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OOTP 19 - Historical Simulations Discuss historical simulations and their results in this forum.

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Old 11-03-2018, 01:28 AM   #101
Dukie98
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2024 Hall of Fame Voting

Sandy Koufax finally has some company in Cooperstown. On his fifth try, fellow southpaw Jakie May was selected to the Hall of Fame. May started his career in the HRDL with the Vancouver Viceroys as a 31-year-old rookie, and had several dominant seasons before becoming a dominant set-up man late in his career. May made five all-star teams in his seven seasons, and took home the 2013 Cy Young Award after going 16-5, leading the league with a 1.70 ERA and 317 strikeouts. He also was a brilliant postseason performer, going 9-2 with a 1.56 ERA and 0.87 WHIP in 109 postseason innings, including a 6-0 run with a 0.94 ERA in 2011. Top vote recipients include:

Jakie May, LHP (VAN/ BUF/ CHA): 85.1%
Bill Freehan, C (CHA/ SF/ SEA): 68.7%
Billy Pierce, LHP (STL/ KC): 68.3%
Aaron Judge, RF (CLE/ BOS): 41.7%
Richard Hidalgo, RF (ELP/ CHA/ CAL/ ALB/ MEM): 35.3%

Freehan, Pierce, and Judge were the top newcomers to the ballot, and it appears likely that Freehan and Pierce will be inducted next season.

Players who dropped off the ballot after failing to reach 2% include: Ken Hill, Bill Hall, Bob Smith, Joe Orengo, Joe Cronin, Travis d'Arnaud, Ron Hassey, Trevor Wilson, Dave Nicholson, Bill Howerton, and Hernan Perez.

Here's a look at May's Hall of Fame career:
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Old 11-05-2018, 03:18 AM   #102
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2025 Mid-Year Review

Here's a quick overview of the leading storylines across the league at the 2025 All-Star break:

Exceeding expectations: The Pittsburgh Golden Gorillas were well positioned to end a ten-year postseason drought, as they led the Northeast Division for several weeks, entering the break just a half-game out of first place with a 42-33 record. Left fielder Sherry Magee was the runaway favorite for MVP, leading baseball with a .376 average, 14 homers, 39 steals, and 63 runs scored. Smokey Joe Wood anchored the pitching staff, going 13-3 with a 2.14 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, and 150 strikeouts. The Toronto Predators, who had not topped .500 since 2021, entered the break with a 44-31 record, leading the Great Lakes Division by two games. Right fielder George "High Pockets" Kelly hit .310 with 17 homers and 46 RBI's. Steve Farr led a largely anonymous pitching staff, which ranked third in the league in runs allowed, going 7-3 with a 2.45 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP. In the Continental League, the Los Angeles Kangaroos entered the season at a crossroads, coming off a 76-win season -- their first season below 91 wins. After a free-agent shopping spree, where they imported the likes of Chili Davis, JD Drew, and Bruce Hurst, they hoped to return to the postseason -- but no one expected a 50-24 record, sparked by a 20-3 start to the season. Left fielder Gary Matthews, Sr. starred, hitting .380 with 15 homers and 56 RBI's, while Davis and Hoskins ripped 12 homers apiece. Southpaw Brett Anderson went 7-2 with a 2.55 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. The Miami Flamingos' rebuilding project appeared to be in its end stages, as they entered the break with a 40-35 record, just two games out of first in the Southeast Division. Although the Flamingos were next-to-last in the Continental League in homers, they nonetheless entered the break fourth in the league in runs scored, as Frank Robinson, Josh Harrison, and Rick Peters each hit over .320.

Disappointments: The defending champion Seattle Whales entered the break with a mediocre 38-37 record, despite a strong offensive performance that ranked second in the Frontier League. Seattle suffered from a 9-20 record in one-run games, as their bullpen collectively sported a 4-14 record. Closer Milo Candini, who led the league with 46 saves last year, saw his ERA nearly double, and his WHIP jumped to an execrable 1.84. The Philadelphia Hawks sputtered, going just 34-40 and ending the first half in fifth place in the Northeast Division. Second baseman Bill Doran dropped nearly 100 points in batting average, hitting a punchless .195 and slugging .227, while Steve Yeager hit just .227 with 4 homers. In the Continental League, the Birmingham Steelers appeared unlikely to repeat their surprise playoff appearance, going just 34-41. Defending Rookie of the Year Carlos Pena, who pounded 38 homers last year, hit just 8 longballs. Ed Halicki, a 20-game winner last year, dropped to just 3-4 as his ERA spiked by nearly a run to 3.95. The El Paso Armadillos - just two years removed from a 99-win season - crashed to a dreadful 28-47 start, ranking dead last in nearly every offensive category other than homers. The Armadillos hit just .222 and scored only 242 runs in the first half. Second baseman Joe Gordon, a burgeoning star, hit just .230 and slugged .337 with 3 homers. Third baseman Mike Moustakos hit .207 with a dreadful .230 on-base percentage.

Power outage continues: The marked downturn in offense from last year continued. Trevor Story was the only player to enter the All-Star break with 20 homers, and only eight players even reached 15 homers. The Frontier League's leaguewide slugging percentage was a punchless .357.

Viceroys reign: The Vancouver Viceroys, coming off a successful 90-win season, ran away with the Northwest Division, opening up an 8 1/2 game lead with a 46-28 record. They led the Frontier League in homers, as Ken Landreaux, Byron Browne, and free agent signee Gary Gaetti bopped 13 homers apiece, and a deep pitching staff led baseball with just 210 runs allowed. Bob Osborn went 8-4 with a 1.94 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP, while closer Bill Callahan had 21 saves, an 0.50 ERA, and 54 strikeouts in just 36 innings.

Austin conquers Texas: The Austin Mustangs, a surprise division winner a year ago, looked to run away with the Texas Division, going 49-26 while taking a 13-game lead into the break -- despite being dead last in the Continental League in homers. DH Jake Daubert led the Mustangs offensively, hitting .345 with 8 homers and 59 RBI's, while CJ Cron popped 12 homers and 52 RBI's. Righthander Brad Bergesen won his first eleven decisions, on his way to a 14-1 record and a 3.05 ERA, while Pete Donohue went 8-4, sporting a brilliant 1.82 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP.

Major milestones: Jacksonville right fielder Bryce Harper became the first player in HRDL history to hit the 500-homer milestone. Seattle third baseman Harmon Killebrew pounded his 400th home run, while Miami first baseman Ed Morgan and Toronto right fielder High Pockets Kelly joined the 300-homer club. Ten-time All-Star Andy Van Slyke slapped his 2,500th hit, all in a Minneapolis uniform. On the mound, Calgary's Jair Jurrjens, Detroit's Steve Hargan, and Philadelphia's Tom Underwood each won their 200th game. El Paso's Kerry Wood became the first player in league history to notch 3,000 strikeouts; Kansas City's George Earnshaw would likely do so by the end of July.

Major injuries: In spring training, the defending Frontier League Cy Young Award winner, Detroit's Dave Righetti, tore his rotator cuff, putting him out of commission for the season. Cleveland catcher JT Realmuto fractured his elbow in late April, knocking him out for the year. Nashville left fielder Ben Paschal tore his ACL, ending his season -- and days later, Anaheim left fielder Alex Gordon met a similar fate after fracturing his kneecap. Ageless Austin reliever Satchel Paige suffered shoulder inflammation, and would likely miss the rest of the regular season, although a postseason return was not out of the question.

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Old 11-08-2018, 03:08 AM   #103
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2025 Year in Review

Frontier League: After starting 25-25, the Buffalo Fighting Elk stampeded into the postseason with 102 wins, winning the Northeast Division by 17 games over Pittsburgh. First baseman Orlando Cepeda led a balanced offense, hitting .288 with a team-high 28 homers, 91 RBI's, and 27 steals, while left fielder Preston Wilson blossomed, hitting 22 homers, driving in 88 runs, and stealing 18 bases. Once again, a deep pitching staff led baseball, surrendering just 480 runs. Remarkably, Jim McGlothlin was the only starting pitcher with double-digit victories, going 13-5 with a 2.61 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. Tom Henke led a deep and talented bullpen, going 10-1 with 34 saves, a 1.72 ERA, and a 0.76 WHIP, while setup man Chris Devenski also won 10 games and sported a 1.51 ERA. The Pittsburgh Golden Gorillas were in playoff contention for most of the season, as star left fielder Sherry Magee hit .315, scored a league-high 121 runs, ripped 27 homers, drove in 90 runs, and stole 80 bases, while ace Smoky Joe Wood went 23-9 with a 2.40 ERA and 290 strikeouts.

The upstart Toronto Predators edged the Detroit Purple Gang for the Great Lake Division title, winning seven of their last eight games to force a one-game playoff, as both teams tied with 92 wins, and Toronto slugger George "High Pockets" Kelly singled in the division-winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Kelly carried a mediocre offense, hitting.319 with 35 homers and 106 RBI's. Tex Carleton led a deep pitching staff, going 17-14 with a 2.77 ERA, a 1.06 WHIP, and 251 strikeouts, while stopper Hugh Canavan went 13-4 with 39 saves and a microscopic 1.34 ERA. Detroit was led offensively by slugging outfielders Reggie Smith and Mel Hall, who combined for 53 homers and 196 RBI's, while their pitching staff survived the loss of Cy Young Award winner Dave Righetti in spring training, as Justin Verlander turned in his typical 17-9 season with a 2.56 ERA and 1.00 WHIP.

The Kansas City Mad Hatters barely cracked a sweat, jumping out to a 10-1 start on their way to the Great Plains Division title with 101 wins. Todd Helton led their league-leading offense, hitting .317 with 20 homers and 103 RBI's, while corner outfielders Bobby Bonds and Moises Alou drove in 98 runs apiece. Jose Rosado led a solid, if unspectacular pitching staff, going 17-6 with a 2.96 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. The St. Louis Pilots returned to the postseason after a dreadful 2024 season by winning 91 games, despite drop-offs in production from stars Francisco Lindor, Jack Clark, and Gabby Hartnett. But DJ Lemahieu hit .323, leading the league with 211 hits, and scored 99 runs. Ace John Montefusco had a brilliant season, going 18-9 with a 2.11 ERA and 0.92 WHIP.

The 104-win Vancouver Viceroys featured the most balanced squad in the league, ranking second in the league in runs scored and third in runs allowed. First baseman Gil Hodges hit .290 with 29 homers and 107 RBI's, while third baseman Gary Gaetti ripped 27 homers and drove in 91 runs before suffering a season-ending injury around Labor Day. Starters Chris Young, Bill Gogolewski, and Bob Osborn each won 15+ games, while closer Bill Donovan had 44 saves and a 1.47 ERA. The 91-win Seattle Whales played better than their record reflected, as left fielder Heinie Manush hit .344 with a league-high 47 doubles, 17 homers, 89 RBI's, and 31 steals, while southpaw Dontrelle Willis went 21-6 with a 2.22 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. The 88-win Calgary Cattle Rustlers took the final playoff slot, as first baseman Kevin Millar hit .291 with 24 homers and 88 RBI's. Willard Nixon went just 11-8, but sported a 2.43 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP.

Continental League: The 102-win Jacksonville Gulls seized their fifth straight playoff spot, as Bryce Harper hit .312 with 27 homers and 100 RBI's, while left fielder Larry Herndon hit .308 with 18 homers and 118 RBI's. Andy Sonnanstine led the league's best pitching staff, going 19-8 with a 2.63 ERA, while Dizzy Trout and Ray Sadecki won 16 games apiece. The Hartford Huskies won 95 games, as outfielders Jay Bruce and Gorman Thomas bopped 35 and 30 homers, respectively, with each topping the 100-RBI milestone. Angel Miranda and Oswaldo Peraza won 18 games apiece. The 94-win Charlotte Aviators made their 13th consecutive playoff appearance. Shortstop Trevor Story led baseball with 41 round-trippers and 112 RBI's, while Kevin Mitchell hit .271 with 27 homers and 116 RBI's. Free agent signee Roger Clemens went 17-6 with a 2.69 ERA, while Larry Jaster matched him, going 16-4 with a 2.67 ERA.

The Nashville Blues rallied from a dreadful 8-19 start to win 95 games, narrowly pulling out the Southeast Division title by winning their last ten games of the season. Slugger Greg Luzinski hit .278 with 26 homers and 88 RBI's, while Brian Jordan launched 21 homers, drove in 81 runs, and stole 18 bases. Nashville's deep pitching staff, led by 18-game winners Dave Ferris and Freddie Fitzsimmons, made the difference. The New Orleans Crawfish made the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons, as shortstop Jean Segura posted an MVP-caliber season, hitting a league-leading .346 with 232 hits, 131 runs scored, 19 homers, 79 RBI's, and 93 steals. Free agent signee Lou Gehrig rebounded from a slow start to hit .281 with 25 homers and 107 RBI's, while Kevin Reimer popped 26 homers and drove in 108 runs. Heinie Berger led the pitching staff with a 19-8 record despite a middling 3.66 ERA and 1.33 WHIP.

The Austin Mustangs opened up a double-digit lead by the All-Star break in a mediocre Texas Division, ultimately topping second-place Dallas by 13 games with 96 wins. DH Jake Daubert had a strong all-around season, hitting .322 with 16 homers and 105 RBI's, while CJ Cron hit .280 with 27 round-trippers and 96 RBI's. Austin's pitching staff was decimated down the stretch, as Brad Bergesen (18-2 with a 3.30 ERA) tore his UCL in August, only to be followed weeks later by veteran Pete Donahue's (13-8, 2.48 ERA) rotator cuff tear, while 16-win rookie Jim Bagby went down in September with elbow inflammation. They joined ageless second-year reliever Satchel Paige on the disabled list, as Paige suffered a shoulder injury in May.

After a one-year absence from the playoffs, the Los Angeles Kangaroos returned to form with a vengeance, improving by 28 games to win the Southwest Division with 104 wins. Gary Matthews, Sr. led the way, hitting .345 with 33 homers, 122 RBI's, and 33 steals. Chili Davis and Rhys Hoskins each topped 30 homers and 100 RBI's. Southpaw Brett Anderson went 14-7 with a 2.51 ERA, becoming the first pitcher in league history to reach 250 wins, while Bruce Hurst went 14--10 with a 2.93 ERA, a 0.96 WHIP, and 203 strikeouts. The Las Vegas Aces, a perennial bridesmaid, finished in second place for the 8th time in 9 years with 95 wins. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval hit .284 with 18 homers and 95 RBI's, and first baseman Jason Thompson smacked 17 homers and drove in 97 runs. Chris Van Cuyk led a deep pitching staff which ranked in the top three in the league in runs allowed, going 14-11 with a 2.73 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP, while closer Joel Zumaya had 11 wins, 35 saves, and a 2.81 ERA.
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Old 11-13-2018, 03:17 AM   #104
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2025 Playoff Report

Frontier League: In a significant upset, the 88-win Calgary Cattle Rustlers upended their division rival Vancouver Viceroys, whose 104 wins topped baseball, in six games. Calgary righthander Jair Jurrjens threw a perfect game -- the first in HRDL postseason history -- in Game 4. Yet teammate Jerome Walton took home the MVP award after hitting .320 with 2 homers, 4 RBI's, and 4 runs scored. Righthander Ray Phelps went 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA, allowing just 4 hits in 14 innings, as he and Steve Roser combined for a one-hit shutout in the decisive Game Six. The Toronto Predators needed 163 games to separate themselves from the Detroit Purple Gang, and once again, Toronto needed a full seven game series to advance. In a tight series which included 4 one-run games, Toronto was led by slugging first baseman Eric Karros, who hit .321 with a homer and 6 RBI's. Toronto ace Tex Carleton sported a 1.29 ERA in 14 innings, notched the win in Game 7, and even homered for good measure. In yet another matchup of division rivals, the Kansas City Mad Hatters outlasted the St. Louis Pilots in six games, as left fielder Moises Alou hit .364 with a series-best 3 homers and 8 RBI's. Teammate Bobby Bonds hit .364 as well, with a homer, 7 RBI's, and 2 steals. First baseman Dave Revering led St. Louis, hitting .417 with 3 RBI's. In the most dramatic series of the wild-card round, the Seattle Whales forced a decisive seventh game against the 102-win Buffalo Fighting Elk, before falling on a walk-off single in the ninth inning by Buffalo right fielder Doc Gessler. Gessler took home series MVP honors after hitting .435 with a .480 on-base percentage with 4 runs scored. Buffalo center fielder Darin Erstad hit .348 with a homer and 4 RBI's, while relievers Tom Henke, Bob Grim, and Cory Luebke combined for 11.2 shutout innings, allowing just four hits combined. Seattle was led by shortstop Orlando Miller, who hit .360 with 5 RBI's, but in a bizarre move, Seattle benched slugger Harmon Killebrew for the series for slap-hitting Duane Kuiper.

In the Division Series, the Calgary Cattle Rustlers narrowly prevailed over the Toronto Predators in 7 games, after nearly blowing a 3-0 series lead. Calgary second baseman Bobby Grich took home the hardware after hitting .333 with 3 homers, 6 RBI's, and 5 runs scored, while Kevin Millar hit .370 with 3 RBI's. Ray Phelps went 1-0, taking the win in Game 7 after allowing just one run on 4 hits in 7 innings, while sporting a tiny 0.63 ERA for the series. Toronto's Luke Appling hit a series-best .393 and stole five bases, while third baseman Babe Pinelli popped two homers and drove in 6 runs. The Buffalo Fighting Elk eliminated a 2-1 deficit to the Kansas City Mad Hatters, winning the final three games to take the series 4-2. Left fielder Ken Singleton won MVP honors after hitting .478 with 2 homers and 7 RBI's, while Darin Erstad hit .476 with a homer and 5 RBI's. Righthander Ernie White went 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA. Kansas City was led by slugger Todd Helton, who hit .476 with a homer and 4 RBI's. Buffalo dominated the League Championship Series, holding Calgary to just eight runs in a four-game sweep. Buffalo second baseman UL Washington hit .471 with 2 homers, 5 RBI's, and 2 eleventh-inning steals in Game 3. Buffalo catcher Dave Nilsson hit .286 with 3 homers and 6 RBI's. Calgary was led by shortstop Alcides Escobar, who hit .389, and Kevin Millar, who hit .353 with a homer and 3 RBI's.

