the pitching slack that year, future Black Sox' starter Eddie Cicotte joined the White Sox.


Back on the mound full time in 1913, Scott started more games then any other American League pitcher. Nixey started him 38 times and he pitched 27 complete games. His ERA dropped to 1.91 in a career high 312 innings. He walked few (86) and gave up only 252 hits as his OOB fell to .281. His high innings pitched total was offset by Ed Walsh's sore arm as the Sox dropped to fifth place. With his 20-21 record, Jim was the only pitcher in major league history to lose 20 games and have an ERA under 2.00. On June 22, Jim struck out 15 Browns including, at one point, six in-a-row.

After the 1913 season, James joined his road roommate Buck Weaver for a "world" tour with players from various major league clubs forming teams managed by Callahan and John McGraw of the New York Giants. Besides Weaver, the only other "name" players on the teams were Tris Speaker, Sam Crawford and a hero from the 1912 Olympics - Jim Thorpe. The tour began with games being played in the U.S.A. (starting on the east coast and moving westward). In Seattle, some of the players left the troupe before it headed for Japan. The other countries where games were scheduled were: China, Manila, Australia, Ceylon, Egypt, Italy, France and Great Britain. After the tour was completed, he and Buck expected to receive a piece of the profits from Charles Comiskey. There was none offered so Jim and Buck talked about jumping to the Federal League for the next season. But, both decided to stick with the White Sox.


Jim was again the White Sox' top pitcher in 1914 even though his innings pitched dropped to 253, his ERA ballooned to 2.84 and his record fell to 14-18. Still he held his hit and walks allowed totals to a reasonable level (220 and 72 - for a OOB of .306) in 33 starts with only twelve complete games as his Sox dropped to sixth place. On May 14, he pitched nine no-hit innings against the Senators, but in the tenth Chick Gandil singled, another hit followed and the Sox lost 1-0.


After the 1914 season, Jim, Buck, Buck's wife and her three sisters put together a song and dance ensemble to tour the vaudeville circuit during the off season. The group's act consisted of baseball talk, dancing and the singing of ballads and ragtime. Reviews mentioned their inexperience and nervousness, but because of the players' "star" status, they were forgiven for both. Jim did not adapt as well to the stage as Buck, but he stuck with it most probably because he was falling in love with one of Weaver's sister-in- laws.


Scotty's baseball performance improved in 1915 as he started 35 games under new manager Pants Rowland. Jim's production increased to 296 innings pitched with an ERA of 2.04 and a career best 24-11 record. On August 29, he was part of a 68-minute game as he shut out the A's 5-0. He threw 23 complete games as the team's top pitcher with hits and walks allowed totals again remaining consistent (OOB of .292). He tied Walter Johnson for the league in shutouts (7) as the Sox finished in third place. It was Jim's last great season.


The White Sox moved up in the standings to second in 1916, but Scott was down in performance. He was in 32 games, only started 20 and pitched 165 innings with an ERA of 2.73 and a 7-14 record. His OOB increased to .321.


The Sox' world championship year of 1917 should have be a career high point for Jim, but World War I became a much more important issue for him and he was one of the first major league players to leave a team, therefore, missing the world series. For the year, he pitched in 24 games (17 starts and 7 complete games) with a 6-7 record. Even though his 1.87 ERA was his career best, his OOB was his worst, except for the sore-armed 1912 season, at .341. During a game that year, he ended a 35-game hitting streak by Ty Cobb. It was Jim's last major league season.


His major league career produced the twelfth best ERA of all time at 2.32, two one hitters, a record of 107-114 and an OOB of .305 in 1,892 innings. His name remains on many White Sox team pitching leader boards.


In September 1917, Jim was admitted to the reserve officer's training school at The Presidio in San Francisco and he graduated as a captain in the depot brigade. On November 17, Jim became Buck Weaver's brother-in-law by marring Harriet "Hattie" Cook (Weaver's wife's sister). From late 1917 to the summer of 1918, Scott commanded a depot brigade company in France. Those type of units would supply the troops with food, clothes or guns and ammunition from points behind the front lines. Since the French countryside contains so many small towns, his unit probably moved their headquarters from town to town following the Allies' troop movements.

In July 1918, after returning from Europe, he was assigned as a small arms instructor in the 13th division at Camp Lewis, Washington. Jim also managed the camp's baseball team whose players were all major leaguers. More importantly, he became a father on August 4 when James Scott Jr. was born.


In the Fall of 1918 and after Jim's discharge from the Army, he was employed by the Fairbanks-Morse foundry in Beloit, Wisconsin. Part of his job was pitching for the company team "The Fairies". The White Sox offered him his old job for the 1919 season, but Jim decided to stay in Beloit. Unfortunately, he was released by the company team and his stay, in the city, was short lived as he soon decided to pitch for the Pacific Coast League's San Francisco Seals beginning in May.


In the 1919 season for the Seals, he pitched in 30 games with an ERA of 2.42 and a 13-11 record. In 1920, he pitched 354 innings in the Seals' 199-game season managed by Charles Graham. Jim was 23-14 with a league leading ERA of 2.29 for the 103-96 club. He reported for spring training that year in a full beard and, seeking publicity, the team's owner offered him $500 not to shave. Jim agreed, but the issue stirred up so much trouble from various community organizations - such as the Civic Sanitation League - that the PCL owners voted 5 to 3 to require all players to be clean shaven. At the time of the prohibition, Jim had developed a rash where his celluloid collar rubbed his chin whiskers, so he was actually relived to be able to finally shave. The Seals' owner allowed him to keep the $500.


His innings pitched total dropped to 296 in 1921, his record was reduced to 18-15 and ERA was inflated to 3.65. However the Seals' record improved to 106-82. His ERA and record rebounded in 1922 as he was 25-9, 2.22 for the pennant winning John Miller led San Francisco club. In 1923, the Seals repeated as champion, but his record fell to 11-9 and his ERA increased to 4.06. During the year, Jim achieved his only professional no hitter - a 5-0 victory over the Oakland Oaks on April 14. Also, he received special permission from the league president to wear some Sanitation League dreaded facial hair - only a mustache - on the field.


In his last year with the Seals in 1924, Jim pitched in only 12 games finishing at 4-7 with a 4.68 ERA. In 1925 he started his last professional player stint for the New Orleans "Pelicans" of the class "A" Southern Association. That year he appeared in 37 games, 245 innings and allowed 270 hits, 54 walks and had an ERA of 3.34.

During the 1926 season, Scott pitched in 44 games and completed 248 innings allowing more walks (75), but less hits (221). His ERA fell to 3.08. In 1927, he appeared in only 19 games, 95 innings with an ERA of 3.90. During those 3 seasons in New Orleans his records were 11-13, 15-13 and 5-7 for teams managed by Larry Gilbert which finished second in 1925 and in first for the 1926 and 1927 seasons. Jim finished with a winner at the age of 39.


With his playing career ended, he umpired in the Southern Association during the 1928 and 1929 seasons. His skills were elevated to the National League for 1930 and 1931. But, the depression caused the majors to reduce the number of umpires for the 1932 season and Jim again worked for the Southern Association.

After the National League release in 1931, Jim, his wife and son moved in with the Buck Weaver family at their home on the south side of Los Angeles. After returning from his last season of umpiring in 1932, Scotty found a job with the RKO and Republic Studios as a chief electrician during the shooting of motion pictures (a job known in movie lingo as a "best boy").


There were reports that during the mid-1930s, Death Valley Jim formed a religious cult near Los Angeles although columnist Bill Conlin of "The Sacramento Union" described Jim on September 28, 1952, as an evangelist who "...certainly wasn't the character that Clarence Darrow had in mind when he once remarked, 'Looking closely into the interior of an evangelist I can see the outline of a first class confidence man.'" Details are not available, but he could have been involved with the religious missions of Aimee Semple McPherson or something similar.

He continued to be employed by the studio for the next twenty years and retired in 1953 after being promoted to "property man". Every year Jim would return to Lander to hunt and fish with his life-long friends who still lived there.


During the Winter of 1956-57, Scott had a heart attack and was confined to the VA hospital in Los Angeles. He was released and stayed with his son, James Jr., who lived in West Covina on the outskirts of Los Angeles. In early April 1957, he decided to travel to the Jacumba Hotel in Jacumba, CA [near Palm Springs] for some desert sunshine. During the morning of April 7 he bathed, shaved and apparently decided to rest on his bed for a few minutes. When a maid came into his room later that morning, she found that Jim had died.


Scotty died, at 69 years of age, of heart failure and arteriosclerotic heart disease, was cremated and buried in the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood next to his wife, Hattie, who had died on January 14, 1953, at the age of 64.

Scott was named to the South Dakota Sports Hall of Fame in 1999. James (Jim) Jr., pitched professionally for four years in Moline, Sioux Falls (SD), Tucson, Columbia (SC) and Watertown (NY) during the 1939, 1940, 1946 and 1947 seasons. He pitched as high as class "B" in 1940 at Columbia (South Atlantic League) where he was 4-3 with an ERA of 4.86. His best year was in 1946 at Watertown (class "C" Border League) where he was 15-4 and had an ERA of 2.59. That year he also hit .370 and managed the team to a second place finish. Jim Jr. died in San Bernardino at the age of 82 on October 20, 2000.

Sources for the Scott bio:

thebaseballlibrary.com

"The Sioux Falls (SD) Augus Leader"

"This Date in White Sox History" (Art Berke and Paul Schmitt)

"The Ginger Kid - The Buck Weaver Story" (Irving M. Stein)

"The Sports Encyclopedia - Baseball" - 2002 edition (Neft and Cohen)

"Total Baseball" - 6th edition (Thorn, Palmer et al)

"The Baseball Encyclopedia" - 10th edition

"The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball" - 2nd edition

Scott's obituary - "The Wyoming State Journal" - April 1957

"The Sacramento Union" - September 28, 1952

"The Professional Baseball Player Database" - version 4.00

"The Sporting News" - file on Jim Scott

the on-line California State Death Index

"Reach Guide"

"The Baseball Necrology" (Bill Lee)

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Jiggs Parson

William Edwin (Jiggs) Parson was born on December 28, 1885, in Parker (Turner County), SD. He attended Bucknell University prior to becoming a professional baseball player.


In May 1910, at the age of 24, the right hander joined the Boston club of the National League. It was a last place team going nowhere managed by Fred Lake. Jiggs was the eighth most used pitcher on the team appearing in only 10 games, 4 as a starter. In 35 innings, he gave up 35 hits and 26 walks. The reason his ERA only totaled 3.66 was because he was pitching in the deadball era. He struck out only 7 and had a 0-2 record.


The 1911 Boston club was worse then the '10 team with only a winning percentage of .291 under new manager Fred Tenney. Jiggs' appearance numbers were slim - only 7 (all in relief). Again he allowed too many base runners in his 25 innings (36 hits and 15 walks). His ERA also reflected the problem as it increased to 6.48 as his poor performance ended his MLB career.


In 17 major league games, Parson pitched 60 innings with an ERA of 4.92, a 0-3 record and a terrible opponents-on-base percentage of .439.

For 45 years, Jiggs was a storekeeper at the Williamsport Technical Institute. He died on May 19, 1967, of emphysema and heart decease at the age of 81 in Los Angeles, CA. His body was cremated.

Raleigh Aitchison

Raleigh Leonidas Aitchison was born in Tyndall (Bon Homme County), SD on December 5, 1887.

Raleigh got his major league start with the seventh place Brooklyn team in 1911. Manager Bill Dahlen used the left-hander in only one game on April 19. His relief appearance lasted one inning with him allowing a hit and a walk. Neither runner scored.

Aitchison did not get his second chance until 1914 at the age of 26. Again with Brooklyn (a fifth place finisher) and this time for famed manager Wilbert Robinson, he performed acceptably. In 26 games (17 starts), Raleigh completed 172 innings allowing 156 hits and 60 walks. His ERA was 2.67 and he had a 12-7 winning record, including 3 shut outs.

The Brooklyn team improved to third place in 1915, but Raleigh pitched in his last 7 MLB games. In his 33 innings he allowed too many base runners on 36 hits and 14 walks. Raleigh's ERA increased to 4.91 and his record dropped to 0-4 as Robbie only started him in 5 games.

During his MLB career, he picked up the nickname "Redskin" and pitched a total of 206 innings with an ERA of 3.01 and a reasonable opponent's on base percentage of .311.

It is believed that he also pitched from 1920-1923 for 9 minor league teams. In 1920, he pitched 34 games for Moline of the Three-I League (19-11, 2.31) and for Omaha (Western) where he appeared in 4 games with a 1-0 record. His 1921 season was spent at Evansville (Three-I) for 31 games (8-11, 3.72) and 6 more for High Point (Piedmont) where he was 1-3. He stayed the complete 1922 season with Springfield (Western) appearing in 13 games for a 6-7 record.

His last known pro season was 1923 when he was a bit of a vagabond. He pitched at Rock Island (Miss. Valley) for 2 games (1-1); Springfield again for 12 games (3-3); Moline (Three-I) for 7 appearances (1-2); and Rocky Mount (Virginia L) for 3 games (0-1, 2.25).

After his retirement from baseball, Raleigh worked for 18 years for the Columbus, KS police department and was a deputy sheriff for Cherokee County, KS for a time. He also worked from 1948 to 1955 for the Spencer Chemical Company before he retired. Jiggs was a well-known trainer of bird dogs and he enjoyed hunting and fishing. He died on September 26, 1958, in Columbus, KS at the age of 70 after a two year illness. He was buried at the Columbus City Cemetery.


Del Paddock

Demar Harold Paddock was born on August 8, 1887, in Volga (Brookings County), SD.


After playing semi-pro ball in Seattle, Del started professionally as a pitcher in 1910 for the Vancouver Beavers in the class "B" Northwestern League as he pitched 2 no hitters: June 21 - a 4-0 victory over Spokane and on September 13 - a 3-1 win over Tacoma. Del played for Dubuque in 1911.


In January 1912, the New York Highlanders sold him to the Chicago White Sox where he made his major debut on April 14, 1912 when he was hitless in one at bat. The Sox returned him to the Highlanders for 46 games that year as an infielder hitting .288 in 156 at bats. Speedy Paddock (he stole 9 bases) hit 5 doubles, 3 triples and one home run in his 26 hits. He also walked 23 times for very good on base percentage of .393. His fielding percentage was poor at .889. He did not make a pitching appearance in MLB. His 1912 American League games were the only ones played in the major leagues.


He was sold to Rochester in 1913 and was sent to Buffalo for 1914, but joined the St. Paul Saints in the middle of the season and remained there until he was sent to Chattanooga in 1917. He last played pro ball with Mitchell, SD (Dakota League) in 1920 (.356 as an outfielder and had 1-2 records in 32 innings as a pitcher) and Sioux City in 1921 (53 games, .353).


Del served in World War I and suffered for 10 years with heart problems. He died from a heart attack on February 9, 1952, in Remer, MN, while at his cabin on Rice Lake. He had lived there with his wife for 10 years. Paddock is buried at the Girard Twp Cemetery in Girard, IL.


Bob Ingersoll

Robert Randolph Ingersoll was born in Rapid City, SD, on January 8, 1883. He made his MLB pitching debut on April 23, 1914, at the age of 31, for the last place Cincinnati Reds managed by Buck Herzog.


During his only major league season, Bob made 4 relief appearances, completing 6 innings and giving up 6 hits and 5 walks. His ERA was 3.00.

In 1915 he pitched for the Minneapolis Miller where in 28 games he compiled a 3.71 ERA and a 5-11 record.


After his baseball career, he was a mechanic. He died from pneumonia at the age of 44 on January 13, 1927, in Minneapolis, MN. Bob is buried at the Crystal Lake Cemetery in Minneapolis.


Tony Faeth

Anthony Joseph Faeth was born on July 9, 1893, in Aberdeen, SD. On August 20, 1919, he began his short MLB pitching career with the second placed Cleveland Indians who, that season, had replaced manager Lee Fohl with Tris Speaker after 78 games.


In 1919, the 25- year-old right hander, appeared in 6 games as a reliever totaling 18 innings. He allowed 13 hits and 10 walks for an great ERA of 0.50. Asked back for 1920, he failed to pitch well. In 25 innings (13 games), he gave up 31 hits and 20 walks. He struck out 14 and his ERA was 4.32. It was his last invitation to pitch in the major leagues.

Also in 1920, Faeth pitched for Sacramento (PCL) in 10 games for a 3-5 record and 3.84 ERA. In 1921, he appeared in 46 games for Sacramento and Vernon posting an 18-17 mark and 4.25 ERA.


In the October 6, 1921, edition of "The Sporting News" there was the following item in the Pacific Coast League highlights: "Perhaps Sacramento can trace it's loss of the pennant this year to the deal it made with Vernon.by which it gave up Tony Faeth for nothing as it turned out. Faeth has been a big winner with the Tigers. He may not have been able to get along with Bill Rodgers But, Bill Essick certainly got results out of him and now Essick is insisting that Faeth be given another chance in the big show. Sacramento was to get Art Fromme for Faeth, but the veteran Fromme jumped to the outlaws and refused to accept the transfer."


In 1922 he stayed with Vernon where he had a 6-5 record and a poor 6.08 ERA. Tony's 1923 season was spent with the Southern Association's Nashville and Mobile clubs as he pitched in a combined 37 games (17-15, 3.28). In 1924, he was at St. Paul (AA) for 39 games (15-4, 3.46) and also started there in 1925, but after 6 games (0-0) went to Des Moines (Western) where he had a 5-4 record in 13 games.


Faeth continued in the American Association in 1926 pitching 26 games for Columbus and Indianapolis (4-15, 5.81). He finished his pro career with 2 games in 1927 for St. Paul (0-0).


Tony lived to the age of 89 dying in St. Paul, MN, on December 22, 1982. He is buried at the Calvary Cemetery in St. Paul, MN.


Lou Koupal

Louis "Kool" Laddle Koupal was born in Taber (Bon Homme County), SD, on December 19, 1898. He pitched parts of 6 seasons for major league teams from 1925 to 1937. Koupal was a curve ball pitcher, not overpowering who often suffered from a lack of control.


He began his pro career with Hastings of the Nebraska League in 1923 (30 games, 11-15). The following year he was 22-10 for Omaha of the Western League (40 games) which earned him a look by the Pirates who purchased him in December.

He made the Bill McKechnie-led Pirates out of spring training in 1925, but Lou only stuck with them long enough to make 6 relief appearances. He did not do well as, in 9 innings, he allowed 14 hits and 7 walks for a 9.00 ERA and the Bucs were loaded with talent. The rest of his 1925 season was spent at Des Moines (Western) as in 16 games he had a record of 3-6 and he also appeared in 12 games for Kansas City (AA) compiling a 1-4 mark with a 4.10 ERA.


Back with the Pirates for a short time during the 1926 season, he again only appeared in 6 games. This time he started 2 games and completed a total of 20 innings for the season. Tony gave up 22 hits and 8 walks with an ERA of 3.15. He also pitched in 24 games at Buffalo of the International League (13-5, 4.76).


His 1927 season was spent at the American Association's Indianapolis club (40 games, 13-14, 4.58), but in 1928 he pitched 37 innings in 17 games (one start - a complete game) for Brooklyn [drafted by them on October '27, 1927]. Lou allowed 43 hits and 15 walks and an ERA of 2.43. In 1929, he started the season with the Dodgers (16 games, 3 starts, 40 innings, 49 hits, 25 walks, ERA of 5.40), but on July 24 was traded to the Phillies for Luther Roy. Philadelphia had him start 11 games in 15 appearances (87 innings, 106 hits, 29 walks, 4.76 ERA). That year he finished third in saves for National League pitchers with 6.


Koupal's 1930 season was spent mostly with the Baltimore Orioles of the International league (7-4, 4.21) where he was sold in July, but he did play 13 games with the last place Phillies. Lou started 4 games and gave up 52 two hits, 17 walks in 37 innings as his ERA ballooned to 8.51. His record shows that he was suspended [voluntarily retired] in March 1931 and reinstated in April.


His next 6 seasons were spent in AAA. For 1931, he was back with the Orioles (7-8, 5.51) and then Lou moved to the Pacific Coast league. With Portland in 1932-33 he was 16-6, 16-9 with ERA's of 3.25 and 4.25. Moving to Sacramento for 1934-35, his records were 11-15 and 12-19 with an ERA both years of 3.94. For the 1936 Seattle Indians, he pitched great (23-11, 2.69) which earned him his last MLB season. In an article in the June 11, 1936, "The Sporting News", he was given great praise: "Koupal's work on the mound is nothing less then amazing. The crafty right-hander has probably the best runs-per-game average of all pitchers in the league and his 11 victories top the list." He also hit .275 in 102 at bats that season. Rumors printed in the January 7, 1937, "TSN", were: "It is known that Hornsby [Browns' manager] has analyzed the record of the Seattle pitching staff in 1936. Koupal was 35 years old on December 19, but the veteran right-hander evidently knows more about pitching now than he did when he was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates, back in 1925, and that he still is effective on the mound is evident from his work last season. He won 23 games for Seattle and finished with an earned-run average of 2.60, which was the best work turned in by any hurler in the Coast loop, based on service rendered."


Later that month, the Browns traded LeeRoy Mahaffey and cash to Seattle for Lou. Hornsby said at the time "We may not be fully understood by the fans in acquiring a man 35 years old, but our only hope for the present lies in trying to pick up experienced hurlers from the larger minors...If Koupal can win ten or a dozen games for us, he will make himself decidedly valuable and there is no question in my mind but what he will turn the trick." Koupal waited until reaching the Brown's spring training camp to sign a contract and by April "TSN" reported that he was troubled "by a sore arm."


The 1937 St. Louis Browns were a terrible team who won only 46 games and finished 56 games behind the Yankees. However, the team did allow Lou his last taste of the big leagues. In a season shortened by a broken finger, he pitched in 26 games, 13 as a starter. Koupal completed 106 innings and got shelled - 150 hits - with 6 complete games and a 4-9 record. His ERA was a poor 6.54 as he walked 55 men. In December he was sold to San Francisco of the PCL.

He was with the Seals for the 1938-39 seasons (9-16/5.01 in 210 innings and 9-12/3.86). By 1940, at the age of 41, Lou found a job pitching in the class "B" Western International League for the Tacoma Tigers. His record was 3-4 with an ERA of 3.71. Finally in 1941, he pitched his last professional season for the Merced Bears in the class "C" California League (2-3, 4.75).


After baseball, Lou became a carpenter for 16 years. He contracted lung cancer and lived to the age of 62 dying on Dec 8, 1961, at the Community Hospital in San Gabriel, CA. Koupal was buried at the Resurrection Cemetery there.

Marv Olson

Marvin Clement "Sparky" Olson was born in Gayville (Clay County), South Dakota on May 28, 1907.

His major league debut was on September 13, 1931, for the sixth place Boston Red Sox managed by Shano Collins. During that month, as the seventh player the Red Sox tried at second base that year, Marv played in 15 games there hitting .189 in 53 at bats.

Prior to his promotion to the Bigs, he played for the last place Buffalo Bisons of the International League batting .292 with 68 RBI under manager James Cooney.

In 1932, Sparky stayed with the Red Sox for his only complete major league season becoming their regular second sacker. New manager Marty McManus played the position when Marv did not. He played in 115 games for the last place team (105 at second, 1 at third and pinch hit 7 times). His batting average was .248 with an on base percentage of .347. He had 14 doubles, 6 triples and 25 RBI in 403 at bats. Marv committed 28 errors in 593 chances for a fielding percentage of .955.


In 1933, Olson played his last 3 major league games, appearing only once at the plate as Johnny Hodapp (.312) took over at second. Marv spent the rest of the year at AAA Newark (Yankee farm team) where he hit .279 with 27 RBI for the division winning Bears. During that season, he continued his long minor league career. By 1934, he had moved to other International League teams - the Baltimore Orioles and back to the non-affiliated Buffalo club managed by Ray Schalk. Marv hit a combined .273 that year with 62 RBI.


