February 2010

The LumberBlog from the Cactus League

Thumbnail image for CactusLeague.jpgCactus League play for the Seattle Mariners officially begins next Wednesday, March 3 as they take on the San Francisco Giants at the Peoria Sports Complex.  I will be there shooting photos as Don Wakamatsu’s club takes the field for the first time this Spring.

My trip won’t stop there.  I’ll also be heading to Scottsdale Stadium (Giants), Camelback Ranch in Glendale (White Sox), Goodyear Ballpark (Indians) and Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix (Brewers).  Here’s my day-by-day:

March 3 – San Francisco Giants @ Seattle Mariners (1:05 PM, Peoria)

March 4 – Milwaukee Brewers @ San Francisco Giants (1:05 PM, Scottsdale)

March 5 – San Diego Padres @ Seattle Mariners (1:05 PM, Peoria)

March 6 – Los Angeles Dodgers @ Chicago White Sox (1:05 PM, Glendale)

March 7 – Texas Rangers @ Cleveland Indians (1:05 PM, Goodyear)

March 8 – Seattle Mariners Split Squad @ Milwaukee Brewers (1:05 PM, Maryvale) 

I’ll also be sneaking in some NHL action at the Jobing.com arena on March 4.  I finally get to see my favorite hockey team in action, the Colorado Avalanche, as they take on the Phoenix Coyotes.  Maybe I’ll take some pictures of that as well.

I will attempt to post some updates from AZ, but if not, expect a bunch of stuff when I get back on March 10.


Lemon Invited, Poveda Sidelined

Lemon.jpgTwo emails crossed my desk today regarding former LumberKings currently in big-league camp with the Texas Rangers.  It’s a bit of good news and bad news for some key members of the class of ’07.

First, the good news.  Marcus Lemon (’07) has been added to the list of non-roster invitees to Rangers camp.  The 21-year-old Lemon (that’s right, he was 18 when he was here) hit .262 with 19 doubles, 5 triples and a home run for double-A Frisco last year, playing primarily at second base.  Originally drafted as a shortstop, he went on to play center field in the Arizona Fall League, hitting an impressive .343 with 4 HR and 13 RBI with the Surprise Rafters.  Lemon did spend four games with the Rangers during Spring Training last season.

Now, for the bad.  Our friends over at the Newberg Report have announced that right-hander Omar Poveda (’06-’07) will undergo Tommy John surgery, effectively ending his 2010 campaign before it starts.  The Turmero, Venezuela native enjoyed a great 2009 in Frisco’s rotation, going 11-5 with a 4.14 ERA in 22 starts.  Poveda is on the 40-man roster and would have been competing for a 25-man roster spot this Spring.  At the very least, the 22-year-old was expected to pitch with triple-A Oklahoma City this season.

Poveda is the second former LumberKing to undergo season-ending surgery prior to camp, joining Houston Astros’ infielder Jose Vallejo (’06-’07).

Texas’s first Cactus League game is on Thursday, March 4 against the Kansas City Royals in Surprise.


Former Kings to Watch this Spring

With pitchers and catchers arriving today at both Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers camps, I thought it would be good timing to take a look at some former LumberKings looking to make impacts in Major League camps this Spring.

The Future is Now for Feliz

We’ll start with a man who’s already logged Major League service time, but is looking to
feliz.JPGemerge as the top-flight starting pitcher so many in baseball have billed him to be.  He of course is fireballing right-hander Neftali Feliz (’08), who is coming off an outstanding 20-game relief stint with the Rangers in 2009.  After becoming the first Ranger in history to strike out the first four men he faced, Feliz kept his fastball in the high 90’s and kept Major League hitters baffled to the tune of a .124 opponent batting average.  Over his 20 games, the 21-year-old went 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA (just 6 ER in 31.0 innings) and struck out 39 while walking only eight.  This performance was enough to earn Feliz the Top Prospect ranking in the entire Rangers’ organization and the #7 prospect in all of professional baseball.