Continental League: The 104-win Los Angeles Kangaroos returned to form, dominating the league-best offense of the New Orleans Crawfish in a four-game sweep. Los Angeles leftfielder Gary Matthews, Sr. led six Kangaroo hitters who hit over .300 for the series, hitting .450 with 4 doubles and 5 RBI's. First baseman Rhys Hoskins hit .333, leading all hitters with 2 homers and 7 RBI's. Relievers Bill Doak and DeWayne Buice threw 8 shutout innings, allowing just 3 hits combined. The Nashville Blues shut down the Hartford Huskies in a four-game sweep of their own, holding the second-ranked offense in the league to just 10 runs over 4 games. Nashville center fielder Bob Brower hit .438 with 3 homers and 11 RBI's, driving at least two runs in all four games. Nashville starters Freddie Fitzsimmons, Bob Shirley, and Bobby Jones each yielded only a single earned run in their respective starts. Hartford first baseman Norm Cash hit .400 with a homer and 2 RBI's. The Austin Mustangs, whose pitching staff was decimated by injuries during the second half, somehow outlasted the Las Vegas Aces in seven games, as catcher Benito Santiago hit .310 with a homer and 4 RBI's. Austin's Ossie Bluege and Von Hayes each blasted 2 homers and drove in 4 runs. Corpulent Las Vegas leftfielder Rickey Henderson, who tipped the scales at a remarkable 255 pounds, nonetheless hit .385 with 5 RBI's and 6 runs scored. The Charlotte Aviators -- seemingly always a postseason disappointment -- upended their division rival Jacksonville Gulls in six games, taking the final four games after losing the first two. Charlotte third baseman Kevin Mitchell took MVP honors after hitting .375 with 3 homers and 10 RBI's. Second baseman Brent Gates hit .417, while Jim Edmonds and Rick Renick slapped two homers apiece. Jacksonville was led by center fielder Roy Weatherly, who hit .538, including a walk-off homer in the 11th inning of Game 2.

The Los Angeles Kangaroos outlasted the Nashville Blues in six games in the Division Series. Los Angeles second baseman Glenn Hubbard hit .368 with a homer and 5 RBI's. Buddy Lewis and JD Drew broke open the decisive Game 6 with eighth-inning homers. Nashville's Greg Luzinski hit .273 with a homer, leading all hitters with 8 RBI's. Charlotte outlasted the pesky Austin Mustangs in six games, with Kevin Mitchell taking home another trophy after hitting .381 with a homer and 7 RBI's. Charlotte shortstop Trevor Story matched Mitchell, hitting .375 with a homer and 7 RBI's of his own, while leadoff hitter Tommie Agee hit .440 with 3 RBI's and 3 steals. Closer Dick Radatz was brilliant, earning a win and three saves with 8 hitless innings. Austin was led by first baseman CJ Cron, who hit .320 with 2 homers and 5 RBI's. The Aviators dispatched the Kangaroos with ease in the League Championship Series, winning in five games. Charlotte southpaw Larry Jaster was named MVP after throwing a six-hit shutout in Game 2. Tommie Agee chipped in by hitting .313 with a homer and 5 RBI's. Los Angeles was led by Buddy Lewis, who hit .381, and lefty Bruce Hurst, who threw seven shutout innings in a Game 3 win.

World Series: In a matchup of two of the most successful franchises in HRDL history, the Charlotte Aviators hunted down the Buffalo Fighting Elk in five games in a series that was closer than the final margin indicated. Charlotte's win was just the second for the Continental League in the last nine postseasons.

The series got off to a thrilling start, with Buffalo taking Game 1 3-2 in 10 innings, with both clubs scoring in the ninth inning. Buffalo rightfielder Doc Gessler singled in Ken Singleton with the winning run in the bottom of the tenth inning following a costly Trevor Story error. Charlotte returned the favor the following evening, winning 1-0 on a ninth-inning single by Brandon Moss to knock in Kevin Mitchell, who had doubled. Wayne Garland threw 7 shutout innings of five-hit ball for Charlotte, while Buffalo's Jim McGlothlin surrendered just two hits in six shutout innings.

Charlotte took control of the series in Game 3, winning 2-1 as Kevin Mitchell pounded a two-run homer in the first inning, providing all the offense the Aviators would need. Hank Robinson went 6.1 innings for the win, with Radatz hurling two hitless innings for a hard-earned save. Charlotte rallied late in a 5-0 Game 4 victory, scoring one run in the seventh inning and four more in the eighth, as Roger Clemens hurled seven shutout innings, and Radatz earned another two-inning save. Trevor Story popped a homer and a double for Charlotte. The Aviators clinched their first World Series title with a 6-4 Game 5 victory, despite getting outhit 12-6. Mitchell and Rick Renick popped two-run homers apiece, while Darin Erstad and Orlando Cepeda homered for Buffalo. Larry Jaster earned his third win of the postseason with a workmanlike performance, yielding three runs in 6.2 innings.

Following the series, Charlotte catcher Walt Lerian was named MVP after hitting .538 with an incredible .611 on-base percentage, and two RBI's. Buffalo shortstop Ivan DeJesus hit .474 with 2 steals. Mitchell hit just .200, but led all hitters with 2 homers and drove in 4 runs.
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Old 11-15-2018, 01:28 AM   #105
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2025 Awards Winners

Frontier League MVP- Smoky Joe Wood, RHP, PIT (28): 23-9, 2.40 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 273 IP, 290 K, 80 BB, 7 CG, 2 shutouts, 153 ERA+, 11.7 WAR
Second place- Heinie Manush, LF, SEA (9): .344/ .413/ .518, 206 hits, 47 doubles, 3 triples, 17 HR, 105 runs, 89 RBI, 54 BB, 31 steals, 164 OPS+, 7.1 WAR
Third place- John Montefusco, RHP, STL (7): 18-9, 2.11 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 265 IP, 226 K, 59 BB, 7 CG, 4 shutouts, 174 ERA+, 8.2 WAR
Fourth place- Sherry Magee, LF, PIT (3): .315/ .398/ .525, 187 hits, 34 doubles, 5 triples, 27 HR, 121 runs, 90 RBI, 82 BB, 80 steals, 161 OPS+, 8.7 WAR
Fifth place- Frank Thomas, 1B, OTT: .348/ .467/ .553, 193 hits, 20 doubles, 2 triples, 30 HR, 77 runs, 90 RBI, 127 BB 186 OPS+, 7.7 WAR

Frontier League Cy Young Award: Smoky Joe Wood, PIT (37): 23-9, 2.40 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 273 IP, 290 K, 80 BB, 7 CG, 2 shutouts, 153 ERA+, 11.7 WAR
Second place- John Montefusco, STL (11): 18-9, 2.11 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 265 IP, 226 K, 59 BB, 7 CG, 4 shutouts, 174 ERA+, 8.2 WAR
Third place- Dontrelle Willis, SEA: 21-6, 2.22 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 248 IP, 162 K, 73 BB, 4 CG, 3 shutouts, 166 ERA+, 5.8 WAR
Fourth place- Don Drysdale, CIN: 10-5, 2.00 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 194 IP, 208 K, 27 BB, 184 ERA+, 7.9 WAR
Fifth place- Tex Carleton, TOR: 17-14, 2.77 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 277 IP, 251 K, 83 BB, 8 CG, 4 shutouts, 133 ERA+, 8.2 WAR

Frontier League Rookie of the Year- Curt Blefary, C, PIT (24): .271/ .394/ .453, 121 hits, 33 doubles, 16 HR, 73 runs, 73 RBI, 88 BB, 4 SB, 141 OPS+, 5.4 WAR
Second place- Mike Garcia, RHP, MIL (12): 9-9, 2.47 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 197 IP, 159 K, 40 BB, 149 ERA+, 6.1 WAR
Third place- Wilin Rosario, C, CIN (2): .290/ .330/ .445, 153 hits, 21 doubles, 2 triples, 19 HR, 55 runs, 64 RBI, 34 BB, 13 SB, 119 OPS+, 5.1 WAR

Continental League MVP- Gary Matthews, Sr., LF, LA (30): .345/ .426/ .580, 201 hits, 28 doubles, 5 triples, 33 HR, 90 runs, 122 RBI, 89 BB, 33 SB, 184 OPS+, 10.0 WAR
Second place- Jean Segura, SS, NO (18): .346/ .381/ .521, 232 hits, 28 doubles, 16 triples, 19 HR, 131 runs, 79 RBI, 37 BB, 93 SB, 151 OPS+, 10.9 WAR
Third place- Chet Lemon, CF, ANA: .304/ .393/ .522, 182 hits, 26 doubles, 10 triples, 28 HR, 107 runs, 107 RBI, 77 BB, 49 SB, +30.4 Zone Rating, 158 OPS+, 11.9 WAR
Fourth place- Gorman Thomas, CF, HAR: .282/ .389/ .495, 165 hits, 25 doubles, 5 triples, 30 HR, 108 runs, 112 RBI, 106 BB, 7 SB, +22.2 Zone Rating, 152 OPS+, 10.2 WAR
Fifth place- Trevor Story, SS, CHA: .279/ .343/ .534, 168 hits, 23 doubles, 4 triples, 41 HR, 88 runs, 112 RBI, 59 BB, 6 SB, 140 OPS+, 6.1 WAR

Continental League Cy Young Award- Joe Gibbon, VB (47): 20-11, 2.59 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 267 IP, 206 K, 59 BB, 13 CG, 7 shutouts, 158 ERA+, 7.6 WAR
Second place- Larry Jaster, CHA: 16-4, 2.67 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 243 IP, 128 K, 27 BB, 5 CG, 4 shutouts, 155 ERA+, 4.5 WAR
Third place- Frank Lange, HOU: 18-5, 2.56 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 253 IP, 218 K, 97 BB, 2 CG, 1 shutout, 155 ERA+, 3.1 WAR
Fourth place- Brett Anderson, LA: 14-7, 2.51 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 215 IP, 133 K, 48 BB, 1 CG, 1 shutout, 161 ERA+, 5.2 WAR
Fifth place- Chris Van Cuyk, LV (1): 14-11, 2.73 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 234 IP, 214 K, 35 BB, 1 CG, 144 ERA+, 4.4 WAR

Frontier League Rookie of the Year- Jimmy O'Connell, CF, BIR (46): .300/ .380/ .459, 157 hits, 24 doubles, 1 triple, 19 HR, 93 runs, 62 RBI, 65 BB, 20 SB, 134 OPS+, 4.6 WAR
Second place- Manny Machado, 3B, SA : .274/ .300/ .436, 178 hits, 39 doubles, 3 triples, 20 HR, 75 runs, 84 RBI, 24 BB, 6 SB, 119 OPS+, 5.0 WAR
Third place- Jim Doyle, 3B, NY: .281/ .338/ .430, 168 hits, 30 doubles, 4 triples, 17 HR, 87 runs, 81 RBI, 57 BB, 29 SB, 117 OPS+, 3.1 WAR

Top draft picks: 1. Frank "Home Run" Baker, 3B, Albuquerque Conquistadors
2. Bob Gibson, RHP, New York Emperors
3. Corey Seager, SS, Cincinnati Spiders
4. Ray Boone, 3B, San Antonio Marksmen
5. Dave Henderson, CF, Portland Skunks
6. Darrin Fletcher, C, Atlanta Ducks
7. Jake Peavy, RHP, Cleveland Rocks
8. Hank Leiber, CF, Oklahoma City Otters
9. Matt Carpenter, 3B, Philadelphia Hawks
10. Wes Westrum, C, Houston Pythons
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Old 11-16-2018, 02:44 AM   #106
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2025 Hall of Fame Voting

The Hall of Fame has turned into the Hall of Southpaws. Billy Pierce joined Sandy Koufax and Jakie May in Cooperstown, getting elected on the second try with 78.9%. Pierce spent his first three years with the St. Louis Pilots before spending the balance of his career with the Kansas City Mad Hatters. A five-time All-Star, Pierce ended his career with a 180-112 record, a 2.73 ERA, and 80.3 WAR (10th place all time). At the time of his retirement, his 2683 strikeouts ranked first all time; he currently ranks eighth in strikeouts. His 2012 season was his finest, as he went 23-9 with a 1.92 ERA, a league-leading 0.87 WHIP, and 299 strikeouts. Top vote recipients include:

Billy Pierce, LHP (STL/ KC): 78.9%
Bill Freehan, C (CHA/ SEA/ SF): 71.8%
Dave Parker, RF (DAL/ MON/ NY): 65.1%
Aaron Judge, RF (CLE/ BOS): 49.7%
Mike Krukow, RHP (LA/ OMA/ NAS): 35.2%
Dick Allen, 1B (SEA/ LA): 30.2%
Richard Hidalgo, RF (ELP/ CHA/ CAL/ ALB/ MEM): 26.8%
Nomar Garciaparra, SS (OTT): 26.4%
Joey Votto, 1B (ATL/ CHA/ MON): 25.8%
Jonny Venters, RHP (NAS/ ELP/ VAN/ CAL/ LV/ LON): 23.2%

Parker and Krukow were the leading newcomers to the ballot. It is likely that Parker and Freehan will become the first position players to become enshrined in Cooperstown in the next year or two.

Players who dropped off the ballot after failing to reach 2% include: Manny Delcarmen, Max Bishop, Frank Viola, Teddy Higuera, Nate Colbert, Steve Hamilton, and Tommy Clarke.

Here's a look at Pierce's Hall of Fame career:
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Old 11-19-2018, 02:36 AM   #107
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2026 Mid-Year Review

Here's a quick overview of the major storylines in the league at the 2026 All-Star Break:

Exceeding Expectations: The Philadelphia Hawks rebounded from a disappointing 67-win season in 2025 to end the first half with a 37-37 record, despite missing outfielder Braggo Roth for nearly the entire first half. The Hawks were led offensively by left fielder Hack Miller, who hit .301 with 5 homers, and by rookie third baseman Matt Carpenter who hit .310 with a team-high 44 RBI's. On the mound, veteran southpaw Tom Underwood went 8-1 with a 2.28 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP, while Tommy Hunter went 9-5 with a 2.43 ERA with a 1.11 WHIP. The Milwaukee Raccoons, who had suffered through nine straight losing seasons, ended the first half with a 42-33 record, firmly in the wild card race. Right fielder Ralph Garr led baseball with a .386 average and an incredible 31 doubles, while center fielder Eric Davis hit .314 with 15 homers and 30 steals, scoring 66 runs in 75 games. Second-year righthander Mike Garcia went 7-1 with a 2.22 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. In the Continental League, the Virginia Beach Admirals looked poised to end their three-year playoff drought, going 43-32, and ending the half just two games out of first place. Perennial All-Star third baseman Bill Melton hit .312 with 20 homers and 48 RBI's, while free agent signee Heinie Manush hit .362 with 10 homers, 49 RBI's, and 14 steals. Righthander Joe Benz went 10-5 with a 2.51 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP, while defending Cy Young Award winner Joe Gibbon went 7-4 with a 2.76 ERA and 106 strikeouts. The El Paso Armadillos rebounded from a 70-win season to post the league's second-best record, with a 47-28 mark at midseason. First baseman Gil Hodges carried a subpar offense, hitting .315 with 15 homers and 44 RBI's, while Jake Arrieta led the league's best pitching staff, going 11-4 with a 2.30 ERA and 1.03 WHIP, and Jordan Zimmermann went 7-3 with a 2.41 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP.

Disappointments: Despite signing multiple free agents in the hopes of contending, the Boston Minutemen continued their precipitous decline, posting the worst record in the Frontier League at 24-50, including a dreadful 5-22 mark in May, largely thanks to a league-worst pitching staff. Larry Cheney, who won 37 games in 2023-24 with a combined ERA below 3.00, dropped to a 5-9 record with a 4.42 ERA. Washington castoff Robbie Erlin had a dreadful 1-12 start with a 5.96 ERA and more than twice as many walks as strikeouts. Free agent signee Steve Bilko hit just .189 and slugged a meager .352. The Toronto Predators, a surprise playoff team in 2025, plummeted from 93 wins to a 27-48 record. Their offense -- never a strong-point -- was one-dimensional, ending the half 22nd in the league in runs scored despite finishing second in homers. Shortstop Luke Appling had an awful half, hitting .206 with an abysmal .225 slugging percentage. Tex Carleton, a 17-game winner a year ago, saw his ERA spike by nearly a run and a half, declining to 3-11 with a 4.19 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. In the Continental League, the Miami Flamingos expected to return to contention after adding Jim Edmonds to an 84-win team, but they stumbled their way to a 26-49 start. The Flamingos slumped offensively, with Frank Robinson, Josh Harrison, and Rick Peters each losing 50 points off their batting averages, and the pitching staff was one of the worst in baseball. Cy Blanton was perhaps the biggest disappointment, going 2-8 with a ghastly 6.02 ERA, and nominal closer Dan Miceli sported an 8.08 ERA, surrendering 13 homers in 39 embarrassing innings. The Los Angeles Kangaroos, who appeared to return to form with 104 wins the year before, stumbled to a middling 40-35 start, ending the half in third place, 8 games behind division-leading Anaheim. Gary Matthews, Sr. saw a substantial dropoff from his MVP season, seeing his slugging percentage decline by over 100 points as he hit a solid, but hardly spectacular .279 with 14 homers, while center fielder JD Drew declined to a replacement-level player, hitting just .246 with 7 homers and mediocre defense. The bullpen also disappointed, as closer DeWayne Buice saw his ERA more than double to 4.37.