From 1935 through 1938, Marv stayed with the Bison hitting .327, .284, .225 and .228. His RBI totals declined through those years from 72 and 78 in 1935-36 to 45 and 23 in 1937-38. The 1936 team was the league champions. Ray Schalk stayed as manager through the 1937 season and was replaced by Steve O'Neill for 1938.

For the 1939 season, Sparky moved down to the class "A1" Southern Association playing for the Washington Senators affiliated Chattanooga Lookouts managed by Kiki Cuyler. He hit .280 for the regular season champs. He continued to play there during the 1940 (.319) and 1941 (.278) seasons.


In 1942 he took over as manager for Kiki (they finished seventh) and hit only .227. In 1943, they finished in forth place as they played part of their schedule in Montgomery where they were known as the "Rebels". Sparky hit .286 and continued to manage the team. In 1944, he played a few games for the Lookouts (.179) who returned to playing full time in Chattanooga. Sparky did not manage that year.


During the last war year of 1945, Olson moved back up to the International League as a player for the Syracuse Chiefs (managed by Jewel Eris) and hit .262.

In 1946, he became a playing manager in the Tigers' organization for the Jamestown (NY) Falcons in the class "D" PONY league. His team tied for the regular season championship and he hit .287. He returned to Jamestown as manager and player in 1947 and won the league championship outright. He played his last professional games that year hitting.387 in very limited appearances.


In 1948 and 1949, he directed his Falcons to second place finishes. For 1950, the Tigers promoted him to the class "C" Butler club in the Middle Atlantic League. Again, his team played well finishing as the league champs with pitcher Paul Foytack leading the way

In 1951, the Tiger's organization moved Marv to class "B" where he managed the Davenport Tigers, in the Three-I league, to a disappointing last place finish. Included on that team was Jim Bunning, Bill Tuttle and Tom Pritchard.


For the 1954 season, he signed on to manage the non-alined Montgomery Rebels in the class "A" South Atlantic League. His team finished fifth in the eight team league.

In 1957, he was added to the Kansas City A's scouting staff and worked for them through the 1961 season. He signed Dick Green and Dave Duncan for the Athletics. In 1962, he joined the Minnesota Twins' scouting department and stayed with them until his retirement in 1986. Marv was credited with signing Bob Gebhart, Eddie Bain and Jerry Crider for the Twins.


Sparky died on Feb 5, 1998, back in his home state of South Dakota (at Tyndall) and is buried in his birth town at the Gayville Cemetery.

Allen Benson

Allen Wilbert Benson was born in Hurley (Turner County), SD, on March 28, 1905 (prior to 2009, his birth date was listed incorrectly as July 12, 1908). He lived there his whole life.


As a young man, Allen played amateur ball in and around Hurley. He also played with a Sioux City Stockyards team and professionally in the Texas League. In 1925 he was in one game for Waco and, in 1927, he pitched 5 games for Dallas (2-1, 2.74). It was also reported in "The Sporting News" that he appeared in games that year for Waterloo, IA.

Benson's 1928 season was at Akron of the Central League where he appeared in 14 games with a 4-10 record and a 3.57 ERA. He started out with them again in 1929 (35 games, 12-7, 4.67) and then went to the Minneapolis Millers with whom he was in 3 games (16 innings) with an 0-1 record and an 8.44 ERA. In 1929 he returned to his preferred life on the ranch in South Dakota. "TSN" also reported that he had played in Charlerol, Des Moines, Wilkes-Barre and the House of David for three years.


In a "TSN" article in August 1934, it was reported that he had to return to baseball because making a living on his land became very difficult under conditions during the Depression. In the summer of 1934 he was with The House of David team (beard and all) and was signed by Washington after the manager of Albany, Joe Cambria, saw him pitch an exhibition in Baltimore. [Benson told the team that he also had an 18-5 record for the amateur team - the Benton Harbor Tourists.] Cambria set up a try out for him where he pitched against the Senators' regular players. Washington management decided that the had sufficient speed, a good curve ball and change up to be inked to a contract.


He first started a major league game on August 19, for the seventh place Joe Cronin led team and lasted until the 8th inning when he was removed with a blistered finger. When he arrived with the team, he continued to have facial hair. There were reports of his Senators' teammates being upset with his whiskers because they found "the addition to their ranks of a sideshow curiosity as belittling their profession and take the view this pan should be operated on by a barber if he really is a pitcher and not merely a clown." Senators' management said he could keep the whiskers, fans were sharply divided and Benson himself was said to be "undecided...but seemed inclined to favor retention..."


Jaded members of the press charged that the signing of Allen was actually as a box office attraction similar to team owner Clark Griffith's employing characters such as Germany Schaefer, Nick Altrock, Al Schacht and Art Shires.


In two starts that year, Benson pitched 9 2/3 innings and allowed 19 hits, 5 walks and struck out 4 for a 0-1 record with a 12.10 ERA. His son, Donald, wrote in 2004 that all he mentioned about his days with the Senators was "I was in the major leagues just long enough to have a cup of coffee". After his less then great pitching performance for the Senators, the beard was shaved.


His nickname during his baseball years was "Bullet Ben" and in 1935 he made 2 stops to complete his pro career - at Albany of the International League (1-2) and Harrisburg of the New York-Penn league (8-9, 3.07).


After baseball, Allen returned to the Hurley area to farm and "feed cattle" for more then 50 years. He died on Nov. 16, 1999.

Dick Ward

Richard Ole Ward was born in Herrick (Gregory County), SD, on March 3, 1909. As a child, he moved to Everett, WA, where he became an amateur boxer who, in his early teens, had won 8 fights on knock-outs. He gave up boxing at age 15 when he broke both on his hands in a fight and, thereafter, concentrated on baseball. Ward's first position was catcher, but he attracted the attention of pro scouts as a pitcher.

In 1930, the right hander pitched for the North Platte-Norton team in the Nebr. State league (4-7, 6.92). He pitched better in 1931 for Fort Smith in the Western Association (7-6, 3.53). The year of 1932 began 3 years with the Los Angeles Angels [PCL] where he had a 4-3 record with a 4.85 ERA. In 1933, he reported to the Los Angeles Angels, but according to "The Sporting News", he "did not look like the finished product." Ward was then taken under the wing of veteran pitcher Win Ballou who smoothed out his rough spots.


He had his career year that season when he was 25-9 [best winning % in the league] with a 3.25 ERA for the Halos. In the Aug. 10, 1933, edition of "TSN", it was reported: "To indicate what esteem he holds one youngster with the Los Angeles club, Fleming [David C., vice president of the Angels] announced that Dick Ward, 21-year-old right-handed pitcher, was for sale to any major league club willing to pay $50,000. 'The Chicago Cubs, of course, have first crack at Ward,' Fleming said. 'But, the price tag remains the same'". "TSN" also printed: "[E]xperts say he [Ward] will be a successful pitcher for the Cubs [who obtained him for the $50,000] and perhaps become a star. He...throws overhanded with great speed. His curve has won high praise." He got his first major league tryout on May 3 pitching for the Chicago Cubs, but only appeared in 3 games for them, going 6 innings, giving up 9 hits, 2 walks for a 3.00 ERA. In late May, the Cubs optioned him to Los Angeles as he had arm trouble and could not throw his best fast ball.

After allowing his arm to recover, Dick continued with the Angels in 1934 with a 13-4, 2.63 record. In November 1934, Ward was traded to the Cardinals with Bud Tinning and cash for Tex Carleton. After the trade, "TSN" continued to have high praise for Dick by reporting: "Officials of the St. Louis Cardinals usually have an eye to the future as well as the present in making deals. [They] obtained Dick Ward from the Chicago Cubs in the recent swap...[therefore,] sharp-vision was given in both directions. Ward is a strapping right handed pitcher not yet 24 years old and observers believe that he may come through in 1935 and make a capable running mate for the two Deans [Dizzy and Paul]. If he doesn't, there remain a couple of options to be utilized on the young chucker and unless something unforeseen happens, he seems to be a cinch to make the grade with the St. Louis team later on...[T]here was genuine surprise by many on the Pacific slope when the Cubs permitted him to go to the Cardinals... He appears to have everything in his favor for making the grade. " In late April, Ward was sent to Rochester, NY [IL].


In 1935 for Rochester, he was 3-3 and had his last taste of major league baseball with the Cardinals. Dick only appeared in one game for St. Louis facing one batter and walked him. On August 10, he was optioned to Seattle and spent the rest of the year pitching for the Rainers [record unknown].


His career ended with 4 more years in the Pacific Coast League. In 1936, he hurled for Sacramento (1-5, 7.00), was then released because of "a dead arm", but made a great season-ending comeback for San Diego with a 9-1 record through early August. In 1937, he continued to play for the Padres and had another good year with an 18-18 record and an ERA of 4.44. Sticking with San Diego in 1938, he was 9-12, 5.07. Ward's last pro year of 1939 was spent with the Padres and the Angels (combined 1-3).


He died on May 30, 1966, at the age of 55 in Freeland, WA, and was buried at the Langley Woodmen Cemetery in Langley, WA.

Emmett Nelson

George Emmett Nelson was born on February 26, 1905, in Viborg (Turner County), SD.


Nelson's father, George, was a left handed pitcher with Scandinavian roots who raised a family, including five boys, in Viborg which was is a tiny community located between Sioux Falls and Yankton. Three of his sons played pro ball - Emmett (who was the oldest), Merton and Ralph. Merton pitched for Alcester in the South Dakota amateur league and sometimes dueled his brother, Emmett, who pitched for Centerville [umpiring some of their games was their brother-in-law]. "Mert" then turned pro and played from 1927-1932 mostly in the PCL and American Association and spent spring training with the Tigers, but never made their roster. Ralph played second base for Sioux Falls in 1936 when they were part of the Nebraska State League. Then he moved to Rapid City and played amateur ball for Warren-Lamb and Cement Plant teams who were powers in S.D. amateur baseball at the time.


Emmett continued to play amateur ball in South Dakota until 1931 when he signed with the semi-pro Sioux Falls Canaries. He was 20-5 for them which attracted the attention of pro scouts. He started his pro pitching career in 1932 for the Wichita team in the Western League (18-14). That good year was followed with full seasons with the Los Angeles Angels in the PCL (1933: 3-6, 4.86 and 1934:14-5, 2.53). Two weeks into the 1934 season, Nelson injured his arm in the 6thinning of a start after pitching one-hit ball, but he recovered to have a good season.


In 1935 he also pitched well for the Angels (11-5, 3.13) and then got a chance with the Cincinnati Reds who had purchased his contract. For the Reds, the right hander appeared in 19 games (with 7 starts) for 60 2/3 innings allowing 70 hits, 23 walks, 2 home runs with an ERA of 4.33. He continued with the Reds in 1936, but it wasn't good enough for an extended stay with them (6 games, 17 innings, 24 hits, 4 walks, 3.18 ERA). On May 15, he was sent to Toronto of the International League (1-6, 7.62) and then on August 6 to Columbus of the American Association (0-0). In December 1936, Nelson was sold by the Reds to Indianapolis (A.A.).

For 1937, Emmett was with Indianapolis and Toledo (combined 8-3, 4.50). He continued with Toledo in 1938 (7-9, 5.83) and finished with them and the Milwaukee Brewers in 1939 (combined 5-2, 4.00).


After he left baseball, he worked for the Jack Rabbit bus lines in Sioux Falls, SD. He then owned a fuel oil business in Viborg for a few years before becoming owner of a drug store in Garretson, SD, in 1946. He retired in 1965 and suffered from a long illness before his death at the Sioux Valley hospital in Sioux Falls on August 25, 1967. He is buried in the Zion Lutheran Church Cemetery in Garretson.

Rube Fischer

Rueben Walter Fischer was born on September 9, 1916, in Carlock (Gregory County) South Dakota. He spent most his childhood in South Dakota, but after his parents lost their farm, they purchased a small general store about 6 miles south in Mills, Nebr. During his years in S. D, Rube played Babe Ruth and American Legion baseball and was on the team that won a state amateur championship in Pierre, SD. Baseball scouts became aware of Rube when he and many of his friends took a school bus to Sioux City, IA, for a try out camp of which they had heard about on the radio.


The right hander began his professional baseball career in 1937 with the last place Yankee farm team Bartlesville in the class "C" Western Association (7-16, 5.55) and he finished that year with limited appearances with the Tigers' Sioux City (IA) of the class "A" Western League.


In 1938, he was back with Sioux City, but the team had switched to the class "D" Nebr. State League. There Rube had a breakout year (21-6, 2.49) leading the league in wins and strike outs (242) while being named one of the league's two best pitchers. The team was the first place team during the regular season but lost to Norfolk in the playoffs.


His 1939 and 1940 seasons were spent in Clinton, IA playing in the class "B" Three I (I.I.I.) League , a New York Giants' affiliate. In his first year, Rube was a so-so 14-11, 4.80 for the fifth place (of 8) team. He improved his ERA dramatically in 1940 to 2.84 with a 9-8 record. Again they finished fifth.


The 1941 season was his first taste of AA (the highest ranking minor leagues at that time) and major league ball. He begin the year in Jersey City in the International League playing for Tony Cuccinello and complied a very respectable 7-12, 2.78 record for the fifth place "Giants". On September 12, he made his major league debut. He finished the year with the big club appearing in 2 games, starting one (a complete game), pitching 11 innings and giving up 10 hits and 6 walks with 9 strike outs for a 2.45 ERA on the Bill Terry-led Giants.


He did not get a chance in the majors in 1942 as he spent the year in the American Association playing for the Minneapolis Millers. It was not a good year for the team as they finished in seventh for Tom Sheehan. Rube did not fare too badly going 3-5 with a 4.74 ERA in nine games and 57 innings. In March 1943, it was reported in "TSN" that Fischer was allowed 150 gallons of gasoline by his Sioux City, IA, rationing board for use in driving the 1,650 miles to the Lakeland, NJ, spring training home of the Giants. He then rented a bikecycle to ride from the hotel to the practice field.


With the war heating up, Rube split 1943 with the Gabby Harnett managed Jersey City and the Mel Ott-led New York club. Both teams finished in last place. It helped Rube's cause when Carl Hubbell and Bill Lohrman had sore arms and Hugh East went into the military. At Jersey City, he went 3-9 with a fine 2.58 ERA. In mid-June he was called up to the New York club and pitched in 22 games (17 starts) for 131 innings allowing 140 hits and 59 walks. He struck out 47 and had a 5-10 record with an ERA of 4.61.

By the 1944 season, Rube, who had a high, overhand delivery, was a full member of the Giants' pitching corp. Pitching mainly in relief (38 games, 18 starts), he finished with a higher ERA (5.18) over 129 innings having given up 128 hits and 87 walks. The increased walk total led to his inflated ERA. Also, his number of strike outs went down to 39. The Giants finished sixth that year for Mel Ott. That year he had an operation which transplanted part of his shin bone to his spine.


In 1945, Rueben's performance continued to decline. He spent his last complete major league year compiling a 5.63 ERA in 31 games (4 starts). He pitched a total of only 77 innings with 90 hits and 49 walks allowed. He struck out 27 and probably stayed the complete year only because of the manpower shortage.

He only played part of the 1946 season for the Giants - again playing poorly over 15 games (1 start). He lasted 36 innings, allowing 48 hits and 21 walks. He struck out 14 and had a poor 6.31 ERA for the last place Giants. During most of the season, Rube was pitching for the Millers where he was in 10 games (59 innings) and had a 5-3, 4.73 record.

Rube's widow wrote in 2004 about his years with the Giants: "He was a good part of <the Giants> of those years, but <he> developed a sore shoulder <that> held him back. He tried everything. They had over worked him to begin with."


Rube was finished as a major league player, but had a decent 1947 season in Minneapolis going 14-10 with a 4.43 ERA, in 31 games (197 innings) for the fourth place club again managed by Tom Sheehan. He stayed with the Millers in 1948 where he had a worse year (25g, 116 inn, 5-4, 5.74) for a worse team (fifth place in the American Association). "Those were the best years...much friendlier fans and <he> was given the right amount of rest between pitching assignments" his wife remembered.

He played his last pro season in 1948 pitching in the class "AA" Texas League for Tulsa and Dallas. His record was a combined 5-0 and 4.14 ERA. In 1957, at the age of 41, Rube made an appearance for his team of old - Sioux City in the Western League. During that time he acted as a coach, with the team, because, according to his wife "he liked helping those young pitchers".


After the 1948 season, he and his wife settled in Sioux City with their two children - Pam (age 10) and Rueben Jr. (age 4). They purchased a vertical blind business, but it was not successful because, according to Mrs. Fischer, "it was too early <and> they didn't go over so good then". The family then moved to Rochester, MN, where Rube purchased an International truck dealership. After 7 years, they moved to Green Bay, WI where there was "better weather and easier living". Over the years, they had 8 grandchildren.


Rueben died on July 16, 1997, in Ashwaubenon, WI.. Mrs. Fischer was still living in the early 21st century ("very active and drive to Minn a lot <to visit her children>" there) and has 22 pounds of scrap books which may become the source of information for a book on his life.

Jug Thesenga

Arnold Joseph Thesenga was born on April 27, 1914, in Jefferson (Clay County) South Dakota. He attended college where he met his wife, Jo, whom he married in 1935. His nickname "Jug" was derived from his proficient use of the curveball. It's short for "jug handle", an old baseball expression used to describe the degree of curve on a pitcher's breaking ball.


Some records state that, in 1936, he begin his rather short professional career with the fifth placed Sioux City team of the class "A" Western League. Jug finished with a 5-7 record and a good 3.15 ERA. Jug's daughter, Delores, stated in 2002 that his first pro season was with Sioux City in 1935 and his first appearance was against a team [we assume for an exhibition game] whose starting pitcher was Satchel Page who generally played in the Negro Leagues that year. She further stated that for the first 4 innings, Jug had a shutout, but, in a close game Satchel's team won.

In 1937, he continued to play with the "Cowboys". They finished no better, but the righthander played well going 14-12 with a 3.47 ERA. For a short time that year, he was a teammate of fellow South Dakota native, Rube Fischer.


In 1938, Jug moved to the Reds' affiliate Waterloo of the I.I.I. League. His record that year can not be located, but it is assumed he had limited action.. In 1939, he was back in Waterloo pitching for their last placed team where he had a rather poor 4-6, 6.75 year. Also that same year, he pitched in the class "B" Piedmont League for Durham where he finished 5-5 (ERA unknown).


In 1940, Arnold played in the class "C" East Texas League for Texarkana. His record for that year also can not be located. According to his daughter, he then played for semi-pro teams in Mt. Pleasant (TX), Enid (OK) and Wooster (MA). In 1944, he was selected as the National Sandlot Player of the Year.

On September 1, 1944, Jug was signed and played for the Washington Senators. In 5 MLB games, he started one game (5 scoreless innings per his daughter), pitched a total of 12 innings, gave up 18 hits, 12 walks and struck out 2. His ERA was 5.11. He did not pitch again professionally.


For 6 years, he was the player/manager of the Cessna Bobcats, a semi-pro team located in Wichita, KS. He then returned to South Dakota and pitched for the Vermillion team in a National Baseball Congress tournament. Later that same year, Jug traveled to Garden Plain, KS, to pitch in the first game ever played in their newly completed ballpark. It was cold and late in the game it begin to snow. There he hurt his arm and was never again able to pitch to his full potential.


Jug was elected to the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 and the National Baseball Congress Hall of Fame in 1995. According to his daughter, he holds the record for most games won by a pitcher in the NBC tournament - 14 games. Because of his outstanding pitching tournament record, he was one of 5 players honored with an individual plaque in the baseball history park, in the NBC Walk of Fame, located next to Lawrence Stadium in Wichita.


After his baseball career, Jug worked for several years at Cessna and then with Beech as a tool and dye worker. Later he was a realtor until retirement. Even then, his love of baseball never left him. His wife always wondered how he could simultaneously watch two games on two TV's while listening to a third on his small radio and keep track of each game.

His sense of humor is well remembered by his friends and three children. A nurse was prepping him for cataract surgery and had ended the pre-op checklist by asking him to remove any dentures, hearing aids, etc. He leaned forward and asked "Does this mean I can keep my plug o'chewin' tobacky?" Shortly thereafter, he told her he was kidding.


And when Wichita's skies would blacken and tornado sirens would wail every Spring, his wife would head for safety with her treasured photo albums in tow, Jug would just continue to calmly set in his recliner and watch his "Gunsmoke" reruns.


Arnold died on December 3, 2002, in Wichita and is buried at the White Chapel Cemetery there. Jug was buried with a baseball in his right hand.

Len Rice

Leonard Oliver Rice was born on September 2, 1918, in Lead, South Dakota. When Rice was about one year old, his family moved to Oakland, California. At age 16, he had his left kidney removed because of an injury suffered while playing high school football. He then joined the track team where he was a very good runner in 100 and 220-yard dashes which resulted in his being offered a scholarship to the University of California at Berkeley. He attended that school for six months, but then left for his first love - Baseball - and signed with the St. Louis Cardinals.


The future major league catcher started his pro baseball career in 1937 with the Cardinals' Grand Island entry in the class "D" Nebraska State League. With that last place team, he hit .206 with 12 RBI but, after 41 games, injured his back sliding into second base which resulted in his being released. In the same league in 1938, with the Browns' affiliate Lincoln, he improved to .276 with three RBI in 15 games. He may have faced South Dakota native, Rube Fischer, that year, but re-injured his back which caused the Browns to pass on offering him a contract for 1939.


In 1939 he moved up to the class "C" Pioneer League and played 36 games for the Ogden Reds in the Cincinnati organization. Again his average improved to .311 with one HR and 23 RBI.


For the third straight year he improved his hitting record in 1940. Playing in the class "C" Arizona-Texas League for Tucson, Len hit for a .354 average with 9 HR and 91 RBI. Tucson finished first during the season but lost to El Paso in the playoffs.

In 1941, he moved up another minor league classification to "B" in the South Atlantic League with Columbia team (still in the Reds organization). He hit a solid .293 with one HR and 50 RBI for the playoff champions. Len was with the same team in 1942 and improved his stats to .298, 4 HR and 64 RBI. However the team finished next to last.


In 1943 and most of 1944, he was only one organizational step from the majors as he played with the Syracuse Chiefs of the International League. During his first year, Len hit .238 with 3 HR and 26 RBI. Late in the season, he was involved in two cases of being hit in the head. In September, a batter, who had to hit the dirt twice in an at-bat, made a rush for the Chiefs' pitcher, only to slug Rice by mistake. In October, he thought he was done warming up a pitcher and began to walk away and was hit in the head by an errand throw and knocked out. He was admitted to a hospital and was released later in the month to return home to California. During those years, he gained the reputation of being a "good field, no hit" catcher. Rice suggested otherwise: "A catcher must catch regularly to be any good and I must play regularly to do any hitting. I didn't catch enough...to get into a hitting stride...and believe I can hit well in any league if worked regularly." [As proven by his early minor league record]


In 1944, he improved to .290 with 2 HR and 34 RBI. However, in 1944, he did make the Cincinnati Reds out of Spring training as the back up catcher for Ray Mueller who was rejected for military service due to stomach problems [Rice was exempt because he had only the one kidney]. He only got into 10 games (0 for 4, 5 games defensibly) before returning to Syracuse. He had mighty completion at catcher as Mueller played in every one of the Reds games that year and they had another good backup catcher available in Joe Just. During the winter of 1944-1945, the Chicago Cubs drafted him from Syracuse.