There’s no question that Feliz will be on the Opening Day roster.  The question is, will his stuff be good enough this Spring to earn him a rotation spot alongside former King Derek Holland (’08)Baseball America projects him to be Texas’ #1 starter by 2013, but he’ll still need to prove himself over more than three innings to emerge amongst a host of qualified rotation candidates.  Even if he remains in the bullpen, look for Feliz to rise further towards “household name” status this season.

Smoak Rising

smoak.JPGAfter Feliz, first-baseman Justin Smoak (’08) is the next-most-hyped prospect in Surprise.  Smoak IS Texas’s first-baseman of the future, but how ready is he to be that guy right now?  The former first-round pick is coming off a huge offseason that saw him win the MVP award at the 2009 IBAF Baseball World Cup while guiding Team USA to gold.  He’s also hit .292 with 15 HR and 63 RBI in just 120 games as a pro so far.

The question for Smoak is if he’s ready to unseat incumbent Chris Davis at first.  His glove, by all accounts, is ready.  His ability to hit for power from both sides of the plate will give him an eventual advantage over Davis, who himself has something to prove following a .238, 150-strikeouts-in-391 at-bats season.  Still, Smoak struggled in a transition from double-A Frisco to triple-A Oklahoma City last year, hitting just .244 over 54 games with the RedHawks after shredding the Texas League with a .328 average.  Much like Feliz, Smoak is a highly-regarded prospect (#2 with the Rangers, #9 overall) who WILL be a Major Leaguer at some point this season.  Only question is, how early will his call-up be?

Moreland on the Radar

In the shadow of Smoak’s hype, Mitch Moreland (’08) has been able to go about his business very
moreland.JPGquietly the past two seasons.  A 17th-round pick by the Rangers back in 2007, Moreland started out as a first baseman with the LumberKings in 2008 prior to the arrival of Smoak.  With the future of first basically locked up, the former Mississippi State Bulldog has carved a new path as an outfielder with average range and a fantastic bat.

Moreland captured the Tom Grieve Minor League MVP Award for the Rangers this Winter following a 2009 campaign in which he hit .331 with 16 HR and 85 RBI between high-A Bakersfield and Frisco.  He’s certain to get a look at big league camp this season, but how long he stays there will rest part on his hitting and part on the performances of Brandon Boggs (’05), Craig Gentry (’07) and the recently-signed Endy Chavez.  Former LumberKing Chad Tracy (’07) could also give him a run for his money.  Moreland will most likely spend the bulk of 2010 with triple-A Oklahoma City and could possibly be a late-season call-up.

A Call to ’07 Arms

poveda.JPGFour members of the 2007 LumberKings’ rotation are invites to big-league camp for the Rangers this season.  Left-handers Michael Kirkman (’06-’08), Kasey Kiker (’07) and Zach Phillips (’06-’07) and right-hander Omar Poveda (’06-’07) will all try and show why they belong.  Of the four, only Poveda has spent significant time in Rangers camp before.  Kiker is the highest ranking prospect of the bunch, coming in at #6 on BA‘s list for 2010. 

Who has a legitimate shot to make a Major League debut this season?  I’d put my money on Poveda, who has shown flashes of dominance in Clinton (11-4, 2.79 in ’07) and Frisco (11-5, 4.14 in ’09), but has yet to log more than one start in triple-A.  A good Spring and a solid few months in OKC and Poveda should be a Ranger late in the season.  Kiker went 7-7 with a 3.86 ERA and yielded an opponent average of .231 while with Frisco last year, his best season since his 7-4, 2.90, 112 strikeout season with the Kings in 2007.  He has a chance to crack the Texas bullpen.

Kirkman and Phillips both have tremendous upsides, but both need to show some consistency.  “Captain Kirk” finally found his stuff after four tumultuous seasons, going 5-7 with a 4.19 ERA in 18 starts with Frisco last year.  Phillips got acclimated to life as a reliever last season, going 2-3 with a 1.39 ERA, four saves and an eye-popping .163 opponent average between Bakersfield and Frisco.  However, 2010 will be only his second season in the pen following an ’08 campain in which he went 8-9, 5.54 in 28 Cal League starts.  Both are probably at least a season away.