Pilots Flying High Again: The St. Louis Pilots built on a strong 2025 by going 52-23, with five All-Star starters: Gabby Hartnett, DJ LeMahieu, Francisco Lindor, Jack Clark, and John Montefusco. Clark ended the first half leading the Frontier League with 21 homers and was tied for second with 58 RBI's, while Hartnett hit .325 and slugged .613. While Montefusco went just 7-6 despite a 2.43 ERA and 120 strikeouts, Freddie Fitzsimmons went 13-2 with a solid 2.80 ERA.

Clemens' Collapse: Charlotte righthander Roger Clemens, who won 17 games with a 2.69 for the world-champion Aviators last season, got off to a dreadful start, entering Memorial Day with a 1-9 record and bloated ERA over 7. He ended the half with a 3-9 record, a 6.56 ERA, and a hefty 1.58 WHIP, and gave up as many homers (17) as he did in over 200 innings the year before.

Antelopes Run Wild: Expectations were modest for the Anaheim Antelopes after seeing MVP candidate Chet Lemon decamp for New Orleans after the Antelopes missed the playoffs with 87 wins, but they rebounded to take a 48-27 lead into the break, leading the Southwest Division by 7 games. Right fielder Jerry Mumphrey hit .309 with 36 extra-base hits, and left fielder Alex Gordon rebounded from a season-ending knee injury last year to hit .328 with 8 homers. Larry Parrish bopped 16 homers and drove in a team-high 54 RBI's.

Pythons Choking: The Houston Pythons started strong, jumping out to a 12-4 start and ended April playing nearly .600 ball. But they stumbled into the All-Star Break on a 3-23 stretch, bringing their overall record to a disappointing 31-44. Franchise centerfielder Kirby Puckett stumbled through the worst slump of his career, hitting .162 in June to bring his average down to a disappointing .234. Mickey Mantle showed some signs of life offensively after two tremendously disappointing seasons, hitting .280 with 8 homers -- but was reported to have asked for a trade.

Major injuries: Nashville ace Dave Ferriss, coming off the first ERA title of his storied career, tore his meniscus in spring training and missed the entire first half. Denver was doubly bitten by the injury bug: slugging first baseman Phil Clark tore his labrum in spring training, knocking him out for the season, while workhorse Bruce Berenyi missed most of the first half with a hamstring injury and elbow soreness upon his return. Omaha southpaw Jerry Reuss suffered a nerve injury in mid-May, and was expected to be out until Labor Day.

Major milestones: Houston's Mickey Mantle joined Bryce Harper as the lone members of the 500-homer club. Nashville first baseman Greg Luzinski, Jacksonville third baseman Alfonso Soriano, Vancouver third baseman Gary Gaetti, and Phoenix first baseman Carney Lansford each ripped their 300th homers. Kansas City first baseman Todd Helton and Calgary left fielder Jerome Walton each ripped their 2,500th hit. Kansas City's Gary Nolan joined the 250-win club, and seized the all-time lead in victories -- for the time being -- from Los Angeles's Brett Anderson with an 11-win first half. Vancouver's Reb Russell, Charlotte's Larry Jaster, and Las Vegas's Jon Garland each won their 200th game, while Madison Bumgarner -- who was traded from Minneapolis to Jacksonville shortly before the start of the season -- sat on 199 wins.
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Old 11-25-2018, 01:34 AM   #108
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2026 Year in Review

Frontier League: The Buffalo Fighting Elk cruised to their third straight Northeast Division title, and their sixth in the last ten years, with 97 wins. Standout catcher Dave Nilsson led the way, hitting .315 and slugging .492, with 20 homers and 70 RBI's, while first baseman Orlando Cepeda pounded 28 homers and drove in 90 runs. Buffalo's pitching staff led the league in the fewest runs allowed once again. Ernie White led a balanced pitching staff with a 15-8 record and 2.63 ERA, while closer Bob Veale led a deep bullpen with 35 saves and a 1.67 ERA. Darren O'Day had an incredible 16 wins and a 3.10 ERA in 125 innings out of the bullpen. The Philadelphia Hawks flirted with the postseason, going 35-18 down the stretch after a disastrous summer, but finished 2 games out of the wild card with 85 wins. Left fielder Hack Miller hit .325 with 25 homers and 108 RBI's, while third baseman Matt Carpenter hit .308 with 68 extra-based hits and drove in 98 runs.

In the Great Lakes Division, the overachieving London Werewolves returned to the postseason, winning the division on the last day of the season for their 88th win-- remarkably, their seventh straight season between 81 and 88 wins. The slap-hitting Werewolves were dead last in the Frontier League in homers with just 58, but had four players steal at least 25 bases. Rafael Devers hit 22 homers and drove in 93 runs for the Werewolves, but hit a middling .248. Southpaw Reb Russell led a strong pitching staff, going 17-11 with a 2.97 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP, while Frank Papish went 13-7 with a 2.25 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. The Detroit Purple Gang fought their way back from a dreadful 9-18 start to win 87 games, before being eliminated in a one-game tiebreaker. Right fielder Reggie Smith hit .281 with 65 extra-base hits, including 17 homers, and scored 110 runs. Third baseman Wade Boggs hit .312 with a .405 on-base percentage and notched his 3,000th career hit. Ace Justin Verlander went 17-15 with a 2.58 ERA, a 0.99 WHIP, and 266 strikeouts. Dave Righetti returned from rotator cuff surgery without missing a beat, going 13-5 with a 2.28 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP.

The St. Louis Pilots dominated the Great Plains Division from wire to wire, winning 111 games. Francisco Lindor returned to his MVP form from 2023, hitting .295 and slugging .483 with 25 homers, 112 RBI's, and 20 steals. Gabby Hartnett rallied from a slow start to hit .307 and slug .521 with 24 homers and 94 RBI's, while Jack Clark led the league with 34 homers, driving in 108 runs and scoring 115. Freddie Fitzsimmons led the Frontier League in wins, going 22-8 with a 3.31 ERA and 1.17 WHIP. Midseason acquisition Joe Benz, acquired from Virginia Beach, sported a matching 22-8 record between the two leagues with a 2.15 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP, while John Montefusco went 16-12, with a 2.78 ERA and 237 strikeouts. The Kansas City Mad Hatters won 93 games, as Todd Helton hit .340 with 45 doubles, 22 homers, and 97 RBI's. Left fielder Moises Alou hit .294 and slugged .528, with a team-high 32 homers and 112 RBI's, while Bobby Bonds ripped 25 homers and stole 55 bases. Gary Nolan led a deep pitching staff with 18 wins and a 3.30 ERA, while Dennis Leonard went 16-7 with a 2.96 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. Perhaps the story of the season was the Milwaukee Raccoons, who ended an 11-year playoff drought with a franchise-record 91 wins. Left fielder Ralph Garr sparked the second-highest scoring offense in the Frontier League by hitting .362 with 242 hits and 53 doubles -- all of which led baseball -- to go with his 19 homers, 104 RBI's, and 46 steals. Rookie Mark Grace drew MVP consideration, hitting .355 with 17 homers and a league-high 127 RBI's, while Eric Davis led baseball with 142 runs scored. Mike Garcia had a brilliant sophomore campaign, going 15-3 with a 1.98 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. The Chicago Mules relied on pitching, speed, and defense to win 87 games plus a tiebreaker game over Detroit to return to the playoffs for the first time in five years. Second baseman Buck Herzog sparked the offense, hitting .282 with a .410 on-base percentage and 71 steals. Bob Moose had a brilliant season, going 18-7 with a best-in-baseball 1.85 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP. Steve Barber went just 13-12, but sported a 2.42 ERA, a 1.10 WHIP and 230 strikeouts. Rookie Harry Coveleski had 42 saves and a 2.30 ERA. Despite dealing ace Madison Bumgarner to Jacksonville in spring training, the Minneapolis Penguins had an unexpectedly strong season, remaining in contention until the final day of the year, as they won 86 games. Right fielder Fred Schulte hit .310 and slugged .473 with 40 doubles and 14 homers, while first baseman Tom Paciorek hit .298 with 64 extra-base hits, including 16 homers and 98 RBI's. Jim Tobin went 18-12 despite a middling 3.66 ERA and 1.33 WHIP.

The Calgary Cattle Rustlers made their sixth straight postseason appearance, taking the Northwest Division with 100 wins. Left fielder Jerome Walton led the way offensively, hitting. 312 with 22 homers and 70 RBIs, Second sacker Bobby Grich hit a solid .281 with 18 triples, 14 homers and scored 89 runs. Righthander Ray Phelps led the league's second-stingiest pitching staff, going 20-8 with a 2.92 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP, while rookie closer Roger Nelson notched 43 saves with a 1.71 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. The Seattle Whales snuck into the playoffs, winning 90 games despite allowing more runs than they scored. Their offense struggled to replace the departure of perennial All-Star Heinie Manush to Virginia Beach, as they ranked just 18th in the Frontier League in runs scored. Second baseman Clint Barmes hit .274 with 19 homers and 66 RBI's. Veteran first baseman Hank Thompson hit 27 homers and drove in 85 runs, but showed his age, hitting just .207. Once again, southpaw Dontrelle Willis led a deep pitching staff, going 13-10 with a 3.25 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. Veteran Bob Osborn went just 11-8 with a 2.44 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP and 191 strikeouts. The Vancouver Viceroys were in the playoff picture through the final day of the year, winning 87 games, but inexplicably not qualifying for the tiebreaker game between Detroit and Chicago, each of whom won 87 games as well. Vancouver finished second in the league in homers and fourth in runs, as third baseman Gary Gaetti hit .278 with 31 homers and 103 RBI's, while left fielder Byron Browne hit .292 with 29 homers and 89 RBI's. Center fielder Willie Wilson hit .313 with a league-high 81 steals. The Viceroys rebuilt their pitching staff, as free agent signees Brad Radke and Al Hollingsworth each went 13-12, as Radke sported a 3.25 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP, while midseason acquisition Bartolo Colon went 7-2 with a 3.08 ERA in twelve starts down the stretch.

Continental League: The Jacksonville Gulls won the Atlantic Division with 101 wins, marking their sixth straight playoff appearance, and their fourth win in five years with 100+ wins. Left fielder Larry Herndon starred, hitting a team-high .331 and slugging .500, with 22 homers, 102 RBI's, and 33 steals. Franchise icon Bryce Harper remained productive, hitting .316 and becoming the first player in league history to reach 3,000 hits, but set career lows with 16 homers and 80 RBI's. Third baseman Alfonso Soriano hit .285 with 28 homers, 103 RBI's, and 17 steals. Seven-time All-Star Dizzy Trout turned in his finest season, going 20-5 with a 2.23 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and 192 strikeouts. Madison Bumgarner and Andy Sonnenstine turning in matching seasons, each going 16-7 with a 3.20 and 3.17 ERA, respectively. The Hartford Huskies reached the playoffs for the third straight season, winning 94 games. Right fielder Jay Bruce turned in a monster season, hitting .292 with 35 homers and driving in 118 runs. First baseman Norm Cash bopped 30 homers with 92 RBI's and 106 runs scored. DH Corey Hart hit .310 with 25 homers and 26 RBI's out of the leadoff slot, scoring 110 runs. On the mound, Rick Sutcliffe went 16-9 with a 2.82 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP, while Angel Miranda sported a matching 16-9 record with a 3.18 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP, and each topped 200 strikeouts. The defending champion Charlotte Aviators returned to the postseason again, winning 93 games as their powerful offense led baseball with 195 homers. Third baseman Kevin Mitchell topped all hitters with 48 homers and 141 RBI's, while slugging .577. Center fielder Tommie Agee hit .313 with 30 homers, 90 RBI's, 77 steals, and scored 136 runs. Southpaw Hank Robinson went 18-7 with a 2.67 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP, while Larry Jaster went 17-8 with a 3.60 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. The Virginia Beach Admirals won 90 games, finishing as part of a three-way tie for the final wild card slot, but were eliminated after blowing an early lead in a 9-5 loss to Birmingham. Virginia Beach was led by free agent signee Heinie Manush, who hit .355 and slugged .556, with 23 homers, 111 RBI's, 99 runs scored, and 34 steals. Third baseman Bill Melton turned in another stellar campaign, hitting .295 and slugging .568 with 45 homers and 123 RBIs. Ace Joe Gibbon went 19-9 with a 3.02 ERA and a league-best 227 strikeouts. But the Admirals misfired in a midseasons trade, sending #2 starter Joe Benz to St. Louis for backup infielder Chico Fernandez and third base prospect Vinny Castilla.

The New Orleans Crawfish won the Southeast Division with a franchise-best 103 wins. All nine regulars had double-digit homers, with DH Lou Gehrig leading the way with a .312 average, a .519 slugging percentage, 29 homers, and 103 RBIs. Right fielder Jeff Francoeur matched Gehrig, hitting .307 with 29 homers and a team-high 115 RBIs. Star shortstop Jean Segura hit .339 and slugged .521 with 73 extra-base hits, including 18 triples, 17 homers, 62 steals, and scored 122 runs. Ace Heinie Berger went 20-9 with a 2.72 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP, while Patrick Corbin and Larry Jansen won 15 games apiece. The Nashville Blues' streak of six straight postseason appearances was in jeopardy, as they stood at .500 at the end of July, but they went 35-17 in August and September to force a three-way tie for the final two wild card spots with 90 wins, with Bobby Jones throwing seven strong innings to win a tiebreaker game over Birmingham to push Nashville into the playoffs. The Blues prevailed despite one of the weakest offenses in the league. They were led by first baseman Greg Luzinski, who hit 32 homers and drove in 111 runs, and left fielder Ben Paschal, who hit .275 with 21 homers, 22 steals, and drove in 111 runs as well. But Nashville featured elite pitching and defense, leading the Continental League with a 2.95 team ERA. Lefty Bob Shirley went 16-12 with a 2.67 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP, while rookie Chad Ogea went 17-10 with a 2.99 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. Nashville was matched in the standings by their polar opposite, the Birmingham Steelers, who finished second in the Continental League in runs scored, but 17th in runs allowed. Right fielder Tommy Henrich hit .315 with 30 homers and 118 RBIs, while left fielder George Bell hit .283 with 32 homers and 119 RBIs. First baseman Carlos Pena hit .284 with a .400 on-base percentage, ripping 27 homers and driving in 99 runs. Ed Halicki led a mediocre staff, going 13-11 with a 3.35 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP, and 213 strikeouts. Noah Syndergaard was just 12-12 with a mediocre 3.90 ERA and 1.31 WHIP, while Rick Wise managed to win 15 games despite a hefty 4.61 ERA.

The El Paso Armadillos unexpectedly ran away with the Texas Division, improving by 30 wins on last year's tally to post a 100-win season. The Armadillos struggled offensively, but first baseman Gil Hodges hit .295 with 33 homers, 93 RBI's, and 113 runs scored, while Frank Howard hit .304 with 30 homers and 91 RBI's. The Armadillos surrendered a league-best 531 runs, as Jake Arrieta went 19-9 with a 2.81 ERA and 1.09 WHIP, and Jordan Zimmermann went 16-7 with a 2.81 ERA of his own and a 1.01 WHIP. The San Antonio Marksmen and Austin Mustangs each flirted with the wild card, but fell short, finishing with 84 wins apiece. Right fielder Felix Jose led a subpar San Antonio offense, hitting .284 and slugging .484, ripping 74 extra-base hits including 24 homers, as he drove in 89 runs and scored 102. Righthander Jim Hardin went 13-9 with a 2.86 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. For Austin, left fielder Mike Menosky led an otherwise-ordinary offense, hitting .347 with a .418 on-base percentage, stealing 59 bases and scoring 107 runs, while CJ Cron blasted 31 homers and drove in 111 runs. Jim Bagby led a balanced, if unspectacular pitching staff, going 13-13 despite a 3.35 ERA.

The Anaheim Antelopes stampeded to the Southwest Division title with 100 wins, led by the best offense in baseball. Right fielder Jerry Mumphrey had a stellar all-around season, hitting .316 and slugging .491, ripping 42 doubles, 22 homers, driving in 106 runs with 44 steals. Third baseman Larry Parrish hit .283 and slugged .505 with 33 homers and 131 RBIs, while first baseman Ron Santo hit .282 with 26 homers and 112 RBI's. Hard-luck Kevin Slowey went just 11-10 despite a strong 3.19 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP, and John Danks went 16-12 with a 3.86 ERA. The Los Angeles Kangaroos suffered an 18-game dropoff from last year's unexpected division title, winning 86 games but falling out of the wild card race in the closing days of the season. Third baseman Buddy Lewis starred, hitting .344 with a .419 on-base percentage and scoring 113 runs. Left fielder Gary Matthews, Jr. hit .287 with 29 homers and drove in 120 runs, while right fielder Chili Davis hit .284 with 26 homers, 99 RBI's, and stole 38 bases. Longtime ace Brett Anderson went 15-7 with a 2.58 ERA, but underwent elbow surgery in September, and was likely to miss the start of the 2027 season.
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Old 11-26-2018, 01:42 AM   #109
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2026 Playoff Report

Frontier League: The series between the 111-win St. Louis Pilots and the Chicago Mules, who finished in fourth place in the Great Plains Division, 23 1/2 games behind St. Louis, appeared on paper to be a mismatch. But few observers expected Chicago's starting pitching to dominate the Pilots' league-leading offense. The Mules jumped out to a 3-0 lead on their way to routing the heavily-favored Pilots in five games. Shortstop Jason Bartlett was named MVP after hitting .429 with 2 homers and 4 RBI's, including a series-clinching blast in the 12th inning of Game 5. Right fielder Delmon Young hit .381 with a homer and series-leading 6 RBI's, including a tiebreaking 3-run homer in the seventh inning of Game 3. Righthander Steve Barber gave up just two runs and seven hits in 14.2 innings, posting a brilliant 18-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio, while Bob Moose earned the win in Game 2 with seven innings of one-run ball. Second baseman DJ LeMahieu led St. Louis by hitting .375 with 3 RBIs, but four Pilots starters -- including Francisco Lindor and Jack Clark - hit below .200 for the series. After dropping the first two games to the scrappy London Werewolves, the Kansas City Mad Hatters won four straight games to advance to the Division Series. Catcher Joe Mauer was named MVP after hitting .423 with a 12th inning walk-off homer in Game 5, and 5 RBI's. Third baseman George Kell hit .407 with 3 doubles, a homer, and 4 RBI's. Righhander Phil Regan posted a 1.17 ERA in 15.1 innings, allowing just 6 hits. Southpaw Frank Papish paced London with a 1.42 ERA, including six shutout innings in a 1-0 Game 2 victory. The upstart Milwaukee Raccoons dominated the seasoned Buffalo Fighting Elk, averaging over six runs per game against the stingiest pitching staff in baseball in a five-game victory. Right fielder Ralph Garr took home the hardware after hitting .500 with 2 homers and 10 RBI's, including a 4-hit, 6 RBI showcase in Game 2. Shortstop Mark Wagner hit .556 with 4 RBI's, 5 runs scored, and 2 steals. Righthander Mike Garcia won both his starts with 1.54 ERA. Third baseman Kevin Orie led Buffalo, hitting .412 with 3 homers and 7 RBI's. The Calgary Cattle Rustlers dispatched the Seattle Whales in a divisional rivalry, dropping the first game before winning four straight. First baseman Kevin Millar earned MVP honors after hitting .450 with 2 homers and 5 RBI's. Right fielder Brady Anderson hit .353 with a homer and 2 RBI's. Calgary's starting pitching dominated Seattle, allowing just 8 earned runs in 5 games. Righthander Bob Osborn was the lone bright mark for Seattle, going 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA and 13 strikeouts in two starts.