The season of 1945 could have been a very memorable year as he played with the World Series bound Chicago Cubs. However, due to a concussion, a cut over his eye which required six stitches and a broken nose suffered when he ran into infielder Bill Schuster in pre-game warmups on June 26, Rice was limited to 32 games for the Northsiders. His spot on the World Series roster was taken by one of three other catchers in the organization. During the year, he batted .232 in 99 at bats (walked 5 times and struck out 8) and he drove in 7 runs. On Jan. 19, 1946, Len was sold to the San Diego Padres.


In 1946 for San Diego, he hit .245 with 26 RBI. In June, Rice was involved in another collision with a player on his own team - this time, first baseman George McDonald. After the season, Rice participated in the California Winter League.


In 1947, for the Pads, he hit .236 with 18 RBI. Finally, in 1948, during his last AAA year - also in San Diego - he batted .279 with 34 RBI.

The 1949 season was his last professionally as he ended his career playing in the Texas League (class "AA") for the Dallas Eagles where he hit .253 with one HR and 25 RBI.


After baseball, he became an estimator for a paving contractor. On June 13, 1992, Len died from lung cancer at the Sonora, CA, Community Hospital. He is buried at the Buena Vista Cemetery in Murphys, CA.

Kermit Wahl

Kermit Emerson Wahl was born in Columbia (Brown County), South Dakota, on November 18, 1922. He graduated from the University of Indiana.

In 1944, after a stint in the military, "Kermie" made his pro debut in Birmingham in the class A Southern Association where he hit .231 with 3 RBI. On June 23, he made is MLB debut with the Cincinnati Reds where he got into 4 games (0 for 1, one game at third base).


In 1945, he was the utility infielder for the Reds appearing in 71 games (32 at second, 31 at shortstop and 7 at third base). With the seventh place team, he hit .201 in 194 at bats with 8 doubles and 2 triples. His on base percentage was ,286 as he walked 23 times and struck out on 22 occasions.


The first postwar year of 1946 found Kermit at AAA Syracuse in the International League. The Chiefs finished second and he hit .271 with seven HRs and 58 RBI. The next season was again spent with the Reds as their utility infielder. He played in 39 games (20 at third, 9 at short and 2 at second). His average dropped to .173 in 81 at bats. For the fifth place Redlegs, he hit his first MLB home run on June 27 off lefthander Howie Pollet, but that was his only extra base hit of the year.


In 1948, it was back to Syracuse where he had a good power year hitting .255 with 20 HRs and 95 RBI. The team finished third and Kermit was back on the Reds' major league roster in September, but did not play. In 1949, he played for the Dodgers' farm team in Montreal. They finished third in the IL and Kermit hit well (.286, 11, 83).


Two good years in the International League earned him a promotion to the majors for 1950 albeit with the last place Philadelphia Athletics who only won 52 games for Connie Mack. Again he was an utility infielder making the lineup cards 89 times (61 at third, 18 at short and 2 at second). He hit better then in his previous major league seasons (.257) with 280 at bats and with more power (12 doubles, 3 triples and 2 HR's). He had 27 RBI and increased his OBA to .331 with 30 walks (he also struck out 30 times).


Would his improved play allow him to play more regularly in 1951? The answer was "no" as Kermit played just third base for them, batted 59 times, hit only .186 in 20 games for the A's in their first season after Connie Mack's retirement. . On June 4, the A's traded him to the White Sox for veteran Hank Majeski.


To continue his June 4 odyssey, he was traded that same day from the White Sox to the St. Louis Browns with Paul Lehner and cash [at least $50,000] for Don Lenhardt. His stay was short with the Browns, as in 8 games, he batted 27 times and got 9 hits playing third base in 6 games. This earned him another trade, on July 31, to the New York Yankees with Cliff Mapes for Bobby Hogue, Tom Upton and Lou Sleater. He was sent directly to their American Association affiliate in Kansas City. For the Blues he hit .275 with 9 RBI.


The next two seasons, he was stuck at AAA Kansas City. In 1952, he hit for his highest career average at .302 with 5 HR and 43 RBI. Had he been in another organization, he would have had a much better chance at playing for the big league club. In 1953, he spent another year on the "farm" hitting only .240 with 3 HRs and 17 RBI. His career was obviously fading and during his off seasons, he was working in a men's clothing store in Brown County, South Dakota.


In 1954, he finally escaped the Yankee farm system and played for the Milwaukee Braves' AAA team in Toledo. Kermit hit well for average (.305) and had 5 home runs with 20 RBI. After the season, he retired from pro baseball at the age of 31 and returned to South Dakota where he worked in college admissions until 1975. Also, during those years, he was an amateur baseball coach and very visible exponent of amateur baseball in the state.


In 1975 he moved to Tucson, AZ, where he worked at a business college until his retirement in 1984. Wahl died from cancer on September 16, 1987, at his Tucson home and is buried in his home town - Columbia - at Lakeview Cemetery.


Carroll Hardy

Carroll William Hardy was born on May 18, 1933, in Sturgis, SD. A standout athlete during his school days in Sturgis, he also starred in football, baseball and track at the University of Colorado. His track records include a long jump of 24' 2" and a 100-yard dash of ten-flat. In Carroll's last college football game, he ran for 238 yards and three touchdowns during an upset over Kansas State. Hardy also played baseball for the Pierre Cowboys in the Basin League in the mid-1950s.


In 1955, he begin his pro baseball career with the Indians' farm club at Reading in the class "A" Eastern League where he played in the outfield along side of Roger Maris. Carroll hit .265 with 5 HR and 31 RBI. That fall, he played defensive back, running back and punter for the San Francisco 49ers. He averaged 28 yards per reception.

In 1956, the Indians' GM, Hank Greenberg, asked Hardy to choose between baseball and football. Needless to say, he chose baseball. He was moved up in the organization to class AAA and the Indianapolis Indians in the American Association. There he hit .385 with 2 HR and 15 RBI. The next season was spent in the military.


Returning to baseball in 1958, he split the season with San Diego in the Pacific Coast League (.236, 2, 11) and the Cleveland Indians. His debut came on April 15 when walked as a pinch hitter and his stay lasted 27 games (47 at bats, .204 average, 1 HR, 6 RBI, .304 OBA). He played the outfield in 17 games. A highlight, of the season, was when he hit a pinch homer battling for Roger Maris. It was his first MLB home run.


The 1959 season was much the same as he played in the Pacific Coast League for Seattle (.254, 3, 21) and with second place Cleveland where he appeared in 32 games, batting .208 with 2 RBI and an OBA of .250. Fifteen of those games were spent in the outfield.


In 1960 he stayed the whole year in the majors. First for the Indians where he was in 29 games, hit only .111 (1 HR) and played 17 games in the outfield. On June 13, he was traded to the Red Sox with Russ Nixon for Marty Keough and Ted Bowsfield. During the rest of the year with the Sox, he got an opportunity to play more often (73 games) and hit a better .234 with 2 HR and 15 RBI. That year he became the only player to pinch hit for Ted Williams. Of course, the only reason Carroll got the chance was because Williams had to leave the game after he fouled a pitch off his instep (Hardy then lined into a double play).


The 1961 season was Carroll's best in the majors playing in 85 games for the sixth place Red Sox where he hit .263 with 3 HR and 36 RBI. His OBA was .330 and he appeared on the field in 76 games. He was 3 for 14 as a pinch hitter with one of those for Carl Yastrezemski in Yaz' rookie season

He played more games in 1962 then in any other MLB season as he appeared in 115, but his average dipped to .215 with 8 HR and 54 RBI. He had a decent .321 OBA and was 0 for 7 as a pinch hitter for the eighth place Red Sox.


On December 10, his Sox career ended as he was traded to the expansion Houston Colt 45's for Dick Williams. In 1963, for the ninth place Harry Craft-led National League team, he appeared in only 15 games, hitting .227 with 3 RBI. Most of the year was spent at their Oklahoma City "AAA" farm team where he batted very well with an average of .316 and 16 HR/61 RBI.


In 1964 he again split the year between Oklahoma City (.321, 14, 28) and the Colt 45's where he played in 46 games batting .185 with 2 HR and 12 RBI. The Colts were not going anywhere and neither was Carroll.


The 1965 and 1966 seasons were spent in Denver for the Minnesota Twins organization. The high altitude helped his record in '65 as he hit .300 with 14 HR and 63 RBI. There was no question, he could play well at the AAA level. In 1966, his performance declined to .259, 6, 36.

In 1967, he got his last opportunity as a player in a major league uniform. Most of the year was again spent in Denver (.296, 2, 26), but the 34 year old Carroll also played in 11 games with the Twins in September in a stint which allowed him to qualify for a major league pension. Used almost exclusively as a pinch hitter and defensive replacement, he was 3 for 8 (3 for 7 as a pinch hitter) with one home run.


Carroll's pro playing career ended in 1968 with a couple of appearances with Denver. However, he then became the manager of the Twins' class "A" Northern League farm team in St. Cloud, MN. His team finished first with a 43-27 record. That season he managed future major leaguer, Dave Goltz and that was apparently his only attempt at managing a professional baseball team.


Carroll later became a scout and Director of Pro Personnel of the Denver Broncos. Thereafter, he was appointed as a scout for the Kansas City Chiefs and lived in Steamboat Springs, CO. For 11 years he worked as a lift host on the mountain for the Steamboat Ski Corp., Carroll then moved back to the front range of the Rocky Mountains while living in Longmont, Colorado. At that point, in his 80s, he still enjoyed playing golf several times a week and getting together with some senior football and baseball buddies, talking sports past and present.


On August 8, 2020, he died from dementia complications in Highland Ranch CO.




Sparky Anderson

George Lee Anderson was born on Feb. 22, 1934, in Bridgewater (McCook County) South Dakota. Bridgewater was a town of 632 people and Sparky's family was one of the biggest in town. Nine people lived in a two-story house: LeeRoy, his father (a silo and barn painter and part time post office employee) ; Shirley, his mother; his paternal grandparents (grandfather was a house painter); Beverly, his oldest sister; Sparky; Billy, his brother; and his sisters Carolyn and Sharon. Sparky remembered; "In the summer it was beautiful. The winters were brutal. All we had was a potbelly stove on the first floor. When it came time for bed, we had to pile on all the blankets we had."


According to Sparky, his father was a shy, but tough guy: "He got into some of the nastiest fights you could ever imagine. He taught me never to run scared. If you start running scared, you'll be running your whole life. Daddy didn't want us fighting, but he made the message clear. Don't let anybody push you around. If you have to fight, make that first punch count. If you hit someone hard the first time, you ain't got no fight. It's history." There was another side of his Dad: "Daddy was rock hard on the outside. Inside, though, he was a marshmallow. He was such a gentle person. He loved his family. He treated everyone with dignity. He knew the true meaning of love. I was eleven years old when he taught me the greatest lesson I ever learned. 'Everything in life will cost you something except for one thing.' he told me. 'And that's to be nice to people. That's the only thing in life that's free. It'll never cost you a dime to be nice. And you'll feel good.' His mother was also shy and quiet who would speak only after being spoken to. "Then you see how wise she really is. I wish everyone had the chance to share her wisdom", Sparky said.


Mr. Anderson was a catcher on the local semipro baseball team. During his years in Bridgewater, Sparky never had a chance to play in organized games. "In the summer, though, we played pickup games from morning till night. Daddy played catch with me. He must have hit me a million pop flies", he recalled. "I remember more about South Dakota than any part of my life. I remember all the sights, the sounds, the smells, the people. Maybe I remember Bridgewater so well because I was so happy. It wasn't till managing took it's place that I was so happy again." The Andersons moved to Los Angeles when Sparky was nine years old.

They moved near the University of Southern California, and Sparky, shortly after arriving, met legendary Trojans' coach Rod Dedeaux, who made him a USC batboy. He starred along with Billy Consolo, later one of his Detroit coaches, on the 1951 American Legion champions. They won the title in Detroit at the ballpark then know as Briggs Stadium.


In 1953, he signed his first pro contract with the Dodgers for $2,400. He begin his baseball career with the nearby Dodger farm team Santa Barbara in the class "C" California League where he hit .263 with 5 HR and 55 RBI and made the All Star team at shortstop and led all shortstops in double plays. In 1954 he moved up to the class "A" Western League and played for the Pueblo team batting .296 with 62 RBI. He led the league in sacrifice hits with 20.


He was promoted again for the 1955 season to the class "AA" Texas League where he played for Fort Worth hitting .266 with 42 RBI and making the All Star team at second base. The next season he got to within one organizational step from the majors performing at Montreal in the International League. For 1956, he hit a career high .298 with 47 RBI.


His 1957 season was spent in the Pacific Coast League at Los Angeles where he batted .260, 2, 35. For the 1958 campaign, Sparky was back at Montreal in the IL where he was again named the All Star second baseman and hit .269 with 2 HR and 56 RBI. He summed up those six minor league years in his autobiography, Sparky!, by saying: " I didn't have a lot of talent, so I tried to make up for it with Spit and vinegar." During his minor league career he led the leagues in the following categories:

1953: games played, at bats and put outs

1954: put outs and fielding average (2b)

1955: put outs, assists and fielding average (2b)

1957: games played, put outs, assists and fielding average (2b)

1958: games played, put outs, assists and fielding average (2b)

1960: assists

1962: fielding average (2b)

1963: fielding average (2b)


On December 23, 1958, he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Rip Repulski, Jim Golden and Gene Synder. He was give the starting second base job for the 1959 season by the last place Phillies managed by Eddie Sawyer. Sparky played in 152 of their 154 games, but was very often lifted for a pinch hitter in the late innings. In 477 at bats he hit .218 with 9 doubles, 3 triples and 34 RBI. His OBA was only .283.


The Phillies traded for second baseman Tony Taylor early in 1960 and Sparky went to the Indians organization and played for the first place Toronto Maple Leafs of the IL. Again, he became the league's All Star second baseman, but only batted .227 with 5 HR and 21 RBI. He did led the league in sacrifice hits with 15.

The 1961 season was also with Toronto as they became an independent team and they finished fifth. Sparky finished the year with a .240 average with 22 RBI. In 1962, the Maple Leafs became a Braves farm team (finished second) and Anderson hit .257, 2, 38. Most of his year was spent studying the moves of manager Chuck Dressen.

The 1963 season was his last with Toronto and last as a player. The team finished second in the Northern division and Sparky went south (.249, 3, 25). Sparky assumed he would go into his family's house painting business after his playing days. However, he was asked to manage Toronto in 1964 and brought the team in fifth at 80-72.


He won at least a split season pennant in each of his next four seasons with four different teams:

1965: Rock Hill (W. Carol), 24-70 <first half>, eighth

35-23 <second half>, first

1966: St. Petersburg (FL State) 42-24 <first half>, second

49-21 <second half>, first

1967: Modesto (Calf) 38-32 <first half>, second

41-29 <second half>, first

1968: Asheville (Southern) 86-54, first


The following information on Sparky's managerial career was taken from Sparky's listing in "Baseball - The Biographical Encyclopedia":

"In 1969, Sparky became a major league coach under old Dodgers comrade Preston Gomez for the San Diego Padres' inaugural season. In 1970, he signed to become coach for the California Angels but then was offered the manager job of the Cincinnati Reds. He immediately led the Reds to 102 wins and a division title. They swept the Pirates in the NLCS before losing to the Orioles in a five game World Series. After suffering his only losing record in his first 19 years of major league managing, Anderson guided the Big Red Machine back to the Series in 1972, where they lost to the Oakland A's.


"The Reds won the NL West again in 1973 but lost to the underdog New York Mets in the NLCS. Two years later the reds won 108 games, clinching a division title in the first week of September. Cincinnati then swept the Pirates in the playoffs and beat the Red Sox in the memorable seven game World Series for the first of Anderson's three world championships.


"The 1976 Reds won 102 games, becoming the first club in the league since expansion to post back-to-back 100-win seasons. They swept the Phillies in the NLCS and the Yankees in the Series, the only sweep in the history of the two tier post season format. The Reds' consecutive world titles were he first for an NL team since the New York Giants in 1921 and 1922. During those first seven years, Anderson averaged 98 wins and collected five pennants. But after trading Tony Perez, the Reds finished second in 1977 and 1978 and Sparky was fired. He went home to LA and worked briefly as a broadcaster. But that wasn't what he wanted out of his career. 'I didn't get nervous anymore', Anderson said. 'If you don't have that, you've got nothing. You might as well die.'


"He took over a renascent Detroit Tiger team from Les Moss on June 14, 1979. Under Anderson, youngsters Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Kirk Gibson, Lance Parrish, Jack Morris and Dan Petry blossomed. The Tigers posted winning records during their first four seasons under Sparky., then exploded in 1984. That year the Tigers won their first nine games and built records of 18-2 and 35-5 on the way to a club record of 104 wins, a sweep of the Royals in the ALCS, and a five-game World Series victory over the Padres.


"After a pair of third-place finishes the Tigers overtook the Blue Jays in the last week of the 1987 season, sweeping the Jays in Detroit on the final weekend for Anderson's second title with the Tigers. Detroit lost in the playoffs to the Twins, but his 34-21 post season record, a .619 winning percentage, was the best in major league history.

"In 1989, the stress of managing his second losing team forced him to take several weeks off. He returned with a lighter schedule of off-field commitments and a healthier approach. Sparky managed the Tigers through 1995, although with limited success.


"He was the first manager to win a World Series in both leagues and only the seventh to reach 2000 career wins. He piloted both the Tigers and the Reds to more victories than any previous manager. Sparky also was the first manager to have 100-win seasons with two different teams, and was named manager of the year twice in each league.

"Despite his success, Anderson's ebullient optimism and outrageous hyperbole sometimes overshadowed his managerial abilities. He was not infrequently compared to Casey Stengel for his winning ways and nonstop mouth. Famed for his pregame gab sessions, the pipe-puffing Anderson often made contradictory statements. All the same, most observers agreed that he believed what he said.


"Yet after filling out more the 4,000 lineup cards, Anderson still got nervous before every game. 'There will never be a day during the season when I don't have that', Sparky said, holding out a slightly trembling right hand. 'If you don't have that, you're not in the game.'


"Nevertheless, Anderson claimed that managers play a limited role in a contest's outcome. 'There's never been a good manager in the history of the game,' he said, 'but there have been some great players.' Anderson managed some of the greatest and adapted his managerial style to accommodate those players and keep peace in the clubhouse. He respected the players' talents and tried to stay out of their way.


"With the Reds, Anderson often consulted with team leaders Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, and Pete Rose. But, he also earned the nickname "Captain Hook" for his quick removal of struggling starting pitchers.


"In the early 1990s, Sparky added a new wrinkle to his managerial style with the powerful Tigers. He routinely placed players out of position defensively in order to put his best bats in the lineup. "If they make an error, it's my fault," Anderson said. "If I'd played Johnny Bench at first 40 games a year, it would've added years to his career. There's no telling what he would have done."


"After he retired from managing, Sparky went back to Southern California and broadcasted for a few years. 'It's a marvelous fantasy,' he said of baseball. 'There will be 40,000 people in the stands and every one of them wishes they could be down there.' In 2000, he was given the ultimate baseball honor by being named to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY."


At the time of his retirement his major league win total of 2,194 was the third highest as he only trailed Connie Mack and John McGraw.

In September 2007, Anderson was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame [honors men and women for their contributions to the state - he was already in the Sports Hall of Fame]. He had planned to attend the induction ceremonies in Chamberlain. "My grandfather, Oscar Anderson, used to come a play with us [in Bridgewater]. He played semi-pro ball and was a big hitter and star there. He gave me my first glove." His family moved to California in 1942. "We had to eat," he has said explaining why his father took a job painting ships at a shipyard during World War II. His parents continued to receive the Bridgewater paper - the "Tribune". "It was their tie to their home, and they didn't want to lose that," said Anderson.


Recently, he had talked about growing up in Bridgewater down the street from the city's chicken hatchery, a small frozen pond in the winter where he played hockey and a pool hall where men would have a beer before coming home. He has said that the Midwest culture has had a positive impact on his life. "I came from people who knew how to work. They never asked for anything free. They worked and they shared." Even though he spent less then a decade in South Dakota, Anderson is quick to claim it and Bridgewater as his home. "I was asked so many times, 'Why do you always mention South Dakota?' I said, 'Why? That's where I came from . That's my home.' Where ever you're born, that's your home."


In 2007, Sparky said he stayed up on baseball checking the stats while having coffee after his daily walk. "I don't watch the games anymore," he has said. "It makes me too nervous. "


He was asked "What does it mean to be named to the state's Hall of Fame." His reply: "This is when I get a little emotional. It means an awful lot to me. It means they've brought me home. And there's no honor more than going home."


Sparky lived in Thousand Oaks, CA, for many years and it was there on Nov. 4, 2010, that he died at the age of 76 due to complications of dementia. His family had placed him in hospice care shortly before his death. AP quoted his former pupil, Pete Rose, as saying "Sparky was, by far, the best manager I ever played for." Kirk Gibson said, "I am deeply saddened by the passing of Sparky. He was a great friend, an inspiring teacher, an excellent mentor and an amazing person. Sparky was one of the most influential people in my career. I'm a better person today because of him and for that I'll always be grateful."

John Hoffman

John Edward Hoffman was born in Aberdeen, South Dakota, on October 31, 1943. In 1963, when Hoffman lived in Seattle, he was signed by the Houston Colt 45s for $35,000.


Hoffman begin his short pro baseball career in 1963 with Modesto of the California League (class A). The team finished fourth under former major leaguer Dave Philley. He batted .251 with 9 HRs and 45 RBI. Other young catchers in the Colt 45 system, in that era, were John Bateman, Jerry Grote and Dave Adlesh. Paul Richards comment, at the time was "All of them can throw. Adlesh and Hoffman may become fine hitters. But Bateman gets the first shot at it..."


His 1964 season was spent in three parts. First, was with the AAA Oklahoma City 89ers in the Pacific Coast League where he hit .145 with one home run [hit as an outfielder replacement on April 23] and 2 RBI. Part two. with the Durham Bulls of the class "A" Carolina League, he batted .198 with 7 HRs and 28 RBI. And finally, he was brought up by Houston on July 27. "TSN" reported at the time that "Hoffman, the slowest to develop of the Colts' standout catchers, is expected to get intensified instruction." On July 30 he played his first game in the major leagues for the major league club. John, who appeared in 6 games, was 1 for 15 at the plate, walked once, struck out 7 times and was 0 for 1 as a pinch hitter . "Pork Chop" (6', 190 lbs) had made the big leagues in only his second professional year. In October, he was assigned to report to the Army at Fort Polk in Louisiana for a short tour of duty.


During Spring training in 1965, the newly-named Astros put Hoffman on a "Mayo Clinic" diet [he weighted 205] along with his teammates John Bateman and Ken Johnson, John got another short opportunity in April and September with Houston appearing in 2 games with 6 at bats, two hits, 1 RBI and 3 strike outs. During the rest of the season, he was back at Durham with an average of .175 with 13 HR and 39 RBI.


John's 1966 season was spent at second place Amarillo in the class AA Texas League where his free swinging style only netted a .207 average with 8 HRs and 30 RBI.. While there he caught future Houston star pitcher, Don Wilson. On April 27, he threw out three Amarillo Dodgers in the first four innings of a game.


On October 13, he was traded to Atlanta with Gene Ratliff and Ed Pacheco for Don Schneider and Lee Bales. After spring training in 1967, he was named the Braves' most outstanding rookie in camp. The Braves assigned him to AAA Richmond for 1967 where his average increased to .211 with 4 HRs and 22 RBI. There he played with Tommie Aaron, Bobby Cox, Marv Breeding, Walt Hriniak, Dave Nicholson, Clay Carroll, Frank Funk, Tom House and Rollie Sheldon. On June 25, while catching Cecil Upshaw in the bullpen, he sustained a broken lower left arm which kept him out of action until August 13.


