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Old 11-13-2019, 03:47 PM   #541
Hageneezz
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Oh you heartless being you


I always am contrary
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Old 11-14-2019, 12:47 PM   #542
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Thanks, Eugene!

Health problems have come back to limit my involvement with my dynasty for a bit, but this time, it's with my wife. You just gotta roll with the punches.
We'll keep you in our prayers.

May both of you be blessed abundantly.
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Old 11-21-2019, 01:43 AM   #543
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March 25, 1952

Eastern League: Athletics, Chiefs to Battle for Pennant





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Offense: .268/.341/.397 (4th/7th/6th)
Pitching: 3.94/4.04/3.59 (3rd/3rd/3rd)
Defense: .714 (Tied for 1st)

The Wellington Athletics are heading to the playoffs for the first time in 12 years and just the third time overall in their history. They finish in first place as well for just the second time, but it feels as though they staggered across the finish line rather than sprinted. Since December, they have won only three more games than they have lost and a rash of injuries to their pitching staff appears to have sapped some of their momentum. But they are not the only playoff team to be decimated by the injury bug this season (read: Wolseley).

The pitching staff has held its own, despite the loss of No. 1 starter 25-year old RHP Bert Morrow (8-6, 3.97 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 3.77 FIP) and No. 2 man 27-year old RHP Troy Conlin (12-8, 3.87 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 4.05 FIP) late in the season. Veteran Ian Peter now assumes the No. 1 spot. For the playoffs, Wellington is going with the following four-man rotation:

31-year old RHP Ian Peter (13-10, 4.08 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 4.24 FIP)
29-year old RHP Wilfried Schop (13-9, 3.79 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 3.87 FIP)
27-year old LHP Matt Price (12-12, 4.07 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 4.38 FIP)
24-year old RHP Vinnie Snell (2-2, 4.58 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 4.11 FIP)

The offense has held steady, one led by 24-year old LF Matthew Floyd (.305/.386/.566, 22 HR, 111 RBI, 65 BB, 9 SB, 6.2 WAR) and 26-year old CF Jim Mars (.322/.390/.435, 9 HR, 84 RBI, 69 BB, 5.8 WAR), two of Wellington’s three players rated in the Top 20. The third, 24-year old C Declan Bugbie (.309/.339/.450, 11 HR, 82 RBI, 25 BB, 4.7 WAR), is expected to miss the Pennant Series due to an injury suffered in mid-March. However, he should be available for the United Cup Series should the Athletics get that far.

Player of the Week Awards:

February 18 – LF Matthew Floyd (.462, 12 H, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 8 R)

Noteworthy:

February 17 – It was a rough day for the pitchers, as the Athletics pummelled the Sheburn Tigers 17-8 in an interleague matchup at the Paramount in Sherburn. Wellington outhit Sherburn 22 to 15, with both LF Matthew Floyd (2 HR, 1-2B, 7 RBI, 1 BB, 4 R) and CF Jim Mars (1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 5 R) going 5 for 5 on the day. Floyd singled in the 1st, hit a three-run home run in the 2nd, doubled in the 4th, hit another three-run home run in the 5th, hit an RBI single in the 6th and walked in the 8th. Meanwhile, Mars singled in the 1st and 2nd innings, hit a solo home run in the 4th, walked in the 5th and then singled in the 6th & 8th innings. In a losing cause, Tigers’ LF Noah Teale went 4 for 5 with a double, 3 RBI and 3 R. Incidentally, Floyd’s handiwork was named the top game performance for a position player this season in the ULB, earning a score of 132.

First Round Draft Pick Update:

6th overall – IF Brayden Docking (23/64). Docking enjoyed a solid first season in Double A after being selected by Wellington in this season’s amateur draft. The 21-year old spent the majority of his time at 3B and the No. 3 spot in the lineup. He hit .298/.385/.444, 7 HR, 30 RBI, 25 BB, 1.1 WAR in 198 AB. On March 14, he went 5 for 6 against the Brockville Bears (Stratford), with 1-2B, 1 RBI.

Current Injuries:

RHP Zachary Collingham – December 27 – torn meniscus. Out for: 6-7 more weeks.
RHP Troy Conlin – February 22 - torn meniscus. Out for: 2-3 more months.
LHP Jorge Ortíz – March 10 – should inflammation. Out for: 6 more months.
C Declan Bugbie – March 15 – strained oblique. Out for: DtD, one week.
RHP Bert Morrow – March 16 – partially torn UCL. Out for: 8 more months.

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Offense: .262/.342/.385 (6th/6th/7th)
Pitching: 4.29/4.62/3.40 (4th/6th/1st)
Defense: .714 (Tied for 1st)

On the morning of March 20, the Downie Chiefs trailed the Queensland Eagles by three games for the wild card with four games remaining on the schedule – against those same Eagles. The Chiefs did what they had to do to capture the last playoff spot – sweeping Queensland in four straight. Downie got solid complete-game performances from three of their four top starters (Pelaneklina, Knowles and Hewat) to run the table, giving the club some optimism that their rotation – a shadow of what it once was two seasons ago – can rise to the occasion in the playoffs. For the Eastern League Pennant Series, Downie is going with the following rotation:

29-year old RHP Kelii Pelanekelina (12-13, 4.61 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 4.73 FIP)
32-year old RHP Joong Ling (13-13, 4.65 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 4.49 FIP)
31-year old RHP Bernie Knowles (10-13, 4.69 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 4.42 FIP)
36-year old LHP Gavin Hewat (14-10, 3.99 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 3.88 FIP)

Perhaps most disconcerting is that Downie’s top two players suffered relative ‘off’ years compared to previous seasons. A fractured finger limited 26-year old 2B Dominic Dudding (.343/.418/.554, 17 HR, 70 RBI, 52 BB, 5.8 WAR) this season, but last season’s Babe Ruth Award winner, 26-year old CF Alfonso León (.287/.365/.433, 17 HR, 89 RBI, 74 BB, 5.6 WAR), endured his worst campaign since his rookie season 5 years ago. On the positive side, lead-off hitter 27-year old LF Howard Dumbrill (.243/.361/.378, 18 HR, 62 RBI, 106 BB, 13 SB, 4.1 WAR) enjoyed his best season in six years and was simply outstanding in the field (.995 PCT, 3.01 RNG, +12.0 ZR, 1.050 EFF). Finally, 25-year old RF Connor Bing (.270/.354/.452, 10 HR, 54 RBI, 44 BB, 3.7 WAR) progressed nicely in his sophomore season.

First Round Draft Pick Update:

14th overall – 2B Harley Truman (38/59). Truman felt right at home in Double-A, going .349/.446/.628, 16 HR, 57 RBI, 35 BB, 14 SB in 215 AB before being promoted to the AAA Renforth Braves. Once there, he went .298/.365/.526, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 3 BB, 3 SB in 57 AB. He batted .222/.300/.222 with 1 BB in 9 AB in the playoffs. Alas, the Braves were swept by the Rutledge Red Caps (Pulberry) in three straight games in the West Cape Pennant Series.

Current Injuries:

RHP Harley Bracher – March 14 – intercostal strain. Out for: 6 more days.

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Offense: .275/.349/.406 (2nd/3rd/3rd)
Pitching: 4.46/4.29/5.11 (6th/4th/8th)
Defense: .696 (Tied for 6th)

Choked. Collapsed. Crumbled. Whatever you want to call it, the Queensland Eagles could not get it done in March when the chips were down and missed out on ending their five-year playoff drought. Still, after enduring back-to-back last-place finishes over the previous two seasons, their improved play provides some comfort for Eagles’ fans.
The top of the rotation started showing signs this season of delivering on their promise. 26-year old RHP Logan Belsey (19-11, 3.81 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 3.24 FIP) enjoyed a really nice bounce-back season, while 24-year old RHP Stiofan Micklethwait (14-13, 3.87 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 3.85 FIP) showed flashes of brilliance, although he did struggle in the final two months of the season. (3-6, 4.83 ERA, 1.57 WHIP). But the rest of the rotation and especially the bullpen are really going to have to step it up if the Eagles want to compete next season.

The offense still lacks a truly impact player, but the Eagles do have the makings of a nice core to build around. 25-year old 1B Ryan Conisford (.273/.363/.438, 18 HR, 68 RBI, 79 BB, 3.8 WAR) and 26-year old LF Rod Dennis (.318/.371/.508, 26 HR, 103 RBI, 54 BB, 3.8 WAR) continue to make strides, while 33-year old C Elijah Sheppard (.251/.375/.403, 15 HR, 51 RBI, 81 BB, 3.8 WAR) earned his first all-star selection in four years.

Player of the Week Awards:

February 25 – LF Rod Dennis (.429, 12 H, 3 HR, 13 RBI)
March 17 – 1B Ryan Conisford (.400, 8 H, 2 HR, 4 RBI)

Noteworthy:

March 2 – Although the visiting Cobourg Red Stockings eventually triumphed 8-7 in 12 innings, it was not for a lack of trying on the part of 3B Alexander Crutcher (.296/.346/.436, 7 HR, 42 RBI, 23 BB, 7 SB, 1.9 WAR) who went 5 for 6 on the day. Queensland’s lead off hitter singled in the 2nd, doubled in the 4th, hit an RBI single in the 6th, doubled in the 8th, struck out in the 10th and singled in the 12th. In addition to two doubles, Crutcher collected an RBI and run.

First Round Draft Pick Update:

4th overall – RF Hal Dhu (20/80). The 18-year old Dhu had a respectable first season in Double-A, going .241/.307/.334, 5 HR, 32 RBI, 26 BB, -0.6 WAR in 326 AB. He batted largely out of the No. 8 spot in the lineup.

Current Injuries:

RHP Francisco López – January 12 – torn ULC. Out for: 4 more months.
RHP Gael Yule – January 17 – torn labrum. Out for: 4-5 more months.
2B Eric Maher – March 5 – oblique strain. Out for: Unknown.

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Offense: .254/.330/.400 (7th/8th/4th)
Pitching: 3.68/3.72/3.48 (1st/1st/2nd)
Defense: .709 (4th)

If the Eagles are lamenting the way their season ended, the Embro Suns are right there with them. Sitting just a game behind Queensland at the start of March, the Suns pulled into a tie for the wild card on March 19, after taking two of three from the Eagles. But as Queensland was being swept by the Downie Chiefs in their final series, Embro suffered the same fate at the hands of the Cobourg Red Stockings, being eliminated on the final day of the season. It was a disappointing end, especially after a particularly strong February that brought them from 5.5 games back of the wild card to its doorstep. Certainly, the loss of 32-year old LHP Arthur Bence (13-7, 3.36 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 2.95 FIP) to a season-ending injury didn’t help their cause, but the level of young talent that’s currently on the major league roster gives cause for optimism for next year and beyond.

26-year old RHP Juan Rivas (12-6, 5 SV, 2.19 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 3.15 FIP) was sensational all season, especially when he finally started getting regular starts after the trade of RHP Aaron Saunderson to Wolseley. Here’s hoping he stays in the rotation for good going forward. If Bence can come back healthy next season, the Suns should have an enviable 1-2-3 punch at the top of the rotation, with 26-year old LHP Carl McBroom (10-16, 3.47 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 3.97 FIP) as their No. 1 starter.

Embro struggled offensively this season, but the roster is quickly filling up with promising youngsters that could soon turn things around. 22-year old Kieron Bradridge (.285/.330/.484, 19 HR, 85 RBI, 36 BB, 5.4 WAR) was sensational in his rookie season and is already considered the No. 3-rated shortstop in the United Leagues. He is joined by 23-year old rookie 3B Moromao Nakagawa (.266/.362/.424, 17 HR, 77 RBI, 87 BB, 4.3 WAR) who came on strong in February and March, as well as 25-year old 1B José Maldonado (.283/.379/.460, 17 HR, 59 RBI, 65 BB, 9 SB, 3.5 WAR).

First Round Draft Pick Update:

13th overall – 1B Damien Whetter (20/66). Whetter saw limited action this season, getting only 67 AB, mostly against RHP. When the 18-year old did get into the lineup, he went .284/.311/.373, 4-2B, 13 RBI, 4 BB, -0.3 WAR overall; .305/.333/.390 against right-handers. By season’s end, he was installed in the No. 5 spot in the RHP lineup.

Current Injuries:

LHP Arthur Bence – February 2 – torn rotator cuff. Out for: 4 more months.
1B José Maldonado – March 22 – groin soreness. Out for: DtD, 3 days.

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Offense: .274/.347/.426 (3rd/4th/1st)
Pitching: 4.70/4.75/4.59 (7th/7th/5th)
Defense: .700 (5th)

The Braeland City Monarchs picked things up in February and March to finish at .500, but they are going to have to address their pitching struggles if they hope to return to their 90+ win form from just a couple of seasons ago.

Offense is not the problem. The Monarchs have an impressive lineup that should only get stronger next season. Four-year veteran, 26-year old 2B Patrick Lidgate (.285/.390/.500, 23 HR, 82 RBI, 89 BB, 5.7 WAR), was Braeland City’s top player, even if it was a bit of a down year compared to last season for him. But he was ably supported by 28-year old 1B Dean Witherden (.332/.379/.460, 15 HR, 80 RBI, 47 BB, 5.0 WAR), 27-year old CF Jake Stunt (.308/.363/.442, 12 HR, 67 RBI, 47 BB, 14 SB, 4.5 WAR) and 26-year old 3B On Tsao (.296/.371/.474, 15 HR, 84 RBI, 55 BB, 3.4 WAR). Add the impressive season of 21-year old rookie RF Aidan Trembath (.336/.386/.563, 15 HR, 66 RBI, 28 BB, 3.2 WAR) as well as the acquisition of 30-year old SS Roland Binns (.303/.355/.538, 14 HR, 53 RBI, 15 BB, 2.2 WAR) from Pulberry and Braeland City should be in good shape offensively next year.

But the Monarchs aren’t going anywhere if they don’t address their pitching woes. After 26-year old RHP Freddie Trerise (7-8, 4.10 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 4.75 FIP) went on the disabled list in late February, Braeland City sported three rookies in the rotation by season’s end: 27-year old RHP Trevor Cranfield (9-14, 5.52 ERA, 1.72 WHIP, 4.19 FIP), 24-year old RHP Pei Ming (2-3, 7.36 ERA, 1.96 WHIP, 5.87 FIP) and 27-year old RHP Ewan Thackery (2-0, 4.99 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 4.06 FIP). 31-year old ace RHP Okura Suzuki (14-12, 3.60 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 3.13 FIP) is going to need much better support than that. Standing pat will not be a successful off-season strategy for this staff in my opinion.

Player of the Week Awards:

February 4 – CF Jake Stunt (.480, 12 H, 3 HR, 5 RBI)
March 10 – CF Jake Stunt (.522, 12 H, 3 HR, 9 RBI)

Noteworthy:

March 4 – Back in December 1949, Wolseley Unions’ C Éric Denis and Kingston Pelicans’ C Danny Trowbridge smacked three home runs in a game just six days apart. Well lightning has struck twice, this time in a span of just eight days. After Brunswick Legends’ 1B Stuart Bentham achieved it on February 27 (more on that in the Legends’ report), 3B On Tsao became the 10th player in United Leagues history to accomplish the feat. Tsao started things off with a bang, hitting a Grand Slam off Queensland Eagles’ RHP Pi-ao Quian in the 1st inning, hit a solo shot off RHP Bruno Skinner in the 2nd, walked in the 4th, hit a two-run home run off LHP Leif Bryant in the 6th and walked in the 8th. In all, Tsao went 3 for 3 with 7 RBI, 2 BB, 4 R in the Monarchs’ convincing 18-6 win over the Eagles at Kings Park in Braeland City.

March 16 – The Monarchs squeaked by the visiting Cobourg Red Stockings 8-7 in 10 innings. Helping out Braeland City’s cause was CF Jake Stunt who went 5 for 6. Braeland City’s lead off hitter flied out in the 1st, singled in the 3rd and 5th innings, hit an RBI single in the 6th, then singled in the 8th and 10th innings. He collected an RBI and a run on the day.

First Round Draft Pick Update:

5th overall – SS Nicholas Malcolm (30/66). Malcolm was outstanding in Double-A, going .314/.407/.553, 11 HR, 56 RBI, 31 BB, 3.0 WAR in 226 AB with the Kingsville Royals before being promoted to the AAA Clifton Whales (.137/.214/.216, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 4 BB in 51 AB). He picked up a Player of the Week Award in December while with the Royals.

Current Injuries:

RHP Freddie Trerise – February 25 – partially torn labrum. Out for: 6-7 more weeks.

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Offense: .280/.345/.415 (1st/5th/2nd)
Pitching: 4.44/4.33/4.87 (5th/5th/7th)
Defense: .687 (8th)

The Cobourg Red Stockings are in a similar situation as the Braeland City Monarchs, not only in the standings, but in having both a strong offensive core and a weak pitching staff. Until they shore up their rotation and bullpen, Cobourg will continue to tread water – at best. But they do have one or two nice pieces coming up from the minors that could help – and force some tough choices in the lineup in the process.