In the Division Series, the Chicago Mules once again dominated an elite offense, taking the first three games from the Mad Hatters, on their way to a five-game victory, outscoring the Mad Hatters 35-14. Center fielder Rajai Davis starred, hitting .522 and slugging .913, with 12 hits, 2 homers, 10 RBI's, and 3 steals. Delmon Young continued his strong postseason, hitting .391 with a homer and 8 RBI's. Second-year righthander Bob Moose was brilliant, going 2-0 with an 0.59 ERA and 15 strikeouts, including 7.1 shutout innings in Game 5. Kansas City was led by second baseman George Grantham, who hit .429 with a homer, and Bobby Bonds, who hit .364 with 5 RBI's. Calgary's vaunted pitching staff ended Milwaukee's dream season, holding the mighty Raccoons to just 9 runs in a five-game loss. Catcher Darrell Porter led the Cattle Rustlers, hitting .421 with 2 homers and 7 RBI's, Jerome Walton hit .450 with 4 doubles and 4 RBI's, while Bobby Grich hit .353 with 2 homers and 5 RBI's. Willard Nixon dominated Milwaukee, going 2-0 with an 0.60 ERA and 0.80 WHIP, while teammates Jair Jurrjens, Fred Newman, and Ray Phelps each pitched into the ninth inning. The League Championship Series between Chicago and Calgary was a classic, with the teams trading wins before Chicago prevailed in Game 7, earning their first trip to the World Series in franchise history. In a controversial decision, second baseman Buck Herzog was named MVP after hitting .435 with 5 runs scored, 3 RBI's, and 3 steals. But the true story was the one-two punch of aces Steve Barber and Bob Moose, each of whom went 2-0 with 13 strikeouts. Barber sported an 0.60 ERA, while Moose posted an 0.69 ERA, allowing one run in 6.1 innings in the decisive Game 7. Calgary center fielder Homer Summa hit .360 with 3 doubles, while Millar hit 2 homers and drove in 4 runs.

Continental League: In a Southeast Division showdown, the New Orleans Crawfish outlasted the powerful Birmingham Steelers in 6 games. Third baseman Matt Chapman was tabbed MVP after hitting .333 with 3 homers and 5 RBI's-- including a two-homer performance in Game 6. DH Lou Gehrig hit .389 with a homer and 7 RBI's, including a walk-off series-ending walk in the ninth inning of Game 6. Ace Heinie Berger won both his starts and posted a 1.93 ERA. Rookie catcher Russell Martin led Birmingham with a .333 average, while hard-luck Noah Syndergaard went winless despite a 1.88 ERA and just six hits allowed in 14-plus innings. The Anaheim Antelopes took the first three games against the Hartford Huskies on their way to a five-game series victory. DH Enos Slaughter hit .364 with 5 extra-base hits and 5 RBI's to take MVP honors. Shortstop Sonny Jackson hit .381 with 3 RBI's, 4 steals, and 4 runs scored. Closer Fernando Rodney earned a win and two saves with six perfect innings. Hartford first baseman Norm Cash hit 2 homers and drove in 5 runs. The defending champion Charlotte Aviators swept the El Paso Armadillos in a deceptively close series, as the four games were decided by a total of five runs. Charlotte catcher Gus Triandos took home MVP honors after hitting .429 with a homer and 4 RBI's, while third baseman Kevin Mitchell and left fielder Brandon Moss popped two homers apiece and combined for 10 RBI's. Southpaw Hank Robinson set the tone with 7.2 shutout innings in a 1-0 Game 1 victory. El Paso was led by first baseman Gil Hodges, who hit .471 with a homer and 2 RBI's.

In the Division Series, Anaheim eliminated the New Orleans Crawfish in five games. Catcher Craig Wilson hit .300 with 2 homers and 3 RBI's. Left fielder Alex Gordon hit just .263, but all five of his hits went for extra bases, including 2 homers, and he drove in 4 runs. Righthander John Danks made a strong push for MVP honors, winning both his starts with a 1.88 ERA and taking a four-hit shutout into the ninth inning in Game 5. In a rematch of last season's wild-card round, the Charlotte Aviators dispatched the Jacksonville Gulls in 5 games -- remarkably, just like the other three Divisional Series matchups. Charlotte DH Boog Powell took home MVP honors after hitting .350 with 3 homers and 5 RBI's -- including a game-tying homer in the bottom of the ninth of Game 4. Kevin Mitchell hit .333 with two homers. Closer Mike Williams earned 2 wins and a save with 7 shutout innings, allowing just three hits. The Gulls were led by third baseman Alfonso Soriano, who hit. 368 with a homer and 2 RBI's. Charlotte dominated Anaheim in a four-game sweep in the League Championship Series, scoring 35 runs. Third baseman Kevin Mitchell was named MVP after hitting .389 with 3 homers and 10 RBI's, while shortstop Trevor Story and left fielder Candy Maldonado each blasted three homers -- all in Game 3 for Maldonado -- and drove in 5 runs. Second baseman Brent Gates hit .526 with a homer and 5 RBI's.

World Series: On paper, the World Series was a mismatch, with the defending champion Aviators - who lost just one game in the first three rounds -- squaring off against a fourth place Mules squad that was literally the last club to enter the playoff field, as they needed a 163rd tiebreaker game. But Charlotte had not faced one pitcher -- let alone two -- who were as red-hot as the Mules' Steve Barber and Bob Moose. In a significant upset, the Mules swept the Aviators.

Chicago took Game 1 3-0, as Barber threw a three-hit shutout with 8 strikeouts, and Rajai Davis drove in two runs. The Mules prevailed 7-1 in Game 2, as Adam Morgan outdueled Hank Robinson, and Davis had 3 hits and 2 steals, and Buck Herzog ripped 3 hits and scored 3 runs. The Mules pulled out the win in a back-and-forth Game 3, as the lead changed four times on their way to an 8-6 victory. Davis starred again, ripping four hits, including a homer and a triple, stole his 11th base of the postseason, and scored 4 runs. Although Moose proved to be mortal, surrendering 5 runs in his weakest start of the postseason, Luke Walker and Harry Coveleski closed the door, allowing just two hits in 5 innings. The Mules saved the best for last in a wild game 4, winning 5-4 in a postseason record 18 innings. Jed Lowrie tied the game with a single in the bottom of the ninth inning, Although a 2-run Gus Triandos single gave the Aviators the lead in the top of the 18th, the Mules scored 3 in the bottom of the frame, following four walks, a Delmon Young infield hit, and a walk-off single by first baseman John Doherty - his fifth of the game.

Davis was named series MVP after hitting .529 and slugging .882, with a homer, 6 runs scored, 3 steals, and 4 RBI's. Doherty hit .421 with 3 RBI's. Charlotte was led by left fielder Candy Maldonado, who hit .300 with 2 homers and 4 RBI's.
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Old 11-27-2018, 12:08 AM   #110
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2026 Awards Winners

Frontier League MVP- Mark Grace, 1B, MIL (29): .355/ .425/ .518, 225 hits, 40 doubles, 6 triples, 17 HR, 127 RBI, 100 runs, 82 BB, 17 SB, +11.4 Zone Rating, 162 OPS+, 8.1 WAR
Second place- Smoky Joe Wood, RHP, PIT (11): 18-11, 2.29 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 275 IP, 280 K, 76 BB, 8 CG, 1 shutout, 167 ERA+, 11.4 WAR
Third place- Ralph Garr, RF, MIL: .362/ .395/ .526, 242 hits, 53 doubles, 19 HR, 104 RBI, 116 runs, 40 BB, 46 SB, 155 OPS+, 6.2 WAR
Fourth place- Francisco Lindor, SS, STL (1): .295/ .352/ .483, 187 hits, 34 doubles, 5 triples, 25 HR, 112 RBI, 108 runs, 54 BB, 20 SB, +19.1 Zone Rating, 131 OPS+, 8.2 WAR
Fifth place- Bob Moose, RHP, CHI (5): 18-7, 1.85 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 244 IP, 188 K, 59 BB, 2 CG, 1 shutout, 207 ERA+, 6.8 WAR

Frontier League Cy Young Award- Smoky Joe Wood, PIT (34): 18-11, 2.29 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 275 IP, 280 K, 76 BB, 8 CG, 1 shutout, 167 ERA+, 11.4 WAR
Second place- Bob Moose, CHI (11): 18-7, 1.85 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 244 IP, 188 K, 59 BB, 2 CG, 1 shutout, 207 ERA+, 6.8 WAR
Third place- Steve Barber, CHI (3): 13-12, 2.34 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 253 IP, 230 K, 92 BB, 3 CG, 3 shutouts, 159 ERA+, 8.5 WAR
Fourth place- Mike Garcia, MIL: 15-3, 1.98 ERA, 0.99 WAR, 191 IP, 168 K, 38 BB, 194 ERA+, 7.1 WAR
Fifth place- Don Drysdale, CIN: 12-8, 2.10 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 197 IP, 226 K, 27 BB, 183 ERA+, 8.2 WAR

Frontier League Rookie of the Year- Mark Grace, 1B, MIL (48): .355/ .425/ .518, 225 hits, 40 doubles, 6 triples, 17 HR, 127 RBI, 100 runs, 82 BB, 17 SB, +11.4 Zone Rating, 162 OPS+, 8.1 WAR
Second place- Corey Seager, SS, CIN: .283/ .372/ .458, 176 hits, 30 doubles, 2 triples, 25 HR, 90 RBI, 87 runs, 88 BB, 10 SB, 131 OPS+, 6.8 WAR
Third place- Matt Carpenter, 3B, PHI: .308/ .382/ .480, 187 hits, 44 doubles, 11 triples, 13 HR, 98 RBI, 77 runs, 83 BB, 1 SB, 139 OPS+, 6.7 WAR

Continental League MVP- Kevin Mitchell, 3B, CHA (21): .296/ .365/ .577, 185 hits, 18 doubles, 7 triples, 48 HR, 141 RBI, 106 runs, 69 BB, 4 SB, 152 OPS+, 7.8 WAR
Second place- Jean Segura, SS, NO (14): .339 / .369/ .521, 233 hits, 38 doubles, 18 triples, 17 HR, 84 RBI, 122 runs, 32 BB, 62 SB, +9.8 Zone Rating, 143 OPS+, 9.0 WAR
Third place- Tommie Agee, CF, CHA (4): .313/ .377/ .516, 212 hits, 45 doubles, 1 triple, 30 HR, 90 RBI, 136 runs, 69 BB, 77 SB, +11.6 WAR, 140 OPS+, 9.3 WAR
Fourth place- Bill Melton, 3B, VB (8): .295/ .382/ .950, 172 hits, 16 doubles, 4 triples, 45 HR, 123 RBI, 112 runs, 87 BB, 8 SB, 159 OPS+, 8.6 WAR
Fifth place- Heinie Manush, LF, VB (1): .355 /.424/ .556, 216 hits, 45 doubles, 4 triples, 23 HR, 111 RBI, 99 runs, 62 BB, 34 SB, 168 OPS+, 7.3 WAR

Continental League Cy Young Award- Dizzy Trout, JAX (46): 20-5, 2.23 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 238 IP, 192 K, 52 BB, 2 CG, 1 shutout, 193 ERA+, 7.7 WAR
Second place- Heinie Berger, NO: 20-9, 2.72 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 274 IP, 171 K, 94 BB, 11 CG, 3 shutouts, 157 ERA+, 5.6 WAR
Third place- Joe Gibbon, VB (2): 19-8, 3.02 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 265 IP, 227 K, 68 BB, 5 CG, 141 ERA+, 8.2 WAR
Fourth place- Bob Shirley, NAS: 16-12, 2.67 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 246 IP, 178 K, 48 BB, 5 CG, 4 shutouts, 147 ERA+, 5.2 WAR
Fifth place- Doug Corbett, NY: 7-6, 45 saves, 3 BS, 1.10 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 90 IP, 67 K, 30 BB, 383 ERA+, 3.4 WAR

Continental League Rookie of the Year- Rougned Odor, 2B, SD (46): .304/ .351/ .530, 191 hits, 31 doubles, 12 triples, 29 HR, 120 RBI, 87 runs, 39 BB, 6 SB, 143 OPS+, 6.6 WAR
Second place- Frank Baker, 3B, ALB: .297/ .356 / .494, 186 hits, 26 doubles, 7 triples, 28 HR, 119 RBI, 110 runs, 56 BB, 28 SB, 130 OPS+, 5.0 WAR
Third place- Jordan Zimmermann, RHP, EP (2): 16-7, 2.81 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 230 IP, 187 K, 45 BB, 2 CG, 2 shutouts, 144 ERA+, 5.3 WAR

Top draft picks: 1. Harry Krause, LHP, Memphis River Pirates
2. Randy Johnson, LHP, Baltimore Robins
3. Larry Hisle, CF, Houston Pythons
4. Doc Miller, RF, Albuquerque Conquistadors
5. Sal Bando, 3B, Boston Minutemen
6. Jim Shaw, RHP, Miami Flamingos
7. Joe Judge, 1B, Montreal Knights
8. Bob Bescher, LF, Oklahoma City Otters
9. Don Aase, RHP, San Francisco Longshoremen
10. Shane Mack, LF, San Diego Zookeepers

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Old 11-29-2018, 12:44 AM   #111
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2026 Hall of Fame Voting

The membership of the Hall of Fame doubled with the Class of 2026, and for a change, none of the inductees were lefthanded pitchers. Nine-time All-Star catcher Bill Freehan was tabbed on his third time on the ballot with 83%. Two-time MVP Dave Parker was inducted after pulling 78% of the vote on his second try. And righthander Jack Chesbro - the all-time leader in WAR for pitchers -- drew an overwhelming 93% on his initial time on the ballot.

Freehan combined tremendous defense with strong offense, winning nine straight Gold Gloves between 2012 and 2020, while winning five Silver Slugger awards, as he blasted 275 homers, with a single-season high of 45. He spent a majority of his career with the Charlotte Aviators, before spending two years with the San Francisco Longshoremen, and finishing his career with the Seattle Whales, where he anchored the 2020 world champions behind the plate. He had a career average of .286, a slugging percentage of .491, and 70.1 WAR, currently second all-time among catchers.

Parker dominated the Continental League during its formative seasons of 2011 and 2012, hitting over .400 each season, and winning the 2012 triple crown. But he was hardly a two-year wonder; he topped 30 homers eight times, and 100 RBI's six times, and made four All-Star teams. Parker spent most of his career with the Dallas Wildcatters, before joining the Montreal Knights for three seasons. He ended his career with 1931 hits, 360 homers in ten full seasons and portions of two more, 1115 RBI's, 175 steals, a career average of .314, a .559 slugging percentage, and 61.0 WAR. He remains the all-time single season leader in batting average (.422), homers (56), RBI's (173), slugging percentage (.782), and WAR (14.5).

Chesbro, a nine-time All-Star, won the 2014 Cy Young Award, and finished in the top three four other times; he also finished in the top three of the MVP voting twice. Chesbro had 12 straight seasons with at least 5.0 WAR, and his ERA was below 3.00 in 11 of his 13 seasons. He spent a majority of his career with the Cleveland Rocks, before spending two seasons apiece with the Boston Minutemen and the New Orleans Crawfish. He ended his career with a 214-106 record, a 2.35 ERA, a 1.05 WHIP, 2660 strikeouts, and 108.1 WAR- more than any pitcher in history, as of the time of his induction.

The leading vote recipients are as follows:

Jack Chesbro, RHP, CLE/ BOS/ NO: 93.4%
Bill Freehan, C, CHA/ SF/ SEA: 83.0%
Dave Parker, RF, DAL/ MON: 78.2%
Clay Buchholz, RHP, BAL/ LV/ STL: 61.9%
Brad Lidge, RHP, SF/ BUF/ OKC/ CHI: 56.0%
Troy Tulowitzki, SS: BUF/ ATL/ SF/ SEA: 49.1%
Aaron Judge, RF: CLE/ BOS: 46.9%
Joe Hesketh, RHP, KC/ NAS/ LON/ OMA: 35.8%
Kent Hrbek, 1B, DEN/ JAX/ MIN: 34.3%
Nomar Garciaparra, SS, OTT: 28.0%

Notable players who dropped off the ballot after failing to receive 2% include Vean Gregg, Hong-Chih Kuo, David Cone, Deion Sanders, and Frank Chance.