In mid-March 1968, during spring training with the Braves, Hoffman left camp without permission. Shortly thereafter, he was sent to their minor league camp and eventually placed on the Richmond roster again where he hit .213 with one home run and 6 RBI. In late July he was assigned to "AA" York [Eastern] in the Pirates organization where he batted .250 with 3 HRs and 16 RBI for the last place team. That year he caught Bruce DalCanton and Gene Garber.


In 1969, he had one of his best minor league season at pennant winning York batting .241 with 11 homers and 51 RBI, but at the age of 26, he left baseball as an active player. During his career, he spent time at first base and in the outfield and was a coach for a few years in the Houston organization.


Hoffman became a yard supervisor for Ashland Cement in Washington state. John died on December 27, 2001, in Seattle and was cremated..

Jerry Crider

Jerry Stephen Crider was born on Sept. 2, 1941, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.


In 1962, the right handed pitcher split his first professional season with Wytheville of the class "D" Appalachian League where he was 2-1 with an ERA of 4.03 and Bismarck-Mandan of the class "C" Northern League (14.40 ERA) in the Minnesota Twins' organization.


For the season of 1963, Jerry was with the last place Erie Sailors of the class "A" NY-PA League. He had an ERA of 4.26 and a 10-14 record. Even with that decent record, Crider remained in class "A" for 1964 with Wilson of the Carolina League (no record) and Orlando of the Florida State League where he pitched very well with a 2.17 ERA and a 10-7 record for that last place team.


He was at Wilson in 1965 where his record for the next to last team was 3-3 with an ERA of 3.19. In 1966, Jerry moved up two organizational steps. First with Charlotte (sixth place), he was 6-8, 3.16 and then with the AAA Denver Bears (fourth place of six) he was1-1 with a 6.63 ERA.


Beginning in 1967, he began a 2 ½ year stay with the Bears. In '67 he compiled a 13-14, 3.61 record for the Cal Ermer-led and next to last team. For 1968, his ERA was 3.86 with a 18-10 record for the fourth (of six) place Denver team. He tied for the lead in wins, in the PCL, that year.


Jerry's 1969 season began with the Bears (2-0, 5.17), but on May 21 he had his debut in a Twins' uniform. He was the tenth most used pitcher on the team for the season. In 20 relief appearances and one start, he pitched 29 innings, allowing 31 hits and 15 walks. He struck out 16 and had an ERA of 4.71 and one victory. Teams hit .284 off of him. His most embarrassing baseball moments probably came at Yankee Stadium that year. Manager Billy Martin called for Bob Miller from the bullpen, but Jerry was chauffeured in by mistake. After a meeting with the umpires and both managers, Jerry was driven back to the pen.


The White Sox picked him up for the 1970 season. He spent part of his year with Tucson of the Pacific Coast League where he had a 2.00 ERA and a 3-0 record and the rest of the year was with Chicago. Appearing in 32 games, his ERA was 4.45 for 91 innings giving up 101 hits and 34 walks. His record was 4-7, including 8 starts, and his OBA was .288. The White Sox were dead last in the Western Division and Jerry ranked about number 8 on their pitching depth chart.


Known as a "junkballer", he moved to the San Diego organization for 1971 where he pitched for the Hawaii Islanders (third place of four) of the AAA PCL. Jerry was 9-4 with a 3.29 ERA. In 1972, he began the year with the Islanders and finished with the San Francisco Giants' farm team in Phoenix. His combined PCL record that year was 4-6 with a 4.62 ERA.


The 1973 year was his last professionally as he played again for Phoenix with a record of 7-6 and an ERA of 4.46. He retired after that season.

Later he owned "Jerry Crider's Hunting and Fishing Resort" in Ciudad Obregon, Mexico. He lived in Sonora, Mexico for a number of years and resided in Phoenix when he died of a heart attack on April 4, 2008.

John Strohmayer

John Emery Strohmayer was born on October 13, 1946, in Belle Fourche, South Dakota.


The right handed pitcher started his baseball career in 1968 at Bradenton (A's farm team) of the rookie Gulf Coast League where, in 7 games and 41 innings he allowed only 27 hits and 13 walks. He struck out 56 and had a 0.66 ERA! That earned a promotion to the class "A" Carolina League where he finished the season with Peninsula where he also excelled. In 6 games and 39 innings he gave up 37 hits and 17 walks while striking out 43. His ERA was 1.85.


In 1969, John spent part of the season in the class "A" California League with the last place Lodi Crushers. Becoming a reliever, he logged 53 innings in 23 appearances allowing 40 hits and 20 walks. His ERA was 1.36 and he struck out 59. He was then promoted to class "AA" and the Birmingham A's of the Southern League. While there, he returned to starting and completed 52 innings in seven games. He allowed 42 hits and 18 walks while striking out 35 with a 2.77 ERA.


On December 1, 1969, he was drafted from the A's organization by the expansion Montreal Expos. Due to draft rules, he probably was required to stay with the MLB club the complete 1970 season. In 42 relief appearances, he completed 76 innings, allowing 85 hits, 39 walks and had a 3-1 record. He struck out 74, had an ERA of 4.86 and an OBA of .279. A very good record for a 23 year old.


Part of his 1971 campaign was spent at class "A" West Palm Beach in the class "A" Florida State League. His record was 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA. Back with the Expos, the rest of the year, he started 14 games and relieved in 13 more finishing 114 innings, allowing 124 hits and 31 walks with an ERA of 4.34, an OBA of .281 and a 7-5 record.


In 1972, for Montreal, he made 48 relief appearances which totaled 77 innings. He gave up 73 hits and 31 walks while striking out 50, had a 3.52 ERA and OBA of .256. It was definitely a great year!


His 1973 season began again with the Expos where he was in 17 games (3 starts) but he performed so-so in 34 innings. He allowed 34 hits, 22 walks, a 5.19 ERA and .260 OBA. On July 16, he was sold to the first place, Yogi Berra managed, New York Mets. He only had 7 chances the rest of the year. In 10 innings, he gave up 13 hits, 4 walks, an 8.10 ERA and .310 OBA.


John's major league career ended in 1974 with one game and one inning for the Mets. He walked one and did not allow a hit. The remainder of the year was spent at AAA Tidewater of the International League (last place team managed by Johnny Antonelli). He was 2-4 with a 3.45 ERA. At the end of the season, he retired.


After retiring due to a shoulder injury, Strohmayer earned a bachelor's degree in education. He taught at Central Valley High School in the Gateway Unified School District, in Redding, California, from 1976 to 1991. Eventually he became assistant principal for 6 years and then the principal of the High School for 4 years. Lastly he became Superintendent of the Gateway Unified School District retiring in 2009 after 32 years in education.


He was one of 15 employees of the Gateway Unified School District to share in a $76 million lottery jackpot in 2009. Norm died from severe heart issues in Redding on November 28, 2019.


Terry Forster

Terry Jay Forster was born on Jan. 14, 1952, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.


The left handed pitcher was selected by the White Sox in the second round of the free agent draft on June 4, 1970. Later that year he pitched his first pro season with the Appleton Foxes of the class "A" Midwest League. In 10 games and 54 innings, he gave up 30 hits and 29 walks with an ERA of 1.33. He struck out 42.


In 1971, in only his second year as a pro, he pitched and stayed the complete season with the third place White Sox. With 45 appearances (3 starts), he pitched 50 innings with 46 hits and 23 walks. He struck out 48, had an ERA of 3.90 and broke a club pitching record with 29 saves. Forster batted .526 that year.


He pitched in more games in 1972 then in any other season (62). In 100 innings, he allowed only 75 hits and 44 walks. His ERA was 2.25 and he struck out 104 and had 29 saves (second in the league only behind Sparky Lyle who had 35). For the second place Sox, he became their number one lefthander out of the bull pen and their closer. Terry started some games (12) in 1973 and relieved in 39 more (16 saves). His 172 innings pitched, that year, was a career high. Forster gave up 174 hits and walked 78 while striking out 120 with an ERA of 3.23, but Chicago fell to fifth place. From 1971 to 1973, Terry pitched 138 innings without giving up a home run.


The 1974 season was arguably his best. He continued as the fourth place White Sox' closer appearing in 59 games (only one start) for 134 innings allowing 120 hits and 48 walks. He struck out 105, had a 3.63 ERA and compiled 24 saves (led the league). Terry was named The Sporting News American League "fireman of the year". In September, his fastball was clocked at 94.9 mph.


A high volume of innings pitched by a pitcher in his early 20s quite often causes arm problems. Unfortunately, that was the case for Terry in 1975. He developed an elbow injury and was on the disabled list three times during the year (May 25-July1, July 26-Aug 17 and Aug 18-Sept 29). He still pitched in 17 games with decent results (37 inn, 39 hits, 24 walks, 32 strike outs, 2.19 ERA, 4 saves).


In 1976 the White Sox became a last place team and Forster was moved into the starting rotation where he started 16 games. He also relived in 13 finishing with 111 innings pitched, 126 hits allowed, 41 walks, 70 strike outs and an ERA of 4.38. Not a good year for the 24-year-old.. Had he become damaged goods? After the season, the Sox traded him and Goose Gossage to the Pirates for Richie Zisk and Silvio Martinez.


The 1977 season was Terry's first in the National League where he appeared in 33 games (6 as a starter) for the second place Pirates. His record did not improve as he completed 87 innings, allowed 90 hits and 32 walks while striking out 58 with an ERA of 4.45. After the season, he was granted free agency and signed with the L.A. Dodgers as their very first free agent signing. .

His first year with the Dodgers (1978) was a success and they appeared in the World Series. As their closer, he had 22 saves with an ERA of only 1.94. In 65 innings, he gave up 58 hits and 23 walks. He struck out 48. In the NLCS, he pitched one inning, gave up one hit, but struck out 2. In the Series against the Yankees, he appeared in 3 games (4 innings, 5 hits, 1 walk, 6 strike outs, 0 ER). He had made a nice comeback. However, after the Series, he had bone chips removed from his elbow.


In 1979, the elbow problems returned early and the Dodgers fell to third place. Terry was on the DL from March 21-May 25 and Aug. 13- Oct 26. In only 17 games (16 innings) he allowed 18 hits, 11 walks and his ERA ballooned to 5.63. Again in 1980, the elbow injury (on DL Apr 2-July 14 and Aug 9-Sept 15) caused the season to be another lost one. In only 9 appearances (12 innings), Terry gave up 10 hits, 4 walks and an ERA of 3.00.


The strike shortened 1981 season was a so-so year for Forster as he appeared in 21 games and completed 31 innings. He gave up 37 hits and 15 walks for an ERA of 4.06. He appeared in one NLCS game (1/3 inn) and two Series games (2 inn, 1 hit, 3 w). In 1982, the Dodgers finished in second place and Terry got back on the right track appearing in 56 games (83 innings, 66 hits, 31 walks, 52 strike outs) with a good 3.04 ERA. On December 1, he signed with the Atlanta Braves.


The Braves were a second place team in 1983 and Terry was used often (56 games) as he and Steve Bedrosian closed their games. In 79 innings, he gave up 60 hits and 31 walks. His strike out mark was up slightly to 54 and his ERA was an excellent 2.16. Another come back year! The 1984 season was spoiled by a leg injury which limited Forster's appearances to 25. He pitched well in those limited games (27 innings, 30 hits, 7 walks, 2.70 ERA) and the Braves stayed in second place.


In 1985 Terry played out his last contract year for the fifth place Braves with a good showing. In an apparently injury free year, he was in 46 games and 59 innings. He only allowed 49 hits, but his walk total climbed to 28. He struck out 37 and his ERA was a very good 2.28.


For 1986, he signed with the California Angels who finished in first place. Again an injury marred his year. This time it was to an ankle probably caused by Terry's increased weight. The year became his swan song although his record was quite good (41 g, 41 inn, 47 h, 17 w, 28 so, 3.51 ERA). The Angels lost to the Red Sox in the playoffs in which Terry did not pitch.


Even with the injuries during his career, he had longevity having pitched in 16 MLB seasons, appeared in 614 games with a career 3.23 ERA. He was also a good hitter, batting .371 (31 for 78), and was often used as a pinch hitter. Once he had a streak of 138 innings without giving up a home run.


He ended his pro career with minor league appearances for Edmonton in 1986 (0-1, 21.00) and Portland in 1987 (0-1, 7.27).


Forster had a good baseball career, but the weight issues brought him radicle toward the end as Dave Letterman called him "a fat tub of goo...the fattest man in pro baseball". To his credit, Terry took it with good humor. It is believed that Forster attended the University of North Dakota after baseball retirement and, in 1988, opened a real estate company in Lompac, CA.


Terry lived in Santee, CA.



Bob Rauch

Robert John Rauch was born in Brookings, South Dakota, on June 16, 1949. He moved to California before his baseball career began.


A right handed pitcher, Bob started his pro career in 1967 in the rookie Pioneer league for Ogden in the Dodgers farm system. In 11 games and 20 innings, he gave up 25 hits, 26 walks and struck out 24. His ERA was 9.45. He obviously required patience by the organization. Not surprisingly, he stayed in the rookie league at Ogden for 1968 and the result was improved play. He was in 12 games and 29 innings and allowed 32 hits, 18 walks and struck out 24. His ERA improved to 4.65.


He was promoted for the 1969 season to the class "A" California League where he played for the sixth place Bakersfield team. Again there was improvement as in 9 games (31 innings) he allowed 31 hits and 17 walks while striking out 19 with a 4.06 ERA. Also that year he played in the class "A" Northwest League at first place Medford where he again showed that he was a power pitcher with some control problems. In 18 games and 62 innings, Bob gave up 60 hits and 48 walks. He struck out 72 and had an ERA of 4.79.


For 1970, he was back at Bakersfield playing for a first place team. He improved greatly as in 25 games and 83 innings he allowed only 68 hits and 41 walks while striking out 91. His ERA shrunk to 2.82. Bob moved up quickly after being acquired by the New York Mets organization in the minor league draft in December 1970. He played for the class "A" Texas League entry in Memphis and the "AAA" International League club in Tidewater. In six games at AAA, he finished 17 innings and gave up 13 hits and 7 walks.

He struck out 12 and his ERA was 4.76. In late May, he was sent to Memphis where his play was very good as he pitched in 22 games with 73 innings and allowed 50 hits, 28 walks while striking out 59. His ERA was a microscopic 1.47.


During his playing days, Rauch entertained his teammates with impressions of movie stars like Jimmy Stewart. In 1972 he we was quoted in "TSN": "Been doing it for years....I've been impersonating those guys ever since I can remember."


In 1972, Bob became a major league player. He split the year between Tidewater and the Mets. Starting the season with the third place Tides, he appeared in 21 games with 53 innings and allowed 39 hits and 36 walks and struck out 50. His ERA was 2.72. On June 29, he played his first major league game and was used exclusively as a reliever by the third place Yogi Berra-managed-Mets in 19 games and 27 innings. He allowed 27 hits and 21 walks while striking out 23. His ERA was 5.00 and OBA was .273. Bob's walk total was certainly a problem. On November 27, the Mets traded him to the Indians with Brent Strom for Phil Hennigan.


Cleveland was a last place team in 1973, but Bob's rather poor performance at AAA Oklahoma City meant that they did not call him up. The 89ers were a poor team also and Rauch pitched in 21 games (71 innings) and gave up 79 hits and 41 walks. He struck out 49 and finished with a 5.96 ERA. An injury certainly played a part in his bad year as, on October 2, he had an operation on his elbow to remove a bone spur.


The 1974 season was another one spent at AAA Oklahoma City. They finished in the second division and the Indians again and did not call up Bob. He improved his ERA to 4.95. Rauch was removed from the Indians' major league roster in November. For 1975 he moved to the Oakland A's organization where he was also stuck in AAA. For the second place Tucson Toros, of the Pacific Coast League, he finished with an ERA of 4.09.

In 1976 he left the United States to play in the unaffiliated Mexican League where he played for the Coahuila Mineros. He had a 6-9 record and a 3.47 ERA. It was his last year as a professional.


Bob formerly lived in Tucson, AZ. He now resides in Coral Springs, FL. It is not known what occupation he had after his baseball retirement.


Tom Hausman

Thomas Matthew Hausman was born on March 31, 1953, in Mobridge, South Dakota. He grew up on the family farm and was named to an All-State basketball team once during his high school years.


On June 8, 1971, he was drafted in the ninth round of the amateur draft by the Milwaukee Brewers and was signed with them. He played his first pro season that year in the class "A" New York-Penn League for the fourth place Newark Co-Pilots. The right handed pitcher played in 13 games and 74 innings and allowed 54 hits and 30 walks. He struck out 54 and had an ERA of 2.68.


The 1972 season was spent playing for Joe Nossek and the class "A" Midwest League champions in Danville. An injury (on DL from June 13 to Aug 6) limited his appearances to only 10 games (55 inn). He gave up 53 hits and 17 walks, struck out 32 and his ERA was a very good 2.13.


As a starter, in 1973, at class "AA" Texas League for second place Shreveport, Bob pitched 162 innings in 25 games. His record was 12-9, he allowed 193 hits, 49 walks, struck out 56 and had a rather high 4.44 ERA. However, his performance earned him a promotion to AAA for the 1974 season. In 26 games for the PCL's last place Sacramento Solons, he led the league in number of complete games with 11. In 180 innings (26 games) he gave up 215 hits and 68 walks. His strike out total was 104 and Bob had an inflated ERA of 6.00.

The fifth place Brewers needed pitching for 1975 and Hausman made the team. Limited with a back injury, he appeared in 29 games (9 starts) for 112 innings. He allowed 110 hits and 47 walks. His ERA was 4.10 and he had a OBA of .258 with 46 strike outs. He was ranked about number eight on their pitching depth chart.


In 1976 Milwaukee was a last place team and Tom was in only 3 games for them. He was a reliever in each one and finished only 3 innings (3 hits, 3 walks, 2 ER). The rest of the year was spent with the AAA Spokane Indians who finished last in the PCL West. He played in 22 games (111 innings) and allowed 135 hits and 36 walks for an ERA of 5.68. Bob struck out 40 and was on their suspended list from Aug. 14 to Sept 7.


In 1977, Bob remained the whole year at Spokane where he led the PCL in games started with 30. He completed a career high 207 innings, had a 13-6 record for the second place team. Hausman gave up 251 hits, 55 walks with a 4.22 ERA. He struck out 88. That year the Brewers ended in sixth place and Bob declared as a free agent after the season. On November 21, he signed with the New York Mets as their first free agent signing.


During the 1978 season, he split the year equally between the Mets and their AAA farm team at Tidewater (International League) as he appeared in 10 games for each team. For the Tides, in 74 innings, he gave up 64 hits and 23 walks and struck out 42. His ERA was a career best 1.22. For the Mets, he was used exclusively as a starter and finished 52 innings, but was on the DL from May 25 to June 17. He allowed 58 hits and only 9 walks. He struck out 16 batters and had an ERA of 4.67 and OBA of .287 for the last place team.


The 1979 season was again spent in AAA and with the Mets. For Tidewater (12 g, 72 inn), Bob gave up 75 hits, 23 walks and struck out 27. His ERA was at 4.50. His Mets stay lasted 19 games (10 starts) for 79 innings, 65 hits, 19 walks, 33 strikeouts, 2.73 ERA and .226 OBA.


That good performance and his improved 1980 pitching allowed him to spend the whole year with the fifth place Mets. As the number two RHP from the bullpen, he played in 55 games (a career best) and 122 innings. He gave up 125 hits and only 26 walks while striking out 53. His ERA was 3.98 and his OBA was .266.


Slowed by an elbow injury in 1981, he made only 20 relief appearances for the Mets. In 33 innings, he allowed 28 hits and 7 walks with 13 strike outs and an ERA of 2.18. The injuries continued in 1982 with both shoulder and elbow problems. He pitched part of the year for Tidewater (9.00 ERA) and was in 21 games for the Mets (37 inn, 44 hits, 6 walks, 16 so, 4.42 ERA, .295 OBA). On Sept. 10 he was traded to the Braves for Carlos Diaz. He appeared in 3 games (4 innings) for Atlanta and gave up 6 hits and 4 walks. His MLB baseball career was over.


Signed by the Pirate organization for 1983, he played in the PCL at Hawaii for the Tom Trebelhorn managed third place team. His record was 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA. Bob was out of baseball in 1984.


In 1985, he attempted a comeback in the Pacific Coast League for the Padres' Las Vegas farm team and the Dodger affiliate in Albuquerque. His record was 3-4 with a 5.25 ERA.


In 7 MLB seasons, Bob was in 160 games and 441 innings. His career ERA was 3.80 and OBA was at .262. As with many players, injuries [and ulcers] hurt his chances to perform better, but still he had an acceptable decent career.


After his baseball career, Hausman was a pitching coach for a Nevada Little League team that went to the semi finals of a Little League World Series tournament. His son Casey was a three-sport athlete in high school and briefly played for Kansas State University in 2005. In the early 2000s, he and his brother made the annual trek from his home in Las Vegas, on his Harley, to Spearfish, SD, for the motorcycle rally. Hausman died in Las Vegas on January 16, 2019, and his remains were cremated.

Dave Collins

David Scott Collins was born in Rapid City, South Dakota, on Oct. 20, 1952.

In high school he was all-state in track, football and basketball. For many years, he held the South Dakota prep record for the 100-yard dash at 9.6 seconds. On June 8, 1971, he was drafted in the twenty-third round of the amateur draft by the Cincinnati Reds. He did not sign with them and instead attended Mesa Community College in Mesa, AZ. On Jan 12, 1972, he was drafted by the Royals in a secondary free agent draft. Dave did not sign with them either and continued his college studies.

On June 6, 1972, the Angels drafted the switch hitter in another secondary phase and he did sign with them. They assigned him to their rookie Pioneer League team at Idaho Falls. He was named the league MVP playing outfield and first base. In 68 games, he batted .274 and led the league in triples (8) and outfield assists (11) and double plays (3).

In 1973, he moved up to the class "A" Midwest League and the last place Quad Cities. He had an injury early (on DL from May 21 to May 31) and finished the year with a .258 batting average in 110 games (12 doubles, 7 triples and 4 HR). The injury and his youth were the cause for his rather so-so year.


The 1974 season begin his very rapid assent up the Angel organizational latter. At class "A" Salinas, in the California League, he hit .343 in 39 games and at class "AA" El Paso in the Texas League he played 82 games batting a league high of .352. For the year he had 18 doubles, 9 triples and 5 HRs.


Dave's 1975 season begin at AAA Salt Lake in the Pacific Coast League. He hit .311 in 51 games with 7 doubles and 6 triples. On June 7, he made his debut with the Angels and played in 93 games (75 in the outfield and 12 at DH), hitting .266 with an OBP of .343. He stole 24 bases in 34 attempts and hit 13 doubles, 4 triples and 3 homers.


The season of 1976 was also split between Salt Lake City and the Angels. In the PCL, he batted ..360 in 35 games with 13 doubles and 4 triples. For the Angels, he played in 99 games (71 in the outfield) and had a .263 average with a .336 OBP. He stole 32 of 51 stolen base tries and hit 12 doubles, 1 triple and 1 home run. He was done with the minor leagues for 12 years as he was chosen by the Seattle Mariners in the expansion draft on Nov. 5.


In 1977, with the sixth place Mariners, he played in the field 73 games and at DH for 40 more. Dave hit only .239 with an OBP of .301. He had 25 stolen bases in 35 attempts and hit 9 doubles, 3 triples and 5 home runs. On Dec. 9, he was traded to the Reds for Shane Rawley.


The 1978 Reds finished in second place in the NL West. In his first year with them, he was used in the field in only 24 games and as a pinch hitter 64 times to lead the league. He got 14 hits as a pinch hitter and had a total of 22 for an average of .216 (.316 OBP). He was 7 for 14 as a base stealer. Better times were right around the corner.