Cobourg had far and away the best No. 3 and 4 hitters in the United Leagues and that’s saying something. 30-year old 3B Alexander Tolmie (.338/.415/.415, 26 HR, 115 RBI, 83 BB, 7.5 WAR) and 25-year old CF Raymond Williams (.346/.428/.595, 25 HR, 119 RBI, 86 BB, 10 SB, 8.4 WAR) both enjoyed their best seasons yet. It’s a good bet they will be 1-2 in the Babe Ruth voting in the East this off-season. But the rest of the lineup is pretty good as well, although their defense leaves something to be desired. The infield could receive a boost if No. 2 overall prospect, 20-year old SS Douglas Jones (32/80), is ready next season. The former 6th overall pick from 1949-50 was promoted straight from AA back in mid-January. His strongest position is at shortstop (65), which means Cobourg would have to find a new home for lead-off hitter 30-year old John Medley (.323/. 392/.440, 3 HR, 66 RBI, 68 BB, 22 SB, 4.0 WAR). Medley can also play second and third base and given his defensive struggles at shortstop (.336 PCT, 4.28 RNG, -18.5 ZR, .914 EFF), a shift wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

But the pitching staff needs the most urgent attention. No. 1 starter 23-year old LHP Bill Budd (16-12, 3.36 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 3.95 FIP) is the real deal and is under-rated in my opinion (he doesn’t even show up in the Top 20 Pitchers list) and 23-year old rookie RHP Bobby Williams (7-2, 3.81 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 4.09 FIP) could be a valuable piece. But the rest of the staff was a huge disappointment. 21-year old RHP Bob Nord (22/49) was recently promoted to AAA and could help one day, but there’s little else in terms of pitching prospects. Cobourg may be well advised to pursue a pitching upgrade through a trade or two if it wants to take advantage of its formidable offense next season.

Player of the Week Awards:

February 11 – 1B Harry Doxey (.480, 12 H, 2 HR, 5 RBI)

First Round Draft Pick Update:

12th overall –LHP Ethan Hoyes (41/68). The 21-year old reliever went 5-0, 4 SV, 4.21 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 34 K, 15 BB, 116 ERA+ in 25.2 IP during his stint in Double-A. Toward the end of the season, he was promoted to the AAA Oakville Oaks (1-1, 7.56 ERA, 2.16 WHIP, 58 ERA+ in 8.1 IP) where he is currently installed as their stopper.

Current Injuries:

RHP Shawn Howse – March 16 – torn flexor tendon. Out for: 6 more months.
2B Gijsbert Jacobse – March 18 – herniated disc (neck). Out for: 2-3 more weeks.

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Offense: .250/.351/.355 (8th/2nd/8th)
Pitching: 3.94/3.82/4.66 (2nd/2nd/6th)
Defense: .710 (3rd)

It was a tough year for the Stratford Barons, but their fortunes could change next season if everything falls into place. Their pitching, particularly the rotation, is very respectable and they have a few prospects that could jump in and give the offense a much-needed boost.

25-year old RHP Magtanggol Jaojoco (16-19, 3.07 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 3.20 FIP) finished the season strong and is rated No. 4 overall among pitchers in the United Leagues. But 25-year old RHP Bill Wolf (13-16, 3.86 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 3.88 FIP) and 30-year old RHP Allberto León (13-10, 3.32 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 3.88 FIP) provided able support and no doubt would have been more successful had the offense been more robust this year.

The offense was anchored by both 32-year old veteran C Aaron Skidmore (.298/.458/.444, 11 HR, 69 RBI, 115 BB, 5.9 WAR) and 22-year old CF Sherwin Carasig (.291/.368/.432, 15 HR, 86 RBI, 70 BB, 13 SB, 4.9 WAR). But more help is needed, as Skidmore is not getting any younger and missed most of March with an injury. The Barons did acquire both 32-year old RF Salvador Hernández (.336/.381/.492, 12 HR, 73 RBI, 32 BB, 3.1 WAR) and 26-year old 1B Bob Goodyear (.282/.363/.484, 13 HR, 51 RBI, 32 BB, 2.2 WAR) in trades this season that could help going forward. As well, Stratford has three prospects that could contribute next season: 22-year old 3B/SS Walter Beauvais (37/67), 23-year old IF/OF Matthew Channing (38/65) and 25-year old 3B/SS Jeff Houston (40/54). As stated earlier, if everything falls into place next season, the Barons may be a force to reckon with.

Noteworthy:

March 2 – The Barons delivered a 10-2 victory over the Brunswick Legends for their faithful fans, but the standing ovation given by the 20,746 in attendance was reserved for one player: 39-year old 2B Jake Walker (.303/.402/.400, 2 HR, 61 RBI, 70 BB, 1.3 WAR), who became the first player in ULB history to reach 2,500 career hits. The Canadian-native entered the game with 2,499 hits and reached the milestone at his second at-bat, singling off Brunswick’s RHP Hyun-kyou Sin in the bottom of the 3rd. Walker would collect two more hits, going 3 for 5 with 1 R.



First Round Draft Pick Update:

9th overall – C Hollis Chase (20/63). The 19-year old rode the bench for the most part, as he saw little action in his first season in the minors – just 3 AB with 1 K.

Current Injuries:

RHP Dylan Cluett – December 7 – herniated disc. Out for: 3 more days.
LHP Joel Fearn – December 21 – torn posterior cruciate ligament. Out for: 3-4 more months.
2B Chris Spiller – January 22 – torn labrum. Out for: 3 more months.
C Aaron Skidmore – March 4 – separated shoulder. Out for: 1 more day.
2B Jake Walker – March 9 – torn anterior cruciate ligament. Out for: 5-6 more months.
2B Matthew Channing – March 15 – sprained elbow. Out for: DtD, unknown.

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Offense: .265/.354/.399 (5th/1st/5th)
Pitching: 4.72/4.78/4.52 (8th/8th/4th)
Defense: .696 (Tied for 6th)

It was bound to happen sooner or later, but the Brunswick Legends finished dead last in the East for the first time. Their 71 wins was the fewest for a Legends team (they won 72 in their inaugural season). To their credit, they remained competitive, with only a dismal January (9-16) really preventing them from finishing near the .500 mark.

The rotation was easily the worst in the United Leagues and the less said about it, the better. Overall, the club has a ‘tired and worn out’ feel to it and in need of an infusion of talent. 30-year old RHP Lao Chen (3-4, 20 SV, 2.80 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 2.95 FIP) is the best stopper in the ULB but the rest of the staff seems to be pitchers in name only. Brunswick does have a couple of pitching hopefuls on the roster that could help out one day: 26-year old RHP Rob Backhouse (7-4, 4.27 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 3.73 FIP – 40/40), a former 8th-round pick from 1947-48 and 20-year old RHP Dave Ball (37/60), a second-round pick from 1950-51. But much more will be needed. Its time to clean house.

The offense is in a bit better shape but could use an overall boost as well. 23-year old C Robert Kersey (.284/.379/.464, 19 HR, 75 RBI, 74 BB, 5.2 WAR) was just sensational in his first season and is rated second only to Stratford’s Aaron Skidmore among catchers in the ULB. Also, 25-year old LF Carl Patton (.295/.382/.412, 7 HR, 61 RBI, 75 BB, 10 SB, 4.9 WAR) made great strides in his sophomore year. 35-year old 1B Stuart Bentham (.348/.446/.565, 21 HR, 90 RBI, 77 BB, 3.8 WAR) continued his elite ways, at least at the plate. Scouts still rate him as 80/80 and he backed it up by winning his second Eastern League Batting Title (156 H in 448 AB), just edging out Wolseley’s Carlton Hawking for the overall batting title (.3481; 189 H in 543 AB) in the ULB. As far as prospects, the Legends have 23-year old SS Jean-Pierre Ferré (.222/.304/.322, 3 HR, 31 RBI, 20 BB, 2 SB, 0.2 WAR – 39/66), a former 8th overall pick from 1950-51 who saw action in 58 games this year and may see more opportunities to contribute next season.



Noteworthy:

February 27 – Not long after 1B Stuart Bentham (3-3, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 3 R) became the first player to hit 300 home runs in a career, Bentham enjoyed his first three home run game. He hit a two-run home run in the 1st, a solo shot in the 3rd, walked in the 4th and 5th innings and then hit a two-run home run in the 7th. Bentham’s heroics helped the Legends to defeat the Braeland City Monarchs 10-2. It’s the first three-run home run game in the ULB since Kingston’s C Danny Trowbrigde accomplished it back on December 30, 1949, a little over two years ago. But as noted in the Braeland City report, the feat would be repeated just eight days later.

First Round Draft Pick Update:

11th overall – RF Jay Mitchell (20/66). Mitchell split his time between 1B and LF where he hit an impressive .255/.307/.480, 11 HR, 37 RBI, 13 BB, 0.1 WAR in 196 AB. The 21-year old was batting out of the No. 4 spot at season’s end.

Current Injuries:

LF Carl Patton – February 8 – quadriceps strain. Out for: DtD, unknown.
RHP Kent Dundon – February 13 – sprained ankle. Out for: 3 more weeks.

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Old 11-21-2019, 02:10 AM   #544
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I always am contrary
I've never picked a favorite in my previous solo leagues, but I always tend to root for the underdog - the teams who have never made the playoffs yet. Thus my disappointment with the Trolleys - because now I have to wait 'til next year to see if they can do it!
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Old 12-03-2019, 02:23 PM   #545
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Old 12-03-2019, 09:05 PM   #546
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March 25, 1952

Western League: Unions, Pelicans Playoff Bound Once Again





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Offense: .277/.355/.411 (1st/1st/1st)
Pitching: 3.12/3.19/2.76 (1st/1st/1st)
Defense: .710 (Tied for 5th)

The Wolseley Unions clinched first place in the west on March 17, exactly one week before the last day of the regular season. But like the Wellington Athletics, it feels as though the Unions lurched into the playoffs, winning just two more games than they lost in the final two months. They enter the playoffs missing three front-line players: two pitchers from the rotation and their top third baseman. But after getting swept by the Fort Richmond Generals in three straight games in their penultimate series, the Unions finished strong, sweeping the Cambria Cannons in the final four games and outscoring them, 34-12.

Despite all the injuries however, Wolseley still boasts the most impressive rotation in the United Leagues. The four-man rotation for the Western League Pennant has been set:

26-year old RHP Roberto Garza (17-10, 2.70 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 2.84 FIP)
35-year old LHP Anastasio Rodríguez (10-9, 3.88 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 3.03 FIP)
32-year old RHP Kai Tosh (14-10, 3.37 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 3.74 FIP)
32-year old RHP Aaron Saunderson (9-18, 3.68 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 3.85 FIP)

There’s little left to say that hasn’t already been said about 30-year old LF Carlton Hawking (.348/.476/.587, 26 HR, 126 RBI, 138 BB, 7.9 WAR): Triple Crown winner and of course, Western League Batting Title winner for the third time in his career. But perhaps what is most impressive is that Hawking did not slow down or tire out down the stretch. His AVG, OBP and SLG actually went up in the final two months. Almost lost in the awesomeness of Hawking is that both 30-year old SS George Kimpton (.303/.376/.453, 14 HR, 96 RBI, 71 BB, 6 SB, 5.9 WAR) and 28-year old 2B Make-Make Kamaka (.307/.402/.420, 8 HR, 53 RBI, 70 BB, 7 SB, 4.4 WAR) enjoyed their best seasons.



Player of the Week Awards:

February 4 – LF Carlton Hawking (.579, 11 H, 3 HR, 5 RBI)
February 18 – SS George Kimpton (.393, 11 H, 1 HR, 8 RBI)
February 25 – LF Carlton Hawking (.545, 12 H, 3 HR, 10 RBI)

First Round Draft Pick Update:

16th overall – 2B Kaituoe Mowan (29/57). The 22-year old Fijian felt right at home in AA, batting .330/.365/.473, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 4 BB, 8 SB, 0.6 WAR in 91 at-bats. On March 1, he was promoted to the AAA Caledonia Jets, where he made 53 at-bats, hitting .208/.276/.226, 1-2B, 4 RBI, 5 BB, 3 SB, -0.2 WAR. In the playoffs, he helped the Jets by hitting .318/.318/.591, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 SB in 22 at-bats from the No. 4 spot. In the Kings Cup, he batted .385/.385/.769, 1 HR, 2 RBI in 13 AB as the Jets swept the Rutledge Red Caps (Pulberry) in three-straight to win the AAA championship.

Current Injuries:

December 10 – RHP Jeremy Albury – ruptured ulnar collateral ligament. Out for: 3 more months.
February 5 – RHP Bill Blair – torn flexor tendon. Out for: 4-5 more months.
February 10 – RHP Roderick Naughton – elbow ligament reconstruction surgery. Out for: 4-5 more months.
February 22 – 3B Carlos Ortíz – fractured knee. Out for: 4-5 more months.
March 4 – 3B Burt Willey – post-concussion syndrome. Out for: 2-3 more months.

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Offense: .248/.328/.376 (7th/3rd/4th)
Pitching: 3.49/3.56/3.18 (4th/4th/2nd)
Defense: .710 (Tied for 5th)

A disastrous February nearly derailed the Kingston Pelicans’ push for the playoffs, but a strong recovery enabled them to catch the Pulberry Trolleys and force a tie-breaker for the wild card. The pitching staff got stronger as the season progressed; in fact, the rotation has become sneaky good. It is largely responsible for the return of the Pelicans to the playoffs after a five-year absence. Kingston has determined its four-man rotation:

31-year old LHP Patrick Denman (21-11, 2.98 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 3.73 FIP)
27-year old RHP Kieran Bunce (14-10, 3.26 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 3.63 FIP)
26-year old RHP Brian Marsland (14-14, 3.22 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 3.80 FIP)
25-year old LHP Rob Hutchence (12-5, 2.48 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 3.58 FIP)


27-year old RHP Kaula Mafileo (7-6, 26 SV, 2.43 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 3.61 FIP) enjoyed his best season yet. The 4th-season stopper was originally drafted in the 2nd-round back in 1943-44.

The biggest concern for the Pelicans going forward is their offense, as their long-time stalwarts are approaching the end of their careers. 36-year old 2B Katsunan Chikafuji (.276/.358/.443, 20 HR, 85 RBI, 67 BB, 4.8 WAR) continues to play at a high level and was Kingston’s best player once again. But 37-year old 1B Dean Bishop’s (.225/.357/.410, 19 HR, 86 RBI, 95 BB, 2.3 WAR) overall play regressed for the second straight season, although the slugger and 9-time Ball Hawk award winner still showed flashes of brilliance at times.

But other than 25-year old C Carlos Camasura (.273/.373/.366, 6 HR, 53 RBI, 81 BB, 4.5 WAR) and 27-year old RF Mo Spenceley (.283/.352/.460, 16 HR, 76 RBI, 62 BB, 2.0 WAR), this is a club that is in need of a talent infusion. The farm system, rated 12th overall, doesn’t inspire confidence. It’s hard to see them going much farther if they don’t address the lack of future impact players soon.

Player of the Week Awards:

March 17 – RHP Brian Marsland (2-0, 17.1 IP, 6 K, 0.52 ERA)

First Round Draft Pick Update:

8th overall – OF Chris Ramsbottom (27/60). The 21-year old enjoyed a promising first year in professional baseball. He batted out of the No. 3 spot in the lineup with the AA Elgin Angels and quickly got comfortable. In 349 AB, he hit .307/.356/.390, 4 HR, 57 RBI, 28 BB, 17 SB, 1.3 WAR. He played mostly in rightfield and was solid defensively (.987 PCT, 2.11 RNG, +4.3 ZR, 1.043 EFF).

Current Injuries: None.

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Offense: .268/.338/.400 (2nd/2nd/2nd)
Pitching: 3.83/3.67/4.45 (5th/6th/6th)
Defense: .722 (2nd)

The Pulberry Trolleys finish with a winning record for the first time in their 15-year history and although they fell agonizingly short in reaching the playoffs, their 85 wins represents a 22-game improvement over last season, the third best in ULB history.

Sidebar: The record for greatest one-year improvement goes to the Braeland City Monarchs, who went from 68-86 (8th place) in 1946-47 to 96-58 (2nd) one year later, a 28 wins difference. The Cambria Cannons improved by 25 games, when they went from 74-80 (2nd place) in 1938-39 to 99-55 (1st) one year later, winning the United Cup in the process.

The pitching staff was perhaps the main culprit in preventing the club from tasting the playoffs for the first time, but overall its play improved as the season wore on. Pulberry appears to have an ace in the making in 22-year old LHP Ramón Castro (14-6, 2.59 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 3.05 FIP), but beyond him the staff is comprised of 5little more than journeymen and cast-offs from other teams. But the rotation may get a boost next season if recently acquired 24-year old RHP Taylor Folkard (4-2, 4 SV, 4.27 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 4.75 FIP – 52-65) delivers on his promise, a promise that didn’t pan out with Braeland City, who drafted him 16th overall back in 1949-50. But Folkard’s performance improved once he arrived in Pulberry (3-1, 3 SV, 2.08 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 3.36 FIP). The future starter finished the season as the Trolleys’ stopper. Pulberry also has 22-year old LHP Dermott Rathbone (46/62), who was drafted in the second round back 1949-50 and was promoted from AAA at the end of the season. He won a Pitcher of the Month Award for January in AAA when he went 4-0, 1.97 ERA, 1.08 WHIP in six starts.

Without question, Pulberry’s strength is their offense, but the Trolleys may have to explore a trade or two to resolve its overabundance of talent in the outfield and address some weaknesses elsewhere. 25-year old CF Cooper Tyson (.313/.405/.504, 14 HR, 96 RBI, 89 BB, 10 SB, 8.8 WAR – 67/77) officially joined the ranks of the elite this season and could soon be joined by 23-year old rookie LF Aidan Thirkettle (.275/.376/.450, 10 HR, 71 RBI, 73 BB, 15 SB, 3.5 WAR – 61/80). But 27-year old RF Ellis Dibble’s (.323/.385/.468, 12 HR, 87 RBI, 61 BB, 4.4 WAR) stellar play prevented 23-year old OF John Oldknow (.284/.356/.448, 6 HR, 35 RBI, 30 BB, 2.4 WAR – 51/80) from seeing any regular playing time. Thus, the Trolleys have a decision to make: either trade from their outfield depth to strengthen other areas or shift some players around so that their best players can get regular at-bats. One option would be to simply shift Thirkettle to first base (45) and let Oldknow start in leftfield (70), his best position defensively.