Here's a look at the Hall of Fame careers of Freehan, Parker, and Chesbro:
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Old 12-02-2018, 03:13 AM   #112
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2027 Mid-Year Review

Here's a quick overview of the leading storylines across the league at the 2027 All-Star Break:

Exceeding expectations: Although the Milwaukee Raccoons made a surprise Wild Card appearance last season, most observers expected some regression back to .500. Instead, the Raccoons improved on last year despite losing career .334 hitter Duffy Lewis in the first week of the season, jumping out to a 50-25 start, and holding a two-game lead over the St. Louis Pilots. The Raccoons featured the leading offense in the Frontier League, as defending MVP Mark Grace continued his stellar play, hitting .336 and slugging .532 with 9 homers and a league-high 64 RBI's. Center fielder Eric Davis hit .306 with 18 homers, 31 steals, and an incredible 68 runs scored in 71 games. Catcher Harry Danning came seemingly out of nowhere to lead the HRDL with a .379 average at the break, with a .562 slugging percentage, while ace Mike Garcia went 6-1 with a 1.86 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. The perennial doormat Ottawa Parliamentarians, one of two teams never to make the playoffs, spent most of the first half over .500 before ending the first half with a 37-38 record. Although Ottawa struggled offensively, they were led by first baseman Frank Thomas, who hit .336 with 13 homers and 40 RBI's, and third baseman Bobby Bonilla, who hit .286 with 8 homers and 38 RBI's. Aroldis Chapman was brilliant out of the pen, with 19 saves, a 0.69 ERA, and 66 strikeouts in 39 innings. In the Continental League, the Phoenix Lizards looked to end a 12-year postseason drought, going 41-34 after winning just 71 games in 2026. Second baseman Jose Altuve led the way, hitting .354 with 7 homers, 45 RBI's, and 23 steals. Third baseman Marcus Giles hit .328 and slugged .512. Southpaws Art Nehf and Tyler Matzek each won 7 games with ERA's of 3.12 and 3.27, respectively. The Dallas Wildcatters, who had not made the playoffs since 2020, led the Texas Division for much of the season before taking a June tumble, but ended the half at 40-34. Right fielder Cliff Heathcote led the way, hitting .301 with 15 homers, 49 RBI's, 59 runs scored, and 34 steals, while left fielder Jerry Lynch hit .312 with 12 homers and 53 RBI's.

Disappointments: The Calgary Cattle Rustlers' streak of six straight postseason appearances was dead in the water, as they entered the break with a disastrous 26-49 record. Franchise mainstay Kevin Millar stumbled, hitting just .215 and slugging .337 out of the 3-hole, while catcher Darrell Porter hit just .212 with 3 homers. But the real disaster was their league-worst pitching staff, with Jair Jurrjens bringing up the bottom with a 2-10 record and a ghastly 8.03 ERA and 1.80 WHIP. Their division rival Seattle Whales were nearly as disappointing, going just 29-46 after winning 90 games in each of the last two years. The Whales never adequately replaced all-star left fielder Heinie Manush, who departed in free agency after 2025, as left fielder Rick Peters hit a punchless .239 with a .302 slugging percentage. The pitching staff took a step back as well, as ace Dontrelle Willis went just 4-6 with a 3.93 ERA and Tot Pressnell saw his ERA spike by more than two runs per game, going 4-11 with a 5.56 ERA and 1.67 WHIP. In the Continental League, the Austin Mustangs' streak of four straight seasons over .500 was in jeopardy, as they stumbled to a 33-42 start. DH CJ Cron, who averaged over 30 homers and 110 RBI's for the prior three seasons, hit just .235 with 10 homers and 44 RBI's. But the biggest decline was on the mound, as Eric Rasmussen stumbled to a 2-8 start with a 6.23 ERA, while free agent signee Brad Brach got off to a disastrous start with an 8.18 ERA and 1.73 WHIP. The Birmingham Steelers, after winning 91 games last year, stumbled to a 38-37 start with a -50 run differential. Their offense declined from one of the top three squads in the league to middle-of-the-pack, as Tommy Henrich, a Silver Slugger winner last year, dropped off to hit just .266 with only 4 homers and 33 RBI's. Birmingham's pitching staff, never a strength, struggled to replace Noah Syndergaard, who decamped to Anaheim in free agency. Josh Towers was the biggest offender, going 3-7 with a 7.06 ERA and allowing 20 homers with just 26 strikeouts in 93 innings.

Charlotte Bulks Up: The Charlotte Aviators, a perennial contender, splurged in free agency, bringing in all-star third baseman Bill Melton from Virginia Beach, slugging left fielder Michael Conforto from Memphis, and second baseman Bobby Grich from Calgary. The trio combined for 43 first-half homers, with Conforto ending the half second in the Continental League in homers. Charlotte ended the half with the second highest-scoring offense in baseball, and a 47-28 record.

Conquistadors Infield Dominates: The Albuquerque Conquistadors have the second-worst all-time record in HRDL history, never making the playoffs or winning more than 85 games, and only finishing above fourth place once. But despite losing outfielder Yasiel Puig in free agency, the Conquistadors finally showed signs of competence, ending the first half with the third highest scoring offense in the HRDL. Three Albuquerque infielders made the All-Star team, as third baseman Frank Baker hit .341 and slugged .524 with 9 homers, shortstop Yoan Moncada hit .315 with 8 homers and 23 steals, and second baseman Ryne Sandberg hit .325 with 16 homers, 61 RBI's, and 25 steals. The Conquistadors maintained high hopes for their fourth member of their infield, 21-year-old George Brett.

Admirals Won't Surrender: The Virginia Beach Admirals lost franchise icon Bill Melton in free agency, and to make matters worse, two-time Cy Young Award winner Joe Gibbon broke his elbow in his second start of the season, and would miss the rest of the year. Nonetheless, the Admirals ended the half with a 38-37 record, as free agent signee Eric Karros drove in 64 runs.

Major milestones: Cleveland leftfielder Del Ennis joined Wade Boggs and Bryce Harper in the 3,000 hit club. Kansas City shortstop Jose Reyes, Seattle right fielder Pat Duncan, Chicago center fielder Billy Hatcher, and Cincinnati left fielder Rickey Henderson each joined the 2,500 hit club. Los Angeles right fielder Chili Davis and Austin third baseman Bill Sudakis each ripped their 300th homer. Seattle's Hank Thompson and Philadelphia first baseman Cody Bellinger each were on the verge of hitting their 500th homers, while Kansas City first baseman Todd Helton was days away from hitting his 400th round-tripper.

Major injuries: In spring training, New York righthander Bob Gibson, the second overall pick in 2025, had elbow surgery, and was not expected to return until August. Virginia Beach ace Joe Gibbon broke his elbow during the first week of the season, and was expected to miss the rest of the season. El Paso righthander Jake Arrieta, a 19-game winner last year, tore knee ligaments in spring training, putting him out of commission until next season. Los Angeles southpaw Brett Anderson tore his UCL in May, knocking him out until early 2028. Calgary center fielder Kirby Puckett's quest for 3,000 hits was delayed until next season, as he tore a thumb ligament, with an expected return in August.

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Old 12-04-2018, 02:34 AM   #113
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2027 Year in Review

Frontier League: Another year, another Northeast Division title for the Buffalo Fighting Elk. Buffalo cruised to its fourth consecutive division title with 96 wins. First baseman Orlando Cepeda hit .293 with a career-high 34 homers, 101 RBI's, and 28 steals. Left fielder Ken Singleton hit .291 with a .401 on-base percentage, 17 homers, and 92 RBI's. Buffalo's largely anonymous pitching staff finished third in the league in runs allowed, with Brett Oberholtzer leading the way with a 13-6 record, a 2.67 ERA, and 1.10 WHIP. Setup man Chris Devenski went 15-6 with a 2.34 ERA in 119 innings. The Pittsburgh Golden Gorillas earned their first playoff appearance in 12 years, winning 85 games before falling to the defending champion Chicago Whales in a one-game playoff for seeding purposes. Pittsburgh was led by star left fielder Sherry Magee, who hit .284 with 23 homers, 117 RBI's, and 74 steals, while third baseman Scott Brosius led the squad with 36 homers and drove in 102 runs. Smoky Joe Wood flirted with his third straight Cy Young Award, going 17-9 with a 2.02 ERA, a 1.02 WHIP, and a league-high 255 strikeouts. The Philadelphia Hawks remained in contention through the final week of the season, going 83-79, as left fielder Hack Miller hit .308 and slugged .497, popping 24 homers with 81 RBI's. Second baseman Matt Carpenter hit .293 with a .386 on-base percentage, including 64 extra-base hits and 94 runs scored.

The Detroit Purple Gang returned to the postseason after a one-year hiatus, cruising to the Great Lakes Division title with 104 wins. Right fielder Reggie Smith returned to his two-time MVP form, narrowly missing the Triple Crown, as his .333 average and 38 homers led the Frontier League, while his 121 RBI's were tied for second. Left fielder Mel Hall hit .298 with 35 homers and 112 RBI's, while ageless third baseman Wade Boggs hit .331 with a .401 on-base percentage. On the mound, Justin Verlander, Dave Righetti, and Dick Ruthven won 16 games apiece, and Verlander had 220 strikeouts and led baseball with a 1.82 ERA.

The Kansas City Mad Hatters were almost an afterthought after an 0-8 start, but they sizzled down the stretch, going 58-23 after July 1, and 13-4 down the stretch to tie the Milwaukee Raccoons on the last day of the season for first place in the Great Plains Division with 101 wins. Kansas City then won a one-game playoff, 3-2, behind a Manuel Margot 3-run homer. The Mad Hatters had the leading offense in the Frontier League, as left fielder Moises Alou hit .319 and slugged .552 with 35 homers and a league-high 130 RBI's. Ageless first baseman Todd Helton hit .318 with 41 doubles, 19 homers, and 109 runs scored. Righthander Gary Nolan went 17-7 with a 2.79 ERA and 1.11 WHIP, while Phil Regan and Dennis Leonard won 15 games apiece. The Milwaukee Raccoons were baseball's darlings for most of the season, nearly leading the division wire-to-wire. But the Raccoons dropped 7 of their last 10 games, falling into a one-game tiebreaker for the division title. Center fielder Eric Davis starred, hitting .288 with 35 homers, 70 steals,125 runs scored, and 87 RBI's. First baseman Mark Grace had a strong sophomore campaign, hitting .319 and slugging .513, with 24 homers and 121 RBI's. Righthander Jimmy Nelson went 14-6 with a 3.28 ERA, while Mike Garcia posted a 2.34 ERA and 1.02 WHIP, but struggled to go deep into games, going just 11-5 in 34 starts. Closer Jack Banta had 39 saves, a 2.00 ERA, and 129 strikeouts in 90 innings. While the St. Louis Pilots did not quite reach the heights of last season's 111-win juggernaut, they still cruised into the playoffs with 94 wins. Five players topped 20 homers, led by Jack Clark, who blasted 30 homers with 82 RBI's, and catcher Gabby Hartnett, who hit .310 and slugged .560, with 24 homers and 87 RBI's. Righthander John Montefusco went 16-9 with a 2.91 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP, and 229 strikeouts, while Joe Benz went 15-12 with a 2.95 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. The defending champion Chicago Mules struggled to score runs, but seized the final wild card spot due to a deep pitching staff. The Mules were dead last in baseball with just 68 homers. They were led offensively by second baseman Buck Herzog, who hit .306 with a .403 on-base percentage, 55 steals, and 94 runs scored. Although Bob Moose went just 9-9, he sported a 2.55 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP, and 229 strikeouts. Steve Barber went 13-12 with a 2.85 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. Closer Harry Coveleski led the league with 42 saves and a 2.96 ERA. The 84-win Minneapolis Penguins hung in the postseason hunt until the final day of the season, as third baseman Andy Van Slyke hit .284 with 25 homers, 101 RBI's, 117 runs scored, and 41 steals. First baseman Tom Paciorek hit .325 with 16 homers and 78 RBI's.

The Vancouver Viceroys won the Northwest Division by 14 games with 94 wins. Despite a middle-of-the-pack offense, their pitching staff led baseball with just 529 runs allowed. The Viceroys were led offensively by left fielder Byron Browne, who hit .294 with 33 homers and 107 RBI's, and third baseman Gary Gaetti, who hit .287 with 23 homers and 91 RBI's. Four starters- Larry Jansen. Al Hollingsworth, Bartolo Colon, and Dixie Leverett each posted sub-3.00 ERA's, with Hollingsworth going 20-9 with a 2.39 ERA and a 1.23 ERA, while Colon went 16-8 with a 2.71 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP.

Continental League: The Charlotte Aviators looked to win their fourth straight pennant, winning 106 games and seizing the Atlantic Division behind a tremendous offense. Charlotte scored 928 runs -- second in baseball -- and blasted a record 277 homers -- 86 more than second-best Houston. Ten Aviators hit at least 10 homers, and six hit at least 25 homers -- including the top 3 home run hitters in the Continental League. Shortstop Kevin Mitchell led the way, hitting .334 and slugging .634 with 46 homers and 134 RBI's. Left fielder Michael Conforto hit 37 homers, drove in 105 runs, and scored 111 runs. Right fielder Candy Maldonado hit .283 with 37 homers of his own and 112 RBI's. Third baseman Bill Melton chipped in, hitting .309 with 34 homers and 114 RBI's. Larry Jaster led a balanced pitching staff, going 17-7 with a 2.67 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. The Jacksonville Gulls survived the offseason departure of franchise icon Bryce Harper to El Paso in free agency, although they nearly choked away a playoff spot, losing 8 of their last 9 games on their way to 86 wins. First baseman Keith Hernandez hit .326 with a .418 slugging percentage, including 14 homers and 90 RBI's. Left fielder Larry Herndon hit .320 with 27 homers, 99 RBI's, 115 runs scored, and 30 steals. On the mound, Dizzy Trout and Andy Sonnenstine each went 16-9, while hard-luck Madison Bumgarner went just 14-12 despite a 2.64 ERA and 1.13 WHIP.

The New Orleans Crawfish won their third straight Southeast Division title, qualifying for the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years with 98 wins. Star shortstop Jean Segura hit .328 and slugged .478 with 15 homers, 105 runs scored, and 68 steals. DH Lou Gehrig hit .290 with 26 homers and 112 RBI's, while right fielder Jeff Francoeur hit .321 with 22 homers and 101 RBI's. Righthander Heinie Berger went 18-11, with a 3.23 ERA and 1.24 WHIP, while Dennis Rasmussen and Ray Fontenot won 15 games apiece. The Birmingham Steelers rallied to win 90 games despite a subpar pitching staff, as first baseman Carlos Pena hit .286 with 35 homers and 109 RBI's, and left fielder George Bell hit .286 with 28 homers and 109 RBI's. Ed Halicki stabilized a mediocre staff, going 12-13 with a solid 3.48 ERA and 1.23 WHIP.

The El Paso Armadillos cruised to their second straight Texas Division title, winning 97 games, despite losing 19-game winner Jake Arrieta for the year in May. After signing Bryce Harper in the offseason, the Armadillos finished third in the Continental League in homers, with Frank Howard leading the way, hitting .289 and slugging .504 with 35 homers and 101 RBI's. Harper, Gil Hodges, and Gorman Thomas each blasted at least 25 homers with 90-plus RBI's apiece. On the mound, Jordan Zimmermann had a breakout season, going 19-6 with a 2.56 ERA and 0.95 WHIP, while closer Mike Kekich had 28 saves, a 1.36 ERA and 0.99 WHIP. The San Antonio Marksmen remained in postseason contention until the final days of the season, winning 85 games, but dropping 7 of their final 11 games to miss the postseason by a single game. Although their offense was among the weakest in the league, 21-year old third baseman Manny Machado had a breakout season, hitting .275 with 27 homers and 89 RBI's. Shortstop Ray Boone popped 20 homers and drove in 64 runs. San Antonio had the Continental League's second-stingiest pitching staff, led by John Denny, who went 16-9 with a 2.34 ERA and 1.11 WHIP.