The Reds won the NL West in 1979 and survived injuries to starting outfielders George Foster and Ken Griffey. Dave was a big part of their success as he played in 122 games (91 in the OF and 10 at first base) and his average climbed to .318 with a OBP of .365. He stole 16 of 25 and had 16 doubles, 4 triples and 3 HR. He was also 9 for 28 as a pinch hitter. The Reds lost to the Pirates in the NLCS with Dave going 5 for 14.


In 1980, it all fell into place for Collins as he became a regular outfielder and Cesar Geronimo became the back up. He played 141 games as an outfielder (144 total) hitting a cool .303 and had a .367 OBP. Dave's stolen base total rocketed to 79 in 100 tries. He had 20 doubles, 4 triples and 3 HR, but the team finished in third place.


During the strike year of 1981, Dave continued to start in the outfield, but his batting average dropped to .272 with a good .356 OBP. His steal total was reduced to 26 for 36. But in 93 games, he did hit 18 doubles, 6 triples and 3 homers. The Reds finished second in both "parts" of the season and they attempted to negotiate a new contract with the now free agent eligible Collins, but found him as tenacious at the bargaining table as he was in the field. Dave signed with the New York Yankees on December 23.


The Yankee team in 1982 was not very good and finished in fifth place with three different managers. Dave was used in the outfield (60 games), at first (52 g) and at DH (1 g). All of that confusion probably contributed to his average slide to .253 with a .318 OBP. He only stole 13 of 21 and had 12 doubles, 3 triples and 3 homers. On December 9, he was traded to the Blue Jays with Mike Morgan, Fred McGriff and a reportedly $400,000 for Dale Murray and Tom Dodd. Not one of the Yankees' better trades.

Things were better in Toronto for Dave in 1983, but the team finished in fourth place under Bobby Cox. He was a starter in the outfield (112 games) and played only minimal times at first (5 g) and at DH (1 g). His average increased to .271 with a .345 OBA and his stolen bases improved to 31 for 38. He also had 12 doubles, 4 triples and 1 home run even though he was on the disabled list from June 4 to June 22.


His second year with Toronto in 1984 was better yet. Again as an outfield starter for the second place Blue Jays, Dave played in 128 games with a batting average of .308 and OBP of .369. He led the league in triples with 15, had 24 doubles and 2 home runs. Also Collins began to steal many bases again (60 for 74). However, on Dec. 8, he was traded to Oakland with Alfredo Griffin and cash for Bill Caudill. At the age of 32 he had to play, once again, with another new organization.


Collins' record shows that his performance decreased after being traded and 1985 was no different. For the fourth place A's, Dave appeared in 112 games (91 as an outfielder) and his average dropped to .251 with an OBP of only .306. He hit 16 doubles, 4 triples, 4 home runs and was 29 for 37 as a base stealer. He was 4 for 17 as a pinch hitter. Again, after the season, he was traded - this time to the Tigers for Berbaro Garbey. His stock was falling.


However, he did play better, in 1986, for Detroit as Sparky Anderson used him in the outfield for 94 games, as DH 24 times and as a pinch hitter 11 times (1 hit). His average increased to ..270 with a .342 OBP. He was 27 for 39 in stolen bases and hit 18 doubles, 2 triples and 1 home run. After the season, the Tigers released him. On Nov. 13, he signed with the Montreal Expos.


The season of 1987 did not start out well as Dave did not make the Expo roster coming out of spring training. He was out of baseball until June 19 when the Reds signed and sent him to their AAA team in the American Association - the Nashville Sounds. He was a DH and pinch hitter in 13 games for them hitting only .200 (8 for 40). The Reds apparently considered his AAA days as only a tune-up and promoted him to their roster. The second-place Reds used him in the outfield only 27 times and as a pinch hitter 35 times (8 hits). He was 9 for 9 stealing bases and had a good batting average of .290, but his starting days were over. Dave was a free agent at the end of the year and re-signed with the Reds.


In 1988, manager Pete Rose used him much the same as the previous year. For the second place team, he played in the outfield 35 times, at first 3 times and 58 times as a pinch hitter (12 hits). His average dropped to .236 and he was 7 for 9 in stolen base attempts. Again, at the end of the year, he was a free agent and signed with the Reds.


The 1989 season continued the pattern of the past two. He played in the outfield only 16 times and pinch hit 55 times (10 hits). Dave stole only 3 bases (of 4 attempts) and his batting average was stuck at .236. At one point, during the season, he was out of baseball as he was released on June 23, but re-signed with the Reds on July 30 after a number of their regulars sustained injuries. At the end of the season, he was a free agent. but this time signed with the St. Louis Cards for, what turned out to be, his final MLB season.

Dave was 37 years old in 1990 and the Cardinals were a last place team. He got many more chances to play in the field (49 at first base and 12 in the outfield) and he pinch hit 25 times with 6 safeties and was 7 for 8 in stolen bases. Again, his batting average was not great at .224.


Collins continued as a coach with the Reds for 1991 and 1992., a St Louis Cards' advance scout in 1993, the bunting and base running coach for the Tigers in 1996, the Reds' first base coach in 1999 and 2000, a minor league manager with Salem in 2001 (Carolina League Champions), the Brewer first base coach in 2002 and has been the Rockies first base and outfield coach from 2003-2006. In 2007-08, he was the manager at the "High" class "A" Dodgers' affiliate of Inland Empire of the California League and in 2009 he was the assistant coach for the Orlando Blue Jays 18U team.


He began the 2010 season as the first base coach for the Marlins. However, after manager Fredi Gonzalez was fired, Collins resigned. He formerly ntly, he volunteered at the Lighthouse Correctional Facility conducting one-hour motivational and life skills to young offenders.


Dave was one of the fastest men in baseball and had a long career having played in 16 major league seasons. His career batting average was .272 in 1,701 games played and he finished in the top 30 of all time in pinch hits with 85 and in the top 65 in stolen bases. Total Baseball (6th edition) shows him rated number 43 in "Stolen Base Runs" and number 43 in "Stolen Base Wins".


He is once resided in Franklin, OH. He’s lived in the Cincinnati area since 1978 and currently resides in Taylor Mill, Ky., a close suburb. 


Floyd Bannister

Floyd Franklin Bannister was born in Pierre, South Dakota, on June 10, 1955.


The LHP was drafted by Oakland in the amateur draft on June 3, 1973. Instead of signing with them, Floyd attended Arizona State at Tempe where The Sporting News named him "College Baseball Player of the Year" in 1976 and to "The Sporting News College Baseball All-America Team" in 1975 and 1976. On June 8, 1976, he was drafted in the first round (first player selected) by the Houston Astros.


In his first pro year of 1976, Bannister made three stops. First at Covington, of the rookie Appalachian League, where he pitched 3 games (13 innings, 0 ER). Second, at Columbus, of the class "AA" Southern League, as he again pitched 3 games (24 innings, 4 ER) and third, at AAA Memphis where he appeared in one game (6 innings, 1 ER). That was the extent of his minor league training.


In 1977 at the age of 22, he began his first MLB season. In 23 starts and one relief appearance for the third-place Astros, he pitched 143 innings and allowed 138 hits and 68 walks. His ERA was 4.03 and he struck out 112. Unfortunately, he sustained an elbow injury and was on the DL from July 26 to August 22. He was also hampered by other health problems including blisters on his throwing hand.


The Bill Virdon managed Astros dropped to fifth place in 1978 and Floyd started 16 games and was a reliever in 12 more as, from time-to-time during the season, he was ill and had blister problems. In 110 innings, he allowed 120 hits and 63 walks with 94 strike outs and an ERA of 4.83. On Dec. 8, he was traded to Seattle for Craig Reynolds. Houston would regret that trade.


In 1979 Seattle was a sixth-place team, but the man with a 90 mph fastball, sharp slider and excellent curveball, got 30 starting pitching assignments. In 182 innings, he gave up 185 hits and 68 walks while striking out 115. His ERA was 4.05 and opponents batted .260 against him.


During the 1980 season, his fortunes improved, but the Mariners dropped to last place. He was called upon to start 32 times and he completed 218 innings allowing 200 hits and 66 walks. He struck out 155, had an OBA of .239 and an ERA of 3.47.


In the strike-shortened 1981 season, Floyd was on the disabled list from Aug. 8 to Aug. 29. He did start 20 games (plus one as a reliever) and finished 121 innings giving up 128 hits and 39 walks. Bannister struck out 85, had an OBA of .2.68 and a 4.45 ERA.


Under new manager Rene Lachemann, Seattle moved up to fourth place and Floyd pitched arguably his best season. He led the American League with 209 strike outs in 247 innings allowing 225 hits and 77 walks. His ERA was a good 3.43 with an OBA of .243 and he appeared in his only All Star game (1 inn, 1h, 0 r).. It was good timing as he became a free agent at the end of the season. On Dec. 13, he signed with the Chicago White Sox.


The 1983 season went well for Floyd [after an early-season slump] and the White Sox finished first in the AL West. In his 34 starts and 217 innings, he gave up 191 hits and 71 walks for an ERA of 3.35 and OBA of only .233. His 16-10 record reflected his play for a first place team. In the playoffs, the White Sox lost to Baltimore three games to one. Floyd made one start, went 6 innings and allowed 5 hits, one walk, 3 earned runs and struck out 5. It was to be his only playoff appearance.


The White Sox dropped to sixth place in 1984 and Floyd's performance declined. In 33 starts and one in relief, he totaled 218 innings and gave up 211 hits and 80 walks. He struck out 152 with a OBA of .252 and an elevated ERA of 4.83.


The 1985 season was much the same for Floyd, but the Sox moved up to third place. He started 34 games and completed 211 innings with 211 hits, 100 walks, 198 strike outs, an ERA of 4.87 and OBA of .261. His walk total was never that high again.


The year of 1986 was Bannister's fourth year with the White Sox. Floyd pitched better, with the exception of time spent on the DL from May19 to June 17, but the team landed in fifth place. He improved with 27 starts (one relief appearance) to an ERA of 3.54 in 165 innings. He allowed 162 hits and 48 walks with 92 strike outs and an OBA of .259.

At the age of 32, the 1987 season was his eleventh in the majors. His team, the White Sox, were still floundering in fifth place, but he had another good year. With 34 starts (11 complete games) and 229 innings, Floyd gave up 216 hits and 49 walks while striking out 124. His ERA was still a good 3.58 and his OBA was down to .246. However, his White Sox days were over as he was traded on Dec. 10 to Kansas City with Dave Cochrane for John Davis, Melido Perez, Chuck Mount and Greg Hibbard.


His first year, of 1988, with his fourth team - the Royals - was decent but his last as a full time starter. The Royals ended in third place and Floyd got a full quota of 31 starts with 189 innings. He allowed 182 hits and 68 walks with 113 strike outs, a 4.33 ERA and .248 OBA.


The 1989 season was a big disappointment as he had a shoulder injury which required a stay on the DL from June 12 to the end of the year. He only got into 14 games and completed 75 innings (87 h, 18 w, 35 so, 4.66 ERA, .290 OBA). At the end of the year, he became a free agent. He received no offers to his liking from teams in the USA, so on Dec. 4, signed with the Yukult Swallows in the Japanese Baseball League and played the 1990 season in Japan.


Back in the States in 1991, Floyd made 16 relief appearances for the seventh place California Angels. He was still bothered with shoulder problems and only completed 25 innings (25 h, 10 w, 16 so, 3.95 ERA, .266 OBA). Bannister also made some appearances for Palm Springs in the California League (0-3, 6.59). He finished his career with the fourth place Texas Rangers in 1992. He saw action as a left handed situational reliever in 36 games (37 innings, 39 hits, 21 w, 30 so, 6.32 ERA, .281 OBA). He retired after the season.


Some say Floyd did not live up to his potential - or was it the hype? - that came from his great college pitching performances. But, he pitched major league baseball in 431 games over 15 seasons. There are few men who accomplished that much. There are others that state he would have had more success had he not been reluctant to pitch inside and if he had more of a killer instinct. A career 4.06 ERA in 2,388 innings is not bad. Total Baseball (6th edition) lists him at number 80 in All Time strike outs (1,723) and number 53 in strike outs per game (6.49).


Floyd formerly lived in Paradise Valley, AZ, and now resides in Scottsdale. His son, Brian Bannister, pitched for five seasons for the New York Mets and the Kansas City Royals. Floyd now manages Brian's professional photography studio in Phoenix.

Kevin Stanfield

Kevin Bruce Stanfield was born on Dec. 19, 1955, in Huron, South Dakota. He attended San Bernardino College. In 1976, the Minnesota Twins drafted him in the seventh round of the amateur draft.

His short baseball career began in 1976 when he played for two teams in the Twins organization. With the rookie Elizabethton club in the Appalachian League he was 2-3 with a good 2.57 ERA and at Wisconsin Rapids of the class "A" Midwest League, his record was 3-1 with an ERA of 1.96.

In 1977, Kevin played with Visalia of the California League (class A). For the fourth place Oaks, managed by Roy McMillan, he finished at 9-8 and had a 5.72 ERA for the season.


The lefthander's 1978 season was spent pitching for Cal Ermer at third place Toledo in the AAA International League. He performed well with a 3.48 ERA and a 7-6 record.

Kevin was back with the Mud Hens in 1979. The team finished in seventh place and his record was 9-13 with a 4.11 ERA. In September, the Twins called him up to play for Gene Mauch. He made 3 appearances giving up 2 hits, no walks in 3 innings. He did not strike out anyone and had an ERA of 6.00.


Stanfield had a sore arm in spring training 1980. The Sporting News said, at the time, that he was limited to a couple of innings of batting practice pitching. He was considered a top prospect, but had to be optioned to Toledo. Kevin never again played professionally.


He now lives in San Bernardino, CA.


Terry Francona

Terry Jon Francona was born on April 22, 1959, in Aberdeen, South Dakota. His father, Tito Francona, had played with the local minor league team, the Aberdeen Pheasants, in 1953. He met and married an Aberdeen native and Terry was born while his Mother was staying with her parents. Tito was playing for the Cleveland Indians at the time and he completed 15 major league seasons (1,719 games). His mother, Roberta Jackson Francona, died from cancer in 1992.


Terry crew up in the Pittsburgh area where there were many athletes to emulate - his Dad included. Tito more then once challenged him athletically. Here's a story told by his dad: "I told him if he learned to swim and dive, I would get him some baseball equipment. Terry said the wanted shin guards. I said, 'What the hell do you want with shin guards? You're left-handed, you can't use them.' Boy, I tell you, when I came back from a road trip, he was waiting for me, and early that morning, I had to take him down to a sporting goods shop and get him a pair a shin guards because he had learned to swim and dive."


According to his father, Terry was always a student of baseball: "I remember when I was playing in Milwaukee. Other kids where running around the ballpark, but I used to see Terry from the field there, and he'd be sitting right behind home plate. He had his hands on his chin, leaning against the rail, watching the pitchers. He knew everything. I never had to tell him, teach him how to run or throw a ball or where to throw the ball. He had real good baseball instincts. I think that's why I knew he would be a good manager."

Terry credits his success to the time he spent with his dad. "We talked so much, but again, I'd sit in the back seat when they (his father and teammates) came home from a game at midnight and listen to them talking. I probably learned more like that. I was the only eight-year-old who knew you pitched up and in, down and away. I used to listen and listen and listen. I felt like I had died and gone to heaven."


"I grew up, from the time I can remember, wanting to be a baseball player," said Terry. "And it's been my livelihood my whole life, and it will continue to be. When the high school guidance counselor passed out those forms about our occupation - what you want to be, I'd always put, 'Professional Baseball Player.' He'd call me in every year and say 'Terry, you can't write that.' And I said, 'Well, that's what I'm going to do.' Little did I realize the odds that are against you; they're stacked against you. I was fortunate to be able to realize my dream."


On June 7, 1977, Terry was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the second round. Instead of signing with them, he enrolled at the University of Arizona in Tucson. In 1980 he was named by The Sporting News as the College Player of the Year and to their College Baseball All-America Team as an outfielder that same year. On June 3, 1980, the Montreal Expos selected him as their first selection in the amateur draft. After signing with the Expos, the lefthanded batter was assigned to second-place Memphis in the class "AA" Southern League. He was in 60 games and batted .300 with 13 doubles, 2 triples and 1 home run.


In 1981, he returned to the Chicks who again finished second. In 40 games, he had a .348 batting average with 8 doubles and 1 triple. That good performance earned a promotion the same year to AAA Denver where he continued his hot hitting. He led the league with 9 triples in only 93 games, hit .352 with 17 doubles and 1 home run. In August, the Expos called him up to the big league club. In 34 games, during the rest of the season, he was 26 for 95 (.274) and was 5 for 10 as a pinch hitter. In the division playoff (Expos beat Philadelphia), Terry was 4 for 12 and in the NLCS (Expos lost to the Dodgers) he was 0 for 1. That was his only post-season appearances as a player.


One of his most treasured mementos came from that year. "We got a picture in spring training that included me and my dad with Cal Ripken and his dad", Terry has said. "They took the picture and it was in 'Sports Illustrated'. They were predicting, I think, the top rookies for that year... it was a neat picture and I have it in my basement. I had Cal put an inscription on it."


The 1982 season was spoiled by a knee injury which required a stay on the disabled list from June 17 to September 27. He only played in 46 games that year hitting .321 in 131 at bats. Jim Fanning played him in the outfield for 33 games and at first for 16. In 1983 the Expos finished third under Bill Virdon and Terry was their super sub playing in 120 games (51 in the outfield and 47 at first). He also pinch hit 38 times with 8 hits. His average dropped to .257 with 11 doubles, 1 triple and 3 HR in 230 at bats. His OBP was .275.


The 1984 season was again injury diluted as his knee again caused a long stay on the DL from June 15 to Sept. 5. In limited action (51 g) he did start at first base more often then any other Expo. In 214 at bats, he hit .346 with 19 doubles, 2 triples and 1 homer. During the 1985 season, Terry had more at bats then during any other campaign. As a sub at first (57g,) and in the outfield (28 g) he hit .267 with 281 at bats. He was 6 for 31 as a pinch hitter. Terry's OBP was .299 and he hit 15 doubles, 1 triple and 2 home runs.

At the very end of spring training in 1986, Terry was released by the Expos. On May 2, he signed with the Cubs. As a tune-up, he played in 17 games at their AAA affiliate in Des Moines (Iowa Cubs) where he hit .250 in 60 at bats. The fifth-place Cubs brought him up and he got into 86 games with them. He played outfield for 30 games and first base for 23 more. In addition, he was 8 for 42 as a pinch hitter. His average with the Cubs was .250 with 3 doubles and 2 homers. He became a free agent at the end of the season.


The 1987 spring training was nearly over before he signed with the Cincinnati Reds on March 23. Pete Rose used him in 102 games (57 at first base and 8 in the outfield) and as a pinch hitter 43 times (11 hits). His average was only .222 for the year (207 at bats). Terry hit 5 doubles and 3 home runs. He was a free agent at the end of the season.

On Feb. 28, 1988, he was signed to a minor league contract by the Cleveland Indians. With their last-place Colorado Springs AAA farm team, Terry played in 68 games batting .329 in 235 at bats. That earned a promotion to the sixth-place Indians where he was called into 62 games by manager Doc Edwards. He was the DH 38 times, at first 5 times and in the outfield 5 times. Terry was also 5 for 15 as a pinch hitter. His MLB average for the year was .311 with 8 doubles and 1 home run. He was again a free agent at the end of the year.


It took until March 30 before Terry signed a MLB contract for 1989 with the Milwaukee Brewers. They were a fourth-place team managed by Tom Trebelhorn and Francona was used in a variety of ways - as a DH (23 g), outfielder (16 g), first base (46 g) and he even pitched an inning (1 so, 0 h, 0 w, 0 er). In a total of 233 at bats in 90 games, his batting average slipped to .232 with 10 doubles, 1 triple and 3 home runs. After the season, he ended his free agency early by signing with the Brewers on Dec. 12.


In 1990, Terry ended his MLB career at the age of 31 with 4 at bats in 3 games with the Brewers. He did not get a hit. Francona also played at Louisville (A.A.) where he hit .263 with 6 home runs and 30 RBI and made appearances as a pitcher (0-0, 1.17). Terry continued in baseball by managing minor league teams from 1992 to 1995:

1992 - South Bend (A-Midwest) - 2nd place (73-64)

1993 - Birmingham (AA-Southern) - league champs (78-64)

1994 - Birmingham (AA-Southern) - last place (65-74)

1995 - Birmingham (AA-Southern) - 2nd place (80-64)


In 1996, he became a coach for the Detroit Tigers. In 1997, he was chosen the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies whom he managed for 4 years through the 2000 season to fifth (68-94), third (75-87), third (77-85) and fifth (65-97) place finishes. After he was fired by the Phillies, his dad praised him, "I think he relates to this new breed of kids. I think he handles them very well. He just ran into a bad situation with all the injuries and they didn't make any trades for pitchers. He'll be back soon as a manager."


In 2001, Terry was the coach of the U.S. World Cup team that competed in Taiwan and the assistant general manager of the Indians. He moved with John Hart to the Rangers, serving as their bench coach in 2002. During this time he had some serious medical problems, and he was reported to be "touch and go" for a while. For 2003, he was the bench coach with the A's and in November, of that year, was named as manager of the Boston Red Sox for the 2004 season. The Red Sox finished at 98-64 (.605) for second place in the AL East, 3 games behind the Yankees. They won the wild card, and beat the Angels 3 games to 0 in the ALDS and the Yankees 4 games to 3 in ALCS. The 2004 World Series was Terry's first as a player, coach or manager and the Red Sox capped a most successful season with the ultimate annual award - The World Championship - as they beat the Cardinals 4 games to none.


Terry made the following comments during the 2004 season: "We started kicking into gear and people were commenting on their hair, their clothes. I was just glad that we kind of had something to latch on to, and they seem to come together. If this was Cub Scout Troop 14, I'd ask them to cut their hair. It's not. We're trying to play the best baseball we can and I think these guys really have come together. If it's the hair or whatever, that's not important. It's the fact that they came together that is important. They may not wear their hair normal, they may not dress normal, but they play the game as good as you can."


As a player, he entered the major league with a very high potential. The nagging knee problems short-circuited his career as he only had a chance to play in 708 games over 10 seasons. He finished with a life time .274 batting average (two points higher then his Dad). His managerial record remains a work in progress, but with his great communication skills, when all is said and done, he will probably be remembered more as a manager then as player.


Terry reflected on how he was raised; "My parents taught me to respect people and my dad taught me to enjoy and respect the game of baseball. That's probably the most important thing I've learned from him about baseball; not about where to hold your hands when you swing or things like that, but how to treat the game, how to respect it." He added; "That was number one. It doesn't matter the color or religion or anything, just have respect for people. Try to be a good person and usually things have a way of working themselves out."


On April 6, 2005, Terry left his Red Sox and was admitted to a New York hospital with chest pains. He experienced chest tightness in the morning and underwent a variety of tests that day. Later he was transferred to a Boston hospital where tests revealed no evidence of serious heart problems and they decided that the pains were probably caused by a viral infection. Francona then returned to the Sox after missing only four games. The rest of his 2005 season was certainly no less physical taxing, but he, at least, stayed out of the hospital. His Red Sox finished dead even (95-87) with the Yankees for first place in the Eastern Division. The Red Sox led the league in hitting (.281), but were second-to-last in ERA (4.74). Their post-season was short, however, as the White Sox beat them 3 straight games in the ALDS.


For the first time in four years, the Sox were not in the playoffs in 2006 as they finished a poor 3rd in the AL East with a 86-76 record. Even the best teams can not overcome injuries to key players. Francona's 2007 team won the East pennant with a 96-66 record which was tied for the best mark in the majors and he achieved his second World Championship as the Red Sox whipped the Rockies in the World Series four games to none. After the series, Terry said: "The first day of spring training, we talk to our guys, whether they're new or whether they're returning, about how we're going to approach the game and the loyalty and things like that. And then we turn good players loose and....I think we get rewarded."


