October 2009

Moreland Thriving in the AFL

Former LumberKing Mitch Moreland (’08) is off to a solid start in the Arizona Fall League
moreland.JPGfollowing a broken foot suffered in August. Through seven games with the Surprise Rafters, Moreland is hitting .308 (9-for-26) with a pair of home runs and five RBI.  The success comes on the heels of his 2009 season, in which Moreland hit .331 with 16 homers and 85 RBI between high-A Bakersfield and double-A Frisco.

Fans around Clinton won’t soon forget his 2008 season in which the Midwest League All-Star hit .324 with 18 home runs and 99 RBI in 123 games with the Kings.

View Mitch Moreland’s player page here:  http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?pos=RF&sid=l119&t=p_pbp&pid=519048

As far as I can see, there’s no other former LumberKings playing in the Arizona Fall League aside from Moreland.  If I’ve overlooked anyone, feel free to comment.


Former Kings in the MLB Playoffs (Update)

09ws.JPGMike Scioscia’s
(’77) Angels fell last night, pretty much eliminating the possibility of a former LumberKing playing in this year’s World Series.  Gary Matthews, Jr. (’95) went 0-for-4 with a run scored over three games of the ALCS with the Yankees.

It still seems unlikely that John Mayberry, Jr. (’06) will be added to the Phillies World Series roster, but he’s still got a shot at the ring.  There are no former LumberKings on the Yankees’ 40-man roster.

The 2009 World Series starts on Wednesday in the Bronx.


Construction Update (10/22)

As of yesterday, the new concession stand in the Coors Light Picnic Pavilion now has a floor:


100_1331.JPGMore updates to come.


Construction Update / New Merchandise

Work continues on the new Coors Light Picnic Pavilion concession stand.  Today, the first bricks were laid by the construction crew.


100_1271.JPGOther than just photographing construction work, I’ve been also assisting in the expansion of the LumberKings Online Store.  We’ve got brand new cold-weather apparel now on there, with more to come the following week.  Also, look out for discounts on 2009 Midwest League All-Star Game jerseys and other items.



AEF Getting Offseason Upgrades

If you’re driving by Alliant Energy Field this month and wondering what the big hole in the ground is behind the Coors Light Picnic Pavilion, it’s a new concession stand being constructed with help from Ed’s Concrete & Masonry and Modern Plumbing.

The stand will make the pavilion a little more friendly for groups, but will also be open to the general fans when a group has not booked the pavilion.  Construction pictures are below:


09renovation4.jpgMore photos to come as it progresses.


Former Kings in the MLB Playoffs (Update)

An update on former LumberKings in the MLB Playoffs:

Jason Bay (’01) was a disappointing 1-for-8 with three walks and three strikeouts for the Red Sox as they were swept by Mike Scioscia’s (’77) Angels.  Gary Matthews (’95) went 0-for-1 in the series.

If the Phillies get by Jim Tracy’s Colorado Rockies and on to an NLCS matchup with the Dodgers, it still looks like it will be without John Mayberry, Jr. (’06).  Matt Stairs and Ben Francisco probably have the reserve outfield spots on lockdown barring injury despite going a combined 0-for-2. 

That’s it and that’s all for now.


Former Kings in the MLB Playoffs

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for 09 postseason.JPGWhen the 2009 MLB Playoffs officially kick off this evening, the Midwest League will be well-represented.  Rather than dig up every Postseason participant that ever spent a day in the league, I’ll focus on former LumberKings (or Clinton players in general) that will vie for the World Series trophy this year:

Phillies:  None Active (John Mayberry, Jr. (’06) left off playoff roster)

Red Sox:  Jason Bay (’01)

Angels:  Manager Mike Scioscia (Clinton catcher in ’77), Gary Matthews, Jr. (’95)

That appears to be it.  I won’t do a full playoff prediction for the big leagues like I did the Midwest League, but my support will be behind the Colorado Rockies.  Manager Jim Tracy never played for a Clinton squad, but his son Chad Tracy was a LumberKing in ’07. 


Relive the 2009 MWL All-Star Game on DVD

Own a piece of Clinton Baseball and Midwest League history for just $15


Clinton, IA – The sights and sounds of the 2009 Midwest League All-Star Game in Clinton have been captured and preserved in a limited edition DVD, officially out today.  Fans can relive the memories of the Skills Contest, Home Run Derby and of course the 6-3 East Division victory over the West Division All-Stars for just $15 a copy.


The DVD features highlights of both days of the 2009 All-Star Game, the fourth hosted by the Clinton franchise and the 45th in Midwest League history.  Highlights include:


  • Great Lakes’ Dee Gordon showing off his cannon arm and precision bunting skills to win the first-ever MWL Skills Contest.
  • Peoria’s Rebel Ridling out-slugging Wisconsin’s Brett Lawrie for the 2009 MWL Home Run Derby crown.
  • Fort Wayne’s Sawyer Carroll leading the East to a 6-3 victory with a 4-for-4 game, earning the “Star of Stars” award.
  • Home runs by West Michigan’s Ronnie Bourquin and Kane County’s Steve Kleen and other in-game action. 

Click Here to purchase the 2009 MWL All-Star Game DVD at the LumberKings’ Online Team Store. 


Game 149 in Cincinnati

Today is my final game at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, my 149th and most likely last game (139 Minor League games, four Spring Training games, six Major League games) this season.

For any fan of Midwest League baseball, Great American Ball Park is a must-see, especially given the current Reds roster. MWL alumni like Jay Bruce, Joey Votto, Paul JanishDrew Stubbs, Juan Francisco, Johnny Cueto, Edinson Volquez, Nick Masset and others are all here, all part of the exciting youth movement with the Reds.

As for the park itself (as you’ll see in the pictures below), it’s a great place to take in a game.  I came here in 2003 and a lot has been upgraded even since then.  From the all-inclusive FS Ohio Champions Club where I spent my first game to the outstanding facilities in the GABP Press Box, this place certainly knows what the fans and media are looking for in a ballpark.

Photos from my trip to Great American Ball Park and the Reds Hall of Fame:  













Most of the photos are self-explanatory.  The final photo is with veteran broadcasters Thom Brennaman and Jeff Brantley, both who were kind enough to share some time with me and talk shop.  I also got the chance to meet the legendary Marty Brennaman, who also had some encouraging words.  I can’t say enough about how friendly and accomodating everyone with the Reds was during my trip.

Thanks as well to my friend Jim Misudek and the Reds Media Relations Department.  Jim helped me arrange the entire trip, including my media credentials and my interview with Nick Masset.