The Los Angeles Kangaroos hopped out of the gate, winning their first 11 games of the year on their way to a large first-half lead, but they stumbled in the second half, going just 23-29 in August and September. The Kangaroos nonetheless won the Southwest Division with 97 wins, as they finished third in the league in runs scored. Left fielder Gary Matthews, Sr. hit .310 with 29 homers and 120 RBI's, while right fielder Chili Davis hit 28 homers and 108 RBI's. Free agent signee catcher Elston Howard hit .310 with 19 homers and 88 RBI's. With southpaw Brett Anderson missing nearly the entire season with a torn UCL, unheralded righthander Marty Bystrom led the way with an 18-7 record and 3.61 ERA. The Anaheim Antelopes rallied down the stretch, playing over .600 ball in August and September to finish with 93 wins, just four games behind the Kangaroos. Right fielder Jerry Mumphrey starred, hitting .329 with 49 doubles, 11 homers, 84 RBI's, 100 runs scored, and 36 steals. Third baseman Larry Parrish led the squad with 23 homers and 86 RBI's. Although fireballer Noah Syndergaard was their flashiest free agency signing, crafty southpaw Jerry Reuss was the most valuable, going 18-8 with a 2.64 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. The longest playoff drought in the Continental League ended as the Albuquerque Conquistadors won 89 games, scoring a league-high 951 runs and a .300 team batting average. Third baseman Frank "Home Run" Baker flirted with the MVP award, winning the batting title with a .359 average, plus 35 homers, and 120 RBI's. Rookie rightfielder Doc Miller also hit .359 with 22 homers and a team-high 130 RBI's. Second baseman Ryne Sandberg hit .324 with 28 homers, 129 RBI's, 118 runs scored, and 55 steals. Steve Rogers carried a subpar pitching staff, going 14-12 with a 3.66 ERA and a middling 1.41 WHIP.
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Old 12-10-2018, 03:34 AM   #114
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2027 Playoff Report

Frontier League: All four wild-card series in the Frontier League went the distance. In an unexpectedly close series, the 104-win Detroit Purple Gang escaped by the skin of their teeth against the 85-win Pittsburgh Golden Gorillas, as five of the games were decided by a single run, and the other two were decided by a two-run margin. Detroit third baseman Wade Boggs was named MVP after hitting .393 with 5 doubles and 5 RBI's, while second baseman Bobby Avila hit .360 with a homer and 5 RBI's. Second baseman Sam Dente led Pittsburgh, hitting .387 with a series-high 12 hits and 7 RBI's. The Vancouver Viceroys upended the Milwaukee Raccoons in another tight series, featuring four one-run games, and where no game was decided by more than three runs. Vancouver right fielder Ken Landreaux hit .424, with 14 hits, 3 homers and 5 RBI's. Viceroys left fielder Byron Browne hit .355 with 4 homers and 7 RBI's. Milwaukee left fielder Dan Pasqua hit .379 with a homer and 6 RBI's in a losing effort. The Buffalo Fighting Elk ousted the St. Louis Pilots in dramatic fashion, winning Game 6 on an 11th inning walk-off homer by Ken Singleton, and taking Game 7 when Ivan DeJesus and Orlando Cepeda each hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to cap an 8-7 comeback victory. Cepeda was an easy MVP selection after hitting .375 with 5 homers and 7 RBI's, including the series-clinching walk-off. Singleton hit .467 with 14 hits, including a homer and 5 RBI's, while relievers Clarence Pickrel, Darren O'Day, and Chris Devenski combined for 13.1 shutout innings, allowing just 7 baserunners while striking out 14. Ace John Montefusco led St. Louis, winning Game 5 while sporting a 1.08 ERA in 16.2 innings. In the final series of the wild-card round, the Kansas City Mad Hatters eliminated the Chicago Mules in 7 games, taking Games 6 and 7 at home. Catcher Joe Mauer was named MVP after hitting .444 with a tie-breaking homer in the 8th inning of Game 2, 4 runs scored, and 4 RBI's. Ageless Gary Nolan won both his starts with a 3.00 ERA. Shortstop Orlando Miller led Chicago with a .370 average, 2 homers, and 7 RBI's, while Jack Bentley went 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA, allowing just 6 hits in 13 innings.

The Detroit Purple Gang jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead against the Vancouver Viceroys in the Divisional Series -- only to drop the next four games. Six of the seven games were decided by a single run, while Game 2 was, comparatively speaking, a 3-1 blowout. Game 7 was a classic, with Vancouver prevailing 1-0 in 10 innings, as catcher Gilly Campbell drove in Byron Browne with a double, Larry Jansen got the win with 9 shutout innings, Bartolo Colon earned a rare save, and Detroit's Dave Righetti came away empty despite allowing just 2 hits in 9 shutout innings. Vancouver centerfielder Willie Wilson was named MVP after hitting .407 with 9 runs scored and 9 steals, including 4 in Game 4. Gary Beare won three games in relief. Detroit second sacker Bobby Avila hit .393 with 3 RBI's, while left fielder Mel Hall hit .333 with a homer and 9 RBI's in a losing effort. The Kansas City Mad Hatters swept the Buffalo Fighting Elk in what proved to be the only Frontier League series not to go the full seven games -- but even then, the four games were decided by a total of six runs. Third baseman George Kell took home the hardware after hitting .400 with 4 RBI's, while Joe Mauer hit .389 with 3 RBI's. Closer Steve Roser had 3 saves in 5.2 shutout innings. Buffalo was led by Orlando Cepeda, who hit .333 with a homer and 2 RBI's. In the League Championship Series, the Mad Hatters outlasted the Viceroys in seven games, winning Game 7 on a 10th inning 3-run homer by Moises Alou, who was named MVP after hitting .448 and slugging .921, with 4 homers and 8 RBI's. Kansas City righthander Dennis Leonard went 2-0 with a 2.12 ERA, including a 10-inning complete game victory in Game 7. Vancouver's Willie Wilson had another stellar series, hitting .419 with a homer, 6 runs scored, and 6 steals -- setting a postseason record with 17 steals in three series.

Continental League: The Charlotte Aviators edged their Atlantic Division rival Jacksonville Gulls in six games. Third baseman Bill Melton was named MVP after hitting .423 with a homer and 3 runs scored, while right fielder Candy Maldonado and shortstop Kevin Mitchell hit two homers apiece. Third baseman Maikel Franco led Jacksonville, hitting .409 with 2 homers and 9 RBI's. In another divisional showdown, the Anaheim Antelopes ousted the Los Angeles Kangaroos, winning four straight games after dropping the opener. Anaheim third baseman Larry Parrish hit .381 with 2 homers and 5 RBI's, while DH Enos Slaughter hit .316 with 2 homers and 7 RBI's. Anaheim righthander Noah Syndergaard posted a brilliant 0.67 ERA, but was just 1-1 after dropping a 1-0 decision in the opener. The Kangaroos' powerful offense was held homerless and scored just 15 runs in 5 games; Right fielder Roger Freed led Los Angeles with a .333 average and .474 on-base percentage. The El Paso Armadillos eliminated the Birmingham Steelers in five games, as left fielder Frank Howard hit .348 with 2 homers and 8 RBI's. Second baseman Jack Brohamer hit .455 with a series-high 10 hits, including a homer and 2 RBI's, while Jordan Zimmermann went 2-0 with a 1.84 ERA. Sluggers George Bell and Carlos Pena led the Steelers with 2 homers and 4 RBI's apiece. The Albuquerque Conquistadors' maiden postseason appearance ended early, as they surrendered 34 runs in a convincing 4-game sweep by the New Orleans Crawfish. Right fielder Jeff Francoeur dominated, hitting .429 with 2 homers and 9 RBI's. New Orleans center fielder Chet Lemon hit .429 as well, with a homer, 2 doubles, and 5 RBI's.

In the Divisional Series, Charlotte dominated the Anaheim, holding the Antelopes to just 9 runs in a four-game sweep. Right fielder Candy Maldonado was named MVP after hitting .357 with 2 homers and 3 RBI's, including a homer in the top of the ninth inning of Game 3 to give the Aviators the lead. First baseman Brandon Moss hit .364 with a homer and 3 RBI's. The Antelopes were led by third baseman Larry Parrish, who hit .333 with a homer and 4 RBI's. The El Paso Armadillos erased a 3-1 deficit, winning the final games to eliminate the New Orleans Crawfish. El Paso catcher Smokey Burgess was an easy MVP selection after hitting .304 with 3 homers and a series-high 7 RBI's, including a tiebreaking homer in the tenth inning of Game 7. Free agent acquisition Bryce Harper earned his salary, hitting 3 homers and driving in 5 runs for the Armadillos. Righthander Jordan Zimmermann continued his strong postseason, going 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA in 15 innings. New Orleans was led by star shortstop Jean Segura, who hit .290 with a homer, 3 RBI's, and 2 steals. The League Championship Series was a back-and-forth affair, with the home team winning all seven games, allowing Charlotte to return to the World Series for the fourth straight season. Charlotte won Game 6 in dramatic fashion, as Bill Melton, Kevin Mitchell, and Candy Maldonado each homered in the eighth inning to seize the lead, and then the Aviators scored 8 runs in the first inning of Game 7. Maldonado was named MVP after hitting .423 with 2 homers and 3 RBI's, while Melton hit .296 with 3 homers and 5 RBI's and Michael Conforto hit 3 homers and drove in 6 runs. El Paso was led by first baseman Gil Hodges, who hit .360 with 3 homers and 6 RBI's, while Bryce Harper hit .320 with 3 solo homers.

World Series: In the first World Series matchup of dueling 100-win teams, the slugging Charlotte Aviators were narrowly favored over the red-hot Kansas City Mad Hatters, who saw slugging rightfielder Bobby Bonds return from an oblique injury for the Series. The Aviators' big bats gashed an overwhelmed Kansas City pitching staff, scoring 49 runs in a 5-game series victory.

The Aviators won Game 1 14-5, pounding Gary Nolan for 10 runs in 2 1/3 innings. Third baseman Bill Melton had one of the finest games in World Series history, going 4 for 4 with 4 runs and 4 RBI's, including a homer and two triples. The Aviators pounded nine extra-base hits in a game that wasn't even as close as the score suggested, as Kansas City scored four meaningless runs in the ninth. Kansas City returned the favor in Game 2, winning 9-6 as Todd Helton ripped three hits, including a homer, and drove in 4 runs, as Phil Regan outdueled Charlotte's Jack Curtis. Charlotte won Game 3 in a 13-2 laugher, as left fielder Michael Conforto homered, scored 3 runs, and drove in 5. Larry Cheney earned the win with six serviceable innings, while Dennis Leonard took the loss for Kansas City, but most of the damage was done off the hapless Mad Hatters' bullpen. In Game 4, Charlotte overcame a shaky start by Roger Clemens, as Charlotte scored five first-inning runs off Mellie Wolfgang, on their way to a 10-7 victory. Melton and Conforto chipped in with round-trippers. The Aviators clinched their second world title in three years, taking Game 5 by a 6-2 count, as Melton and right fielder Jeff Abbott homered off Nolan during a five-run sixth inning. Hank Robinson earned his fourth win of the postseason with five solid innings.

Melton was named Series MVP, after hitting .412 and slugging 1.176, with 3 homers, 2 triples, and 8 RBI's. Teammate Kevin Mitchell hit .450 with 2 homers and 6 RBI's, while Conforto hit .389 with 3 homers and 6 RBI's. Helton led Kansas City, hitting .450 and slugging .900, with 2 homers and 7 RBI's.
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Old 12-12-2018, 03:17 AM   #115
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2027 Awards Winners

Frontier League MVP - Reggie Smith, RF, DET (35): .333/ .419/ .592, 203 hits, 38 doubles, 3 triples, 38 HR, 121 RBI, 131 runs, 88 BB, 15 SB, 177 OPS+, 9.4 WAR
Second place- Smoky Joe Wood, RHP, PIT (11): 17-9, 2.02 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 267 IP, 255 K, 74 BB, 5 CG, 2 shutouts, 190 ERA+, 10.8 WAR
Third place- Eric Davis, CF, MIL (1): .288/ .373/ .510, 179 hits, 25 doubles, 4 triples, 35 HR, 87 RBI, 125 runs, 80 BB, 70 SB, +8.5 Zone Rating, 142 OPS+, 8.3 WAR
Fourth place- Moises Alou, LF, KC: .319/ .374/ .552, 203 hits, 25 doubles, 9 triples, 35 HR, 130 RBI, 102 runs, 58 BB, 2 SB, 153 OPS+, 6.0 WAR
Fifth place- Justin Verlander, RHP, DET: 16-7, 1.82 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 218 IP, 220 K, 58 BB, 212 ERA+, 7.3 WAR

Frontier League Cy Young Award- Smoky Joe Wood, PIT (47): 17-9, 2.02 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 267 IP, 255 K, 74 BB, 5 CG, 2 shutouts, 190 ERA+, 10.8 WAR
Second place- Justin Verlander, DET (1): 16-7, 1.82 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 218 IP, 220 K, 58 BB, 212 ERA+, 7.3 WAR
Third place- Bruce Berenyi, DEN: 17-10, 2.14 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 236 IP, 228 K, 76 BB, 2 CG, 2 shutouts, 182 ERA+, 8.0 WAR
Fourth place- John Montefusco, STL: 16-9, 2.91 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 256 IP, 229 K, 60 BB, 4 CG, 2 shutouts, 132 ERA+, 8.3 WAR
Fifth place- Bob Moose, CHI: 9-9, 2.55 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 229 IP, 239 K, 68 BB, 1 CG, 151 ERA+, 8.1 WAR

Frontier League Rookie of the Year- Orlando Merced, RF, CLE (48): .315/ .390/ .518, 155 hits, 31 doubles, 6 triples, 19 HR, 74 RBI, 70 runs, 61 BB, 6 SB, 149 OPS+, 5.3 WAR
Second place- Gregg Olson, RHP, PHI: 6-3, 2 saves, 2.14 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 80 IP, 81 K, 47 BB, 180 ERA+, 2.2 WAR
Third place- Geoff Blum, SS, TOR: .264/ .315/ .382, 131 hits, 18 doubles, 1 triple,13 HR, 51 RBI, 53 runs, 37 BB, 92 OPS+, 2.4 WAR

Continental League MVP- Kevin Mitchell, SS, CHA (41): .334/ .399/ .634, 201 hits, 30 doubles, 6 triples, 46 HR, 134 RBI, 126 runs, 71 BB, 3 SB, 174 OPS+, 8.5 WAR
Second place- Frank Baker, 3B, ALB (7): .359/ .448/ .599, 216 hits, 27 doubles, 6 triples, 35 HR, 120 RBI, 135 runs, 98 BB, 23 SB, 181 OPS+, 9.5 WAR
Third place- Doc Miller, RF, ALB: .359/ .423/ .584, 214 hits, 48 doubles, 10 triples, 22 HR, 130 RBI, 115 runs, 73 BB, 25 SB, 170 OPS+, 7.0 WAR
Fourth place- Tommie Agee, CF, CHA: .318/ .370/ .479, 217 hits, 30 doubles, 1 triple, 26 HR, 69 RBI, 134 runs. 55 BB, 67 SB, +18.0 Zone Rating, 127 OPS+, 8.9 WAR
Fifth place- Ryne Sandberg, 2B, ALB: .324/ .370/ .503, 209 hits, 26 doubles, 3 triples, 28 HR, 129 RBI, 118 runs, 50 BB, 55 SB, 134 OPS+, 7.1 WAR

Continental League Cy Young Award- Jordan Zimmermann, EP (19): 19-7, 2.56 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 239 IP, 191 K, 24 BB, 1 CG, 159 ERA+, 5.8 WAR
Second place- Jerry Reuss, ANA (18): 18-8 , 2.64 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 249 IP, 151 K, 49 BB, 3 CG, 1 shutout, 161 ERA+, 6.6 WAR
Third place- Francisco Cordova, JAX (6): 14-4, 2.43 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 182 IP, 127 K, 31 BB, 1 CG, 1 shutout, 179 ERA+, 5.4 WAR
Fourth place- Heinie Berger, NO (5): 18-11, 3.23 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 262 IP, 179 K, 86 BB, 9 CG, 3 shutouts, 133 ERA+, 6.9 WAR
Fifth place- Madison Bumgarner, JAX: 14-12, 2.64 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 252 IP, 181 K, 64 BB, 7 CG, 1 shutout, 164 ERA+, 5.3 WAR

Continental League Rookie of the Year: Doc Miller, RF, ALB (47): .359/ .423/ .584, 214 hits, 48 doubles, 10 triples, 22 HR, 130 RBI, 115 runs, 73 BB, 25 SB, 170 OPS+, 7.0 WAR
Second place- Larry Hisle, CF, HOU (1): .332/ .410/ .535, 193 hits, 35 doubles, 1 triple, 27 HR, 87 RBI, 83 runs, 75 BB, 37 SB, 163 OPS+, 8.5 WAR
Third place- Erubiel Durazo, 1B, PHO: .295/ .383/ .496, 172 hits, 29 doubles, 5 triples 26 HR, 93 RBI, 88 runs, 86 BB, 6 SB, 141 OPS+, 5.6 WAR

Top draft picks: 1. Bob Ewing, RHP, Oklahoma City Otters
2. Johnny Mostil, CF, New York Emperors
3. Nolan Arenado, 3B, Boston Minutemen
4. Hal McRae, LF, Baltimore Robins
5. Art Fletcher, SS, Houston Pythons
6. Julio Franco, SS, San Diego Zookeepers
7. Ed Reulbach, RHP, Omahao Falcons
8. Bob Nieman, LF, San Francisco Longshoremen
9. Merv Rettenmund, RF, Cleveland Rocks
10. Willie Horton, LF, Las Vegas Aces
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Old 12-14-2018, 12:29 AM   #116
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2027 Hall of Fame Voting

Two more pitchers were elected to the Hall of Fame. Eight-time All-Star Ray Collins, who won 225 games in his career, was tabbed with 79% in his debut on the ballot. Righthander Clay Buchholz, who won nearly two-thirds of his decisions in a thirteen-year career, drew 84% of the vote in his second time on the ballot.

Collins, a groundballer with pinpoint control, posted eight top-ten finishes in ERA, and led the league five times in allowing the fewest homers per nine innings, including his tremendous 2012 campaign when he went 23-10 with a 2.02 ERA, surrendering just four homers in 290 innings. He had three runner-up finishes for the Cy Young Award, in 2012, 2013, and 2014, and a third-place finish in 2011. He spent the first half of his career with the Washington Ambassadors, leading them to their lone world championship in 2012, when he went 4-1 in the playoffs. After a year with the San Antonio Marksmen, he spent four seasons with the Buffalo Fighting Elk, where he made three All-Star teams, before finishing his career with the New Orleans Crawfish. He ended his career with a 225-137 record, ranking 8th in league history at the time of his induction in victories, a 2.74 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP, and 94.4 WAR (7th all time).

Buchholz holds the single-season record for victories, with a brilliant 28-5 campaign with a 2.13 ERA for the Las Vegas Aces in 2015, when he came in second in the Cy Young Award balloting. He began his career with four brilliant seasons with the Baltimore Robins, each of which resulted in an ERA below 2.50, including a 1.77 mark in 2012. After six years in Las Vegas (two of which were largely lost to injury), he finished his career with three seasons with the St. Louis Pilots. He retired with a 197-103 career record, ranking seventh in league history with a .657 winning percentage, along with a 2.74 ERA, a 1.14 WHIP, and 66.9 WAR.