Noteworthy:

February 1 – Playing the Legends in an interleague matchup in Brunswick, the Trolleys soundly defeated the home team 7-2. Of Pulberry’s 14 hits, CF Cooper Tyson collected five of them, going 5 for 5 on the afternoon. All were singles, collected in the 1st, 4th, 5th, 8th and 9th innings. He also scored 3 R. LF Aiden Thirkettle was hot as well, going 3 for 5, with a two-run home run, 2 RBI and 3 R.

First Round Draft Pick Update:

2nd overall – C Paul England (25/70). England saw very little action in his first year, getting into a few games as a pinch hitter but didn’t make a start. In 36 AB, he batted .222/.333/.361, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 6 BB, 0.1 WAR.

Current Injuries: None.

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Offense: .261/.321/.374 (4th/6th/5th)
Pitching: 3.38/3.32/3.76 (2nd/2nd/4th)
Defense: .727 (1st)

Their four-year playoff run comes to an end as Fort Richmond Generals were unable to maintain their strong play in November and December, where they went 33-20 and got to within a game of the wild card. Instead, the Generals went just 36-36 the rest of the way and fell back to fourth place.

There is no mystery as to their stumble. While the pitching staff remains one of the top units in the ULB, the lineup has become largely uneven. 27-year old SS Nobuyoshi Yoshida (.312/.367/.439, 8 HR, 78 RBI, 47 BB, 6 SB, 6.8 WAR) and 29-year old CF Dylan Moyne (.297/.364/.435, 19 HR, 66 RBI, 61 BB, 12 SB, 6.1 WAR) carried the offense. After them, there was a noticeable drop-off in production. Further complicating things is that the farm system is not exactly overflowing with impact position players (rated 9th overall). But if 30-year old C Louis Wearne (.231/.317/.362, 16 HR, 77 RBI, 62 BB, 2.4 WAR) can bounce back and 23-year old 3B Mason Geake (.222/.307/.303, 1 HR, 24 RBI, 40 BB, 0.5 WAR – 42/60) takes the next step, the Generals could be right back in the playoff picture next season.

Sensational. That it the word to describe the season 31-year old LHP Nicholas Grimes (20-10, 2.02 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 3.27 FIP, 193 ERA+) enjoyed. Grimes previously won the 1948-49 Satchel Paige Award with the Braeland City Monarchs, but his performances suffered as the Monarchs’ fortunes started to fade. But since his trade to the Generals in January 1951, Grimes has been outstanding (28-12, 2.05 ERA, 1.10 WHIP in 45 starts). Not bad for a pitcher who scouts consider as a ‘borderline’ starter. 29-year old RHP Nicky Sherlock (13-15, 3.24 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 3.44 FIP) finished the season strong and Fort Richmond also has a future starter in 24-year old LHP Diarmid Rowet (48/60), a 2nd-round pick from 1950-51 who was promoted from AAA and pitched 1.1 innings late in the season.

Player of the Week Awards:

February 11 – CF Dylan Moyne (.433, 13 H, 2 HR, 4 RBI)

First Round Draft Pick Update:

15th overall – SS Morgan Tyreman (20/58). The 22-year old Tyreman saw limited action in AA, making just 7 starts and 33 AB. His line was .303/.410/.455, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 3 BB, 0.3 WAR.

Current Injuries:

February 16 – RHP Glen Limon –strained forearm. Out for: 6 more weeks.

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Offense: .230/.308/.320 (8th/8th/8th)
Pitching: 3.46/3.45/3.50 (3rd/3rd/3rd)
Defense: .720 (3rd)

Defying all expectations, the Balmoral Giants finished the season strong, winning seven straight games to end the season; nine of their last ten. In March, they were ‘giant’ killers, taking 2 of 3 games from Pulberry, 3 of 4 from Wolseley and 2 of 3 from Fort Richmond. Only Kingston proved to be unconquerable – the Giants fell to the Pelicans in all three games.

But it doesn’t hide the fact that Balmoral is in rough shape, at least offensively. The team averaged just 3.3 R/G, just ahead of the 1943-44 Downie Chiefs (3.2) and sported by far the worst team batting average in United Leagues’ history - .230. Add to that the worst-ranked farm system in the ULB, and you have a team that is in dire need of change – both in management and direction. Perhaps it will happen this off-season. We’ll see.

The Giants have a rotation and bullpen that is of playoff caliber and it leads one to wonder how far Balmoral could go if they had a decent lineup. The top three starter were terrific once again: 27-year old RHP Quintiliano Galeo (18-13, 2.97 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 3.52 FIP, 134 ERA+), 32-year old LHP Ricardo Cruz (13-8, 3.27 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 3.73 FIP, 121 ERA+) and 26-year old RHP Rodrigo González (13-14, 2.96 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 3.19 FIP, 134 ERA+) are as good as any trio in the United Leagues. Second-year starter 28-year old LHP Ron Albin (10-12, 3.41 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 3.21 FIP, 116 ERA+) looks like a keeper as well.


But there was absolutely nothing to get excited about on offense this year. Perhaps 23-year old rookie 2B Erik Perry (.204/.288/.291, 15-2B, 25 RBI, 33 BB, -0.3 WAR – 40/62) will one day provide a spark, but the Giants are going to need a lot more kindling if they want to ignite a turnaround.

First Round Draft Pick Update:

10th overall – LHP Euan Mackenzie (41/73). Mackenzie pitched the entire season in AAA and showed promise as the Canterbury Seals’ stopper. He went 2-6, 9 SV, 4.78 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 4.16 FIP in 43.1 IP.

Current Injuries:

February 23 – SS Sean Brearton – strained abdominal muscle. Out for: 2-3 more weeks.

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Offense: .264/.322/.362 (3rd/4th/7th)
Pitching: 3.97/3.65/5.15 (6th/5th/8th)
Defense: .695 (7th)

The Sherburn Tigers reach 70 wins for the first time in four years. Both the offense and pitching staffs made modest strides over last season but the club still has a way to go if it hopes to compete in the first division again. Like the Giants, the Tigers do not have a strong farm system (13th overall) to immediately draw talent from and while not quite a dire as Balmoral, the lineup is not exactly an imposing bunch. But it appears Sherburn has drafted a star of the future (Archie Eridge – more on him below). If they can keep making picks like that, then they be a force in the not-too-distant future.

28-year old RHP Jesús Chapa (15-11, 2.64 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 3.00 FIP, 153 ERA+) enjoyed one of his most impressive years yet in his nine-year career and is rightly considered a the top starter in the ULB at season’s end. He’s head-and-shoulders above everyone else on the staff. 24-year old RHP Bradley Strawson (9-15, 3.73 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 3.75 FIP, 108 ERA+ - 51/60) needs to continue improving his control, but the former 4th overall pick has the stuff to be a solid addition to the rotation.

The lineup is devoid of stars, but 25-year old 2B Jack Burt (.321/.368/.461, 2 HR, 43 RBI, 27 BB, 3.6 WAR) enjoyed another fine season and didn’t embarrass himself in the field (.973 PCT, 5.38 RNG, +1.3 ZR, .997 EFF).

Player of the Week Awards:

March 10 – C Quim Cypriano (.550, 11 H, 2 HR, 9 RBI)

First Round Draft Pick Update:

1st overall – 3B Archie Eridge (33/72). The 23-year old Eridge enjoyed an outstanding first season in AA, batting .346/.437/.538, 11 HR, 51 RBI, 42 BB, 8 SB, 3.3 WAR in 266 at-bats from the No. 4 spot in the lineup and quickly became the No. 1-rated player in the Heritage Leagues. His Hannon Greyhounds won the Governors Cup, where he batted .412/.545/.706, 1 HR, 6 RBI in 17 at-bats, helping the Greyhounds defeat the Vandecar Spurs (Cambria) 3 games to 2 for the AA championship.

Current Injuries:

December 23 – RHP Bobby Hogg – torn labrum. Out for: 5-6 more weeks.
March 10 – LHP Lucas Nott – back spasms. Out for: DtD, unknown.

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Offense: .253/.322/.380 (5th/5th/3rd)
Pitching: 4.53/4.40/4.91 (8th/8th/7th)
Defense: .690 (8th)

Injuries were the story as the Cambria Cannons endured their worst season, at least in terms of wins. But even if the team enjoyed better health, it’s doubtful they would have seriously competed for a playoff spot. It’s been seven straight seasons now that the Cannons have missed the playoffs and, in that span, finished above .500 only once. Cambria has one of the stronger farm systems (3rd overall) but are devoid of any upcoming impact pitchers. Fix that (and their porous defense), then they may see a return to relevance. But it’s more likely some further lean years are ahead before they turn things around.

It looks as though last season’s strong pitching performance was a blip rather than a trend. Dropping to 3.70, the pitching was a League worst 4.53 this year. At this point, the Cannons are hoping 29-year old LHP Jamie Wigley (8-10, 4.98 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 3.83 FIP, 79 ERA+) can bounce back from a injury-shortened season and 22-year old LHP Bill Southern (12-20, 3.78 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 3.88 FIP, 104 ERA+) is not too shell-shocked from the lack of support he received. Southern finished the season strong and enters the off-season as Cambria’s No. 1 starter.

32-year old SS César Ruíz (.301/.406/.508, 24 HR, 83 RBI, 93 BB, 6.3 WAR) was Cambria best overall player, but like everyone else, struggled defensively (.923 PCT, 4.50 RNG, -9.1 ZR, .965 EFF). 25-year old 1B Carlos Correa (.282/.344/.424, 17 HR, 75 RBI, 47 BB, 0.4 WAR) represents the extreme. While he has found a home in the No. 3 spot, he looks completely lost in the field (.991 PCT, 9.91 RNG, -18.4 ZR, .815 EFF). Here’s hoping 22-year old CF Sam Tite (.199/.259/.318, 3 HR, 15 RBI, 12 BB, 2 SB, 0.3 WAR – 36/80), the top-rated prospect in the ULB who missed most of the season, can enjoy an injury-free season next year.

First Round Draft Pick Update:

7th overall – 1B Jay Durham (32/72). Like Sherburn’s Archie Eridge, the 23-year old Durham was outstanding in his first AA campaign. In 275 at-bats, he went .367/.435/.607, 13 HR, 63 RBI, 27 BB, 3.5 WAR, hitting out of the No. 4 spot for the Vandecar Spurs. He also made an impression in the playoffs, batting .417/.533/.750, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 3 BB in 12 at-bats against Eridge’s Hannon Greyhounds. After his season was over, Durham was promoted to Cambria’s AAA club, the Mitchell Quicksteps.

Current Injuries:

December 25 – 3B Wayne Hudson – fractured wrist. Out for: 1-2 more weeks.
January 12 – C Alexander Pyatt – torn posterior cruciate ligament. Out for: 4 more months.
January 13 – RHP Luke Woodward – partially torn UCL. Out for: 4-5 more months.

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Offense: .248/.318/.364 (6th/7th/6th)
Pitching: 3.99/3.90/4.45 (7th/7th/5th)
Defense: .717 (4th)

The agony continues for the Hespeler Stars, as the team finishes nowhere near a playoff spot for the 15th straight season. The Stars have finished no closer than 8 games to a wild card, which they ‘achieved’ in their inaugural season, the only time they finished above .500 (79-75). They are now the only team not to have won 80 or more games in a season (Pulberry came off the list this season). Whether its through poor drafting or just bad karma, the Stars have continually seen promising prospects fail to reach their initial potential time and time again.

Perhaps that could change next season. 25-year old LHP Larry Kovnats (12-19, 3.96 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 3.66 FIP, 102 ERA+ - 55/55) finally showed signs of improvement, especially in the months of December, January and February (8-8, 2.85 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) and 23-year old RF Tim Beattie (.265/.336/.344, 3 HR, 34 RBI, 41 BB, 0.4 WAR – 44/75) will be given every chance to build upon his rookie campaign. Although he regressed a bit, the Stars should not give up on their lead-off hitter, 24-year old CF John McMurray (.256/.315/.382, 10 HR, 53 RBI, 46 BB, 8 SB, 1.6 WAR). Finally, Hespeler has a promising outfielder in 21-year old Bill Spaeth (.337/.407/.609, 31 HR, 123 RBI, 57 BB, 5.4 WAR – 23/80) who went on a tear in AA. Spaeth was a 2nd overall pick back in 1950-51.

First Round Draft Pick Update:

3rd overall – 3B Clive Yarwood (20/69). The 20-year old Yarwood enjoyed a promising first season in AA, batting .221/.330/.357, 7 HR, 27 RBI, 25 BB, 0.3 WAR in 199 AB. He batted mainly out of the No. 8 spot in the lineup.

Current Injuries: None.

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Old 12-03-2019, 09:26 PM   #547
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Old 12-10-2019, 03:54 AM   #548
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Wellington Athletics (84-70) vs. Downie Chiefs (79-75)
Season Matchup: 10-5 in favor of Downie

Wellington: Runs scored – 737 (5th in East); runs against – 692 (3rd)
Downie: Runs scored – 693 (7th); runs against – 723 (4th)

Two teams each making their third playoff appearance square off for the 1951-52 Eastern League Pennant. For the Downie Chiefs, this is their third straight appearance, while the Wellington Athletics return after a 12-year absence. Wellington won the Eastern League Pennant in the United Leagues’ inaugural season, defeating the Queensland Eagles 4 games to 2. Two seasons later however, the 93-61 Athletics were swept by the 96-58 Braeland City Monarchs. Since then, Wellington has finished eight times in the second division. But a balanced roster along with parity (or mediocrity – take your pick) in the East has returned the Athletics to first place and the playoffs.

The Chiefs meanwhile came on strong late in the season to edge out both the Queensland Eagles and Embro Suns by a single game to take the wild card. After winning the United Cup two seasons ago in their first playoff appearance, Downie lost to the Suns last season in the Pennant Series.

While the Chiefs enter the Series relatively injury free, the Athletics will be missing several starters. Their top two pitchers, 25-year old RHP Bert Morrow (8-6, 3.97 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 3.77 FIP) and 27-year old RHP Troy Conlin (12-8, 3.87 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 4.05 FIP) are out of commission until next season. In addition, their starting catcher, 24-year old C Declan Bugbie (.309/.339/.450, 11 HR, 82 RBI, 25 BB, 4.7 WAR), will not be available until the United Cup Series, should they get that far. 32-year old Mick Gunnis (.213/.279/.267, 1 HR, 10 RBI, 8 BB, 0.0 WAR), who spent most of the season in AAA, will assume catching duties.

So third-year manager Eugene Rogge has his work cut out as he tries to lead the Athletics to their first pennant in 14 years. In the opposing dugout though, Downie’s manager Bill Bouchet looks to lead his club back to the United Cup Series after falling short last year. The two southern cities that lie directly across from each other along Pearl Sound are ready to battle for bragging rights as the top team in the East. Let the games begin!

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Game 1 – March 26

The series opens at Wellington’s Santop Stadium, with 28,395 exuberant fans on hand. It’s partly cloudy, 69F with a gentle breeze blowing from left to right (9 mph).

31-year old veteran RHP Ian Peter (13-10, 4.08 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 4.24 FIP), Wellington’s de facto ace gets the start. Peter is 0-1, 2.16 ERA in two starts and four playoff games overall, split between the Sherburn Tigers and Wolseley Unions. Peter won a United Cup with the Unions back in 1947-48.

Downie will go with their No. 3 starter: 31-year old RHP Bernie Knowles (10-13, 4.69 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 4.42 FIP). This will be his fourth playoff start after going 1-1, 2.43 ERA with the Chiefs and Kingston Pelicans. Knowles won a United Cup championship with the Chiefs two seasons ago.

Bottom of the 3rd:
Both Peter and Knowles keep the hitters at bay until the 3rd inning, when Wellington breaks through. SS Rupert Bricknell and RF Harvey Thrornber lead off with back-to-back singles. After CF Jim Mars flies out to rightfield, LF Mathew Floyd smashes a 3-run home run, 380 ft. into the rightfield bleachers.
The Athletics continue getting on base when C Mick Gunnis reaches base safely after SS Mac Medley’s throw is too low for 1B Robin Duerden to scoop up out of the dirt cleanly. 1B Wayne Emmert follows and singles Gunnis over to third. 2B Vaiga Bultarro then grounds into a 5-4 fielder’s choice. But Gunnis comes home on the play unmolested for Wellington’s fourth run.
Downie 0 – Wellington 4

Top of the 4th:

Downie gets on the board when CF Alfonso León singles with one out and scores on SS Mac Medley’s two-out double.
Downie 1 – Wellington 4

Bottom of the 4th:

Rupert Bricknell leads off with a 4-pitch walk and reaches third when Harvey Thrornber singles, beating out CF Alfonso León’s throw on the play. Although Thornber is thrown out while trying to steal second by C Whatahui Inoke, Jim Mars comes through with a deep fly ball to centerfield. That allows Bricknell to tag up and score.
Downie 1 – Wellington 5

Top of the 5th:

After getting two quick outs, Ian Peter surrenders a 4-pitch walk to lead-off hitter LF Howard Dumbrill. 1B Robin Duerden follows with a double into centerfield. Dumbrill scampers around third on the play and beats out CF Jim Mars’ throw home.
Downie 2 – Wellington 5

Bottom of the 6th:

Ian Peter cranks out a clean single into centerfield with one out. Rupert Bricknell then steps to plate and connects on a 1-2 pitch for a two-run home run, 348 ft. into the leftfield bleachers, giving the Athletics a seemingly commanding lead.
Downie 2 – Wellington 7

Top of the 7th:

Downie keeps battling however. Whatahui Inoke draws a full-count walk with one out. SS Francis Burrows, who substituted for SP Bernie Knowles in the 6th inning, doubles into leftfield. Inoke reaches third and heads for home, beating out Matthew Floyd’s throw.
Downie 3 – Wellington 7

Top of the 8th:

Alfonso León singles into right-centerfield with out one. RF Connor Bing follows him and gets all over Ian Peter’s 1-1 offering, smashing a two-run home run, 392 ft. into the rightfield bleachers.
Downie 5 – Wellington 7

Top of the 9th:

RHP Scott Wheeler takes over from Ian Peter and immediately gives up a first-pitch double to Whatahui Inoke. Inoke then reaches third base on a Francis Burrow 4-3 ground out. Howard Dumbrill immediately singles into rightfield, scoring Inoke and getting the Chiefs to within one.
After Robin Duerden flies out to leftfield for Downie’s second out, Dominic Dudding singles into shallow centerfield, advancing Dumbrill to second base. But Alfonso León hits a 3-1 pitch right to SS Rupert Bricknell who simply tosses it to Vaiga Bultarro to force out Dudding at second base and end the game. The Athletics hang on to take Game 1.
FINAL: Downie 6 – Wellington 7





Ian Peter picks up his first playoff victory, going 8.0 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 103 PI (1-0, 5.63 ERA; Game Score: 50).