Of course, there’s always the chance that a darkhorse emerges in camp this year.  Look out for guys like Engel Beltre (’08) , Blake Beavan (’08) and Marcus Lemon (’07).  You could even see the resurgence of John Whittleman (’06-’07) this season.  That’s the great part about this time of year, you just don’t know until it starts.

The first games of Spring Training in Arizona start on March 3.  I’ll be in Peoria, AZ watching the Mariners take on the San Francisco Giants.  Blog updates to follow!


A Setback for Vallejo

vallejo.JPGFormer LumberKings’ second-baseman Jose Vallejo (’06-’07) saw his hopes of making a big-league debut with the Houston Astros suffer a major setback recently when it was announced that he will likely miss the entire 2010 season.  Vallejo underwent surgery last week to repair severed tendons in his right hand following a freak injury while preparing dinner at his home in the Dominican Republic.

The 23-year-old Vallejo was traded to the Astros in the deal that sent Pudge Rodriguez back to the Texas Rangers last year.  He hit .350 in seven games with Houston’s triple-A affiliate in Round Rock and was expected to compete for a Major League roster spot this Spring.

Vallejo hit .234 with 24 steals for the LumberKings in 2006, then followed with an All-Star season in 2007.  He hit .269 with 17 doubles, 68 runs scored and 47 steals in 50 attempts in his final campaign with Clinton.

The speedy second-baseman earned the Rangers’ Minor League Defensive Player of the Year award in 2008, splitting time between Bakersfield (.287, 9 HR, 50 RBI, 27 steals) and Frisco (.297, 15 doubles, 31 RBI, 15 steals).  Last year, he hit .289 at Frisco and .233 at triple-A Oklahoma City before the trade.

On a side note, this news has altered a LumberBlog feature that I hope to have out sometime this week.  I’m going to highlight a few former LumberKings that have a chance to break camp with Major League teams for the first time this Spring.


New Year, New Look

LumberBlog3.jpgThe LumberBlog has a new logo for the 2010 season thanks to graphic artist Bowen Hobbs, the creator of both the original LumberBlog logo and the 2009 Midwest League All-Star Game logo.

What prompted the change?  Well, the entirety of LumberKings.com is getting a facelift later this month and it was time to tweak the blog logo for image-sizing reasons.  The new site looks awesome and will be paying tribute to some of the recent Clinton stars to have reached the big leagues.

By the way, Bowen is also in the blogosphere with “44th and Goal”, a blog about graphic design in professional sports.  Check it out if you love talking about logos, uniforms, color schemes and the like.


Former King Gets a Ring

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A Super Bowl ring, that is.

Former LumberKings’ Director of Operations Thomas Han was in Miami for Super Bowl 44 and is a part of the winning front office.  The man we call “T-Han” is a Customer Service Representative for the Saints’ ticket sales department.

Congrats to Thomas, the Saints and the city of New Orleans on the big win last night.


One Year of the LumberBlog

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That’s right, today marks the one-year anniversary of the LumberBlog.  What started as an idea to increase web content about the Clinton LumberKings has now grown into…well…the 54th-most-viewed blog on the MLBlogs’ “Pro Blogs” list.

Ranking 54th doesn’t seem like much, but in actuality it’s a huge honor for me.  I never thought that simply bringing player interviews, highlights, game notes and stories to a blog setting would attract so many viewers.  It’s great to know that a low-A franchise in a small town can garner so much interest.  It’s true testament to LumberKings fans and certainly Seattle Mariners fans across the country.  Hopefully it continues into 2010 and beyond.

Here’s a look at the LumberBlog’s rankings in 2009: 

March:  No Ranking

April:  No Ranking

May:  48th

June:  46th

July:  N/A (only ranked top 40 this month)

August:  40th

2009 Regular Season:  49th

2009 Full Year:  54th

Not too shabby for year one.  Below are some of my favorite postings that I’ve done this year:

Again, thanks for reading all year, and I hope to bring you some more great stuff this upcoming season!