The leading vote recipients are as follows:

Clay Buchholz, RHP, BAL/ LV/ STL: 83.9%
Ray Collins, LHP, WAS/ SA/ BUF/ NO: 79.4%
Brad Lidge, RHP, SF/ BUF/ OKC/ CHI: 65.8%
Aaron Judge, RF, CLE/ BOS: 57.7%
Troy Tulowitzki, SS, BUF/ ATL/ SF/ SEA: 56.8%
Kent Hrbek, 1B, DEN/ JAX/ MIN: 36.8%
Mike Stanley, C, STL/ VB/ KC: 36.1%
Nomar Garciaparra, SS, OTT: 33.5%
Joe Hesketh, RHP, KC/ NAS/ LON/ OMA: 28.4%
Joe Panik, 2B, LA/ BOS: 24.8%

Notable players who dropped off the ballot after failing to receive 2% include Pete Rose, Schoolboy Rowe, and Brandon Belt.

Here's a look at the Hall of Fame careers of Collins and Buchholz:
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Old 12-18-2018, 02:10 AM   #117
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2028 Mid-Year Review

Here's a quick overview of the leading storylines across the league at the 2028 All-Star Break:

Exceeding expectations: The Ottawa Parliamentarians, the lone team in league history not to make even a single playoff appearance, appeared poised to snap that infamous streak, as they entered the break with a 45-30 record, leading the second-place Detroit Purple Gang by three games. Ottawa overcame a middling starting rotation with the second-leading offense in the league, as first baseman Frank Thomas hit .345 with 19 homers and 57 RBI's, while left fielder Ben Grieve hit .292 with 18 homers of his own, and Aroldis Chapman was dominant in the pen, allowing a single earned run in 37 innings. The Cincinnati Spiders looked to snap their streak of seven straight sub-.500 seasons, going 41-34. They were led offensively by blossoming star Corey Seager, who hit .337 with 14 homers and 45 RBI's, and free agent signee Lloyd Moseby, who popped 12 homers and drove in 36 runs. Perennial All-Star Don Drysdale anchored the staff, going 7-3 with a 1.70 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP. In the Continental League, the Atlanta Ducks looked to snap a six-year playoff drought, going 45-30, led by slugging first baseman Lee May, who hit .329 with 16 homers and 64 RBI's, while Roberto Alomar hit .318 with 17 doubles and 22 steals in just 39 games. The Houston Pythons looked likely to snap their streak of three straight 90-loss seasons, as they went 41-34, ending the half in second place in the Texas Division. Center fielder Larry Hisle hit .319 with 9 homers and 46 RBI's, while right fielder Mickey Mantle finally showed signs of returning to his all-star past, hitting .331 and slugging .482 despite an injury-riddled half.

Disappointments: The Buffalo Fighting Elk, who had made the postseason in ten of the past eleven seasons, showed signs of vulnerability, going just 38-37 due to a subpar offense. They ended the first half in third place in the Northeast Division, albeit just four games out of first. Twelve-time All-Star catcher Dave Nilsson showed signs of slowing down, hitting just .249 with 2 homers and 21 RBI's, while center fielder Darin Erstad hit just .234 with a dreadful .259 on-base percentage. The Kansas City Mad Hatters were perhaps the biggest disappointment in baseball, starting 1-13 on their way to a 31-44 half. Left fielder Moises Alou, who led the Frontier League with 130 RBI's last year, hit just 6 homers with 32 RBI's. Center fielder Manuel Margot fell off a cliff, dropping from .285 with a .443 slugging percentage to an abysmal .195 with a .253 slugging percentage. Meanwhile, Gary Nolan saw his ERA spike by over 2 runs per game as he went 2-11. In the Continental League, the Hartford Huskies' streak of five straight seasons over .500 was in jeopardy, as they stumbled to a 31-44 start. Slugging rightfielder Jay Bruce, who averaged 35 homers and 110 RBI's over the prior three seasons, dropped to just 5 homers and 21 RBI's, while free agent acquisition Rafael Devers hit just .202 with 5 homers of his own. The San Antonio Marksmen struggled after flirting with the playoffs last season, going just 34-41, as free agent signee Von Hayes hit just .211 out of the leadoff slot. Second-year left fielder Pat Mullin took a major step backward after a promising rookie year, hitting just .213 and slugging .282. Southpaw Brett Anderson, signed away from Los Angeles in the offseason, blew out his UCL in May.

The Moose Is Loose: Chicago righthander Bob Moose had a brilliant first half, leading all of baseball with a 13-2 record, a 1.47 ERA, and 124 strikeouts. Moose led the Mules to a 44-30 record in the first half, good enough for the Great Plains Division lead.

Aviators Fly Even Higher: Even though the Charlotte Aviators lost two-time defending MVP to Phoenix in free agency, the defending champions seemingly improved. The Aviators went an incredible 59-16 in the first half, including a ridiculous 35-4 home mark. They ripped off a 15-game winning streak in May -- only to follow it with a 10-game and a separate 11-game streak in the following four weeks. Leading baseball with 110 homers in 75 games, six players were in double figures at the break. Star center fielder Tommie Agee hit .360 with 14 homers and 31 steals, while third baseman Bill Melton slugged .554, with 20 homers and 54 RBI's.

Vegas Shoots Craps: The Las Vegas Aces -- a postseason squad just three seasons ago - saw their season go bust, ending the half with a 22-53 mark, including a 12-game and a 13-game losing streak. Remarkably, the Aces signed slugging left fielder George Bell in the offseason, and he held up his end of the bargain, hitting .291 with 13 homers and 41 RBI's. But no one else hit more than 4 homers, and the team hit just .229, including a dreadful .213 with 3 homers from longtime mainstay Jason Thompson. The Aces were 22nd in the league in runs allowed, as Jose Rosado went just 3-10 with a 5.72 ERA, and Mellie Wolfgang (1-6 with a 7.11 ERA) was even worse.

Superstar struggles: Across baseball, several long-time stars suffered from power outages and saw precipitous drop-offs in production. Detroit right fielder Reggie Smith, a 3-time MVP who nearly won the Triple Crown last year, hit just .277 with 4 homers and 34 RBI's. New Orleans first baseman Lou Gehrig hit just .249 with 5 homers and 28 RBI's. Vancouver third baseman Gary Gaetti hit a measly .194 with 9 homers and 32 RBI's. On the mound, Kansas City's Gary Nolan, the winningest pitcher in HRDL history, stumbled to a 2-11 start with a 4.91 ERA.

Major injuries: San Antonio southpaw Brett Anderson tore his UCL in May, ending his season prematurely for the second straight year and putting his career in jeopardy. Chicago second baseman Buck Herzog got off to a blistering start, hitting .382 in 36 games before breaking his thumb; he likely would not return until late July. Cleveland righthander Denny McLain blew out his elbow and would not return until next May. St, Louis second baseman DJ Lemahieu tore his meniscus, causing him to miss most of the summer, and likely would not return until Labor Day.

Major milestones: Longtime Houston center fielder Kirby Puckett, who signed with the Philadelphia Hawks in the offseason, ripped his 3,000th hit. Kansas City third baseman George Kell and Hartford third baseman Rafael Devers each joined the 2,500 hit club. Dallas rightfielder Cliff Heathcote popped his 300th homer. Charlotte's Roger Clemens and New Orleans's Heinie Berger each won their 200th game. Meanwhile, Minneapolis third baseman Andy Van Slyke, Kansas City first baseman Todd Helton, and Jacksonville first baseman George "High Pockets" Kelly were each projected to join the 3,000 hit club by the end of August. Detroit's Kerry Wood and Dave Righetti and Calgary's Fred Newman were likely to hit 200 wins by year's end.
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Old 12-23-2018, 02:19 AM   #118
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2028 Year in Review

Frontier League: The Pittsburgh Golden Gorillas rode a dominant pitching staff and a power-hitting offense to take the first division title in team history, winning 94 games. Star left fielder Sherry Magee hit .337 and slugged .581, with 54 doubles, 27 homers, 111 RBI's, and he led the Frontier League with 114 runs scored and 89 steals. Catcher Curt Blefary hit .337 with 20 homers and 77 RBI's. The team led the league in both homers and steals, pounding 150 round-trippers and pilfering 246 bags. Ace Smoky Joe Wood went 18-10 with a 2.26 ERA and 253 strikeouts, while Rube Bressler went 17-7 with a 2.70 ERA. The Buffalo Fighting Elk rallied from a slow start to go 90-72, earning their 11th playoff spot in the last 12 years. Buffalo was led offensively by left fielder Ken Singleton, who hit .322 with 23 homers, 82 RBI's, and a .404 on-base percentage. First baseman Orlando Cepeda hit .280 with 24 homers and 89 RBI's. Southpaw Brett Oberholtzer led the staff, going 14-13 with a 2.30 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP, while Bob Grim went 12-6 with a 2.50 ERA. The Philadelphia Hawks came from out of nowhere to crash the postseason for the first time in four years with 86 wins, going 18-9 in September including a 12-game winning streak. The Hawks were led by second baseman Matt Carpenter, who hit .279 with 68 extra-base hits, including 19 homers and 82 RBI's. Remarkably, only one starting pitcher had double-figures in wins, as Tom Poholsky went just 12-16, despite a solid 2.71 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. But Gregg Olson, Cla Meredith, and Bob Veale anchored a deep bullpen, winning 10 games apiece, as Meredith sported a 1.06 ERA and 0.87 WHIP, and Olson notched 31 saves with a 2.36 ERA.

The Ottawa Parliamentarians survived an August swoon to earn their first postseason bid, taking the Great Lakes Division with 87 wins. Despite a 2-20 stretch-- including a 13-game losing streak- in mid-August, Ottawa finished strong, winning 10 of their last 13 and clinching the division with a 1-0 win over Vancouver behind Dick Drago. First baseman Frank Thomas and right fielder Ben Grieve led the way offensively, with Thomas hitting .311 and Grieve hitting .307, and each blasted 30 homers and 90 RBI's. Bo Belinsky led a mediocre starting rotation, going 15-13 with a 3.44 ERA. The staff's true star was closer Aroldis Chapman, who had 33 saves, a microscopic 0.79 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP, and allowed just 44 hits against 97 strikeouts in 80 innings.

The Cincinnati Spiders appeared poised to make the postseason for the first time since 2020, but they suffered a dramatic collapse, losing the division title in the closing days of the season, and being eliminated after being shut out by Kansas City in the season finale. To make matters worse, the Spiders dramatically underachieved their expected won-lost record, as they had the second-best run differential in the Frontier League but still missed the postseason. Shortstop Corey Seager took the next step toward stardom, hitting .348 and slugging .535, with 25 homers, 92 RBI's, and 111 runs scored. Left fielder Lloyd Moseby popped 25 homers, drove in 78 runs, and swiped 29 bases. Ace Don Drysdale went 12-6 with a 1.75 ERA, an 0.94 ERA, and 202 strikeouts. Southpaw Jon Matlack went just 13-16, but sported a solid 3.36 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP.

The Chicago Mules nearly went wire-to-wire, taking the Great Plains Division with 99 games. Offensively, they were led by scrappy second baseman Buck Herzog, who hit .314 with a .448 on-base percentage and 51 steals in just 98 games. Left fielder Rajai Davis hit .293 with 11 homers, 52 steals, and scored 91 runs. But Chicago's pitching was dominant, allowing just 526 runs on the season. Bob Moose won the Triple Crown, going 21-5 with a 1.63 ERA and 256 strikeouts. Lefty Steve Barber went 17-9 with a 2.91 ERA, a 1.13 WHIP, and 217 strikeouts. Closer Bill Kennedy notched a league-high 43 saves with a 1.20 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP. The Milwaukee Raccoons made their third straight postseason appearance, winning 88 games. Right fielder Ralph Garr led the Raccoons' league-best offense, hitting .343 with a league-high 57 doubles, to go with 18 homers, 113 RBI's, and 25 steals. Left fielder Dan Pasqua popped 24 round-trippers and drove in 78 runs, while first baseman Mark Grace rallied from a sluggish first half to hit .281 with 95 RBI's and 109 runs scored. Righthander Mike Garcia went 14-8 with a 2.77 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. The Minneapolis Penguins snuck into the playoffs with 86 wins despite a negative run differential on the season. Right fielder Yasiel Puig was a rare bright spot on subpar offense, hitting .302 with 19 homers and 76 RBI's, while catcher Wilson Ramos hit .291 with 20 homers and 94 RBI's.

The Denver Spikes returned to the playoffs after a five-year absence, when they won between 80 and 86 games each time. They jumped to 101 wins, taking the Northwest Division by 18 games. Left fielder Chris James led a balanced offense, hitting .329 with 25 homers and 98 RBI's, while right fielder Victor Diaz hit .299 and slugged .540, with 75 extra-base hits, including 29 homers and 125 RBI's. Righthander Bruce Berenyi anchored a deep pitching staff that finished third in the league in runs allowed, going 17-6 with a 2.04 ERA and 190 strikeouts. Bill Hands went 15-7 with a 3.18 ERA, and Chick Brandom saved 42 games with a 1.69 ERA and 1.05 WHIP.

Continental League: The defending champion Charlotte Aviators coasted to their 16th straight playoff appearance, winning 106 games for the second consecutive season. The Aviators threatened to rewrite the HRDL record book, jumping out to a 62-17 start before falling back to earth in the second half. Six players topped 20 homers, led by third baseman Bill Melton's 33 homers and 105 RBI's, while Tommie Agee hit .343 with 24 homers, 53 steals, and 111 runs scored. Roger Clemens went 16-3 with a 2.68 ERA and 1.14 WHIP, while Larry Cheney posted a 15-10 mark with a 2.77 ERA and 203 strikeouts. Larry Jaster went 18-7 with a 3.43 ERA, and Troy Percival posted 38 saves. The Jacksonville Gulls won 92 games, returning to the playoffs for the eighth straight year. First baseman Keith Hernandez led the way, hitting .308 and slugging .490 with 15 homers and 79 RBI's. Third baseman Maikel Franco provided the pop, hitting .283 with 27 homers and 101 RBI's, while right fielder George "High Pockets" Kelly showed no signs of slowing down, hitting .302 with 24 homers and 108 RBI's. Southpaw Dizzy Trout went 21-11 with a 3.26 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP, while veteran Andy Sonnanstine posted an 18-7 mark with a 3.16 ERA before being sidelined for the playoffs with an oblique injury. The Virginia Beach Admirals returned to the postseason after a six-year hiatus with 91 wins. First baseman Chris Shelton was picked off the scrap heap and rewarded the Admirals by hitting .309 with 18 homers and 98 RBI's. Left fielder Heinie Manush hit .315 with 16 homers, 97 homers, 100 runs scored, and 45 steals. Righthander Joe Gibbon made a strong push for his third Cy Young Award, going 21-11 with a league-best 2.33 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, and 197 strikeouts. Steve Busby went 19-10 with a 2.54 ERA.

The Nashville Blues returned to the postseason for the 8th time in 9 years, taking the Southeast Division with 89 wins, despite a sub-.500 second half. Nashville finished just 20th in the Continental League in runs scored and dead last in batting average, slugging percentage, and OPS. Franchise mainstay Greg Luzinski ripped 22 homers and drove in 97 runs, but hit just .251. Left fielder Ben Paschal drilled 18 homers, with 87 RBI's and 25 steals. The Blues' pitching staff once again dominated, surrendering just 553 runs, good for third in the league. Lefthander Bob Shirley went 16-6 with a 2.42 ERA, while Vern Ruhle went 17-10 with a 2.60 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. They narrowly held off the Miami Flamingos, who won 87 games. Right fielder Frank Robinson led the Flamingos, hitting .279 with 32 homers and 107 RBI's. Left fielder Jim Edmonds hit .284 with 29 homers and 94 RBI's. Jim Shaw was one of the few bright spots on the mound, as he went 15-14 with a solid 3.03 ERA and 216 strikeouts.

The El Paso Armadillos dominated the Texas Division, winning 106 games behind the league's second-best offense and top-ranked pitching staff, which allowed just 494 runs all season. Left fielder Frank Howard hit .325 with 28 homers and 117 RBI's, while DH Hack Miller earned his free agent paycheck, hitting .316 and slugging .538, with 34 homers and 118 RBI's. Gorman Thomas contributed 31 homers, 90 RBI's, and Gold Glove- caliber defense in center field. Righthander Tex Carleton went 20-10 with a 2.40 ERA, and he led the Continental League with a 0.95 WHIP and 225 strikeouts. Jordan Zimmermann went 20-8 with a 3.17 ERA and 0.98 WHIP, and Wayne Garland went 19-8 with a 2.68 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP.