For Downie:

Bernie Knowles lasted just 5.1 IP, with 11 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, 86 PI (0-1, 10.13 ERA; GS: 22).

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Game 2 – March 27

Although its cloudy, the heat has shot up (79F) and there’s scarcely any wind (9 mph blowing from left to right) as 28,081 fans throng Santop Stadium for Game 2.

29-year old RHP Wilfried Schop (13-9, 3.79 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 3.87 FIP), Wellington’s No. 2 starter, makes his first appearance in the playoffs. Downie goes with their ace, 29-year old RHP Kelii Pelanekelina (12-13, 4.61 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 4.73 FIP), who will be making his 6th start playoff start (4-1, 2.21 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 3.93 FIP).

Top of the 1st:
Downie immediately gives the Aruban Schop a rude welcome to the playoffs. LF Howard Dumbrill leads off with a first-pitch double into right-centerfield. 1B Robin Duerden then singles into shallow leftfield. The speedy Dumbrill passes third and beats out LF Matthew Floyd’s throw to home for the game’s first run as Duerden takes second base. 2B Dominic Dudding and CF Alfonso León then crank out back-to-back singles to score Duerden before Schop gets a pop fly and a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Downie 2 – Wellington 0

Bottom of the 2nd:

Wellington returns the favor when Matthew Floyd leads off with a first-pitch double and reaches third base on a C Mick Gunnis U3 ground out. 1B Wayne Emmert then comes through with a double to score Floyd. 2B Vaiga Bultarro and 3B Juan Maldonado both battle Pelanekelina for back-to-back full-count walks to load the bases. After Wilfried Schop strikes out, SS Rupert Bricknell connects for an infield hit. That scores Emmert, tying the game.
Downie 2 – Wellington 2

Bottom of the 6th:

Wellington puts runners on second and third when Vaiga Bultarro singles and Juan Maldonado doubles with one out. Wilfried Schop then connects for an infield hit, scoring Bultarro. Up next is Rupert Bricknell, who draws a walk to load the bases. With two out, CF Jim Mars pushes a single into shallow leftfield. Maldonado scores easily from third on the play. Schop is also given the green light and beats out LF Howard Dumbrill’s throw home to extend the Athletics’ lead to three.
Downie 2 – Wellington 5

Top of the 8th:

Downie narrows the gap as Dominic Dudding leads off and battles Schop to a full count before smashing a solo home run, 393 ft. into the rightfield bleachers. The Chiefs then load the bases with one out, as RF Connor Bing doubles, SS Mac Medley singles and 3B Louie Revill is hit by a pitch. C Whatahui Inoke then smacks Schop’s first pitch deep to rightfield. It is caught by Harvey Thornber, but Connor Bing tags up and beats out the throw to home plate, getting the Chiefs to within one.
Downie 4 – Wellington 5

Top of the 9th:

Wilfried Schop starts the inning but fails to get an out. Howard Dumbrill and Robin Duerden lead off with back-to-back singles. Dominic Dudding then comes through with a double, scoring both base runners and giving the Chiefs the lead for the first time. After Alfonso León is given a free pass, RHP Scott Wheeler comes in to relieve Schop.
While Wheeler gets both Connor Bing and Mac Medley to fly out to leftfield, Louie Revill drives a single into shallow leftfield. Dudding heads to third but LF Matthew Floyd’s throw to the base sails wide. Dudding scampers home, giving Downie a two-run lead.

In the bottom of the 9th, RHP Carl Luscombe, who came in to start the 8th inning, gets Matthew Floyd to fly out to leftfield. Although Mick Gunnis draws a walk, Wayne Emmert grounds into a 4-6-3 double play to end the game. The Chiefs tie up the series as they head back home for the next three games.
FINAL: Downie 7 – Wellington 5





Player of the Game: Dominic Dudding had a big game, going 4 for 5 with 2-2B, 1 HR to go along with 3 R and 3 RBI.

3B Louis Revill went 3 for 4, with 1 RBI.

RHP Kelii Pelanekelina went 6.0 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 115 PI (0-0, 7.50 ERA, GS: 31).

RHP Carl Luscombe picks up the win, going 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 26 PI (1-0, 0.00 ERA).

For Wellington:

CF Jim Mars went 2 for 5, with 2 RBI in a losing cause.

Wilfried Schop had a rough outing in his first playoff appearance. He went 8.0 IP, 14 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR, 122 PI (0-1, 7.88 ERA; GS: 29).

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Game 3 – March 29

The Series shifts to Downie and the Chiefs’ home, Gibson Ballpark. 29,758 fans gather under gorgeous clear skies (74F), with the wind blowing 11 mph left to right to see who will take the upper hand.

32-year old RHP Joong Ling (13-13, 4.65 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 4.49 FIP) takes the hill for Downie. It will be his fifth playoff start (2-1, 4.00 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 4.51 FIP). For Wellington, 27-year old RHP Matt Price (12-12, 4.07 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 4.38 FIP) will make his first playoff appearance.

Top of the 2nd:
Wellington hits Ling hard in the second. 1B Wayne Emmert leads off with a single. Up next is 2B Vaiga Bultarro, who connects on Ling’s 0-1 offering for a 2-run home run, depositing it just fair, 363 ft. into the leftfield bleachers.
3B Juan Maldonado then doubles into right-centerfield but is cut down with a tremendous throw by RF Connor Bing at third base as Maldonado attempts to stretch his double. But after Matt Price grounds out to SS Mac Medley, SS Rupert Bricknell puts a charge into Ling’s 2-1 pitch, sending it 418 ft. into the left-centerfield bleachers for a solo home run.
Wellington 3 – Downie 0

Bottom of the 2nd:

RF Connor Bing leads off with single to centerfield. Jim Mars bobbles the ball on the play, allowing Bing to reach second. Back-to-back walks to Mac Medley and Louie Revill load the bases. Whatahui Inoke then grounds out to 2B Vaiga Bultarro, allowing Bing to score. But back-to-back strikeouts to Joong Ling and Howard Dumbrill end the inning without further damage.
Wellington 3 – Downie 1


Top of the 8th:

RHP Bill Lafontaine takes over for Joong Ling and immediately surrenders a lead-off walk to C Mick Gunnis. Wayne Emmert then singles into shallow leftfield. After Vaiga Bultarro lays down a sac bunt to advance the runners, Juan Maldonado singles home Gunnis for the Athletics’ fourth run.

In the bottom of the 9th, RHP Scott Wheeler takes over from Matt Price and induces three straight ground outs from Whatahui Inoke, PH Héctor Gutiérrez and Howard Dumbrill to end the game and give the Athletics a 2-1 lead in the series.
FINAL: Wellington 4 – Downie 1





Player of the Game: Matt Price pitched a fine game, going 8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 6 BB, 6 K, 127 PI (1-0, 1.13 ERA; GS: 68).

2B Vaiga Bultarro goes 1 for 3, 1 HR, 2 RBI.

SS Rupert Bricknell goes 2 for 5 with 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI.

For Downie:

Joong Ling goes 7.0 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 96 PI (0-1, 3.86 ERA; GS: 46).

2B Dominic Dudding went 3 for 3, 1 BB.

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Game 4 – March 30

The second game at Gibson Ballpark sees 30,122 eager fans ready to cheer their team on to a second victory and a tied series. Skies are partly cloudy (70F) with a moderate breeze (15 mph) blowing out to right.

36-year old LHP Gavin Hewat (14-10, 3.99 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 3.88 FIP), Downie’s No. 4 starter, takes the hill, while Wellington goes with 24-year old RHP Vinnie Snell (2-2, 4.58 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 4.11 FIP). Hewat makes his second start in the playoffs (0-2, 1 SV, 0.75 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 3.23 FIP) over 4 games with Downie and Wolseley, while the young Snell makes his playoff debut.

Bottom of the 1st:
Downie wastes no time roughing up Snell as LF Howard Dumbrill leads off with a single and 1B Robin Duerden draws a full-count walk. Up next is 2B Dominic Dudding, who lines a double into left-centerfield, scoring Dumbrill and moving Duerden over to third. CF Alfonso León then flies out to CF Jim Mars, scoring Duerden for Downie’s second run.
RF Connor Bing then steps up to the plate and connects on a 2-2 pitch that just stays fair down the leftfield line for a 2-run home run (357 ft).
Wellington 0 – Downie 4

Top of the 2nd:

2B Vaiga Bultarro triples into deep right-centerfield with two out. 3B Juan Maldonado then singles him home to get Wellington on the board.
Wellington 1 – Downie 4

Top of the 6th:

LF Matthew Floyd lines a single into shallow leftfield with one out. C Mick Gunnis then doubles into centerfield. Floyd guns it past third, but CF Alfonso León’s throw and SS Mac Medley’s relay are on the money as Floyd is cut down at home plate. 1B Wayne Emmert follows and singles into rightfield. Gunnis rounds third and this time beats out Alfonso León’s throw to home for Wellington’s second run.

In the top of the 9th, Gavin Hewat gets two quick outs before surrendering a four-pitch walk to SS Rupert Bricknell. RHP Carl Luscombe then comes on in relief and gives up a single to RF Harvey Thornber, putting runners on first and second. But CF Jim Mars goes down swinging as the Chiefs tie up the series at 2 games-apiece.
FINAL: Wellington 2 – Downie 4





Player of the Game: RF Connor Bing came up big, going 2 for 3 with 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1-2B and 1 HR.

LHP Gavin Hewat picks up his first playoff victory. He went 8.2 IP, 11 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 126 PI (1-0, 2.08 ERA; GS: 55).

For Wellington:

Vinnie Snell’s nerves and control got the better of him, especially in the first inning where he gave up all the runs Downie scored. In all, he went 8.0 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 7 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 108 PI (0-1, 4.50 ERA; GS: 50).

2B Vaiga Bultarro went 3 for 4, with 1-3B, 1 R.

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Game 5 – March 31

The two clubs meet again for the rubber match as 29,771 fans look for their Chiefs to keep their momentum going. The weather couldn’t be more perfect: clear skies, 71F with just a light breeze blowing left to right (11 mph) at Gibson ballpark.

The starters of Game 1 get the call: Downie’s RHP Bernie Knowles squares off against Wellington’s RHP Ian Peter. Peter eked out a 7-5 victory in their first matchup.

Top of the 1st:
The game turns into a stellar pitching duel, but Wellington manages to get on the board early. SS Rupert Bricknell leads off with a walk and reaches third base when RF Harvey Thornber doubles into centerfield. After CF Jim Mars draws a walk to load the bases, LF Matthew Floyd grounds into a 5-4 fielder’s choice. That allows Bricknell to score the game’s opening run before C Mick Gunnis grounds into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Wellington 1 – Downie 0

Bottom of the 8th:

Peter and Knowles allow just four hits combined after the top of the first inning until Peter runs into trouble in the 8th. 3B Louie Revill leads off with a single, advances to second on a C Whatahui Inoke sac bunt, then reaches third base on a wild pitch. PH Héctor Gutiérrez then hits a deep sac fly to leftfield. Revill tags up and scores without a throw to tie things up. Downie then loads the bases on two singles and an error (E6). But CF Alfonso León pops it up to SS Rupert Bricknell to end the inning.
Wellington 1 – Downie 1

Top of the 9th:

RHP Carl Luscombe comes on in relief of RHP Bernie Knowles and quickly gets Matthew Floyd to pop out to 2B Dominic Dudding. Mick Gunnis pops up to Dudding as well, but this time Dudding drops it, allowing Gunnis to reach base safely. Wayne Emmert draws a 4-pitch walk, putting runners on first and second. 2B Vaiga Bultarro then comes through with a line drive double into deep rightfield. That scores Gunnis for the go-ahead run.

In the bottom of the 9th, Ian Peter completes his gem, getting Connor Bing, Mac Medley and Louie Revill to all ground out (4-3, 6-3 and 6-3) to end the game. The Athletics take the upper hand in the Series as the two teams head back to Wellington for Game 6.
FINAL: Wellington 2 – Downie 1





Player of the Game: Ian Peter wins his second playoff game, going the distance: 9.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 118 PI (2-0, 3.18 ERA; GS: 72).

For Downie:

RHP Bernie Knowles was every bit as good as Peter, but the offense came up just short. He went 8.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 111 PI (0-1, 4.72 ERA; GS: 73).

RHP Carl Luscombe took the loss, going 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 18 PI (1-1, 0.00 ERA).

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Game 6 – April 2

Santop Stadium plays host once again, as 28,442 fans look to see if their Athletics can clinch the Pennant after taking two of three in Downie. It sunny and hot along the west coast of Pearl Sound: clear skies, 78F, with just a gentle breeze blowing from left to right (10 mph).

The Game 2 starters are ready to square off once again. RHP Wilfried Schop looks to bounce back from his rough first outing for Wellington, while Downie taps RHP Kelii Pelanekelina. Neither got the decision in Game 2.

Top of the 1st:
Downie strikes first against Schop just as they did in Game 2. LF Howard Dumbrill gets hit by a pitch to lead things off. With one out, 2B Dominic Dudding bangs out a line drive triple into the gap in left-centerfield, scoring Dumbrill for the game’s first run. CF Alfonso León then lines a double into rightfield, to easily score Dudding.
Downie 2 – Wellington 0

Bottom of the 4th:

Its smooth sailing for Pelanekelina until the 4th inning. RF Harvey Thornber leads off with a bunt. Pelanekelina picks it up and throws it to 1B Robin Duerden but it’s in the dirt and Duerden is unable to corral it. Thornber advances to second as Duerden is charged with the error. CF Jim Mars then smacks a long single into left-centerfield. Thornber races home, beating out LF Howard Dumbrill’s throw. Next up is LF Matthew Floyd, who sends a line drive triple into deep centerfield. That scores Mars as CF Alfonso León tracks down the ball. C Mick Gunnis then singles off Pelanekelina’s first offering. Floyd scampers home as Wellington takes the lead.
Downie 2 – Wellington 3

Top of the 7th:

Pelanekelina singles into shallow rightfield with one out. After Howard Dumbrill strikes out, 1B Robin Duerden triples to the gap in right-centerfield. That sends Pelanekelina home as Downie ties things up.
Downie 3 – Wellington 3

Bottom of the 7th:

Wellington loads the bases as Mick Gunnis leads off with a single, Vaiga Bultarro singles with one out and Juan Maldonado follows him with a full-count walk. With two out, Pelanekelina hits Rupert Bricknell on a 1-2 pitch, forcing in Bultarro as Wellington retakes the lead.
Downie 3 – Wellington 4

Top of the 8th:

Downie doesn’t give up. SS Mac Medley and 3B Louie Revill bang out back-to-back singles. They are followed by 1B Whathui Inoke, who singles into shallow left-centerfield. Medley races around third and beats out CF Jim Mars’ throw home.
Pelanekelina follows Inoke and comes through with a double into left-centerfield. That scores Revill as Downie takes back the lead.
Downie 5 – Wellington 4

Bottom of the 8th:

But Pelanekelina can’t hold onto it. Jim Mars leads off with a single and advances to second base on Mick Gunnis’ one-out single. Wayne Emmert comes through with a single as well. Mars passes third base and beats out RF Connor Bing’s throw home, tying up the game once again. That ends Kelii Pelanekelina’s afternoon. RHP Carl Luscombe battles Vaiga Bultarro to a full count and prevails, getting him to fly out to rightfield. But Juan Maldonado connects on Luscombe’s first pitch, doubling down the rightfield line. That scores Gunnis for the go-ahead run.

In the top of the 9th, RHP Scott Wheeler, who relieved Schop in the 8th, induces ground outs from Robin Duerden, Dominic Dudding and Alfonso León (6-3, 4-3, and 1-3) to end a wild game and the series. The Wellington Athletics prevail in six games to win the Eastern League Pennant!
FINAL: Downie 5 – Wellington 6





Player of the Game: Mick Gunnis received game honors. He went 3 for 4, 1 R, 1 RBI.

Wilfried Schop was shaky once again but did enough to help his club win. His line was 7.2 IP, 12 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 133 PI (0-1, 6.89 ERA; GS: 38).

Scott Wheeler picked up the win, going 1.1 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 12 PI (1-0, 2.08 ERA).

For Downie:

Kelii Pelanekelina didn’t fare much better than Schop, going 7.1 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 126 PI (0-1, 6.75 ERA; GS: 37).

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Wolseley Unions (93-61) vs. Kingston Pelicans (86-69)
Season Matchup: 10-6 in favor of Wolseley

Wolseley: Runs scored – 806 (1st in West); runs against – 600 (3rd)
Kingston: Runs scored – 665 (3rd); runs against – 624 (4th)

The Wolseley Unions square off against the Kingston Pelicans for the first time since they battled for the Western League Pennant five years ago. The two teams were heading in different directions at the time they met back in 1946-47. For the Unions it marked their first playoff appearance in team history, and their 4 games to 1 upset over the Pelicans that year was the first of six straight playoff appearances that has seen two United Cup Championships thus far. Meanwhile Kingston was making their 10th consecutive playoff appearance (in 10 seasons), but their quick exit foreshadowed their decline; they would miss the playoffs the next four years. But after winning a one-game playoff against the Pulberry Trolleys, they are back.