The Sox finished second in the East in 2008 (95-67) two games behind the Rays, but did qualify for the playoffs as the wild card winner. In 2009, the Red Sox again won the wild card as they finished second (95-67) in the East. Francona's club was a disappointment in 2010 finishing third with a 89-73 record seven games out of first and 6 back in the wild card.


The 2011 season turned out to be his last as manager in Boston. Firmly in control of the wild-card race as late as August, his club finished September with a 7-20 mark ending up in third place with a 90-72 record and out of the playoffs. Team management decided not to renew Francona's contract. He was quoted as saying: "The job certainly aged me. It's a difficult place to be the manager and it does wear on you. And when it wears on you to the point that it affects you, time to move on. It was also reported that it has been necessary for him to use pain killers for his painful knees and, during the season, he had separated from his wife of thirty years.


In November 2011, Terry announced that he has no plans to manage in 2012 and was the Sunday night game commentator on ESPN telecasts. Shortly after the 2012 season, it was announced that he would manage the Cleveland Indians in 2013 and his contract is runs through 2016. However, the contract has a clause that allows him to opt out if Indians president Mark Shapiro and General Manager Chris Antonetti are fired.


His 2013 season managing the Indians was a success as he led his club to a tie for the AL Wild Card with a 92-70 record only one game behind the Tigers in the Central. This was an improvement of 24 victories over the 2012 Tribe. The team lost the Wild Card tie-breaker to the Rays. In November 2013, Francona was named the 2013 AL Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association.


Francona's Indians finished the 2014 season in third place, five games back with a 85-77 record. The Tribe ended again in third for 2015, but had four less victories (81-80) and were 13 ½ games off the pace.


The Indians 2016 season was a triumph as they won the AL Central for the first time since 2007 (94-67, 8 games ahead) and sailed through the post-season to the World Series. There they held a 3-1 lead over the Cubs, but lost the final three games. He was named the AL manager of the year for his '16 leadership. record as a manager is now As he entered his 58th year for the 2017 season, he received a contract extension through 2020.


In June 2017, Francona had to prematurely leave the Indians' dugout twice. In addition he had to leave a game in Washington in August 2016 because of chest pains "The problem is my blood pressure has been going down," Francona explained, "and that makes my heart rate go too fast. When there comes a day when [health] gets in the way, I'm going to have to pull back, and it's not because I don't love managing. You have to have a certain amount of energy to do this job right." In order to energize himself for long seasons, he participates in daily swim sessions. Unfortunately he apparently still had a chewing tobacco habit.


His '17 team won the AL Central division championship with a 102-60 record, but then they lost in the first round of the playoffs 3 games to 2 after taking a 2-0 lead. His current managerial record was 1483-1269 which was 25the place in the all-time wins list having passed Earl Weaver in 2017.


The 2018 season was bitter sweet as his father, Tito, died right before spring training at age 84. However, his Indians won their third straight Central Division championship with a 91-71 record. They lost to Houston in the semi-finals in three games. After 2018, Francona's record is 1574-130 which is in 22nd place in both number of wins and winning percentage. There was no record of his missing games, during the season, due to ill health.


The 2019 Indians dd not win the central title finishing 2nd at 93-69. His managerial record after the season was 1667-1409.


His off-season homes have been Yardley, PA, and Chestnut Hill, MA.

Kelvin Torve

Kelvin Curtis Torve was born in Rapid City, South Dakota, on Jan. 10, 1960. He attended Oral Roberts University.

In 1981, Kelvin was drafted by the Giants in the second round of the amateur draft and began his career with class "A" Clinton in the Midwest League. They finished last in their division and were managed by Wendell Kim. He batted .261 with one home run and 27 RBI.


For the 1982 season, the left handed batter was moved up to the class "AA" Texas League where he played for the last place Shreveport Captains. Kevin's batting average was .305 with 15 home runs and 84 RBI. He was named to the league's All Star team as a first baseman.


Kelvin played the 1983 season in the Pacific Coast League for the last place Phoenix Giants. His batting average dropped to .260 with 4 home runs and 54 RBI. He did not play professionally in 1984.


Returning in 1985, he played for the White Sox farm team, Appleton, in the Midwest League where he hit .276 with 16 RBI. He played the rest of the season with Oriole affiliate Charlotte in the class "AA" Southern League. There he got back on track with a .290 average with 15 home runs and 77 RBI.


Remaining with the Baltimore organization, he played the 1986 season in Rochester of the International League. With the second place team, he played in 109 games (356 at bats) and hit .242 with 16 doubles, 1 triple and 1 home runs. He drove in 41 RBI and stole 5 bases.


Again in 1987, Kelvin played in Rochester (finished third) where his paying time was reduced to 86 games and 252 at bats. He average increased to .262 with 10 doubles and 9 home runs. In 1988, he moved to the Minnesota Twins' organization and the Pacific Coast League's Portland Beavers. The team finished second and Kelvin hit a good .301 in 103 games and 383 at bats. His record included 28 doubles, 2 triples and 9 home runs. In June, he got his first taste of the major leagues. With the Twins, he appeared in 12 games. He was 1 for 6 as a pinch hitter and played first in 4 games and was the DH once. In total, he was 3 for 16 with one home run.


His 1989 season was spent completely at third place Portland managed by Phil Roof. He made the PCL All Star team at first base hitting .291 in 137 games (499 at bats) with 41 doubles (led the league), 2 triples and 8 home runs. He had 62 RBI and stole 10 bases. It was great year and, after the season, the New York Mets acquired him. In his minor league career, he batted .283.


Kevin begin the 1990 season with the Mets' AAA team in the International League - the Tidewater Tides. They were a second place team in their division and he finished third in batting average at .303 and started the AAA All Star game. He also hit 25 doubles, 1 triple and 11 HR with 76 RBI. In early August he was called up by the Mets. In his first at bat he hit a pinch hit double that helped them beat the Cubs. In his first start, he went 2 or 3 and after his first 7 at bats, he had 5 hits. For the season, he played in 20 MLB games (38 at bats) and 10 in the field (9 at first and 1 in the outfield). He was 11 for 38 (.289) with 4 doubles and 2 RBI and was 3 for 9 as a pinch hitter.


He played in 10 games with the Mets in 1991. In 8 at bats, he got no hits. Kelvin played one game at first. On Dec. 13, he was released by the Mets. That was the end of Torve's MLB career. He played the 1992-93 seasons in Japan.


Kelvin lived in Davidson, NC, where he was a salesman for a packaging firm and teaches at youth baseball clinics. In 2015, he moved back to Rapid City and coached youth American Legion baseball. In 2018, he became the manager of the Post 22 team that had won 38 state titles, was in the American Legion World Series eight times and won the national championship in 1993.




Pat Rice

Patrick Edward Rice was born on Nov. 2, 1963, in Rapid City, South Dakota. In high school he was a two-time All-America pitcher for Air Academy High in Colorado Springs. He attended the University of Arkansas where he helped them make an appearance at the College World Series in 1985.


Pat made the following stops in his minor league career:

1986 Salt Lake City, Pioneer (rookie) 1-3, 3.34

1987 Wausau, Midwest (A) 12-11, 3.84

1988 San Bernardino, Calif. (A) 7-7, 3.42

1988 Vermont, Eastern L (AA) 3-0, 1.04

1989 Williamsport, Eastern L (AA) 4-1, 2.28

1989 Calgary, PCL (AAA) 6-3, 4.85

1990 Williamsport, Eastern L (AA) 4-4, 3.98

1990-92 Calgary, PCL (AAA) 1-1, 6.35; 13-4, 5.03; 3-8, 8.21


The right handed pitcher played for the fifth place Seattle Mariners, managed by Jim Lefebvre, in 1991. In 7 games (2 starts) and 21 innings, Pat gave up 18 hits and 10 walks while striking out 12. His ERA was 3.00 with a OBA of .234. They were his only major league appearances.


Rice was the pitching coach of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers from 1995 to 1997, the New Haven Ravens in 1998-1999 and then became the Mariners' minor league pitching coordinator from 2000-2007. In 2008, Rice was the pitching coach of the San Jose Giants and from 2009-2013 he was with the Fresno Grizzlies. Then Pat moved on to the Angels organization (Arkansas Travelers) for 2014-2015 and to Mobile in 2018. An advance came in 2019 as he was the pitching coach of the AAA Salt Lake club. He had lived in Sun City, AZ, and now resides in Colorado Springs, CO.


Kerry Ligtenberg

Kerry Dale Ligtenberg was born in Rapid City, South Dakota, on May 11, 1971. He graduated form high school at Park High in Cottage Grove MN and was an All Conference baseball player. He and attended the University of Minnesota (chemical engineering major) and played for their "Gophers" baseball team. Kerry graduated in September 2000.


When he was younger, he did not consider himself a good athlete and described himself as "gangly". In 1994, he signed with Minneapolis of the independent North Central League. He made 19 starts with them (114 inn) allowing 103 hits and 44 walks for an ERA of 3.31. He struck out 94. On March 28, 1995, his contract was sold to the Seattle Mariners. It was a short stay with them as he was released on April 2.


The right hander was then signed by Minneapolis Loons of the independent Prairie League franchise for the 1995 season, In 19 games (17 starts) he pitched 109 innings allowed 101 hits and 26 walks. Kerry struck out 100 with a 2.73 ERA. Based on information provided by former Braves catcher and Loons' manager, Greg Olson, Atlanta purchased his contract on Jan. 27, 1996. The purchase price was $720 worth of baseball equipment.


With Durham in the class "A" Carolina League, in 1996, Kerry pitched in 49 games as a reliever (60 innings) giving up 58 hits, 16 walks. He struck out 76, had 20 saves and compiled a 2.41 ERA.


In 1997, Ligtenberg moved up the rest of the organizational latter to reach the majors. For the Southern League's Greenville team, he appeared in 31 games (16 saves) and completed 35 innings with 20 hits and 14 walks allowed. He struck out 43 and had an ERA of only 2.04. At AAA Richmond, Kerry pitched in 14 games (1 save) for 25 innings giving up 21 hits and only 2 walks. His ERA was 4.32 and he struck out 35. On Aug. 12, he pitched his first major league game. Over the rest of the season, he appeared in 15 games (1 save) for 15 innings allowing 12 hits and 4 walks. His ERA was 3.00 and he struck out 19. In the NLCS he pitched in 2 games (3 inn, 1 h, 0 w, 4 k, 0 r). A good year!


During the 1998 season, he pitched in 75 games for the Braves and had a good 2.71 ERA with 30 saves. In 73 innings, he allowed 51 hits and 24 walks. Kerry struck out 79 and allowed an OBA of .193. In the division championship, he saw action in three games (3 inn, 1 h, 5 w, 3 k, 0 r) and in the NLCS he was in 4 games (4 inn, 3 h, 2 w, 5 k, 3 er). He became a most unexpected success story for the Braves as he finished fourth in the rookie of the year balloting. Manager, Bobby Cox said "It's the story of the century for me."


His 1999 season was spent entirely on the DL with an elbow injury and subsequent Tommy John surgery. In 2000, he played 5 games at AAA Richmond (6 innings, 0 R) and 59 with the Braves. He saved 12 games with an ERA of 3.61. Over 52 innings, he allowed 43 hits and 24 walks while striking out 51. In the division championship, Kerry pitched in 3 games (2 inn, 0 h, 1 w, 3 k, 1 er).


In 2001, he played in 53 games and 60 innings for the Braves allowing 50 hits and 30 walks. He struck out 56 and had an ERA of 3.02 with 1 save and a .226 OBA. Kerry was used often in 2002 (52 games, 67 innings) and gave up 52 hits and 33 walks. His ERA was only 1.81, an OBA of .213 and he struck out 51.


Ligtenberg signed a free agent contract with the Baltimore Orioles for 2003. He was used in 68 games, in his first American League year, completing 59 innings. Kerry allowed 60 hits and 14 walks while striking out 47. His ERA was 3.34 and he had .263 OBA.


A pre-2004 scouting report: Ligtenberg still relies on an above-average split-finger fastball, but the pitch isn't as sharp-breaking as it used to be. He now also mixes in a four-seam fastball that he can get up to 93 MPH. His slider is about average and keeps hitters from sitting on the fastball. Lefthanded hitters give him problems because he lacks a pitch that moves in on their hands. His arm is durable and he still can work in back-to-back games. But Ligtenberg also can come into a game with three or four days off and be effective. He struggles in the field, with six errors in just 34 career chances.


The Toronto Blue Jays acquired Kerry for the 2004 season. It was a season which finished poorly due to hip and knee problems. He was plagued with left hip pain and developed a knee problem while attempting to compensate. He was quoted, in September, as saying: "I've got arthritis in there. I'm getting old. It's something that's bothered me for three months. It's been extremely frustrating." In mid-season, his ERA was in the 3.00s, but by the end of the season it became 6.38. Kerry appeared in 57 games and completed 55 innings allowing 73 hits and 25 walks. He struck out 49, opposing hitters batted .313 off from him and he compiled 3 saves and "blew" 2.


The Blue Jays released Ligtenberg at the end of 2005 spring training even though he had a $2.5 million guaranteed salary. Through the 2004 season, Kerry had pitched 381 MLB innings with 352 strike outs, 48 saves and a 3.57 ERA. In mid-April 2005, he signed a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks and was promoted to the club on May 5. During the next month, Kerry pitched in 7 games and 9 2/3 innings allowing 16 hits, 4 walks and struck out 5. His ERA was 13.97 and the Diamondbacks designated him for assignment on June 5. He cleared waivers on June 19, and signed a minor league contract with the D'Backs. The rest of his 2005 season was spent pitching for the PCL Tucson team where he saw action in 38 games and 50 innings. His ERA was 3.24, he had a 1.16 WHIP as he allowed 51 hits, 7 walks and struck out 50. Kerry's record was 4-3, he had one save and even started 3 games.


In January 2006, Ligtenberg signed a minor league contract with the Florida Marlins, but he was released on March 29 just a few days before the end of spring training. Shortly thereafter, he signed a minor league contract with the Chicago Cubs and played the 2006 season at their AAA affiliate in Des Moines (Iowa Cubs). He was in 53 games for 58 innings allowing 64 hits and 6 walks for a 3.57 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. He struck out 44 and had 18 saves.


In mid-February 2007, Kerry signed a minor league contract with Cincinnati. On March 16, after informing the Reds that he was not interested in playing in their minor league system, he was released. It is assumed that he will now put his chemical engineering degree to good use.


Ligtenberg pitched in 386 career major league games and completed 390 2/3 innings allowing 357 hits, 158 walks and he struck out 357. His ERA was 3.82, he had a 1.32 WHIP and 17-20 record. In 227 minor league games and 457 2/3 innings, he had an ERA of 2.99 giving up 418 hits, 120 walks and struck out 451 for a 33-20 record.

During his baseball years, he described himself as quiet and easy going. "People never looked at me and said, 'He's going to be a superstar.' I think it was hard work and a dream that got me here (to the majors)." Baseball Writer Bill Zack once said:: "He takes an engineer's approach to closing. Analyze the problem and find a solution."

He was named to the Park High School's Hall of Fame on November 17, 2007, and in 2009 made a comeback, of sorts, by pitching for the independent St. Paul Saints. As their closer, he pitched very well with 15 saves in 30 games going 36 innings allowing 27 hits and 6 walks while striking out 29 and his OAV was only .199. However, Kerry retired officially on August 6 siting a knee injury.


Since the 2012 season, he has served as pitching coach for the independent St. Paul Saints. Ligtenberg had lived in Cottage Grove, MN, and now resides in Inver Grove Heights. .



Keith Foulke

Keith Charles Foulke was born Oct. 19, 1972, on the Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota near Rapid City. He went to high school at Hargrove High in Huffman, TX, junior college at Galveston College and college at Lewis & Clark State in Idaho.


On June 2, 1994, he was selected by the Giants in the ninth round of the amateur draft. His first pro year began that year at class "A" Everett in the Northwest League. He started 4 games (19 innings) and allowed 17 hits and 3 walks. Keith struck out 22 batters and had an ERA of 0.93. He stayed in class "A" in 1995 pitching for the San Jose Giants in the California League. There he started in 26 games and relieved in 2 others. He completed 177 innings giving up 165 hits and 32 walks while striking out 168 with an ERA of 3.50.


For 1996, he was assigned to the class "AA" Texas League where the righthander played for Shreveport. His ERA of 2.76 led the league along with his 183 innings pitched in 27 starts. He allowed 149 hits and 35 walks while striking out 129.


The 1997 season was a travelogue. He started the year at AAA Phoenix in the PCL where he started 12 games (76 innings) allowing 79 hits, 15 walks and struck out 54. His ERA was 4.50. On May 21, the San Francisco Giants promoted him to the majors where he played 11 games (8 starts) with 45 innings pitched. He allowed 60 hits and 18 walks while striking out 33 with a 8.26 ERA and .324 OBA. On July 31, he was traded with Mike Caruso, Brian Manning, Lorenzo Barcelo, Bob Howry and Ken Vining to the White Sox for Wilson Alvarez, Danny Darwin and Roberto Hernandez. The White Sox had him pitch one game at their AAA farm team in Nashville (1 start, 5 inn. 8 h, 0 w, 4 k). Then they brought him up for 16 appearances - all in relief. He completed 29 innings giving up 28 hits and 5 walks. He struck out 21, had an ERA of 3.45 and OBA of .255.


In 1998, he pitched well for the second place White Sox until he injured his shoulder and was on the DL from August 28 to the end of the year. In 54 games (65 inn) he gave up 51 hits and 20 walks while striking out 57. His ERA was 4.13 and his OBA was only .213.


Keith's 1999 season was better for the second place Sox. Jerry Manuel used him in 67 games (105 inn) and he allowed only 72 hits and 21 walks. He had 123 K.s and his ERA was 2.22. He also contributed with 9 saves. Early in the 2000 season he was on the suspended list (May 5-7). During the rest of that year, he pitched a career high 72 times for 88 innings with 34 saves. He gave up 66 hits and 22 walks while striking out 91. His ERA increased to 2.97. He appeared in the division championship for 2 games (2 inn, 4 h, 2 w, 2 k, 3 ER).


Keith's 2001 season was personally better, but the White Sox fell to third place. He completed 42 saves in 72 games and 81 innings and allowed 57 hits and 22 walks. Foulke struck out 75 with an ERA of 2.33 and OBA of .199.


His 2002 campaign was the last with the White Sox. In 65 games (73 inn), he gave up 65 hits and 13 walks with 58 K's, 11 saves, 2.90 ERA and .225 OBA. He signed a contract with the Oakland A's for the 2003 season where he relieved in 72 games (87 inn) and picked up 43 saves. He allowed only 57 hits and 20 walks while striking out 88 men with a 2.08 ERA and .184 OBA.


For the 2004 season, he was acquired by the Terry Francona-managed Boston Red Sox. It was a most successful year as he pitched in 72 games with 32 saves out of 39 tries. In 83 innings, he allowed 63 hits and 15 walks with 79 strikeouts. His ERA was 2.17 and his OAV was .206. During the year, he was instructed by MLB to stop wearing, during games, a hat that included an American flag and a $1000 per game fine was threatened. As the son of a career Air Force father, he resented the order, but complied.

A pre-2004 scouting report: As a closer, it works for Foulke to rely on a good low-90s fastball and an even better changeup to get hitters out, as he rarely faces more than six hitters in an appearance. He generally is solid against righthanded hitters, but he was even more deadly against lefties in 2003. Foulke's control was back to form last year, as his strikeout-walk ratio reveals. And he obviously was around the plate, as the number of homers he allowed jumped to 10, one fewer than his career single-season high. Foulke also allowed nearly twice as many flyballs as groundballs, a decided change in his stats, so maybe the homers make sense.


In the 2004 post-season run to the World Championship, Keith was the Sox' closer during each step. In the ALCS against the Yankees, he appeared in 5 games and 6 innings allowing 1 hit and 6 walks with 6 strike outs, a 0.00 ERA and 1 save. In the World Series, with the Cardinals, he closed all four games going 6 innings giving up 4 hits and 1 walk with 8 strikeouts, an ERA of 1.80 and 1 save.


His 2005 season was spoiled by injuries. In mid-July, he had arthroscopic surgery to repair damaged cartilage in his left knee. He started rehab immediately and the team doctor said recovery from this type of surgery typically takes about 6 weeks. "Everything went well. We need to let him get ready," manager Terry Francona said. "We don't want him to come back too early, so he can come back and pitch when he's supposed to." When he did return, in August, he was not effective and ended his season in September when he decided to have arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. His 2005 numbers indicate he appeared in 43 games and finished 46 innings giving up 53 hits and 18 walks while striking out 34 for a 5.91 ERA and a OBA of .365. His record was 5-5 and he had 15 saves.


The Red Sox were being cautious with Keith early in 2006 as they were testing his abilities after surgery. He was being used as a set-up guy until June 13 when he went on the 15-day DL. Thereafter, he was used in generally middle to set-up relief. For the year, he appeared in 44 games and finished 49.2 innings allowing 52 hits and 7 walks with 36 strikeouts and a 4.35 ERA. Batters hit .271 off him, he did not get a save, had a 3-1 record and was reported to have a bad attitude.


In early January 2007, Foulke signed a one-year contract with Cleveland apparently with the understanding that he would be their closer for 2007. After experiencing pain in his right elbow while throwing, Keith, on February 16, 2007, announced his retirement. He stated that he did not think he would be able to perform well enough to compete for the Indians. "He didn't want to disappoint the organization or his teammates," Indians' GM Mark Shapiro said, praising Foulke's integrity.


During his career, Foulke had made it clear that he did not have a particular passion for baseball as it was mainly just a job for him. No doubt he performed as well as he could, but he was not playing only because of his love for the game. Perhaps he would not have not gone into baseball if it was not such a well-paying profession.


After being retired for less then a year, Keith signed a one-year contract with the Oakland A's in Feb. 2008, after re-habing his arm. He was on the DL from April 20 to May 9 with neck stiffness and from July 4 to August 30 with right shoulder inflamation. Foulke appeared in 31 games and completed 31 innings allowing 28 hits and 23 walks for a decent 1.32 WHIP. His ERA was 4.06 with an 0-3 record, 23 strike outs, 1 save, 8 holds and 1 blown save. He became a free agent.


His 2009 season was spent in independent baseball for Newark in the Atlantic League. He saw action in 34 games with 3 starts completing 52 innings allowing 64 hits and 5 walks while striking out 49. Opponents hit .299 off him. There is no record of his playing professionally in 2010.


With his major league experiences behind him, Keith pitched in 619 MLB games and completed 787 innings allowing 652 hits and 194 walks with 718 strikeouts. His ERA was 3.33 with an excellent 1.075 WHIP, a 41-37 record and 191 saves.


After baseball, he has made in his homes in Huffman, TX, Glendale, AZ, and Paradise Valley, AZ.. As of 2013, his resistance was listed in Huffman. He plays in “MLB Legends” games and in March 2016, was hired as a player development consultant for the Red Sox which means he currently works with minor league pitchers and makes appearances at minor league events for the Sox.


Justin Duchscherer

Justin Craig Duchscherer (DUKE-sher) was born on Nov. 19, 1977, in Aberdeen, South Dakota. His mother is from North Dakota and his father from Texas and there stay in Aberdeen was short. He attended Coronado High School in Lubbock, TX.


In 1996, he was drafted by the Red Sox in the eighth round of the amateur draft. That year he played in the rookie Gulf Coast League where he started 8 games and relieved in 5 more. He completed 55 innings allowing 52 hits and 14 walks. He struck out 45 and had a 3.13 ERA.


He begin his 1997 season in the same rookie league pitching in 10 games (8 starts) with 45 innings giving up 34 hits and 17 walks. His ERA was 1.81 and he had 59 K's. Later that year, he moved up to the class "A" Midwest League's Michigan club. With them he started 4 games for 24 innings giving up 26 hits and 10 walks. Justin struck out 19 with an ERA of 5.63.