The Southwest Division was the most competitive in baseball, as the Anaheim Antelopes narrowly held on to win the division with 97 wins. Right fielder Jerry Mumphrey paced a balanced attack, hitting .324 with 27 homers, 99 RBI's, 35 steals, and 116 runs scored. Third baseman Larry Parrish hit 26 homers with 104 RBI's. On the mound, Jerry Reuss went 17-11 with a 2.40 ERA. Closer Fernando Rodney posted 38 saves with a 2.20 ERA. The Phoenix Lizards won 95 games, enough to earn their first postseason berth since 2015. Free agent signee Kevin Mitchell recovered from a very soft start to hit .288 with 21 homers and 86 RBI's -- virtually matching first baseman Erubiel Durazo, who hit .288 with 22 homers and 81 RBIs. Southpaw Art Nehf dazzled, going 21-9 with a stellar 2.41 ERA and 1.03 WHIP. Alex Fernandez went 16-9 with a 3.52 ERA and 1.10 WHIP. The Albuquerque Conquistadors made their second straight postseason appearance, winning 94 games. Third baseman Frank "Home Run" Baker won the triple crown, hitting .346 with 38 homers, 125 RBI's, and 125 runs scored. Second sacker Ryne Sandberg hit .301 with 24 homers, 112 RBI's, and 49 steals. Right fielder Doc Miller had a strong sophomore campaign, hitting .324 with 25 homers and 109 RBI's. Righthander Steve Rogers went 18-9 with a 3.06 ERA, while Chuck Finley saved 35 games with a 1.98 ERA.
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Old 12-26-2018, 02:43 AM   #119
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2028 Playoff Report

Frontier League: The 101-win Denver Spikes easily dispatched the 86-win Philadelphia Hawks in a six-game series that wasn't quite as close as it looked. Denver left fielder Chris James was named MVP after hitting .320 and slugging .800, with 3 homers and 8 RBI's. Denver center fielder Bob Gallagher popped 3 solo homers, while Bill Hands went 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA in 14.1 innings. The outclassed Hawks were led by catcher Scott Hatteberg, who hit .368 with 3 homers and 6 RBI's, and by center fielder Zip Collins who hit .455 with a series-high ten hits. The Buffalo Fighting Elk, a postseason mainstay, outclassed the upstart Ottawa Parliamentarians in six games, holding the powerful Ottawa offense to just one run in each of Buffalo's four victories. Buffalo first baseman Orlando Cepeda took home MVP honors after hitting .304 with 2 homers and 4 RBI's. Second baseman UL Washington hit .292 with 6 RBI's, and southpaw Brett Oberholtzer shut down Ottawa, going 2-0 with a 1.23 ERA. Ottawa was led by catcher Rick Wilkins, who hit .364 with 2 homers and 6 RBI's. The Pittsburgh Golden Gorillas dominated the Milwaukee Raccoons, holding the league's best offense to just 13 runs in 5 games. Pittsburgh ace Smoky Joe Wood took home the hardware after going 2-0 with a 1.12 ERA, including a five-hit shutout in the decisive Game 5. First baseman Boog Powell hit 3 homers and drove in 6 runs, while third baseman Scott Brosius hit .350 with a homer and 6 RBI's of his own. Milwaukee center fielder Eric Davis hit .368 with a homer and 3 RBI's. In the biggest upset of the Wild Card round, the 86-win Minneapolis Penguins, who snuck into the playoffs despite a negative run differential on the season, ousted the 99-win Chicago Mules in 6 games. Minneapolis first baseman Max Muncy led the way, hitting .429 with a homer and 7 RBI's, while catcher Wilson Ramos popped 2 homers with 5 RBI's. Penguins southpaw Zach Duke went 2-0 with a stellar 0.66 ERA, including 7 shutout innings of four-hit ball in a 1-0 victory in Game Six.

In the Division Series, the Buffalo Fighting Elk ousted the Denver Spikes in 7 games. Buffalo jumped out to an early 3-1 lead before Denver won two one-run games to force Game Seven, which Buffalo won in an 8-3 romp. Buffalo left fielder Ken Singleton was named MVP after hitting .409 with 2 homers and 6 RBI's. Teammates Orlando Cepeda and Kevin Orie each blasted a pair of homers apiece. Denver was led by first baseman Phil Clark, who hit .385, and catcher James McCann, who hit .346, each of whom ripped 2 homers and drove in 4 runs. In another upset, the Minneapolis Penguins dominated the Pittsburgh Golden Gorillas, outscoring Pittsburgh 25-8 in a four-game sweep. Minneapolis third baseman Andy Van Slyke was tabbed as MVP after hitting .400 with a homer, 3 RBI's, 4 steals, and 5 runs scored. Left fielder Patsy Dougherty hit .333 with 2 triples and 4 runs scored, including the series-ending run in the bottom of the ninth of Game Four. Pittsburgh right fielder Kevin Bass hit .286 and slugged .571 with a homer and 2 RBI's in a losing effort. Minneapolis's good fortune ran out in the League Championship Series, as Buffalo rallied to take Games Six and Seven to advance to the World Series. Buffalo took Game Six 7-6 in extra innings, winning on a tenth-inning single by right fielder Jim Busby, while taking Game Seven 4-1 behind 7.1 shutout innings of two-hit ball from Brett Oberholtzer coupled with unexpected homers from backup catcher Dan Graham and shortstop Al Bridwell, who had not homered in over 2,000 plate appearances dating back to 2025. Ken Singleton led Buffalo once again, hitting .440 with 3 homers and 8 RBI's, while Bridwell hit .409 and scored 6 runs. Oberholtzer posted a stellar 0.73 ERA in 12.2 innings. Penguins shortstop Orlando Arcia hit .280 with a homer and 3 RBI's in defeat.

Continental League: Although the Virginia Beach Admirals jumped out to an early lead, the heavily-favored Charlotte Aviators -- winners of four consecutive Continental League pennants -- stormed back to advance in 6 games. Charlotte catcher Gus Triandos popped 3 homers and drove in 8 runs to take home MVP honors. Star third baseman Bill Melton hit .304 with 2 homers and 4 RBI's, and Larry Jaster went 2-0 with 14.2 shutout innings, allowing just 10 baserunners, and he prevailed 2-0 in the decisive Game Six. Virginia Beach was led by star left fielder Heinie Manush and catcher Bobby Estalella, each of whom had a homer and 3 RBI's. The Phoenix Lizards made their long-awaited return to the postseason a triumphant one, as they ousted the Nashville Blues in six games, allowing just four runs in the final three games of the series. Phoenix righthander Alex Fernandez dazzled, going 2-0 with an 0.56 ERA, allowing just 5 hits in 16 innings, including a one-hit 1-0 shutout in Game Seven, where he took a perfect game into the seventh inning. Phoenix was led offensively by shortstop Larry Brown, who hit .350 with a homer and three runs scored. Remarkably, Phoenix advanced despite receiving virtually no production from its big bats, as Kevin Mitchell, Erubiel Durazo, and Michael Cuddyer drove in just two runs combined, and second baseman Jose Altuve hit just .160. Nashville's Vern Ruhle went 2-0 and threw 16 shutout innings, becoming the first player in HRDL history to achieve an ERA of 0.00 for a postseason consisting of more than 15 innings. In the most evenly-matched series of the first round, the Albuquerque Conquistadors earned the first series win in franchise history, edging their division rival Anaheim Antelopes in seven games. Albuquerque third baseman Frank Baker earned MVP honors after hitting .458 with a .582 on-base percentage and drove in 4 runs. Second sacker Ryne Sandberg hit .370 with a homer ,7 RBI's, and 7 steals. Albuquerque righthander Steve Rogers won both his starts, including Game 7, and posted a 1.88 ERA. Anaheim was led by all-star right fielder Jerry Mumphrey, who hit .367 and slugged .600, with a homer, 4 RBI's, and 6 runs scored. The 106-win El Paso Armadillos were pushed to the limit by the 92-win Jacksonville Gulls before prevailing in seven games -- pulling out Game Seven 1-0, as Wayne Garland outdueled Dizzy Trout in a game featuring just seven hits. El Paso DH Hack Miller took home the hardware after hitting .370 with a homer and 5 RBI's, while left fielder Frank Howard hit .296 with 4 RBI's. Southpaw Dontrelle Willis went 2-0 with a 1.84 ERA and 13 strikeouts. Jacksonville was led by rookie shortstop Luis Aparicio, who hit .333 with a homer, 2 RBI's, and 4 runs scored, while Trout pitched 11 innings without allowing an earned run.

Although Phoenix upended Charlotte in Game One of the Division Series, they quickly crashed to earth, scoring just 9 runs as Charlotte swept the next four games. Charlotte rightfielder Candy Maldonado took home MVP honors after hitting .333 with 3 homers and 5 RBI's. DH Trevor Story also ripped three homers, including a tiebreaking blast in the ninth inning of Game Four. Larry Cheney threw a five-hit shutout for the Aviators in Game Two. Phoenix was led once again by shortstop Larry Brown, who hit .400 and slugged .600, and by Jose Altuve, who hit .368 with 3 steals. Albuquerque's magic ran out, as they were ousted in six games by the El Paso Armadillos. El Paso second baseman Joe Gordon dominated, hitting an incredible .632 with 4 homers and 5 RBI's. First baseman Gil Hodges hit .280, pounding 4 homers of his own and driving in 9 runs. Dontrelle Willis dazzled again, going 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA in 17 innings. The Conquistadors were led by Frank Baker, who hit .450 with 4 doubles and 4 runs scored, and righthander Scott MacRae, who went 1-0 with a 0.75 ERA in 12 innings. In a dramatic League Championship Series, the Armadillos survived a slew of injuries to their pitching staff, as they lost twin aces Tex Carleton and Jordan Zimmermann, but still knocked off the Aviators in six games, thus ending Charlotte's streak of four straight pennants. Despite the injuries, El Paso's league-best pitching staff held Charlotte to just 11 runs in 6 games. El Paso shortstop Don Kessinger was a surprise MVP pick, hitting .440 with 4 RBI's, and left fielder Frank Howard hit .440 as well. DH Hack Miller and center fielder Gorman Thomas each pounded two homers, with Thomas's blasts each coming in a 10-1 Game Six romp. Although Wayne Garland was just 1-1, he posted a 1.17 ERA and a stellar 15-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 15.1 innings. Charlotte's Bobby Grich and Michael Conforto hit .316 and .300, respectively, each with a homer and 3 RBI's.

World Series: The El Paso Armadillos, having outlasted the Charlotte Aviators, were heavy favorites over the offensively-challenged Buffalo Fighting Elk, whom they had outscored by 210 runs over the course of the season. But Buffalo battered a shorthanded El Paso pitching staff, as ace Tex Carleton blew out an elbow tendon in Game One and would miss not only the rest of the series, but likely all of 2029. In a significant upset, Buffalo easily prevailed in five games, surrendering just two runs in each of its four wins.

In Game One, Buffalo second baseman UL Washington launched a grand slam off Carleton, as the Fighting Elk coasted to a 6-2 victory. Although Bob Grim started for Buffalo, he was yanked in the fifth inning, and long reliever Tom Earley posted three solid innings for his fourth win of the postseason. El Paso's injury woes continued in Game Two, as Dontrelle Willis was pulled after two inning, and reliever Wilbur Wood also exited early, but not before surrendering a 2-run blast to Ken Singleton. Buffalo's Lee Meadows went 8 innings, allowing just 5 hits in another 6-2 victory. Game Three appeared to be more of the same: Singleton went yard again, and Buffalo pulled out a third-straight 6-2 victory, as Brett Overholtzer yielded just five hits and one earned run in 7 innings. El Paso staved off elimination in Game Four, jumping out to an early 3-0 lead on their way to a 5-2 win, as Gorman Thomas and Bryce Harper homered. Jake Arrieta earned the win with six solid innings. But Buffalo clinched the series with a 4-2 win in Game Five, scoring four unearned runs off Dontrelle Willis, as El Paso third baseman Jack Brohamer made three errors. Buffalo right fielder Peter Bourjos gave the Fighting Elk the lead for good with a two-run triple off Willis.

Singleton took home the hardware for the third straight series, hitting .438 with 2 homers and 3 RBI's. UL Washington also had a strong series, hitting .375 and slugging .875, with a homer and 4 RBI's. Frank Howard led El Paso with a .333 average, and remarkably, was one of four Armadillos with exactly one homer and 2 RBI's.
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Old 12-27-2018, 12:06 AM   #120
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2028 Awards Winners

Frontier League MVP- Sherry Magee, LF, PIT (21): .338/ .397/ .581, 207 hits, 54 doubles, 7 triples, 27 HR, 111 RBI, 114 runs, 62 BB, 89 SB, 174 OPS+, 9.4 WAR
Second place: Bob Moose, RHP, CHI (24): 21-5, 1.63 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 248 IP, 256 K, 59 BB, 3 CG, 2 shutouts, 227 ERA+, 10.7 WAR
Third place- Corey Seager, SS, CIN (2): .348/ .408/ .535, 219 hits, 33 doubles, 5 triples, 25 HR, 92 RBI, 111 runs, 67 BB, 8 SB, 166 OPS+, 9.8 WAR
Fourth place- Bob Nieman, LF, SF (1): .349/ .403/ .598, 214 hits, 39 doubles, 6 triples, 34 HR, 92 RBI, 101 runs, 56 BB, 1 SB, 181 OPS+, 7.8 WAR
Fifth place- Smoky Joe Wood, RHP, PIT: 18-10, 2.26 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 271 IP, 253 K, 85 BB, 8 CG, 3 shutouts, 164 ERA+, 8.2 WAR; .378/ .417/ .767, 34 hits, 11 doubles, 8 HR, 17 RBI, 20 runs, 229 OPS+. 1.7 WAR (as hitter)

Frontier League Cy Young Award- Bob Moose, CHI (48): 21-5, 1.63 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 248 IP, 256 K, 59 BB, 3 CG, 2 shutouts, 227 ERA+, 10.7 WAR
Second place- Joe Ross, BAL: 18-8, 2.13 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 274 IP, 250 K, 20 BB, 11 CG, 5 shutouts, 174 ERA+, 10.0 WAR
Third place- Smoky Joe Wood, PIT: 18-10, 2.26 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 271 IP, 253 K, 85 BB, 8 CG, 3 shutouts, 164 ERA+, 8.2 WAR
Fourth place- Don Drysdale, CIN: 12-6, 1.75 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 180 IP, 202 K, 27 BB, 212 ERA+, 8.5 WAR
Fifth place- Bruce Berenyi, DEN: 17-6, 2.04 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 212 IP, 190 K, 58 BB, 2 CG, 1 shutout, 184 ERA+, 7.7 WAR

Frontier League Rookie of the Year- Bob Nieman, LF, SF (48): .349/ .403/ .598, 214 hits, 39 doubles, 6 triples, 34 HR, 92 RBI, 101 runs, 56 BB, 1 SB, 181 OPS+, 7.8 WAR
Second place- Merv Rettenmund, LF, CLE: .273/ .391/ .452, 151 hits, 38 doubles, 5 triples, 17 HR, 83 RBI, 85 runs, 108 BB, 13 SB, 139 OPS+, 5.2 WAR
Third place- Nolan Arenado, 3B, BOS: .294/ .334/ .445, 174 hits, 38 doubles, 3 triples, 15 HR, 113 RBI, 62 runs, 39 BB, 5 SB, +7.9 Zone Rating, 120 OPS+, 5.2 WAR

Continental League MVP- Frank Baker, 3B, ALB (47): .346/ .420/ .607, 208 hits, 25 doubles, 9 triples, 38 HR, 125 RBI, 125 runs, 77 BB, 18 SB, 182 OPS+, 9.7 WAR
Second place- Jerry Mumphrey, RF, ANA: .324/ .389/ .499, 208 hits, 31 doubles, 27 HR, 99 RBI, 116 runs, 66 BB, 35 SB, +14.6 Zone Rating, 150 OPS+, 8.1 WAR
Third place- Tommie Agee, CF, CHA: .343/ .397/ .539, 181 hits, 31 doubles, 24 HR, 68 RBI, 111 runs, 46 BB, 53 SB, 156 OPS+, 7.6 WAR
Fourth place- Joe Gibbon, RHP, VB (1): 21-11, 2.33 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 274 IP, 197 K, 47 BB, 14 CG, 5 shutouts, 177 ERA+, 8.0 WAR
Fifth place- Gorman Thomas, CF, ELP: .260/ .370/ .469, 150 hits, 21 doubles, 3 triples, 31 HR, 90 RBI, 92 runs, 101 BB, 6 SB, +24.5 Zone Rating, 148 OPS+, 9.6 WAR

Continental League Cy Young Award- Joe Gibbon, VB (48): 21-11, 2.33 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 274 IP, 197 K, 47 BB, 14 CG, 5 shutouts, 177 ERA+, 8.0 WAR
Second place- Tex Carleton, ELP: 20-10, 2.40 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 255 IP, 225 K, 73 BB, 13 CG, 3 shutouts, 163 ERA+, 5.5 WAR
Third place- Art Nehf, PHO: 21-9, 2.41 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 273 IP, 111 K, 43 BB, 8 CG, 2 shutouts, 169 ERA+, 5.2 WAR
Fourth place- Heinie Berger, NO: 18-11, 2.63 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 277 IP, 184 K, 81 BB, 10 CG, 6 shutouts, 157 ERA+, 7.1 WAR
Fifth place- Jerry Reuss, ANA: 17-11, 2.40 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 255 IP, 120 K, 55 BB, 8 CG, 2 shutouts, 170 ERA+, 6.0 WAR
Fifth place (tie)- Larry Cheney, CHA: 15-10, 2.77 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 244 IP, 203 K, 76 BB, 3 CG, 151 ERA+, 6.7 WAR

Continental League Rookie of the Year- Kevin Kiermaier, CF, MIA (22): .273/ .339/ .433, 163 hits, 23 doubles, 9 triples, 18 HR, 76 RBI, 81 runs, 56 BB, 15 SB, +19.7 Zone Rating, 118 OPS+, 6.4 WAR
Second place- Chris Shelton, 1B, VB (20): .309/ .375/ .460, 168 hits, 26 doubles, 1 triple, 18 HR, 98 RBI, 79 runs, 57 BB, 133 OPS+, 4.2 WAR
Third place- Julio Franco, SS, SD (1): .298/ .330/ .420, 189 hits, 29 doubles, 3 triples, 14 HR, 58 RBI, 89 runs, 31 BB, 54 SB, 111 OPS+, 3.7 WAR

Top draft picks: 1. Ham Iburg, RHP, San Diego Zookeepers
2. Butch Wensloff, RHP, Las Vegas Aces
3. Frank Smith, RHP, Oklahoma City Otters
4. Johnny Mize, 1B, Montreal Knights
5. Dennis Eckersley, RHP, New York Emperors
6. Mike Greenwell, LF, Dallas Wildcatters
7. Don Mattingly, 1B, Cleveland Rocks
8. Edgardo Alfonzo, 3B, Baltimore Robins
9. Cleon Jones, LF, San Francisco Longshoremen
10. Jeff Tesreau, RHP, Hartford Huskies
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