Like last season, the Unions enter the playoffs hampered by injuries. No. 2 starter, 28-year old RHP Jeremy Albury (8-1, 3.05 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 3.34 FIP) will miss his second straight playoffs, after suffering a ruptured ulnar collateral ligament back on December 10 in a game against the Queensland Eagles (the team that originally drafted him 7th overall in 1942-43). Also missing the playoffs will be No. 4 starter, 33-year old RHP Bill Blair (11-7, 3.18 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 3.15 FIP), who tore a flexor tendon in his elbow in a game against the Downie Chiefs back on February 5.

But while the Unions have depth to spare in the rotation to cover those injuries, they may be exposed at third base. Both 22-year old starter Carlos Ortíz (.284/.354/.424, 16 HR, 71 RBI, 57 BB, 3.5 WAR) and 30-year old back-up Burt Willey (.378/.427/.476, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 7 BB, 0.6 WAR) are gone for the season, leaving 27-year old George D’Urberville (.351/.422/.526, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 5 BB, 0.9 WAR), a former 1945-46 3rd-round draft pick that was acquired from the Balmoral Giants in the Rule 5 draft two years ago, to man the hot corner going forward. The Pelicans meanwhile, enter the playoffs with all hands-on deck.

The two managers, Wolseley’s 53-year old Tony Fay (1185-1125, .513) and Kingston’s 48-year old Ben Houchens (1108-895, .553) have managed a combined 4,313 games and are arguably the United Leagues’ top managers in the game today. They both know how to lead and win. Let the games begin!

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Game 1 – March 26

The Series opens at Wolseley’s Satchel Paige Park, with 30,710 fans on hand. The conditions are ideal for an afternoon game: partly cloudy (71F) with a slight breeze (12 mph) blowing out to right.

Two rookies will make their playoff debut: 26-year old RHP Roberto Garza (17-10, 2.70 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 2.84 FIP) takes the hill for Wolseley, while No. 4 starter, 25-year old LHP Rob Hutchence (12-5, 2.48 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 3.58 FIP) answers for Kingston.

Top of the 1st:
Garza is given a rude welcome by Kingston. Lead-off hitter CF Lance Oakley draws a four-pitch walk to start things off. Up next is the speedy LF Glen Traill, who smashes the first pitch he sees into deep rightfield. Oakley dashes for home but Traill is right behind him, as RF Howard Ockley has trouble tracking down the ball. Traill comes all the way home to score an Inside the Park home run.
Kingston 2 - Wolseley 0

Bottom of the 1st:

Wolseley gets a run back when 2B Make-Make Kamaka leads off with a line drive single into shallow rightfield. 1B Alan Cavell immediately doubles into leftfield. Kamaka rounds third on the play and scores safely as Glen Traill doesn’t risk the throw.
Kingston 2 - Wolseley 1

Top of the 3rd:

With Glen Traill on first with two out, C Carlos Camasura singles into leftfield, putting runners on first and second. RF Mo Spencely follows and crushes a 1-2 offering from Garza 358 ft. into the rightfield stands for a 3-run home run.
Kingston 5 - Wolseley 1

Bottom of the 4th:

The Unions get back into the game in the 4th when SS George Kimpton leads off with a first-pitch double. After C Éric Denis advances Kimpton to third base on a 1-3 ground out, Howard Ockley reaches base safely when 1B Dean Bishop cannot hang on to 3B Ryoma Kakui’s throw. That allows Kimpton to score.
George D’Urberville then singles into left-centerfield to advance the runners. With two out, Roberto Garza helps his cause by doubling into right-centerfield, scoring both Ockey and D’Urberville to pull Wolseley to within one.
Kingston 5 - Wolseley 4

Bottom of the 7th:

Make-Make Kamaka doubles into left-centerfield with one out and reaches third when PH Blair Toman grounds out to the first baseman. Up next is LF Carlton Hawking, who slams a 2-run home run 386 ft. into the jubilant leftfield bleachers. That gives the Unions the lead for the first time in the game while ending Rob Hutchence’s afternoon.

In the top of the 9th, PH Danny Trowbridge singles with one out. But after Lance Oakley hits into a fielder’s choice at second base, reliever RHP Shou-xin Chin gets Glen Traill to fly out to CF Owen Claridge to end the game. The Unions win in a squeaker.
FINAL: Kingston 5 - Wolseley 6



Player of the Game: Mo Spenceley got games honors in a losing cause. He batted 1 for 4 with 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 R.

Glen Traill went 1 for 5, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R.

It wasn’t an easy day for the young starters. Rob Hutchence went 6.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR, 106 PI (0-1, 5.40 ERA; Game Score: 38).


For Wolseley:

Lead off hitter Make-Make Kamaka went 2 for 4, 2 R.

Carlton Hawking went 1 for 4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R.

Roberto Garza pitching line was 5.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR, 80 PI (0-0, 9.00 ERA; GS: 37).

John Palm picked up the win: 2.0 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 42 PI (1-0, 0.00 ERA).

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Game 2 – March 27

The Pelicans let Game 1 slip through their fingers and are now looking for a split before heading back home. The weather is exactly as the day before: partly cloudy (71F) with just a slight breeze blowing out to right (12 mph). 30,324 fans are back to see if Wolseley can keep the momentum going.

Wolseley goes with their No. 2 starter, 35-year old LHP Anastasio Rodríguez (10-9, 3.88 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 3.03 FIP), while Kingston will counter with their ace, 31-year old LHP Patrick Denman (21-11, 2.98 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 3.73 FIP). This will be Rodríguez’s 20th career playoff start (9-7, 3.28 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 3.01 FIP) but his first for the Unions. His previous starts were all with the Brunswick Legends. Denman will be making his 12th playoff start (7-6, 2 SV, 4.20 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 4.06 FIP), all with Kingston.

Bottom of the 5th:
The hitters are kept off the board until the 5th, when Kingston commits a pair of costly errors. Denman gets two quick outs before Rodríguez reaches safely on an infield single. Make-Make Kamaka hits one to the infield as well, but 1B Dean Bishop’s flip to Patrick Denman covering first is off the mark, allowing Kamaka to reach safely. Alan Cavell also reaches safely on an error when LF Glen Traill drops the fly ball. That allows Rodríguez to score. Carlton Hawking follows with a single to centerfield. Kamaka scores from third on the play. Cavell follows him home, beating out the throw from CF Lance Oakley.
Kingston 0 - Wolseley 3

Top of the 6th:

Kingston strikes back when Glen Traill crushes a towering one-out solo home run, 433 ft. into the right-centerfield bleachers.
Carlos Camasura follows with a line-drive double into deep rightfield and scores easily when Mo Spenceley singles into left-centerfield.
Kingston 2 - Wolseley 3

Bottom of the 6th:

But Wolseley keeps up the pressure when Éric Denis and Howard Ockey lead off with back-to-back singles. After George D’Urberville advances the runners with a 5-3 ground out, Owen Claridge is given a free pass to load the bases. Anastasio Rodríguez puts the ball in play, but 2B Katsunan Chikafuji throws out Éric Denis at home plate for the second out. Next up is Make-Make Kamaka, who smashes a deep fly ball into left-centerfield for a three-run triple. That ends Patrick Denman’s afternoon, as RHP Kaula Mafileo takes over in relief.
Kingston 2 - Wolseley 6

Top of the 7th:

RF Benjamin Nishikawa, who came into the game in a double switch with pitcher Kaula Mafileo, hits a first-pitch single into leftfield with one out. With two out, Glen Traill doubles Nishikawa home.
Kingston 3 - Wolseley 6

Bottom of the 8th:

George D’Urberville slams a one-out solo home run 366 ft. into leftfield off RHP Ben Currall.

In the top of the 9th, 3B Ryoma Hakui leads off and hits it out to 3B George D’Urberville. But D’Urberville’s throw sails over the head of 1B Alan Cavell and into the dugout, allowing Kakui to reach second. After Benjamin Nishikawa flies out to RF Howard Ockey, Hakui reaches third base on a Lance Oakley 4-3 ground out. But Glen Traill ends the game when he grounds out to Alan Cavell for the final out. Wolseley takes game 2 in convincing fashion.
FINAL: Kingston 3 - Wolseley 7





Player of the Game: Anastasio Rodríguez picks up his 10th career playoff victory, going 9.0 IP, 11 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HR, 126 PI (1-0, 3.00 ERA; GS: 59).

Make-Make Kamaka went 1 for 4, with 1-3B, 3 RBI, 1 R.

Éric Denis went 3 for 4.

For Kingston:

Patrick Denman suffers the loss, going 5.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 88 PI (0-1, 4.76 ERA; GS: 34).

Glen Traill had a big game, going 3 for 5, 1 HR, 1-2B, 1 R, 2 RBI.

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Game 3 – March 29

The Series heads to the south-west coast and Kingston Park, with the Pelicans still looking to get into the win column. 27,215 fans are on hand on a hot, sunny afternoon: 83F with clear skies and only a soft breeze (11 mph) blowing out to right.

Kingston sends their No. 2 man, 27-year old RHP Kieran Bunce (14-10, 3.26 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 3.63 FIP), to the mound, while Wolseley goes with their third starter, 32-year old RHP Kai Tosh (14-10, 3.37 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 3.74 FIP). This will be Bunce’s first career playoff appearance while Tosh will make his 17th playoff start (5-9, 3.76 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 3.27 FIP), all with Wolseley.

Top of the 1st:
Wolseley strikes first when 1B Alan Cavell doubles with one out. LF Carlton Hawking then singles him home as Cavell beats out LF Glen Traill’s throw home.
Wolseley 1 – Kingston 0

Bottom of the 1st:

Kingston evens things up when C Carlos Camasura slams a 1-0 offering from Tosh, 377 ft. into the leftfield bleachers for a two-out solo home run.
Wolseley 1 – Kingston 1

Top of the 2nd:

3B George D’Urberville singles and CF Owen Claridge draws a walk with one out. Kai Tosh advances the runners 90 ft. on a sac bunt. 2B Make-Make Kamaka, Alan Cavell and Carlton Hawking then hit back-to-back-to-back singles, scoring three runs in all.
Wolseley 4 – Kingston 1

Top of the 6th:

Make-Make Kamaka adds to the Unions’ lead when he crushes a one-out solo home run, 415 ft. to the right-centerfield bleachers.
Wolseley 5 – Kingston 1

Bottom of the 8th:

With two out, CF Lance Oakley, Glen Traill and Carlos Camasura all hit consecutive singles, scoring Oakley.
Wolseley 5 – Kingston 2

Bottom of the 9th:

In the bottom of the 9th, 2B Katsunan Chikafuji singles into centerfield. But CF Owen Claridge flubs the pickup, allowing Chikafuji to reach second. RHP Shou-xin Chin comes on in relief of Kai Tosh and gets two quick outs, but 3B Ryoma Hakui singles in leftfield. Chikafuji rounds third and scores without a throw. But Chin strikes out PH Danny Trowbridge on a full count to end the threat and game. Wolseley takes a commanding three games to none lead in the Series.
FINAL: Wolseley 5 – Kingston 3





Player of the Game: Wolseley’s lead-off hitter Make-Make Kamaka, made his presence felt, going 2 for 4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 1 BB.

Alan Cavell goes 2 for 4, 1-2B, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB.

Kai Tosh picks up his 6th playoff victory, going 8.0 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 121 PI (1-0, 3.38 ERA; GS: 48).

For Kingston:

Carlos Camasura batted 2 for 4, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 R.

In his first playoff start, Kieran Bunce went 6.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 72 PI (0-1, 7.11 ERA; GS: 36).

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Game 4 – March 30

It’s do or die for the Kingston Pelicans, as they face elimination at the hands of the mighty Unions. 26,942 have returned to see if their club can stem the tide. The weather will not be a factor: partly cloudy, 77F with the wind now blowing left to right (14 mph).

Kingston’s starters have had a rough go it in the first three games, so the Pelicans are banking on their No. 3 starter, 26-year old RHP Brian Marsland (14-14, 3.22 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 3.80 FIP) to give them a lift. Wolseley will hand the ball to their No. 4 starter, 32-year old RHP Aaron Saunderson (9-18, 3.68 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 3.85 FIP) to try and close out the Series. This will be Marsland’s first career playoff appearance, while Saunderson (3-5, 2.45 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 2.72 FIP) makes his 10th start and his first for the Unions. He previously pitched for the Queensland Eagles in their successful championship run in 1946-47 (against the Unions) and the Embro Suns last year.

Top of the 1st:
2B make-Make-Kamaka leads off with a single but is subsequently thrown out by C Carlos Camasura at second base. 1B Alan Cavell and LF Carlton Hawking then bang out back-to-back singles, putting runners on first and third. After SS George Kimpton draws a walk to load the bases, C Éric Denis hits into a fielder’s choice where Kimpton is forced out at second. But Cavell scores on the play, putting Wolseley on the board.
Wolseley 1 – Kingston 0

Bottom of the 1st:

LF Glen Traill doubles down the leftfield line with one out. Carlos Camasura singles into centerfield. Traill races around third, but CF Owen Claridge cuts him down at home plate with a terrific throw. RF Mo Spenceley comes through however, with a double into leftfield. That scores Camasura for the tying run.
Wolseley 1 – Kingston 1

Bottom of the 4th:

1B Dean Bishop hits one back to the pitcher’s mound with one out, but Aaron Saunderson’s throw is off target, allowing Bishop to reach first safely. SS Charlie Cockin battles Saunderson for nine pitches and five foul balls before drawing a walk. 3B Ryoma Kakui also draws a walk to load the bases. Brian Marsland then hits one out towards shallow rightfield. 2B Make-Make Kamaka knocks it down but is unable to make a throw. Bishop comes in to score on the play.
Wolseley 1 – Kingston 2

Top of the 6th:

Brian Marsland gets two quick outs but LF Carlton Hawking then stings him with a solo home run that sails 404 ft. into the left-centerfield bleaches, tying up the game once again.
Wolseley 2 – Kingston 2

Bottom of the 9th:

Aaron Saunderson gets both PH Danny Trowbridge and PH Hayden Billyard to fly out to rightfield, but then things quickly fall apart for the Unions. First, CF Lance Oakley hits a bouncer straight up the middle but SS George Kimpton can’t make the transfer, allowing Oakley to reach first safely. Oakley then advances to second base on a wild pitch. Glen Traill then hits a line-drive single into left-centerfield. Oakley races around third. Hawking throws to home plate, but it’s over the head of C Éric Denis as Oakley slides in with the winning run. Kingston pulls out their first victory in the Series in a walk-off.
FINAL: Wolseley 2 – Kingston 3





Player of the Game: Brian Marsland gives the Pelicans their first solid pitching performance. He goes 8.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 121 PI (0-0, 2.08 ERA; GS: 67). At the plate, he went 3 for 3, 1-2B, 1 RBI.

RHP Kaula Mafileo picks up the win after facing one batter. He went 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 4 PI (1-0, 0.00 ERA).

For Wolseley:

Aaron Saunderson pitched 8.2 IP, with 8 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 4 K, 139 PI (0-1, 1.04 ERA; GS: 59).

Carlton Hawking went 2 for 4 with 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI.

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Game 5 – March 31

The Pelicans live to play another day and look to try and keep their momentum going. Conditions will be ideal for game time: partly cloudy skies (72F) and a light breeze blowing left to right (12 mph). 27,116 Pelican fans are back to try and cheer their club on to another victory.

The same starters from Game 1 are on tap. Wolseley’s 26-year old RHP Roberto Garza will square off against Kingston’s 25-year old LHP Rob Hutchence. Garza got a no-decision in their previous matchup while Hutchence was hung with the loss.

Top of the 3rd:
The Unions open the scoring when LF Owen Claridge leads off with a walk, then reaches third base on a Roberto Garza sac bunt and a 2B Make-Make Kamaka ground-out. 1B Alan Clavell then drives a single into rightfield, bringing home Claridge.
Wolseley 1 – Kingston 0

Top of the 5th:

Wolseley extends their lead when Roberto Garza and Make-Make Kamaka lead off with back-to-back singles. With one out, LF Carlton Hawking punches a single into shallow leftfield. Garza rounds third and scores without a throw. With two out, C Éric Denis hits a bloop single into shallow centerfield. That scores Kamaka as 2B Katsunan Chikafuji doesn’t risk the throw.
Wolseley 3 – Kingston 0

Top of the 7th:

The Unions break it open in the 7th, as Make-Make Kamaka and Alan Cavell lead off with back-to-back doubles to score a run. After Carlton Hawking is given a free pass, SS George Kimpton lines a single into right-centerfield to load the bases. That ends Hutchence’s day as RHP Ben Currall takes over.
But the onslaught continues. Éric Denis singles into centerfield to score Cavell. RF Howard Ockey singles into rightfield, scoring both Hawking and Kimpton. George D’Urberville gets in on the act when he singles into rightfield to load the bases, still with nobody out. Owen Claridge hits the ball back to the pitcher and Currall promptly throws out Denis at the plate. But reliever John Palm bats for himself and doubles the first pitch he sees into deep centerfield, scoring three more runs.
After Make-Make Kamaka flies out to leftfield, Alan Cavell singles home Palm for the inning’s eighth run. LHP Dana Listman comes on in relief and after walking Carlton Hawking, gets George Kimpton to fly out to centerfield to finally bring the inning to an end.
Wolseley 11 – Kingston 0

Bottom of the 8th:

Kingston finally generates some offense when PH George Nipper leads off with a double. With one out, Carlos Camasura singles into shallow centerfield. Nipper races around third and beats out CF Owen Claridge’s throw home to get the Pelicans on the board.
Wolseley 11 – Kingston 1

Bottom of the 9th:

John Palm looks to wrap things up for Wolseley, but Kingston refuses to go quietly. SS Charlie Cockin leads off with a double and PH Hayden Billyard draws a full-count walk with one out. After George Nipper flies out to centerfield, PH/LF Ricardo Ruíz walks to load the bases. With C Carlos Camasura representing the last out, Palm throws a wild pitch. Cockin comes in to score on the play. But three pitches later, Camasura lines out to 2B Make-Make Kamaka to end the game and series. The Wolseley Unions win the Western League Pennant in convincing fashion to advance to the United Cup for the fourth straight year!
FINAL: Wolseley 11 – Kingston 2





Player of the Game: Roberto Garza picked up his first playoff victory, although he went just 5.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 110 PI (1-0, 4.35 ERA; GS: 64).