In 1998 he was again pitching at Michigan. He appeared in 30 games (26 starts) totaling 143 innings allowing 166 hits and 47 walks while striking out 106. His ERA was 4.81. For the 1999 season, he moved to class "A" Augusta in the Southern Atlantic League where he made 6 starts (41 inn, 21 h, 8 w, 39 k, 0.22 ERA). That good performance caused his promotion to Sarasota of the Florida State League. With 18 starts and 2 relief appearances for 112 innings, he allowed 101 hits and 30 walks. His strike out total was 105 and he had a 4.49 ERA.


At class "AA" Trenton for 2000, Justin started 24 games and completed 143 innings while allowing 134 hits and 35 walks. He had 126 K's and an ERA of 3.40. He was bothered by finger tendinitis in the beginning of the year, dropping his first 6 decisions.


The season of 2001 was an exciting one. He started in Trenton where he made 12 starts with 74 innings allowing 49 hits and 14 walks. He struck out 69 and had a 2.46 ERA. He concluded his stay there going 4-1 with a 0.59 ERA in his last 5 starts. On June 21, he was traded to the Texas Rangers for Doug Mirabelli. He continued to perform well, after the trade, at the Ranger's farm team Tulsa (class "AA") posting a 2.08 ERA and reaching double digits in strikeouts in 4 of his 6 starts. In 43 innings, he gave up 39 hits and 10 walks while having 55 K's. That performance allowed the Rangers to promote him to AAA Oklahoma (7 starts, 51 inn, 48 h, 10 w, 52 k, 2.54 ERA). On July 25, 2001, he played his first MLB game - a Ranger start against Baltimore. He allowed 4 runs on 6 hits (2 homers) over 7 inn, walking one and striking out 5. For the year, with Texas, he appeared in 5 games (2 starts) for 15 inn allowing 24 hits and 4 walks. He struck out 11 with an ERA of 12.68.


On March 19, 2002, he was traded to the Oakland A's for Luis Vizcaino. For the A's AAA farm team in the PCL - the Sacramento River Cats - he played 14 games (11 starts) and 63 innings giving up 73 hits, 17 walks and had a 5.57 ERA with 52 K's.


In 2003, for the River Cats, he pitched well enough to be named the Pacific Coast League's Pitcher of the Year. In 23 starts (1 in relief), he pitched 155 innings giving up 151 hits and only 18 walks. He struck out 117 and had a 3.25 ERA. At the end of the season, he appeared in 4 games (3 starts) for the A's totaling 16 innings. He gave up 17 hits and 3 walks while striking out 15 with a 3.31 ERA.


Justin was not overpowering, augmenting an upper 80's fastball with an effective curve ball and an improving change up.


Making the 2004 A's team out of spring training, he was used in long relief with good results. In June, he developed an injury to his side which effected his pitching, but he came back strong in July. For the season, he relieved in 53 games with 96 innings allowing 85 hits and 32 walks. He struck out 59, had an ERA of 3.27 and a OAV of .241.


For the 2005 season, Justin was originally assigned as the A's long and middle reliever. Early in the season, he did not pitch because of back stiffness. In June, he made a comment to the "Sacramento Bee" that he was seemingly resigned to the fact that his back problems could linger the rest of his career. However, in the first one-half of the season he had pitched well enough to be named to the All-Star game by fellow-Aberdeen-born Terry Francona (he did not pitch). In the second half, Justin's role was as a set-up man in the A's bullpen. In 65 games and 86 innings, he allowed 67 hits and 19 walks with 85 strikeouts. His ERA was an excellent 2.21 and he had a .215 OBA with a 7-4 record. and 5 saves. For the 2005 season, "Baseball Weekly" rated Justin as the 7th best non-closer in MLB.


In 2006, he continued to be the A's number one set up guy until May 6 when tightness and soreness in his right elbow sidelined him. At the time, a west coast newspaper reported that he has tendinitis and will be day-to-day for the rest of the season. On May 13, he went on the A's 15-day DL. Duchscherer returned to te active roster in June, but was being used sparingly by the A's to protect his arm. He appeared to be strong the rest of the season, but was used generally for only one inning at a time and was used again as the set up guy and the closer when Huston Street went on the DL. His record for 2006 was 2-1 with a good 2.91 ERA in 53 games and 55.2 innings. Duchscherer struck out 51, walked 9 and had 9 saves (2 blown saves). Opponents batted .244 facing him.


Justin began the 2007 season as a set-up reliever for the A's. His last appearance for the year was on May 15, when he was sidelined because of soreness in his right hip which was diagnosed as arthritic. For about the next 45 days [on the DL], he attempted to recover using rest and rehabilitation, but it was not successful and he had to undergo season-ending surgery in July. During the season, he appeared in 17 games, completing 16 innings allowing 18 hits and 8 walks with 13 strikeouts. His ERA was 4.96, he had 2 blown saves, right handers hit only .176 against him and left handers .400.


In December 2007 it was announced that Duchscherer would join the A's starting rotation. It was the first time since 2004 that he would be a starter. In the rotation during 2008, he made 22 starts completing 141 2/3 innings allowing 107 hits and 34 walks with 95 K's. His record was 10-8 and he had an excellent 1.00 WHIP, .210 OBA and 2.54 ERA. However, he was on the DL from April 8 to April 26 with strained right biceps and from August 21 to the end of the season with a strained right hip. However, he was named to that year's All Star game.


Duchscherer's 2009 was a "lost" year. He had elbow problems early in the spring and never recovered to pitch in the majors. In rehab, he made one start each for: the A's rookie team (5 inn, 4 h, 3 k, 0 ER); Stockton in the class A Calf. League (2 inn, 0 h, 0 w, 2 k, 0 ER) and with AAA Sacramento (4 inn, 2 h, 1 w, 3 k, 0 ER). After he was shut down again late in the season, he was diagnosed with clinical depression. On Nov. 9, 2009, he filed for free agency and in January 2010, Justin signed a one-year contract with the A's.


His 2010 season ended by mid-May. After five starts (28 inn., 26 h, 12 w, 18 k, 2-1, 2.89, 1.36), his left hip caused him too much distress for him to continue. He had a cortisone shot in the hip which did little good and by June, he was slated to have season-ending surgery. He was born with an abnormality where his femurs meet both hip joints. In '07, the right hip was operated on and now it is necessary to do the same for the left one.


Justin signed with the Orioles before 2011 Spring Training. Hip and back problems forced the O's to place him on the DL before the season began and he remained on the list until they released him on August 2. Duchscherer had hip surgery shortly thereafter and, at that time, intended to continue his baseball career.


In a Spring 2011 interview with the magazine "Men's Journal", he stated: "My problem is I'm a soft guy in a profession of hard guys. I'd prefer to be playing tennis. People think if you're rich, you must be happy. They can't understand why you're not. I feel guilty making so much money playing a game. If I pitch a shutout, it doesn't make me happy. I think of the guys I struck out, how they're going home, depressed, to their families." He further stated that he doesn't like and doesn't take medication for his depression issues.


Duchscherer did not play professional baseball after 2011. He pitched in eight MLB seasons appearing in 224 games with 32 starts completing 455 innings allowing 396 hits, 121 walks and he struck out 347. His career WHIP was 1.36 with a 3.13 ERA and a 33-25 record.

He lives in Colleyville, TX.

Mark Ellis

Mark William Ellis was born in Rapid City, South Dakota, on June 6, 1977. He attended Stevens High School in Rapid City [played on Dave Ploof's famous American Legion Post 22 program] and the University of Florida. Playing 3 years for their NCAA team, he batted .351, .326 and .338 with power numbers increasing each year.

In 1999, he was the ninth round draft choice by the Kansas City Royals and played in 71 games at their Spokane farm club in the class "A" Northwest League. He batted .327 with 14 doubles and 7 home runs. He drove in 47 runs and had 21 steals.


Mark played the 2000 season in two leagues. First for Wilmington in the class "A" Carolina League, he was in 132 games with a batting average of .302 with 27 doubles, 4 triples and 6 home runs. Then at "AA" Wichita, in the Texas League, he was in 7 games going 7 for 22. On Jan 8, 2001, Mark was traded to the Oakland A's with Johnny Damon and cash in a three-team deal in which the Royals got A.J. Hinch and Angel Berroa. Oakland also sent Ben Grieve to Tampa Bay.


In 2001, Oakland assigned him to their AAA farm team, in the PCL -- the Sacramento River Cats. He hit .273 with 38 doubles, 10 home runs and 21 steals. He hit .311 in 209 at-bats from July 1 on after hitting .207 in April and ,248 in June.

He begin his 2002 season with the River Cats appearing in 21 games (84 at bats) and hit .298 with 10 doubles and 1 triple. He made his MLB debut on April 9, 2002, as a pinch runner for Jeremy Giami and stayed in at DH going 0 for 1. In 98 games for the A's he batted .272 with 16 doubles, 4 triples and 2 home runs after moving from shortstop to play at second base.


A pre-2003 scouting report: Ellis has succeeded using the plate selectivity that the Athletics prefer. After tearing through the Royals' chain at Class-A Wilmington and Double-A Wichita in 2000, he found himself an Athletic playing at Triple-A Sacramento in 2001. He improved his bat speed enough in 2002 to merit the promotion to Oakland. It took Ellis a year to get the hang of Triple-A Pacific Coast League pitching, and it likely will take him at least that long to adjust to the majors. He does have good gap power. Plus, he can bunt, hit behind a runner or surprise with a homer.


Mark was used as the A's full time second baseman in 2003. His batting average fell to .248 in 154 games and he hit 31 doubles, 5 triples and 9 home runs. He drove in 52 runs and was 6 for 8 in steals.


His 2004 season was ruined by a play, very early in the year, where shortstop Bobby Crosby ran into him near second causing a severe shoulder injury which prevented his further play in 2004. He did not have shoulder surgery to repair the labrum tear and completed rehap prior to the 2005 season. At the beginning of that season, it was announced that he would share second base duties with Mark Ginter although Ellis had more defensive talent. Mark did, however, become the full time second baseman by June as Ginter was sent to the minors. In 115 games at second base (122 total) he hit .316 in 434 at bats with 15 home runs and 52 RBI. His OBA was .384. Ellis was awarded for his good 2005 season with a 2-year contract by the A's.


He was the A's starting second baseman until the last week of May 2006 when he went on the DL with a broken thumb. He came back a few weeks later, but through July 16, was hitting only .220. His hitting eye returned in late summer and he finished at .249 for the year. His OBA was .319 as he hit 25 doubles, 1 triple and 11 home runs with 52 RBI in 441 at bats. Ellis broke his right index finger in game one of the ALDS when he swung at a pitch that hit his hand. He said at the time: "I'm crushed. You play the whole season to get to this point and now I can't play because of this...I'll be the best cheerleader we have." Then manager Ken Macha said of Ellis: "He's one of the top defenders in the American League at second base. You know when balls are hit there, the guy's out. He gets the big hit every once in a while.


In 2006, Mark made only 2 errors in 632 regular season chances which broke Bret Boone's record for the best fielding percentage by a second baseman. Boone's mark was .99671 (set in 1997 with the Reds) and Ellis beat him with a .99684 average.


Ellis had a career (so far) year in 2007 playing in 150 games and had 583 at bats. He hit 19 home runs, 33 doubles and 76 RBI with a .276 average and .336 OBP. Mark scored 84 runs and had a .441 slugging %. His fielding % was .994. [5 errors]. On September 25, the A's exercised their 2008 option on his talents. In October 2007, he was honored by his teammates and coaches with the Catfish Hunter Award which honors the player on the team "whose play on the field and demeanor in the clubhouse best exemplifies the courageous, competitive and inspirational spirit" that was a big part of Hunter. He also won the award in 2005. A's manager Bob Geren said: "I've said it countless times...but he's the best second baseman in the game and deserves a Gold Glove."


In 2008, he played 117 games for the A's and had 442 at bats hitting 12 homers, 3 triples and 12 home runs with 41 RBI, a .233 average, a .373 OBP and .373 slugging %. On September 21, he went on the DL and had right shoulder surgery to repair chips in his cartilage. He also has a torn labrum in his shoulder which has bothered him for nearly five years.


Mark saw action in 105 games for the 2009 A's having been sidelined early with a calf injury. He had 23 doubles, 10 homers, 61 RBI while hitting .263 with a .333 OBP and .407 slugging. He fielded .990.


Ellis was healthier in 2010 seeing action in 124 games with 436 at bats for a .291 average, .358 OBP, .381 slugging and 49 RBI. He had 24 doubles and 5 home runs. His fielding % was .995 in 116 games at second base.

The A's renewed their option on him for 2011 and he was generally their starting second baseman until June 7 when he went on the DL with a strained right hamstring. On June 30, Ellis was traded to the Rockies for RP Bruce Billings and a player to be named later. He hit .217 in 62 games for the A's before the trade.


"Obviously, it's kind of mixed emotions on this given what Mark has meant to the franchise over the years, not just on the field but off the field," Oakland general manager Billy Beane said after the transaction. "He's probably been as good a representative that we've had since I've been here. It's with mixed emotions, but at end of the day I think this is a great situation for Mark," he said.


Mark's response: "I've been proud to have been a part of it for 10 years. It's going to be tough," he said. "There's a time in everybody's life where this stuff happens. This just happens to be my time to move on. I've had so many good memories. I had three children here, I had a lot of post season games and great memories of being in this ballpark and in this organization. At the same time, I still see myself as an every-day second baseman and this is an opportunity to do that."


During the rest of the '11 season for the Rockies (70 games), he batted .274 with a .317 OBP and .392 slugging. He had 13 doubles and 6 home runs with 25 RBI and his fielding mark was .997. In November 2011, Ellis signed a two-year contract with the Dodgers for the 2012-13 seasons.

With the Dodgers in 2012, he was in 110 games with 415 at bats hitting .258. His OPB was .333 with a .364 slugging and .697 OPS and a .994 fielding average as their starting second baseman. In May, Ellis needed to undergo emergency surgery to relieve pressure in his leg which occurred when a runner slid into him. It could have been a very serious situation as had the injury gone untreated for another four or five hours, he may very well have lost his leg. He was on the DL until July 4.


During the 2013 season, Mark hit .270 with a .323 OBP and .351 slugging (13 doubles, 2 triples and 6 home runs) in 126 games. His fielding average was .989 and was is a free agent after the season.


On December 16, Ellis signed a one-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals and was their starting secondbaseman during the 2014 season until May 3, 2014. He was on the DL from Aug. 19 until September 1 with a left oblique. Mark only participated in 73 games for the Cardinals with 178 at bats hitting .180 with a .253 slugging and .213 OBP.


His fielding average at second base in 50 games was 1.000. He did not make the post-season roster and in early October was reassigned by St. Louis.

In February 2015, Ellis announced his retirement after 12 MLB seasons, 1,435 games, 5,117 at bats finishing with a .262 average, .327 OBP and .384 slugging percentage. His fielding average was a very good .991.


A's general manager Billy Beane has said Ellis was a "consummate professional" when he played, and “has a job waiting for him if he ever wants to return to the game. After some deserved time with Sarah and his children, I’m hopeful, when he is ready, Mark will continue his baseball career with the A’s,"


Mark apparently has homes in Rapid City and Scottsdale, AZ. He spent 2015 in Florida with his family. In 2016, he said: So many people said I’ve never met anybody from South Dakota before,” Ellis said. “I kind of wore that as a badge of honor and was really proud to represent the state of South Dakota.”

In March 2016, Ellis was hired by the A's as a special instructor working with coach Ron Washington to instruct young A's infielders. He also coaches youth baseball for his son's team.


Shane Loux

Shane A. Loux (LEW-ks)was born on Aug. 31, 1979, in Rapid City, South Dakota. He attended Highland High School in Gilbert, Arizona. In his senior year there, he went 11-2 with a 1.11 ERA and was named "The Arizona Republic" Player of the Year. His family lived in Baltimore for about five years when he was growing up. "I grew up an O's fan," Loux has said.


Shane was drafted in the second round of the 1997 amateur draft by the Detroit Tigers. That year he played in the rookie Gulf Coast League where he appeared in 10 games (9 starts) totaling 43 innings. He only gave up 19 hits and walked 19. He had 33 K's with a 0.84 ERA.

In 1998, he had more of a test at West Michigan in the class "A" Midwest League. He made 28 starts for 157 innings allowing 184 hits and 52 walks. His ERA was 4.64 and he had 88 K's.


During the 1999 season, Shane made two stops. First for Lakeland of the class "A" Florida State League Lakeland club, he had 17 starts (91 inn, 92 h, 47 w, 52 k, 4.05 ERA). Later with West Michigan he had 8 starts where he completed 47 innings allowing 55 hits and 16 walks. He struck out 43 with a 6.27 ERA.

His breakout season was in 2000 at Jacksonville (class "AA" Southern League) where he had a 3.82 ERA, 130 K's, 55 walks in 26 starts and 158 innings.


In 2001, he struggled mightily at AAA Toledo with a 5.78 ERA, saw his strikeout rate cut 40% and walked 4.4 batters per nine innings. He also hit 15 batters and threw 14 wild pitches.


In 2002, in 26 starts for Toledo, he shaved more than a full run off his ERA (to 4.72) primarily by cutting his walk rate in half (38 in 158 innings) and did compile a four-start stretch before the All-Star break in which he went 4-0 with a 0.79 ERA in 34 innings, including a 10 inning complete game. Batters still hit .307 off him. He had his MLB debut on Sept 10, when as the starting pitcher against the Twins, he allowed 5 earned runs on 6 hits over 4 innings. He struck out 3 with one walk. In 3three games, the remainder of the year (all starts) for the Tigers, he pitched 14 innings allowing 19 hits and only 3 walks. He struck out 7 and had a 9.00 ERA.


Back at Toledo for 2003, he started 20 games for them (one in relief) completed 128 innings giving up 129 hits and 30 walks. His ERA was 3.02 with 58 strike outs. He pitched in 11 games for the Tigers (4 starts) finishing 30 innings allowing 37 hits and 12 walks. His ERA was reduced to 7.12 and he had 8 K's.


A 2004 scouting report stated: "Loux throws a sinking fastball in the low 90's, a curve and a change. He adjusted his delivery to over the top and has improved his mental approach."


He did not make the Tigers major league roster after spring training in 2004 and pitched once again at AAA Toledo. In 22 starts and 133 innings, Shane gave up 154 hits and 34 walks with 86 strike outs. His ERA was 5.29 and he had a 7-11 record. Due to Tommy John surgery [a tendon was removed from his wrist and grafted into his elbow in a figure-eight pattern by Dr. Lewis Yocum] he did not pitch in 2005.


In January 2006, he was able to throw without concern and signed a minor league with the Kansas City Royals. In March 2006, he told "The Arizona Republic": "Once I get a chance to throw and basically get my feet wet again, it will finally feel like I am back. I hope to get a chance to showcase in front of the big league guys and show what I can do." His father, Scott said: "The rehab was great, no setbacks. He has no reservations anymore. He is free and fluid." Shane continued: "I have to be cautious of not trying to catch everyone's eye on every single pitch. I have to concentrate on having good outings and show I can be counted on every five days or pitch on back-to-back days if that is what they need me to do." He liked being in the Royals organization: "They have a history that shows they are not afraid to pull guys up...when to get innings in, whether it is Triple-A or Double-A and they have shown that if a guy is doing well, they will call him up."


At the beginning of the 2006 season he was, admittedly, not 100% pain free, but was close. When he threw his split-finger, he felt it in his elbow. At Omaha, he appeared in 31 games (all in relief) for 54 innings giving up 74 hits and 15 walks. He had a 6.46 ERA and 1.64 WHIP while striking out 23 and getting 2 saves.


In early 2007, his contract was apparently owned by Seattle. However, he season in the Spring with the independent York Revolution of the Atlantic League managed by former Orioles player Chris Holes. Of course, he knew what he was getting into when the team opened camp at the Tigers' spring training facilities. He decided to avoid the players' dormitory and pay for a hotel room. "I remember being dropped off at the front door in 1997 as a 17-year-old," Loux said. But he doesn't pity his teammates who are staying in the crammed rooms at Fetter Hall. When he played for the Lakeland Tigers, the rooms didn't have twin beds, television or Internet access. "These guys have it good," Loux said. Unfortunately, he was released on May 1 before the season started.


In 2008, he started 22 games for the Angels' AAA farm team in Salt Lake completing 138 innings allowing 154 hits and 40 walks with 77 strikeouts. His record was 12-6 with a 3.98 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. He was called up to the Angels on August 4 and was on the DL from Aug. 31 to September 12 because of oral surgery. Loux appeared in 7 games for the Angels with 16 innings allowing 16 hits and 2 walks with 4 strikeouts. His ERA was 2.81 with a 1.13 WHIP and no wins nor loses.


Due to injuries in the Angels staff, Shane got in 18 games including 6 starts before he went on the DL in June with shoulder problems. On July 12, he was activated and then on Aug. 26, was designated for assignment. On Aug 29, he agreed to pitch at AAA Salt Lake City. For the Angels, he had a 2-3 record with a 5.86 ERA in 58 innings as he allowed 84 hits and 19 walks with 19 k's. His WHIP was 1.77. At Salt Lake city, he appeared in 8 games (5 starts) for a 1-2 record, 3.96 ERA and 1.58 WHIP. He completed 25 innings allowed 24 hits and 14 walks while striking out 13.


In January 2010, Loux signed a minor league contract with the Houston Astros and pitched the 2010 year at their AAA farm club, Round Rock, in the PCL. He was in 20 games (19 starts) completing 108 innings allowing 134 hits and 16 walks and struck out 62. His ERA was 5.25 and he had a 6-12 record.

In December 2010, Shane signed a minor league deal with the Giants for whom his pitched in 2011 on their AAA Fresno club. In 28 starts, he had a 4.67 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and a 8-12 record in 179 innings. He allowed 202 hits and 41 walks.


Loux returned to the majors with the Giants in 2012 seeing action in 19 games and 25 1/3 innings allowing 32 hits and a 4.97 ERA and 1.62 WHIP. His record was 1-0. Also, during the season, he appeared in 23 games for the AAA Fresno club completing 32 innings, giving up 23 hits for a 1.41 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and a 4-1 record.


After the 2013 Giants' spring training, he was assigned to AAA Fresno where he made 9 starts completing 51 innings allowing 42 hits, 18 walks and struck out 17. His ERA was 4.09 and he had a WHIP of 1.18 and a 5-2 record. On June 12 his season ended with the announcement that he must have Tommy John type surgery. The injury puts a big question mark on his career. Still rehabing his arm in 2014, he pitched in 9 rookie Arizona League games for the “Giants” going 7 innings allowing 7 hits and no walks. His ERA was 2.45 with a 0.955 WHIP. The Giants did not renew his contract after the '14 season.


During the 2015 season, Loux pitched for the Sugar Land (TX) club in the independent Atlantic League. He made 13 starts completing 77 innings allowing 79 hits and only 12 walks. He struck out 25 and had a very good 2.92 ERA and 1.18 WHIP. However, on July 10, he announced his retirement as an active player. The rest of the year he was the pitching coach for Can-Am League's Sussex County Miners.


He was also involved in the baseball skill program "Garden of Gears" in the Phoenix area. Loux lived in Chandler and Gilbert, AZ, and apparently also has a residence in Rapid City. In 2017, the Diamondbacks signed Loux as the pitching coach for their minor league team in Missoula, MT (Pioneer – rookie) starting in 2017 and he continues to coach minor league pitchers for the organization.



Brandon Claussen

Brandon A. Claussen was born on May 1, 1979, in Rapid City, South Dakota. He attended Goddard High in Roswell, NM, and Howard Jr. College in Texas.