John Palm got the save, going 3.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 66 PI (3.18 ERA)

1B Alan Cavell went 3 for 5, 1-2B, 3 RBI, 1 R.

C Éric Denis went 3 for 5, 2 RBI.

LF Carlton Hawking went 2 for 3, 1 RBI, 1 R, 3 BB.

For Kingston:

It was an even tougher outing for Rob Hutchence than in Game 1. He went 6.0 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 0 K, 100 PI (0-2, 7.82 ERA; GS: 22).

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Wolseley Unions (93-61) vs. Wellington Athletics (84-70)
Season Matchup: 5-1 in favor of Wellington

Wolseley: Runs scored – 806 (1st in West); runs against – 600 (3rd)
Wellington: Runs scored – 737 (5th in East); runs against – 692 (3rd)

The Wolseley Unions won their fourth straight Western League Pennant and will be appearing in their fifth United Cup in six years. The Unions were the class of the United Leagues this season and made relatively quick work of the Kingston Pelicans in the Western League Pennant Series, defeating them in five games. Meanwhile, the Wellington Athletics won their first Eastern League Pennant in 14 seasons, after defeating the Downie Chiefs in six games. Their previous Pennant came when they defeated the Queensland Eagles 4 games to 2 in the United Leagues’ inaugural season.

Both clubs are dealing with injuries as they plow through the playoffs, especially in their pitching staffs. Wellington is missing its top two starters: 25-year old RHP Bert Morrow (8-6, 3.97 ERA, 1.46 WHIP, 3.77 FIP) and 27-year old RHP Troy Conlin (12-8, 3.87 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 4.05 FIP). However, they will have their starting catcher, 24-year old C Declan Bugbie (.309/.339/.450, 11 HR, 82 RBI, 25 BB, 4.7 WAR), back in the lineup for the United Cup.

Wolseley is missing two frontline starters as well: 28-year old RHP Jeremy Albury (8-1, 3.05 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 3.34 FIP) and 33-year old RHP Bill Blair (11-7, 3.18 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 3.15 FIP). Finally, with the loss of both 22-year old Carlos Ortíz (.284/.354/.424, 16 HR, 71 RBI, 57 BB, 3.5 WAR) and 30-year old Burt Willey (.378/.427/.476, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 7 BB, 0.6 WAR), 27-year old George D’Urberville (.278/.350/444, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB in WL Pennant Series) will continue to hold down third base.

The Series sees a return of manager Eugene Rogge (1015-1141, .471), who won the United Cup with the Fort Richmond Generals back in 1947-48. They defeated manager Tony Fay’s (1185-1125, .513) Unions in the Western League Pennant that year four games to one on their way to the championship. So there will be a bit of a grudge match vibe to the Series.

Despite the Unions overall success this season, they did not fare well against the Athletics in their six regular season matchups. After winning the first game 5-1, Wolseley dropped the next five. In fact, the last three games played in February saw Wellington win 10-8, 9-5 and 2-0. So if recent history is any indication, the Athletics are capable of ‘hanging’ with the Unions, whether outscoring them or shutting them down as necessary. Wolseley cannot afford to take anything for granted. Will they? Let’s play some ball!

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Game 1 – April 4

Game 1 gets underway at Wolseley’s Satchel Paige Park on the west coast, under partly cloudy and slightly cooler than normal (65F) skies and a light breeze blowing left to right (12 mph). 30,622 fans have packed the stadium to cheer on their Unions.

Both Wolseley’s 35-year old LHP Anastasio Rodríguez (1-0, 3.00 ERA in the WL Pennant Series) and Wellington’s 27-year old RHP Matt Price (1-0, 1.13 ERA in the EL Pennant Series) make their second start of the playoffs.

Top of the 1st:
Wellington gets on the board first when SS Rupert Bricknell leads off with double. After reaching third base when 1B Wayne Emmert flies out to RF Howard Ockey, Bricknell scores when Jim Mars grounds out to 2B Make-Make Kamaka.
Wellington 1 – Wolseley 0

Bottom of the 1st:

But Wolseley immediately responds with back-to-back singles by Make-Make Kamaka and 1B Alan Cavell to lead off the bottom half. With two out, C Éric Denis drives a single into rightfield. RF Harvey Thornber botches the pickup, however, allowing the runners to advance and Kamaka to score.
Wellington 1 – Wolseley 1

Bottom of the 2nd:

CF Owen Claridge leads off with a first-pitch single and reaches second on an Anastasio Rodríguez sac bunt. But Claridge is thrown out attempting to steal third base by C Declan Bugbie. Make-Make Kamaka singles into shallow centerfield and reaches second on a wild pitch. Alan Cavell then draws a walk. Up next is LF Carlton Hawking who stings Price for a 3-run home run, 387 ft. into the jubilant leftfield bleachers.
Wellington 1 – Wolseley 4

Bottom of the 4th:

Lighting strikes a second time, when Make-Make Kamaka draws a walk with one out and Alan Cavell singles into shallow leftfield. Carlton Hawking steps up to the plate and crushes a 1-2 pitch from Price, sending it 426 ft. into the left-centerfield stands for a 3-run home run. That ends Matt Price’s afternoon, as RHP Gavin Duckering takes over.
Wellington 1 – Wolseley 7

Bottom of the 6th:

Wolseley continues to pile it on as Alan Cavell leads off with a single and Carlton Hawking draws a walk. With one out, Éric Denis singles into leftfield. Cavell races around third and beats out LF Matthew Floyd’s throw home. After Hawking reaches third base on a fielder’s choice, 3B George D’Urberville singles him home.
Wellington 1 – Wolseley 9

Top of the 7th:

Matthew Floyd leads off with a first-pitch double and scores when C Declan Bugbie follows him with a single into left-centerfield.
Wellington 2 – Wolseley 9

Bottom of the 8th:

Éric Denis leads off with a single and advances to second when George D’Urberville draws a one-out walk. RHP Cameron Ueno then takes over and gives up a walk to Owen Claridge, loading the bases. With two out, Ueno gives up back-to-back walks to Make-Make Kamaka and Alan Cavell, forcing in two more runs.

In the top of the 9th, Anastasio Rodríguez gets two quick outs before PH Ricardo Rúbio reaches safely after SS George Kimpton loses control of a routine grounder. But PH Carl Townsend hits into a 6-4 fielder’s choice to end the game. Wolseley takes Game 1 in convincing fashion.
FINAL: Wellington 2 – Wolseley 11





For Wolseley:

It was all Wolseley today as Carlton Hawking continued his torrid ways and Anastasio Rodríguez pitched a complete game (2-0, 2.50 ERA, 122 PI, GS: 73).

For Wellington:

It was a rough day for the Athletics’ pitchers. Matt Price went just 3.1 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 1 K, 2 HR, 66 PI (1-1, 6.35 ERA; GS: 11).

Gavin Duckering went 4.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 0 K, 75 PI, 9.00 ERA.

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Game 2 – April 5

The two clubs reconvene at Satchel Paige Park for Game 2, as 30,483 fans look to see if the Unions can keep their dominant play going. The skies are clear, the temperature has shot up (84F) and just a slight breeze blowing from left to right (11 mph) provides a meager measure of relief.

Wolseley’s ace 26-year old RHP Roberto Garza (1-0, 4.35 ERA) makes his third start of the playoffs, while Wellington counters with 31-year old RHP Ian Peter (2-0, 3.18 ERA). Peter too, is making his third start of this year’s playoffs.

Bottom of the 1st:
The Unions pick up where they left off, as Make-Make Kamaka, Alan Cavell, Carlton Hawking and George Kimpton bang out four consecutive singles to start the inning, putting a run on the board. Both Éric Denis and Howard Ockey then fly out to deep centerfield, scoring two more runs.
Wellington 0 – Wolseley 3

Bottom of the 3rd:

George Kimpton and Éric Denis hit back-to-back doubles with one out to add a run. With two out, George D’Urberville singles into left-centerfield. Denis rounds third and heads for home, but CF Jim Mars cuts him down at home plate to end the inning.
Wellington 0 – Wolseley 4

Bottom of the 6th:

Owen Claridge singles into leftfield with one out, then reaches second on a sac bunt by Roberto Garza. Make-Make Kamaka then lines a single into centerfield. Claridge races for home and beats out the throw from CF Jim Mars.
Wellington 0 – Wolseley 5

Top of the 9th:

1B Wayne Emmert battles Garza to a full count before tripling into centerfield with one out. That ends Garza’s day as RHP Shou-xin Chin comes on in relief. But Jim Mars pounces on Chin’s 0-1 pitch and slams a 2-run home run, 421 ft. into the right-centerfield bleachers.
But after giving up a four-pitch walk to Matthew Floyd, Chin gets Declan Bugbie to pop up to 2B Make-Make Kamaka and induces RF Harvey Thornber to ground out to 1B Alan Cavell to end the game. Wolseley takes the first two games as the Series now heads to Wellington.
FINAL: Wellington 2 – Wolseley 5





For Wolseley:

Roberto Garza puts in a sterling performance as he picks up his second victory of the playoffs (2-0, 2.89 ERA, 67 PI, GS: 73).

For Wellington:

Ian Peter went 6.0 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 93 PI (2-1, 4.30 ERA, GS: 29).

Jim Mars went 1 for 4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 HR

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Game 3 – April 7

Santop Stadium in Wellington sees United Cup action for the first time since 1938 when the Kingston Pelicans won four games to two. Wellington looks to get on track and 28,346 fans are on hand to cheer them on. The weather is simply gorgeous along the Pearl Sound coast: clear skies, warm temperatures (70F) and a light breeze blowing left to right (8 mph).

29-year old RHP Wilfried Schop (0-1, 6.89 ERA) has been tasked to lead the Athletics to victory in his third playoff start. The Unions will look to 32-year old veteran RHP Kai Tosh (1-0, 3.38 ERA) to keep Wolseley’s momentum going.

Bottom of the 1st:
Tosh gets two quick outs but then runs into trouble. CF Jim Mars singles and LF Matthew Floyd doubles, putting runners on second and third. C Declan Bugbie then singles into leftfield. Mars scores the game’s opening run. But Floyd is hot on his heels and beats out the throw to home plate from LF Carlton Hawking.
RF Harvey Thornber immediately doubles, once again putting runners on second and third. 2B Vaiga Bultarro singles into right-centerfield. Bugbie scores easily on the play. But Thornber is right behind him for the inning’s fourth run as Carlton Hawking doesn’t risk the throw.
Wolseley 0 – Wellington 4

Top of the 2nd:

But Wolseley comes right back as Schop experiences control issues. RF Howard Ockey leads off with a single, 3B George D’Urberville is hit by a pitch and CF Owen Claridge singles into shallow leftfield to load the bases. Kai Tosh is also hit by a pitch, forcing in Ockey. 2B Make-Make Kamaka then flies out to LF Matthew Floyd. D’Urberville tags up on the play and scores without a throw. 1B Alan Cavell follows and singles down the leftfield line. Claridge beats out Matthew Floyd’s throw home for the Unions’ third run before Schop can escape the inning.
Wolseley 3 – Wellington 4

Top of the 4th:

Alan Cavell singles with one out. Carlton Hawking hits a fly ball to leftfield, but Matthew Floyd cannot snag it, putting runners on first and second. With two out, Éric Denis singles into right-centerfield. Cavell races around third and beats out CF Jim Mars’ throw home to tie up the game.
Wolseley 4 – Wellington 4

Bottom of the 5th:

SS Rupert Bricknell battles Tosh for nine pitches before drawing a lead-off walk. With one out, Jim Mars doubles into leftfield. Bricknell tears around third and scores without a throw as Wellington takes back the lead.
After Matthew Floyd draws a walk, Declan Bugbie doubles into right-centerfield. That scores Mars and ends Kai Tosh’s afternoon. RHP John Palm takes over but promptly surrenders a single to RF Harvey Thornber. That scores both Floyd and Bugbie as CF Carlton Hawking has no play to make.
Wolseley 4 – Wellington 8

Top of the 7th:

Howard Ockey triples with one out. Wilfried Schop is injured on the play, reportedly favoring his elbow. So manager Eugene Rogge calls on RHP Cameron Ueno to take over. After striking out George D’Urberville, Ueno gives up a long single into rightfield to Owen Claridge. Ockey comes in to score on the play.
Wolseley 5 – Wellington 8

Bottom of the 7th:

Rookie RHP Joseph Sellwood comes in to start the 7th. With one out, Harvey Thornber hits a lazy fly ball to centerfield. But it deflects off the tip of Owen Claridge’s glove, allowing Thornber to reach safely. With two out, 3B Juan Maldonado triples into deep right-centerfield, scoring Thornber.
Wolseley 5 – Wellington 9

Top of the 8th:

Wolseley loads the bases with nobody out as Make-Make Kamaka doubles, Alan Cavell singles and Carlton Hawking draws a walk. With one out, Éric Denis singles home Kamaka. Wellington then makes a pitching change, calling on RHP Scott Wheeler. But a long sac fly to centerfield by Howard Ockey and a single by George D’Urberville score two more runs, getting Wolseley to within one.

In the top of the 9th, Scott Wheeler bears down, getting back-to-back ground outs from PH Blair Toman and Make-Make Kamaka and a fly ball from Alan Cavell to preserve the victory. Wellington gets into the win column as they head to Game 4.
FINAL: Wolseley 8 – Wellington 9





For Wellington:

It was not a sterling day for pitchers once again. But Wilfried Schop picked up the win, going 6.1 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 102 PI (1-1, 6.55 ERA, GS: 38). In the 7th inning, he suffered a sore elbow and is listed as day-to-day for the next 6 days.

Cameron Ueno went 1.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 29 PI, (10.13 ERA).

Scott Wheeler picked up the save, going 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 15 PI, 1.50 ERA (3 SV).

For Wolseley:

Kai Tosh took the loss in a rough outing: 4.1 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 86 PI (1-1, 8.03 ERA; GS: 9).

Howard Ockey went 3 for 4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1-3B

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Game 4 – April 8

28,355 Athletics fans have returned for Game 4, as Wellington breathes new life. The afternoon matchup will be played under partly cloudy skies (73F) with a very light breeze blowing out to center (8 mph).

Wellington’s 24-year old RHP Vinnie Snell (0-1, 4.50 ERA) will make his second career playoff start, while Wolseley taps 32-year old veteran RHP Aaron Saunderson (0-1, 1.04 ERA). Both previously pitched in the fourth game of their respective Pennant Series.

Bottom of the 2nd:
Wellington strikes first when Declan Bugbie and Harvey Thornber bang out back-to-back doubles with one out.
Wolseley 0 – Wellington 1

Bottom of the 3rd:

Rupert Bricknell leads off with a single but is thrown out attempting to steal second base by C Éric Denis. Wayne Emmert follows with a single and reaches third base when Matthew Floyd singles with two out. Declan Bugbie steps to the plate next and extends the Athletics lead, cranking out a 3-run home run to the leftfield bleachers, 397 ft. away.
Wolseley 0 – Wellington 4

Top of the 9th:

Vinnie Snell keeps the Wolseley hitters at bay until the ninth, when things fall apart. First, Owen Claridge leads off with a solo home run, depositing it 373 ft. into the rightfield bleachers.
Make-Make Kamaka and Alan Cavell then bang out back-to back singles with one out, advancing 90 ft. when Carlton Hawking grounds out to 3B Juan Maldonado. A George Kimpton single and an Éric Denis double follows, driving in three runs and tying up the game. Howard Ockey and George D’Urberville keep the rally going by hitting back-to-back singles. That drives in Denis for the go-ahead run.

In the bottom of the 9th, RHP SHou-xin Chin takes over for Aaron Saunderson. Chen gets Vagia Bultarro to ground out to 1B Alan Cavell, Juan Maldonado strikes out swinging and PH Lyndon Inagaki grounds out to Alan Cavell to end the game. Wolseley pulls out the victory.
FINAL: Wolseley 5 – Wellington 4





For Wolseley:

Aaron Saunderson picks up the win, going 8.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 103 PI (1-1, 2.70 ERA; GS: 50).

Shou-xin Chin gets the save: 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 10 PI, (3 SV, 1.93 ERA).

For Wellington:

Vinnie Snell was pitching brilliantly until the 9th. He went 8.2 IP, 13 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 140 PI (0-2, 4.86 ERA; GS: 38).

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Game 5 – April 9

Wellington looks to try and rebound from a heart-breaking loss the day before. Santop Stadium is filled to the brim with 28,279 fans, hoping the last home game of the season will end on a high note. The weather has turned up the heat on the proceedings: brilliantly clear, sunny skies, 79F, with just a slight breeze blowing left to right (9 mph).

The starters from Game 1 face each other once again. Wellington looks to 27-year old RHP Matt Price (1-1, 6.35 ERA) to right the ship, while Wolseley tasks 35-year old LHP Anastasio Rodríguez (2-0, 2.50 ERA) with the job of closing things off.