In 1998, the lefty was selected in the amateur draft on the 34th round out of junior college and signed in 1999. His first pro season was in 1999 where he played for three different teams. At the rookie Gulf Coast League, he made 2 starts (11 innings) and gave up 7 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 16 with a 3.18 ERA. At Greensboro in the South Atlantic League, he started one game (6 inn, 8 h, 2 w, 5 k, 7 er). He finished the year at Staten Island of the New York-Penn League (class "A") where he had 12 starts (72 inn, 70 h, 12 w, 89 k, 3.38 ERA).


In 2000, he went back to Greenboro started 17 games with an ERA of 4.07. In 98 innings, he gave up 44 walks and 91 hits while striking out 98. Brandon played the rest of the year at Tampa in the Florida State League (class "A"). He started 9 games (52 inn, 49 h, 17 w, 44 k, 3.10 ERA).


His 2001 season was also spent in two stops. Again at Tampa, he started 8 games with an ERA of 2.73. In 56 innings, he allowed 47 hits and 13 walks while having 69 K's. At "AA" Norwich in the Eastern League, he started 21 more games completing 131 innings. His ERA was a very good 2.13 and he allowed 101 hits and 55 walks. Brandon struck out 151. For the year, he led all minor leaguers in strikeouts (220 in 189 innings).


Due to a Tommy John-type surgery, he did not play in 2002. But, 2003 was an exciting year. It began at class "A" Tampa where he made 4 starts for 22 innings. Brandon gave up 16 hits and 3 walks while having 26 K's and a 1.64 ERA. He was promoted to AAA Columbus and was given 11 starts (69 inn, 53 h, 18 w, 39 k, 2.75 ERA). He was brought up to the Yankees for a spot start which lasted 6 innings (8 h, 1 w, 5 k, 1 er). On July 31, the Yankees traded him to the Cincinnati Reds for Aaron Boone and Gabe White. He finished his year with the Reds AAA team in the International League - the Louisville Bats. In 3 starts (16 inn) he allowed 17 hits, 6 walks while striking out 16 with a 7.47 ERA. After the trade, he was hampered by an injury.


Claussen did not make the Reds' major league roster after 2004 spring training as he was still recovering from his injury. However, he did get back into shape by making 18 starts for AAA Louisville. In 100 innings he allowed 98 hits and 47 walks. His ERA was 4.66 and he struck out 111.


In July, he was called up by the Reds. In 14 MLB starts, he finished 66 innings giving up 80 hits and 35 walks with 45 strike outs. His ERA was 6.14 with an OAV of .299 and a 2-8 record.


Scouts said he mixed a 91 mph fastball, curveball, cutter and change up, has a deceptive delivery and works efficiently and quickly.


Brandon played the 2005 season as the Reds number 4 or 5 starter and became one of their most dependable starters by year end. For the season, he made 29 starts and finished 167 innings giving up 178 hits and 57 walks while striking out 121. His ERA was 4.21, he had a OBA of .273 and a 10-11 record.


In 2006, Claussen began as the Reds' number four or five starter and in mid-June went on the 15-day DL with shoulder tendinitis. In 14 starts his ERA was 5.04 in77 innings and he had allowed 93 hits and 28 walks. He struck out 57 and had a 1.57 WHIP. In June he went on the DL and his minor league rehap in July was canceled because it was determined that surgery would probably be required which would end his season. At Louisville he started 5 games and pitched 23 innings giving up 31 hits and 8 walks for a 8.34 ERA and 1.72 WHIP. Claussen struck out 18.


In mid-December 2006 Cincinnati designated him for assignment and, in mid-January 2007, he signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals. In June and July, Claussen pitched for their rookie league ream in the Gulf Coast League. He started 3 games for 15 innings allowing 14 hits, 1 walk and struck out 18. He had a 3.00 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. He then was promoted to Columbus in the AAA International League. While there, he only appeared in 4 games (all starts) for 19 1/3 innings and gave up 29 hits, 7 walks and struck out 13 with a 1-1 record. His ERA was 6.98 and he had a WHIP of 1.86.


He did not pitch as a pro after 2007. During his four MLB seasons, he was in 58 games (all starts) finishing 316 innings allowing 359 hits and 121 walks while striking out 228. His ERA was 5.04 and he had a 1.52 WHIP and a 16-27 record.


Clauseen had lived in Land 'O Lakes, FL, Hobbs, NM, and now lives in Lubbock, TX.


Jason Kubel

Jason Kubel was born on May 25, 1982, in Belle Fourche, Butte County, South Dakota. He attended Highland High School in Palmdale, CA and was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 12th round (342nd overall) of the 2000 amateur draft.


In 2000 and 2001, Jason played in the rookie Gulf Coast League for 23 and 37 games respectively. His batting averages were .282 and .331

The right handed outfielder had a break out year at class A Quad Cities in the Midwest League in 2002 hitting .321 with a .380 OBP in 115 games with 17 home runs and 69 RBI.


In 2003, Jason was with the Fort Myers Miracle in the Florida State League (class A) where, in 116 games, he hit .298 and had a OBP of .361. His home run total decreased to 5, but his RBI increased to 82.


His 2004 season started at class AA New Britain where he was leading the league in hitting at .377 (37 games, 138 AB's, 6 HR, 29 RBI, .453 OBP) before being called up to AAA Rochester. He also was leading the International League in hitting with a .343 average before being called up to the Minnesota Twins on August 31. He won the International League batting crown as he had played 90 games with the Red Wings and had 350 at bats. He hit 28 doubles, 16 HRs, 72 RBI and had a OBP of .398. Jason stole 16 bases in 19 tries.

On September 4, he collected his first MLB hit in the first inning by lining a double in the left-center gap at the Metrodome. In the sixth inning of the same game, he threw out a Kansas City runner at the plate. His feelings about the fast rise to the top in 2004 were: "Everything's happened so fast. It's been a lot of fun this year." During the rest of the season, Jason appeared in 23 games for the Twins and had 60 at bats. His batting average was .300 with 2 doubles and 2 home runs. He had 7 RBI with a .353 OBP and .433 slugging %. He made their post season roster and was 1 for 7 in the ALDS as he got a double in his last at bat.


Jason was assigned by the Twins to play in the 2004 Arizona Fall League. In the third week of October, he had an outfield collision with another player and suffered a major knee injury. The resulting torn anterior cruciate ligament required rehabilitation through the 2005 season. In October 2005, he was running at 75% without a brace and played in the Fall Instructional League (with a brace), but did not slide or attempt to run full out. In late December, he received medical clearance to begin 2006 spring training on time and to play at full speed without any limitations including having to wear a brace. It was reported that Kubel had a great spring in 2006 and he was awarded by being the Twins' 2006 starting right fielder on opening day.


After a 3 for 16 start, Kubel was sent to AAA Rochester on April 16. He said: "I didn't expect to make it out of spring training. I always had that thought [being sent to AAA] in the back of my mind." After the Twins lost their regular left fielder to injury, Jason was back in the majors on May 22. He had hit .283 in 30 games for the Redwings. At the time of call-up, Jason was asked about his knee; "It's fine. I now know I can do stuff and it won't mess it up." With his good hitting, by mid-June, Jason had secured a starting left field job for the Twins. Unfortunately, his knee problems re-surfaced in July and caused his availability to be limited to DH or pinch hitting duties. As the season ran down and the Twins made their miraculous run for the AL Central pennant, Kubel spent more and more time on the bench. For 2006, he played in 76 games and had 220 at bats hitting .241 with 8 doubles and 8 home runs with 26 RBI. His OBA was .279.


It was said going into 2007, that there would not be many more chances left for Kubel with the Twins. He started the season as a left-handed DH and occasional fielder, but by late April was the starting left fielder and hitting well.


In August of 2007, "St. Paul Pioneer Press" writer Tom Powers wrote about Kubel. The following are excerpts: "Jason Kubel has heard the talk. The Twins need help. They need to upgrade at third, DH and, oh yeah, left field. As the incumbent left fielder, Kubel wishes people didn't think that way. 'A little bit', he said. 'I know I haven't been doing what I'm supposed to be doing. But I feel like I'm doing it now. Hopefully, I'll keep it up.'...Kubel was one of the best prospects to come out of any farm system in a long time. National baseball publications predicted big things for him. Scouts raved about his potential...But he shattered his left knee...Then he developed problems in his other leg while trying to compensate. He sort of limped through 2006. So far in 2007, he has been no great shakes - until recently.


"'Finally', he said. 'I'm feeling better. Mentally, mostly. I feel comfortable. I feel confidence now. But I put myself in pretty big hole.' That's the thing about Kubel. He beats himself up. He's his own worst critic. And the weight of it all sometimes causes him to sag...'I don't know how anyone can not put pressure on himself,' Kubel said. I'm trying to have fun. Not just my part of it, but because we're winning. Hitting coach Joe Vavra sees extraordinary potential. The challenge is to pull it out of him. "He's a very quiet person and it hard to read sometimes,' Vavra said.. 'But I see a lot of fight inside of him. You've got to bring out the animal'.


"All seem to agree that his legs are back to normal...'The legs were an issue,' Vavra said. 'He questioned himself all the time about whether he could do it again. The last three weeks, his daily routine has been second to none. He was always known as a gage rat. But sometimes I wouldn't see him in the gage for a week or two at a time because his legs were bothering him. 'Now he's back to the old Jason Kubel. I almost think I should back him off a little bit. The best is yet to come. He shows signs of greatness. There have been lapses in between, but the lapses are getting shorter. Less and less.'...


"Kubel has adjusted his 'pre-swing' at the plate. In other words, he has shortened the length of time it takes to get his bat into the launch position. Manager Ron Gardenhire has taken note of the recent improvement. 'Right now he's got a good swing going,' Gardenhire said. 'If he can stay in that and not get too goosey...He puts pressure on himself to hit .300, to hit home runs...He's staying on the ball. He looks really confident. That's a big part of hitting. You get a few hits, you start seeing it better. All of a sudden, they can't get you out.'...Just 25, there is still plenty of time for him. He needs to lighten up and get out of his own way. If his legs really are OK, then he should be ready to break through."

Jason finished the 2007 season hitting .273 with a .335 OBP in 128 games and 418 at bats. He hit 31 doubles, 2 triples and 13 home runs for 65 RBI and a .450 slugging %. He struck out 79 times and had 5 stolen bases. Kubel played in more games in 2008 (141) as a DH and left/right fielder and had 463 at bats with a .272 average, 22 doubles, 5 triples and 20 homers. His OBP was .335 with a slugging of .471.


His 2009 season was the best of his career. He played in 146 games for the Twins with 514 at bats hitting .300 with 35 doubles, 2 triples, 28 home runs, and 103 RBI. His OBP was .369 with a .539 slugging percentage. In the field, he committed no errors in 58 games. Kubel did not do as well in 2010 hitting .249 with 21 homers and 92 RBI in 143 games. His OBP was .323 with a .427 slugging. He played as an outfielder in 98 games (.972) and was a DH in 42 others.


On June 2, 2011, Jason was placed on the DL with a sprained left foot which occurred three days prior on a play in right field. The injury continued to bother him the rest of the season as he only played in 99 games for the Twins. In 368 at bats, he hit .273 with a .332 OBP, .434 slugging and .766 OPS. He had 58 RBI with 21 double, 1 triple and 12 homers.


Kubel signed a two-year contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks for 2012-13. As the D'backs regular left fielder in '12, he hit 30 home runs and had 90 RBI in 141 games and 506 at bats. He also slugged 30 doubles and 4 triples with a .253 BA, .327 OBP, .506 slugging, .833 OPS and an excellent .995 fielding mark with 13 assists.


The 2013 season was a downer. His knee bothered him in the Spring, there was a quad problem in April. Both issues flared up again by mid-season. He was quoted by the Arizona Republic: “I think what really might have (hurt) was that I got into a lot of bad habits in the spring because of my knee, so I was swinging different. And then in the last month or so (July) I've been working on it pretty hard and finally got back to using the legs, and I think that kind of flared it up again.” Manager Kirk Gibson said at the time: “He's had it (knee) drained. He had it injected. So it's been a tough year for him. But he's working hard. He's done everything he can.” A couple of days after the interview (mid-August) , the Diamondbacks designated him for assignment. “Great time here,” he said with tears in his eyes. “I love the guys here. That's going to be the hardest part. But this was going to be my last month here anyways most likely even if I stayed. So now I get a chance just to hopefully help somebody else out and keep playing.” In 89 games for the D'backs he had 241 at bats hitting .220 with 8 doubles, 1 triple and 5 homers (.280 slugging). His OBP was .324.


On August 30, the Indians traded a high-minor league player to Arizona for Kubel. For Cleveland the last month of the season, he was in only 8 games and had 18 AB's. He hit .167 with a double (.222 slugging), but had a good OBP of .348.


On December 13, Jason signed a minor league deal for 2014 with the Minnesota Twins and was added to their major league roster before opening day. He was generally their starting left fielder after an injury to Josh Willingham. When Willingham returned, he was delegated to the bench and released on June 15 after he refused assignment to AAA. No MLB team signed him thereafter. For the 2014 season, he played in 45 games and had 156 at bats with 1 home run and 13 RBI. He hit .224 with a .313 slugging and .295 OBP.


Kubel did not play professional baseball after 2014. In 2016 he sold his Calabasas home (in Los Angeles County, California) with a custom batting cage. He is now listed as a retired player and is active as a little league coach




Sean Doolittle

Sean Robert Doolittle was born in Rapid City on September 26, 1986. He attended high school in NJ and college at the University of Virginia. The A's drafted him in their first round in 2007 and he was in their farm system as a first baseman through 2009. He missed the entire 2010 season while rehabbing from two knee surgeries and a wrist issue. In the 2011 off-season, he was placed on Oakland's 40-man roster in ordered to be protected from the rule-five draft. After missing more than two years, lefty Doolittle converted back to pitching (he also pitched in high school and college) and made his professional pitching debut in the Arizona instructional league in 2011.


His 2012 season had to be one of the quickest escalation through a minor league system of any pitcher. He was in six games at class “A+” Stockton, eight at Midland (class AA) and two with Sacramento (AAA) all with WHIPs under 0.90. On June 5, he made his MLB debut. In 46 games in relief for the A's, he pitched very well allowing 40 hits in 47 1/3 innings for a 3.04 ERA, 1.08 WHIP and a 2-1 record.


Doolittle's 2013 season was another very good effort as he was in 70 games for the A's for 69 innings allowing 53 hits and 13 walks while striking out 60. His WHIP was a great 0.96 and had he had a 3.13 ERA.


Doolittle signed a five-year, $10.5 m extension with the Athletics on April 18, 2014. Before the season, he developed a slider after being a fastball only pitcher. Doolittle entered the regular season as late-inning setup pitcher. However, by May he was part of a closer by committee situation. Sean was ultimately was named A's closer on May 20 and was one of six A's players named to the 2014 American League All-Star Team. During the game, he faced three batters late in the game and struck out two. During the season he pitched in 61 games, 63 innings allowing 38 hits, only 8 walks and struck out 89. He had 22 saves with a 2.73 ERA and 0.734 WHIP. On the downside, he developed left shoulder problems late in the season.


In February 2015 he received a PRP injection in order to alleviate inflammation and irritation. Doolittle was on the DL until May 26. On May 27th he pitched one inning striking out two and giving up one hit and no runs. On May 30 Sean went back on the DL with a strain of the left shoulder and was not activated until August 22. In minor league rehab appearances he was in one game at class AA and six in AAA (3.00 ERA). His MLB record in 2015 was 12 games and 13 2/3 innings allowing 12 hits and 15 walks with 15 strikeouts for a 3.95 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and .235 OBA. He saved four games after he returned to the closer role.


Sean came back in 2016 and pitched in 44 games for the A's. He spent July and August on the DL with a shoulder injury. He rehabed in Nashville (AAA) for 6 games performing very well (1.50 ERA and 0.833 WHIP). In the majors he completed 39 innings, allowed 33 hits compiling a 3.23 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. Prior to the 2016 season, Doolittle signed a five-year contract with Oakland. Besides shoulder problems, he was been plagued with a sore Achilles heel since 2015.


From May 3 to June 10, 2017, he was on the A's DL with a left shoulder strain. Doolittle ended his stay with A's when he was traded to the Nationals on July 16, 2017, after pitching in 23 games for 21 innings with a 3.38 ERA and .656 WHIP. For the Nats he was in 30 games completing 30 innings compiling a 2.40 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP.


Until another injury in July 2018, Doolittle was baseball's number one reliever and was chosen for the All Star Game. However a toe inflammation and stress fracture in his left foot caused him to miss more then two months. His final 2018 numbers were excellent: 43g, 45 inn., 21 h, 6 w, 60 K, 1.60 ERA, 0.60 WHIP with 25 saves. Needless to say, the Nationals picked up his option for 2019.


On August 17, 2019, Doolittle totally messed up his season stats. He was called in to protect a three-run lead over the Brewers. In the following nine pitches he allowed three home runs and a double scoring four runs. After that game he was place on the IL until August 4 with right knee tendinitis. To reporters later he acknowledged that he had felt fatigued for the a number of days previous (from over use). His season ended with a career highs in ERA (4.05), games (63), innings (60), hits allowed (63), HRs (11) and WHIP (1.30). In the world series, he allowed no runs in three games and three innings with a 1.00 WHIP. The Nats ignored his short-term problems and picked up his 2020 option.




Dusty Coleman

Dustin (“Dusty”) Michael Coleman was born in Sioux Falls on April 20, 1987. He graduated from Wichita State in 2008 and was drafted in the 28th round by Oakland.

He played from 2008 through 2014 in the A's system and was signed by the Royals in 2015. His minor league numbers before he appeared in a major league game were: 743 games, 2,705 at bats, .244 average, .322 OBP and .399 slugging. He played shortstop in 635 games, second in 83 and third for 14. His fielding percentage was .960.

On July 3, 2015, he made his MLB debut as a pinch runner. The Kansas City Star reported that day:

'“I’m ecstatic …,' said Coleman, a native of Sioux Falls, S.D., and former Wichita State standout. 'I just feel completely blessed at this moment.' Coleman and his wife, Sarah, a former Shockers volleyball player, followed her parents from Wichita to the Kansas City area three years ago. The Colemans moved to Shawnee last year after spending the previous two years in Olathe.

“Coleman, who signed a minor-league contract with the Royals during the offseason, spent the first seven years of his professional career in the Oakland organization. He reached Class AAA in 2011 and 2013 after missing the entire 2010 season with a wrist injury after requiring multiple surgeries to repair a broken scaphoid bone. Coleman split time between Class AA Northwest Arkansas and Omaha, batting .304 with 17 doubles, seven home runs and 35 RBIs in 69 combined games.

'“It’s definitely been a journey,” Coleman said. 'There have been a lot of ups and downs, a few injuries here and there. … There was definitely times where I was like, ‘Am I called to do this still?’ ...and here I am.'

“Coleman was set to join Team USA on Saturday for the Pan-American Games, but received his first promotion to the big leagues instead. Yost said he’s comfortable playing second base, shortstop and third base... 'I’ve played the majority of my career (at shortstop), but the last couple years I’ve gotten a lot more chances at second base, and I feel really comfortable over there also. Third is definitely coming around too, but I’d have to go with short. Short’s my love.”

On July 24, after playing in four games for the Royals and going 0-for-5 and with two games at third, he was returned to AAA. For the season he hit .341 at class AA with a .340 OBP and at AAA he was in 73 games batting .275 and had a .323 OBP. Coleman was designated for assignment on September 7, but after no waiver claims was outrighted to AAA. His return to the majors is in doubt.

His 2016 year was spent mostly on the Omaha (AAA) roster where he played in 56 games hitting .239 with a .296 OBP and .399 slugging. On May 9, he was placed on the DL and on July 19 was sent to the Arizona League to rehab. Activation from the DL was on July 28.

Coleman began the 2017 season with AAA El Paso (Padres) and played in 94 games as their utility player hitting .208 with a .276 OBP. On July 27, he was called up by the Padres and was their everyday shortshop for 27 games batting .227 and had .268 OBP. On September 21, he was outrighted back to El Paso.

Dusty's 2018 season was spent completely at AAA El Paso where he played 7 positions (incl. DH) hitting .202 with a .267 OBP and .397 slugging. As of November, he was a free agent.

He did not play professionally in 2019 to become a sales rep (a surgical technology specialist) for the Tital Surgical Group tn the Kansas City, MO, area. They specialize in implant tech for sports injuries.






Layne Somsen

Layne Somsen was born in Yankton on June 5, 1989. He attended South Dakota State University where he played baseball for the Jackrabbits. When he was a senior in 2013, he had an 1.87 ERA and was named Summit League pitcher of the year. During his career there he ranked in the top five in school history in starts (38), innings pitched (215), and strikeouts (180). He completed his masters degree in sports administration at Arkansas State in 2018.

The Reds selected Somsen in the 22nd round of the 2013 amateur draft and he signed with them making his pro debut in Billings (Rookie) in the same year earning a 1.66 ERA in 17 games as a reliever. In 2014 he pitched for Dayton and Bakersfield (class A) compiling a 3.05 ERA in 32 games. He split the 2015 season with Pensacola (AA) and Louisville (AAA) with a cumulative 2.74 ERA in 27 contests. His use as a reliever continued during his carrier.

The right-hander's 2016 year started out well with Louisville (1.89 ERA in ten games) and the Reds promoted him to the major leagues on April 25, 2016, but he was sent back to AAA on April 28 and did not make his MLB debut during that time on the MLB roster. He then got recalled on May 9 and pitched his first MLB game on May 14, throwing a scoreless inning against the Phillies. (He became the third former Jackrabbit to make his debut since 2013, joining fellow pitchers Caleb Thielbar and Blake Treinen). His other appearance went very badly as, in his two major league games, he finished 2 1/3 innings and allowed 6 hits (2 HRs), 3 walks and struck out 2. His ERA for those limited pitches was 19.29 with a 3.86 WHIP.

The Reds placed him on the waiver wire and he was claimed by the Yankees on May 24, who assigned him to AAA (0.00 ERA in 4 games). On June 13, Somsen was designated for assignment and on June 22 the Dodgers claimed him off waivers. Somsen was with them only a short time (he did not pitch) as, on July 1, he cleared waivers and was outrighted to AAA Oklahoma City on July 3. He got into six games for them for a 20.65 ERA before spending time on the DL until September 18.

The Dodgers assigned Somsen to AA Tulsa to start the 2017 season and he pitched in 19 games with 30 innings scoring a 2.08 ERA and 1.615 WHIP. He was then promoted to AAA Oklahoma City where he pitched well in 20 games and 31 innings for a 2.35 ERA and 1.27 WHIP.

Somsen had an injury plauged year in 2018 apparently not pitching until August in AA. There were transaction reports during the season between AAA OKC and AA Tulsa, but he did not actually appear in games with anyone other then Tulsa. However, his appearances were impressive: 11 g, 7 starts, 12 inn, 10 h, 2 w, 18 K, 0.73 ERA and 0.97 WHIP as he became their prime stopper in the playoffs. How those great appearances in the playoffs will translate for his baseball future in unknown.

The 2019 season was marred by another trip to the IL in May while playing for Tulsa (AA). While in Tulsa, he pitched in 9 games with 11 innings, 11 hits allowed, 10 Ks, 4 bb for a 6.75 ERA and 1.41 WHIP. He had a short-term stay in AAA (5 g, 5 inn, 7 h, 8 bb, 3 K, 9.00 ERA and 3.00 WHIP. His future with the Dodgers organization is unknown.

Somsen has also had experience as an asst. pitching coach at Sioux Falls (SD) University in 2015-16 and 2018-19 and at South Dakota State earlier. He was a player development intern with the Dodgers for four months in 2018.

He lives in Sioux Falls.


*********************

Sources:

The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball - second edition

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