Bottom of the 3rd:
3B Juan Maldonado leads off with a first-pitch line drive double down the leftfield line and moves up 90 ft. on a Matt Price sac bunt. Rupert Bricknell lines it to 3B George D’urberville but his throw to 1B Alan Cavell is off the mark. Bricknell reaches safely as Maldonado scores on the play.
Wolseley 0 – Wellington 1

Bottom of the 5th:

With one out, Juan Maldonado hits his second double of the game, a first-pitch line drive into rightfield. Matt Price singles into leftfield. Maldonado rounds third and sprints for home. LF Carlton Hawking’s throw to C Éric Denis is not in time as Maldonado doubles the Athletics’ lead.
Wolseley 0 – Wellington 2

Top of the 9th:

For the second straight game, an Athletics pitcher keeps the Unions off the board until the 9th. George Kimpton leads off and lines it to 3B Juan Maldonado. But Maldonado can’t hang on to it, allowing Kimpton to reach base safely. Éric Denis and Howard Ockey follow with back-to-back singles to load the bases with nobody out. George D’Urberville then hits into a 5-4-3 double play with Kimpton scoring on the play. But Matt Price gets Owen Claridge to pop up to C Declan Bugbie along the third base line to end the game and preserve the win. The Series heads back to Wolseley with the Unions still looking for one more victory.
FINAL: Wolseley 1 – Wellington 2





For Wellington:

Matt Price pitched the game of his life, going 9.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 115 PI (2-1, 3.54 ERA; GS: 77).

For Wolseley:

Anastasio Rodríguez was almost as good. He went 8.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 95 PI (2-1, 2.42 ERA, GS: 64).

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Game 6 – April 11

After dropping two of three in Wellington (and very nearly losing the other), the Unions return to friendlier territory at Satchel Paige Park, with 30,475 packing the joint. Weather shouldn’t be an issue: it’s warm (78F), not a cloud in the sky and just a gentle breeze blowing out to right (10 mph).

As in Game 2, 26-year old RHP Roberto Garza (2-0, 2.89 ERA) will start for Wolseley, while 31-year old RHP Ian Peter (2-1, 4.30 ERA) pitches for Wellington.

Bottom of the 2nd:
C Éric Denis gets the Unions on the board with a lead-off solo home run that sails 381 ft. into the leftfield stands.
Wellington 0 – Wolseley 1

Bottom of the 3rd:

2B Make-Make Kamaka doubles Wolseley’s lead when he crushes a lead-off solo home run of his own, 430 ft. into the right-centerfield stands.
Wellington 0 – Wolseley 2

Top of the 4th:

Roberto Garza get two quick outs on two pitches to start the inning, but RF Harvey Thornber then lines a single into shallow rightfield. He is followed by 2B Vaiga Bultarro, who doubles into leftfield, scoring Thornber and getting Wellington on the board.
Wellington 1 – Wolseley 2

Top of the 5th:

Once again, Garza starts the inning with two quick outs. But CF Jim Mars, LF Matthew Floyd and C Declan Bugbie all hit consecutive singles. Mars scores to knot the game up at two.
Wellington 2 – Wolseley 2

Bottom of the 5th:

With one out, Make-Make Kamaka breaks the tie with his second solo home run of the game, sending it 400 ft. into the ecstatic rightfield bleachers.
Wellington 2 – Wolseley 3

Bottom of the 6th:

George Kimpton leads off with a full-count walk. Éric Denis then singles. Kimpton passes second and beats out RF Harvey Thornber’s throw to third to put runners on the corners with nobody out. RF Howard Ockey battles Ian Peter for 8 pitches before singling into shallow rightfield. Kimpton comes home to score Wolseley’s fourth run.

After relieving Roberto Garza to start the 7th, RHP John Palm looks to close things out in the top of the 9th. He needs just six pitches. Juan Maldonado goes down swinging on three pitches. PH Lyndon Inagaki flies out to CF Owen Claridge on two pitches. On the last pitch of the season, SS Rupert Bricknell grounds out to SS George Kimpton to end the game and the Series. The Wolseley Unions are United Cup Champions for the second year in a row!
FINAL: Wellington 2 – Wolseley 4





For Wolseley:

Roberto Garza get the job done, going 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 101 PI (3-0, 2.92 ERA, GS: 52).

John Palm goes 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 ER, 2 K, 26 PI (2 SV, 1.74 ERA).

For Wellington:

Ian Peter battled but had trouble with the long ball. He went 7.1 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 K, 3 HR, 118 PI (2-2, 4.45 ERA; GS: 39).

--------

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Old 12-25-2019, 09:03 AM   #551
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U N I O N S !

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Old 12-25-2019, 02:57 PM   #552
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--------

Fun Fact: Zak Kidd (second row, far right), was rated the No. 1 prospect when the United Leagues got underway back in 1937. Rising through Wolseley’s farm system, he made the big-league roster full-time in 1939. A perineal lone bright spot on a second division team, Kidd would go on to become a 7-time all-star and win two Ball Hawk Awards for his work in both leftfield and centerfield. But just as the Unions’ fortunes began to rise, Kidd’s star started to fade. Torn ankle ligaments and a fractured thumb would force him to sit out most of the 1946-47 regular season. But he was still selected to the All-Star game that season and was in the starting lineup when the Unions qualified for their very first playoff appearance. Kidd rose to the occasion, slamming two 2-run home runs in his first two at-bats, batting .333/.429/.889, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 4 R, 3 BB before he strained a rib cage muscle in the last game of the Western League Pennant Series and was forced to sit out the United Cup Series that year.

He would never be the same after that. As Wolseley embarked on their championship years, they traded him to the Queensland Eagles in December 1947. But repeated injuries to his hands, shoulders and ankles limited his effectiveness. Finally, Queensland granted his outright release this past January. But a few days later, he signed a minor league contract with Wolseley’s AAA team, the Caledonia Jets and was on the roster when the Jets won the Amethyst Leagues Kings Cup on March 29. But his season wasn’t quite over. Qualifying for Wolseley’s playoff roster, Kidd was with the team when the Unions won their third United Cup this past season. Although he made just one plate appearance in the playoffs (a strikeout against the Kingston Pelicans in Game 5 of the Western League Pennant Series), the ‘original Union’ finally won his first United Cup – and did it with his old team. Funny how things work out sometimes.
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Old 12-25-2019, 10:35 PM   #553
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Old 12-26-2019, 04:34 AM   #554
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Three Ball Hawks from Pulberry. Nice! Especially great to see Tyson up there.

Was just wondering reds1, have you switched back to 2D parks? I see you've customized several of the parks made by the great Teflon. Those fit quite nicely into your league.
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Old 12-26-2019, 02:06 PM   #555
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamTeams View Post
Three Ball Hawks from Pulberry. Nice! Especially great to see Tyson up there.

Was just wondering reds1, have you switched back to 2D parks? I see you've customized several of the parks made by the great Teflon. Those fit quite nicely into your league.
No I haven't. Actually, OOTP20 is the first version that I haven't loaded up the 2D parks. I've been using the MLB 3D parks for watching games (SF Giants for Balmoral Giants, GAPB for the Red Stockings, etc.)

If I had the patience to learn how to to make minor modifications to the the custom made parks that the community has made to suit the United Leagues, I would (Just like your amazing 3D parks for the Metro Leagues). I really enjoy the game immersion in the 3D parks now.

I frequently use Revit MEP at my work, so I really don't have an excuse on not learning how to edit the 3D parks.
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Old 01-02-2020, 05:06 PM   #556
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1951-52 United Leagues of Braeland Awards

Eastern League



Babe Ruth Award

A pair of Red Stockings dominated the voting for the Eastern League’s Babe Ruth Award this season, but 26-year old CF Raymond Williams (.346/.428/.595, 31-2B, 25 HR, 119 RBI, 86 BB, 8.4 WAR) was the clear choice, winning all but one first-place vote. Its his second Award, having previously won it in 1949-50. He finished third last season.

Williams led the Eastern League in RBI (119), SLG (.595), OPS (1.023), WAR (8.4), triples (18), total bases (339) and OPS+ (171). He finished in the Top 5 in ten other offensive categories (second place five times).

This year’s runners-up were:

2nd: Cobourg’s 30-year old 3B Alexander Tolmie (.338/.415/.535, 30-2B, 26 HR, 115 RBI, 83 BB, 7.7 WAR)
3rd: Wellington’s 24-year old LF Matthew Floyd (.305/.386/.566, 42-2B, 22 HR, 111 RBI, 65 BB, 6.2 WAR)

Tolmie led the East in WPA (5.95) and tied with Queensland’s LF Rod Dennis for the home run lead (26). He finished in the Top 5 in thirteen other offensive categories (second place five times).

Floyd led the circuit in ISO power (.261), EBH (75) and doubles (42). He finished in the Top 5 in nine other categories (second place once).

Voting Results:



Previous Winners:

1937-38: Katsunan Chikafuji, Queensland Eagles
1938-39: Paul Hooks, Embro Suns
1939-40: Terence Durney, Embro Suns
1940-41: Jim Friend, Embro Suns
1941-42: Jim Friend, Embro Suns (2)
1942-43: Mark Elston, Brunswick Legends
1943-44: Dean Bishop, Braeland City Monarchs
1944-45: Stuart Bentham, Brunswick Legends
1945-46: Jim Friend, Embro Suns (3)
1946-47: Elijah Sheppard, Queensland Eagles
1947-48: Roberto Ríos, Stratford Barons
1948-49: Aaron Skidmore, Stratford Barons
1949-50: Raymond Williams, Cobourg Red Stockings
1950-51: Alfonso León, Downie Chiefs

--------

Satchel Paige Award

The Eastern League did not exactly see a dominating pitching performance this season. That said, the voters were rather decisive in handing this year’s Satchel Paige Award to 26-year old RHP Magtanggol Jaojoco (16-19, 3.07 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 3.20 FIP, 129 ERA+, 7.1 WAR). His final tally was nearly double that of the second-place finisher and he won 14 of 16 first-place votes. This season saw a changing of the guard, as the top four vote getters were making their first appearance in this exercise.

Jaojoco led the East in Loses (19), WAR (7.1), IP (296.0), CG (24) and rWAR (8.8). He tied with LHP Bill Budd for shutouts (7) and with both Budd and LHP Carl McBroom for quality starts (23). He finished in the Top 5 in eight other categories and in the Top 2 four times.

Following him were:

2nd: Cobourg's 23-year old LHP Bill Budd (16-12, 3.36 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 3.95 FIP, 119 ERA+, 3.7 WAR)
3rd: Embro’s 26-year old RHP Juan Rivas (12-6, 2.19 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 3.15 FIP, 182 ERA+, 3.5 WAR)

Budd led the Eastern League in SH (7-tied), BB (152) and QS (23-tied). He finished in the Top 5 in ten other pitching categories and in the Top 2 five times.

Rivas led in ERA (2.19), WHIP (1.08), ERA+ (182), BABIP (.235) and OPP AVG (.216). He finished in the Top 5 in five other categories and in the Top 2 twice.

Voting Results:



Previous Winners:

1937-38: Colm Soper, Embro Suns
1938-39: Justin Hayhurst, Stratford Barons
1939-40: Lenny Freke, Braeland City Monarchs
1940-41: David Cooling, Braeland City Monarchs
1941-42: Anastasio Rodríguez, Brunswick Legends
1942-43: Anastasio Rodríguez, Brunswick Legends (2)
1943-44: Ryan Borden, Stratford Barons
1944-45: Matthew Monroe, Brunswick Legends
1945-46: Joel Fearn, Stratford Barons
1946-47: Arthur Bence, Wellington Athletics
1947-48: Ryan Borden, Stratford Barons (2)
1948-49: Nicholas Grimes, Braeland City Monarchs
1949-50: Anastasio Rodríguez, Brunswick Legends (3)
1950-51: Aaron Saunderson, Embro Suns

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Rookie of the Year Award

A catcher from Brunswick won this year’s award in the East. 23-year old Robert Kersey (.284/.379/.464, 26-2B, 19 HR, 75 RBI, 74 BB, 5.2 WAR) was a 3rd-overall pick from 1949-50 and is already rated as the No. 2 catcher in the United Leagues, behind only Stratford’s Aaron Skidmore.

Finishing behind Kersey were:

2nd: Embro’s 22-year old SS Kieron Bradridge (.285/.330/.484, 32-2B, 19 HR, 85 RBI, 36 BB, 5.4 WAR)
3rd: Braeland City’s 21-year old RF Aidan Trembath (.336/.386/.563, 30-2B, 15 HR, 66 RBI, 28 BB, 3.2 WAR)

Voting Results:



Previous Winners:

1938-39: Adam Ashley, Braeland City Monarchs
1939-40: Soren Heinke, Wellington Athletics
1940-41: Dean Bishop, Queensland Eagles
1941-42: Harry Chatwin, Brunswick Legends
1942-43: Geoff Lemoine, Stratford Barons
1943-44: Elijah Sheppard, Queensland Eagles
1944-45: Kyle Pryor, Braeland City Monarchs
1945-46: Jilenko Batiles, Cobourg Red Stockings
1946-47: Ron Gavin, Queensland Eagles
1947-48: Christopher Dainty, Braeland City Monarchs
1948-49: Patrick Lidgate, Braeland City Monarchs
1949-50: Matthew Floyd, Wellington Athletics
1950-51: Jim Mars, Wellington Athletics

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Western League



Babe Ruth Award

After winning the Western League Triple Crown and absolutely dominating the United Leagues offensively, it was pretty much a forgone conclusion that Wolseley’s 30-year old LF Carlton Hawking (.348/.476/.587, 42-2B, 26 HR, 126 RBI, 138 BB, 7.9 WAR) would earn his second Babe Ruth Award. The seven-time All-Star also has three playoff MVP Awards and three United Cup Championships to his credit thus far in his career.

Hawking led the League in AVG (.348), HR (26), RBI (126), OBP (.476), SLG (.587), OPS (1.064), Hits (189), Runs (120), TB (319), BB (138), EBH (73), ISO (.239), OPS+ (181), WPA (7.17) and WOBA (.460). He finished runner up two other categories: WAR (7.9) and doubles (42).

This year’s runners-up were:

2nd: Pulberry’s 25-yer old CF Cooper Tyson (.313/.405/.504, 33-2B, 14 HR, 96 RBI, 89 BB, 8.8 WAR)
3rd: Cambria's 32-year old SS César Ruíz (.301/.406/.508, 32-2B, 24 HR, 83 RBI, 93 BB, 6.3 WAR)

Tyson led the League in WAR (8.8). He finished in the Top 5 in seventeen other offensive categories (second place six times).

Ruíz finished in the Top 5 in twelve offensive categories (second place seven times).

Voting Results:



Previous Winners:

1937-38: Fergus Chitty, Kingston Pelicans
1938-39: Fergus Chitty, Kingston Pelicans (2)
1939-40: Jayden Tennant, Kingston Pelicans
1940-41: Steven Winstanley, Hespeler Stars
1941-42: Jayden Tennant, Kingston Pelicans (2)
1942-43: Ron Westmacott, Cambria Cannons
1943-44: Carlton Broadbent, Balmoral Giants
1944-45: Carlton Broadbent, Balmoral Giants (2)
1945-46: Danny Trowbridge, Kingston Pelicans
1946-47: Danny Trowbridge, Kingston Pelicans (2)
1947-48: Danny Trowbridge, Kingston Pelicans (3)
1948-49: Dylan Moyne, Fort Richmond Generals
1949-50: Carlton Hawking, Wolseley Unions
1950-51: Louis Wearne, Fort Richmond Generals

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Satchel Paige Award

31-year old LHP Nicholas Grimes (20-10, 2.02 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 3.27 FIP, 193 ERA+, 6.6 WAR) wins his second Satchel Paige Award. In so doing, he becomes the first player to win a major player award in both Leagues. In 1948-49, Grimes won the Eastern League Satchel Paige Award with the Braeland City Monarchs.

The voting was not close this year. Grimes led the West in ERA (2.02), IP (299.0), CG (26), WHIP (1.11), ERA+ (193), rWAR (12.4), BABIP (.233), Opp AVG (.22), QS (28) and shutouts (4 - tied). He also finished in the Top 5 in three other pitching categories (second place twice).

Finishing behind Grimes in voting this year were:

2nd: Wolseley’s 26-year old RHP Roberto Garza (17-10, 2.70 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 2.84 FIP, 149 ERA+, 7.2 WAR)
3rd: Kingston’s 32-year old LHP Patrick Denman (21-11, 2.98 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 3.73 FIP, 135 ERA+, 4.8 WAR)

Garza led the Western League in WAR (7.2) and FIP (2.84). He finished in the Top 5 in eleven other categories (second place twice).

Denman led in Wins (21). He finished in the Top 5 in seven other categories (second place once).

Voting Results:



Previous Winners:

1937-38: Neil Guerin, Cambria Cannons
1938-39: Brady Murdy, Kingston Pelicans
1939-40: Brady Murdy, Kingston Pelicans (2)
1940-41: Brady Murdy, Kingston Pelicans (3)
1941-42: Francis Slocock, Kingston Pelicans
1942-43: Joey Cumberledge, Kingston Pelicans
1943-44: Francis Slocock, Kingston Pelicans (2)
1944-45: Roberto Taváres, Sherburn Tigers
1945-46: Patrick Denman, Kingston Pelicans
1946-47: Jesús Chapa, Sherburn Tigers
1947-48: Jesús Chapa, Sherburn Tigers (2)
1948-49: Nicky Sherlock, Fort Richmond Generals
1949-50: Bill Blair, Wolseley Unions
1950-51: Roberto Taváres, Fort Richmond Generals (2)

--------

Rookie of the Year Award

For the second straight year, a Wolseley Union has won the Rookie of the Award. 26-year old RHP Roberto Garza (17-10, 2.70 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 2.84 FIP, 149 ERA+, 7.2 WAR) also finished runner up in the Satchel Paige Award voting, indicating how strong his rookie campaign was.

A pair of Pulberry Trolleys were runners-up for the Rookie Award:

2nd: 23-year old LF Aidan Thirkettle (.275/.376/.450, 26-2B, 10 HR, 71 RBI, 73 BB, 15 SB, 3.5 WAR)
3rd: 22-year old LHP Ramón Castro (14-6, 2.59 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 3.05 FIP, 151 ERA+, 5.4 WAR)

Thirkettle led the West in sac flies (11). He finished in the Top 5 in three other categories.

Castro led in WIN% (.700). He finished in the Top 5 in four other categories (second place once).



Previous Winners:

1938-39: Aaron Flanagan, Wolseley Unions
1939-40: Francisco Rodríguez, Balmoral Giants
1940-41: Leon Hankey, Cambria Cannons
1941-42: Brian Pittman, Balmoral Giants
1942-43: Freddie Duran, Kingston Pelicans
1943-44: Rizalino Ringor, Wolseley Unions
1944-45: Hao Wang, Cambria Cannons
1945-46: Ben Currall, Kingston Pelicans
1946-47: Éric Denis, Wolseley Unions
1947-48: Dominic Pipard, Balmoral Giants
1948-49: Gavin Flatt, Fort Richmond Generals
1949-50: César Ruíz, Cambria Cannons
1950-51: Carlos Ortíz, Wolseley Unions

--------

Manager of the Year Award



Back in 1947-48, Eugene Rogge (1015-1141, .471) led the Fort Richmond Generals to a United Cup Championship. But then he was unceremoniously dumped a few days later, after managing the club since the United Leagues’ inception. That firing likely deprived him of serious consideration for Manager of the Year that season. But this season, he finally earned his first Managerial Award, after leading the Wellington Athletics to their first playoff appearance in 12 years and first Eastern League Pennant in 14. The 56-year old American from Dubuque, Iowa has managed in 14 of the United Leagues’ 15 seasons so far. He is considered friendly and laid back to a fault and has never managed a dominant team. In fact, his teams have won more that 80 games only twice: the United Cup Champion Fort Richmond Generals (88-66) in 1947-48 and this year’s Wellington Athletics (84-70).

The Kingston Pelicans meanwhile returned to the playoffs after a four absence. That earned 48-year old Ben Houchens (1108-895, .553) his fifth Manager of the Year Award. He is by far the most decorated manager in the United Leagues (Stratford Barons/Queensland Eagles manager Bill Quinn is next with three). Houchens just completed this 10th season as Kingston’s manager and his fiery disposition has not mellowed one iota during that time. That has rubbed a number of players the wrong way over the years, but there is no questioning his success.

Previous Winners:

1937-38: Bradley Balmforth, Wellington Athletics --- Rouke Barclay, Sherburn Tigers
1938-39: Vic Windle, Embro Suns --- John Permenter, Kingston Pelicans
1939-40: Warren Paulino, Braeland City Monarchs --- Eddie Frierson, Cambria Cannons
1940-41: Bill Quinn, Stratford Barons --- John Permenter, Kingston Pelicans (2)
1941-42: Babe Ruth, Brunswick Legends --- Eddie Frierson, Cambria Cannons (2)
1942-43: Wesley Leseberg, Brunswick Legends --- Ben Houchens, Kingston Pelican
1943-44: Bill Quinn, Stratford Barons (2) --- Ben Houchens, Kingston Pelicans (2)
1944-45: Wesley Leseberg, Brunswick Legends (2) --- Ben Houchens, Kingston Pelicans (3)
1945-46: Bill Quinn, Stratford Barons (3) --- Bradley Balmforth, Sherburn Tigers (2)
1946-47: Reid Saxby, Queensland Eagles --- Ben Houchens, Kingston Pelicans (4)
1947-48: Toby Reakes, Braeland City Monarchs --- Morrigan O’Lonergan, Balmoral Giants
1948-49: Toby Reakes, Braeland City Monarchs (2) --- Tony Fay, Wolseley Unions
1949-50: Bill Bouchet, Downie Chiefs --- Tony Fay, Wolseley Unions (2)
1950-51: Finlay Fay, Brunswick Legends --- John Mathis, Fort Richmond Generals

--------

New Records Set

No new single season records were set this past season.
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:02 AM   #557
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Notes on 1951-52 All-Braeland Team

This past season was somewhat peculiar in terms of player performances. While a few players enjoyed tremendous years, the overall play in the United Leagues was rather lacklustre, or so it seemed to me. Some players, like Downie’s 26-year old CF Alfonso León, still enjoyed very good seasons but it paled in comparison to the season they enjoyed the year before (in León’s case, his WAR went down from 9.3 to 5.6). Others fell off the map without any obvious reason why. The most dramatic were a pair of catchers: Fort Richmond’s 30-year old Louis Wearne, who earned All-Braeland Team honours last year (7.2 down to 2.4 WAR) as well as Braeland City’s 30-year old Christopher Dainty (6.7 down to 2.1 WAR).

On the surface, offense appeared to suffer a bit in both Leagues, but stronger pitching wasn’t the sole reason, at least not in the East. Looking at League totals, the breakdown was as follows:

Eastern League:
LgERA regressed from the season before, going from 4.08 to 4.27;
LgAvg went down slightly: .266 from 2.69.

Western League:
LgERA continued its downward trend for the third straight season: 4.15 to 3.99 to 3.72 this season.
LgAvg dropped to .257, its lowest level in 5 years.

Here are the 1951 American and National Leagues season averages for comparison:

American League:
LgERA – 4.12
LgAvg – .262

National League:
LgERA – 3.96
LgAvg – .260

So, while the United Leagues averages are comparable to the Major League averages overall, its clear that offense is down. Also, the Western League has developed a virtual monopoly on quality pitching, with Fort Richmond (3.8 R/G), Balmoral (3.9) and Wolseley (3.9) leading the way. In terms of selecting the All-Braeland Team, this has meant that all serious pitching candidates came from the West.


Starting Pitcher

It was Fort Richmond’s 31-year old LHP Nicholas Grimes and then there was everyone else, at least in my opinion. He was the clear choice as top pitcher in the United Leagues this past season. The rest of the candidates all came from the Western League as well, as the Eastern League pitching was paltry in comparison, with apologies to RHP Magtanggol Jaojoco (16-19, 3.07 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 3.20 FIP, 129 ERA+, 7.1 WAR), who won the Eastern League Satchel Paige Award (league leading stats in bold).

• LHP Nicholas Grimes - 20-10, 2.02 ERA, 34 GS, 299.0 IP, 105 K, 1.11 WHIP, 0.5 HR/9, 2.65 BB/9, 3.16 K/9, .233 BABIP, 3.27 FIP, 193 ERA+, 6.6 WAR.

Here was the rest of the field that I considered:

• Wolseley’s 26-year old RHP Roberto Garza – 17-10, 2.70 ERA, 34 GS, 243.1 IP, 152 K, 1.17 WHIP, 0.4 HR/9, 2.8 BB/9, 5.6 K/9, .263 BABIP, 2.84 FIP, 149 ERA+, 7.2 WAR.
• Kingston’s 32-year old LHP Patrick Denman21-11, 2.98 ERA, 34 GS, 284.1 IP, 113 K, 1.33 WHIP, 0.7 HR/9, 3.2 BB/9, 3.6 K/9, .270 BABIP, 3.73 FIP, 135 ERA+, 4.8 WAR
• Pulberry’s 22-year old LHP Ramón Castro – 14-6, 2.59 ERA, 30 GS, 212.0 IP, 88 K, 1.25 WHIP, 0.3 HR/9, 2.9 BB/9, 3.7 K/9, .266 BABIP, 3.05 FIP, 151 ERA+, 5.4 WAR.

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Catcher

This one kind of snuck up on me. Bugbie and Camasura both won Ball Hawk Awards for their defensive prowess and Kersey won Rookie of the Year honors this season. But Stratford’s Aaron Skidmore quietly put up the best overall season by catcher this year. It wasn’t a runaway though. All four catchers appear in the Top 20 players list, with Skidmore rated the highest (9th overall). But with some fine young players nipping at his heels, that could change in the not-too-distant future.

• 32-year old Aaron Skidmore – .298/.458/.444, 112 H, 18-2B, 11 HR, 69 RBI, 115 BB, .902 OPS, 143 OPS+, 5.9 WAR, 1.017 EFF.
• Brunswick’s 23-year old Robert Kersey – .284/.379/.464, 131 H, 26-2B, 19 HR, 75 RBI, 74 BB, .843 OPS, 124 OPS+, 5.2 WAR, 1.047 EFF.
• Wellington’s 24-year old Declan Bugbie - .309/.339/.450, 158 H, 33-2B, 11 HR, 82 RBI, 25 BB, .790 OPS, 114 OPS+, 4.7 WAR, 1.191 EFF.
• Kingston’s 26-year old Carlos Camasura – .273/.373/.366, 135 H, 24-2B, 6 HR, 53 RBI, 81 BB, .739 OPS, 97 OPS+, 4.5 WAR, 1.208 EFF.

--------

First Base

Another position where it felt as though there was not a clear choice. That would not have been the case had Brunswick’s Stuart Bentham not been injured. Bentham missed 6 weeks due to a separated shoulder in mid-January. Had he remained healthy for a full season, there’s little doubt he would have earned the honor. Offensively, he was on course to do even better than last season, when he won his third selection to the All-Braeland Team. As it is, Braeland City’s Dean Witherden earned his first selection. It was his finest season yet, despite not picking up All-Star honors this year. Bentham and Cobourg’s Harry Doxey represented the East at this past season’s All-Star game, but I gave the edge to Witherden this time.

• 28-year old Dean Witherden – .332/.379/.460, 206 H, 30-2B, 15 HR, 80 RBI, 47 BB, .839 OPS, 122 OPS+, 5.0 WAR, 1.034 EFF.
• 35-year old Stuart Bentham.348/.446/.565, 156 H, 28-2B, 21 HR, 90 RBI, 77 BB, 1.010 OPS, 168 OPS+, 3.8 WAR, .874 EFF.
• 26-year old Harry Doxey – .328/.370/.467, 196 H, 39-2B, 12 HR, 108 RBI, 43 BB, .836 OPS, 122 OPS+, 3.7 WAR, 1.033 EFF.
• Queensland’s 25-year old Ryan Conisford – .273/.363/.438, 150 H, 37-2B, 18 HR, 68 RBI, 79 BB, .801 OPS, 117 OPS+, 3.8 WAR, 1.103 EFF.

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Second Base

Like first base, this choice would have been a runaway if not for injuries. Downie’s Dominic Dudding lost two months of action due to a fractured finger in late December, but still came out on top. Had he not missed so much time, he just may well have bettered his previous season, when he earned 7.7 WAR. Lidgate had a fine season but it represented a step back from his previous two seasons (6.8 & 6.2 WAR). But there’s always next year.

• 26-year old Dominic Dudding – .343/.418/.554, 143 H, 25-2B, 17 HR, 70 RBI, 52 BB, .972 OPS, 165 OPS+, 5.8 WAR, .998 EFF.
• Braeland City’s 26-year old Patrick Lidgate – .285/.390/.500, 159 H, 21-2B, 23 HR, 82 RBI, 89 BB, .890 OPS, 135 OPS+, 5.7 WAR, 1.002 EFF.
• Kingston’s 36-year old Katsunan Chikafuji – .276/.358/.443, 148 H, 26-2B, 20 HR, 85 RBI, 67 BB, .801 OPS, 112 OPS+, 4.8 WAR, 1.007 EFF.
• Hespeler’s 27-year old Vic Lewis – .284/.342/.457, 163 H, 24-2B, 23 HR, 86 RBI, 43 BB, .800 OPS, 110 OPS+, 4.4 WAR, 1.020 EFF.

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Third Base

Cobourg’s Alexander Tolmie wins his third selection to the All-Braeland Team and he bucked the general trend doing it – improving on his performance from last season. The five-time all-star is rated 5th overall among all players and certainly backed up that lofty rating with his stellar play. He is currently the only third baseman in the Top 20, but a couple of youngsters manning the hot corner made their presence know this season. Both Pulberry’s Makani Kahale and Embro’s Moromao Nakagawa were outstanding this season. Kahale already has two all-star selections and two Ball Hawk Awards to his credit, while Nakagawa finished fourth in the EL Rookie of the Year voting this season.

• 30-year old Alexander Tolmie – .338/.415/.535, 192 H, 30-2B, 26 HR, 115 RBI, 83 BB, .951 OPS, 152 OPS+, 7.7 WAR, .990 EFF.
• 25-year old Makani Kahale – .308/.343/.454, 182 H, 32-2B, 10 HR, 92 RBI, 33 BB, .798 OPS, 116 OPS+, 4.3 WAR, 1.025 EFF.
• 23-year old Moromao Nakagawa – .266/.362/.424, 153 H, 32-2B, 17 HR, 77 RBI, 87 BB, .786 OPS, 110 OPS+, 4.3 WAR, 1.020 EFF.

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Shortstop

Although Fort Richmond’s Nobuyoshi Yoshida regressed a little from last season, he was nevertheless, still outstanding and won his second consecutive selection to the Team. The former 8th overall pick from 1946-47 is the complete package, combining top-notch offense with award-winning defense (four Ball Hawk Awards and counting). Interestingly, the same four candidates considered were the same from last season. But Yoshida was once again the top choice.

• 27-year old Nobuyoshi Yoshida – .312/.367/.439, 187 H, 44-2B, 8 HR, 78 RBI, 47 BB, .806 OPS, 120 OPS+, 6.8 WAR, 1.078 EFF.
• Hespeler's 28-year old Zhao-hui Qian – .305/.351/.450, 179 H, 32-2B, 13 HR, 78 RBI, 47 BB, .801 OPS, 111 OPS+, 6.3 WAR, 1.045 EFF.
• Cambria’s 32-year old César Ruíz – .301/.406/.508, 162 H, 32-2B, 24 HR, 83 RBI, 93 BB, .915 OPS, 147 OPS+, 6.3 WAR, .965 EFF.
• Wolseley's 30-year old George Kimpton – .303/.376/.453, 183 H, 32-2B, 14 HR, 96 RBI, 71 BB, .829 OPS, 119 OPS+, 5.9 WAR, .992 EFF.

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Left Field

Four Batter of the Month honors, one WL Babe Ruth Award, one WL Triple Crown, an All-Star selection and a United Cup championship. That would be an impressive resume on any player’s career resume, but Wolseley's 31-year old Carlton Hawking achieved that all in one season. He led the West in 15 offensive categories. He is without question, the United Leagues best player and made this selection automatic. Wellington’s Matthew Floyd enjoyed another solid season, but this season belonged to Hawking.

Carlton Hawking.348/.476/.587, 189 H, 42-2B, 26 HR, 126 RBI, 138 BB, 1.064 OPS, 181 OPS+, 7.9 WAR, .957 EFF.
• 24-year old Matthew Floyd – .305/.386/.566, 152 H, 42-2B, 22 HR, 111 RBI, 65 BB, .952 OPS, 157 OPS+, 6.2 WAR, 1.055 EFF.
• Brunwick’s 25-year old Carl Patton – .295/.382/.412, 163 H, 26-2B, 7 HR, 61 RBI, 75 BB, .794 OPS, 112 OPS+, 4.9 WAR, 1.029 EFF.

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Center Field

This was by far the most competitive position to consider and making a final decision was not easy. If this exercise was based purely on WAR, then Pulberry’s Cooper Tyson would have gotten the nod. He is just in his second season in the majors but has already established himself as one of the most dynamic defensive outfielders in the United Leagues. He is also developing into one most aggressive players at the plate and on the base paths. But in the end, I went with Cobourg’s Raymond Williams. True, he is not the defensive player Tyson is, but he still provides quality defense at a key position. Williams is also one of the best offensive players. In fact, he is currently rated the No. 1 position player in the entire United Leagues and won his second Babe Ruth Award. For all he brings to the table, I ended up giving Williams the edge – this time. But with the way Cooper Tyson is developing, it may not be long before he forces my hand to give him his due.

• 25-year old Raymond Williams – .346/.428/.595, 197 H, 31-2B, 25 HR, 119 RBI, 86 BB, 1.023 OPS, 171 OPS+, 8.4 WAR, .999 EFF.
• 25-year old Cooper Tyson – .313/.405/.504, 176 H, 33-2B, 14 HR, 96 RBI, 89 BB, .908 OPS, 146 OPS+, 8.8 WAR, 1.043 EFF.
• Fort Richmond’s 30-year old Dylan Moyne – .297/.364/.435, 178 H, 18-2B, 19 HR, 66 RBI, 61 BB, .799 OPS, 119 OPS+, 6.1 WAR, 1.006 EFF.
• Wellington’s 26-year old Jim Mars - .322/.390/.435, 192 H, 22-2B, 9 HR, 84 RBI, 69 BB, .825 OPS, 125 OPS+, 5.8 WAR, .995 EFF.

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Right Field

Four the past four seasons, right field has not been home to exactly the most dynamic performance from a player (the 1947-48 season saw Marcus Peyto racked up 6.1 WAR). That did not change this year, but this past season did see a couple of promising young players make their mark. Pulberry’s Ellis Dibble enjoyed his best yet in the United Leagues and earned his first All-Star selection. His impressive work at the plate and terrific defense gave him the edge over Downie’s Connor Bing. Bing made nice progress in his second season in the majors, but Dibble, rated at the No. 1 right fielder in the ULB, was the clear choice.

• 27-year old Ellis Dibble – .323/.385/.468, 181 H, 29-2B, 12 HR, 87 RBI, 61 BB, .853 OPS, 132 OPS+, 4.4 WAR, 1.019 EFF.
• 25-year old Connor Bing – .270/.354/.452, 95 H, 20-2B, 10 HR, 54 RBI, 44 BB, .806 OPS, 120 OPS+, 3.7 WAR, 1.112 EFF.
• Brunswick’s 31-year old Marcus Peyto – .263/.363/.477, 126 H, 28-2B, 21 HR, 90 RBI, 79 BB, .840 OPS, 122 OPS+, 3.6 WAR, .975 EFF.
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