Predicting the 2010 Roster (Part 2)

The second and final installment of my look at the potential 2010 roster finally makes its way to the LumberBlog today.  I had originally planned on getting it out before the Hot Stove, but last week was a busy one.

In a way, it’s nice to save this second part till now.  I had the opportunity to talk with manager John Tamargo about the team during our car trips to and from the Quad City Airport in Moline, IL.  It was good to pick his brain on some of the talent he had in Everett last year.

With that being said, I want to preface my following predictions.  At this time, we do not know the 25-man LumberKings’ roster for next year.  The Seattle Mariners will not finalize that until camp breaks in early April, and at that time we will know for sure.  It is common for changes to be made even after that point.  Many people didn’t know that Scott Savastano, the man who turned into the offensive MVP of the team last year, was a last-second add to the roster.  Two years ago, Mitch Moreland was scratched from our Opening Day roster because of a minor injury.  You just never know until the bus shows up.

A First-Rounder Not Named Ackley

In my post last week regarding the Top 10 Seattle Prospects as selected by Baseball
I mentioned a young man by the name of Nick Franklin (pictured right).  While Dustin Ackley has attracted most of the spotlight, Franklin is also a rising star.  The 18-year-old shortstop was Jack Zduriencik’s second first-round pick (taken 27th overall) out of Lake Brantley (FL) High and had a nice showing in six games with Tamargo’s AquaSox (.400, 3 XBH, 2 RBI in 20 at-bats).  Seattle scouting director Tom McNamara liked his confidence and fielding ability in a brief workout with the big-league club last August.  I don’t think you’ll see Ackley in Clinton next year, but Franklin could very well add some first-round flavor to the roster.

Franklin might not be the only talented shortstop to head here.  South African-born Anthony
made 67 starts at short for Everett last season and put up some respectable power numbers at the plate.  The 19-year-old hit .247 with 8 doubles, 7 HR and 28 RBI over 68 games in the Northwest League last season.  Venezuelan shortstop Gabriel Noriega could also make the club, following an impressive second season at Pulaski.  Noriega hit .311 with 14 doubles, 4 HR and 26 RBI in 61 games last year. 

Avila Following the Gac Path?

Thumbnail image for avila.JPGStaying on the Everett infield, a lot of folks have asked me if Gerardo Avila (pictured left) might head to Clinton.  As Midwest League diehards already know, Avila is a three-season veteran with the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (’06-’08), but never hit above .260 and had just one career homer in the league in 63 games.  Then, following the Ian Gac pattern, Avila went to High Desert in 2008 and found his way back to the Northwest League in 2009.  There, he finally went off for a league-high 13 HR while also finishing first in slugging (.582), second in RBI (54) and third in hitting overall (.333).  As Gac-like as this story is going, he could very well be in Clinton.  However, he could also go back to the Cal League, where he hit .303 in nine games two seasons ago as a Maverick.

If Avila heads back to High Desert, Jharmidy DeJesus could be the man to fill first base.  DeJesus was amongst my predictions for last year’s club and was the #8 prospect in the Mariners’ system prior to last year.  Hailing from Jose Vallejo’s hometown of Bani, Dominican Republic, DeJesus hit .249 with 7 doubles, 4 HR and 24 RBI in 48 games with Pulaski last year.  He made 30 starts at first base in a platoon situation with 11th round pick Tim Morris (.214, 4 HR, 24 RBI in 50 games).   

Rounding Out the Infield

Second-baseman Hawkins Gebbers, Seattle’s 33rd round selection hit .301 with 13 doubles, 2 HR and 21 RBI in 54 games with Everett last year.  Cesar Fuentes (.261, 4 HR, 20 RBI) and Fred Bello (.250, 5 triples, 2 HR, 12 RBI) each split time at second base in Pulaski.  Third-baseman and 10th-round pick Vincent Catricala led Pulaski with 40 RBI, hitting .301 with 14 doubles and 8 HR in 59 games.  Blake Trinkler played the utility role for Everett, hitting .229 with 18 RBI in 41 games.

The Backstops 

Headlining the group of potential Clinton catchers is certainly Steven Baron, Seattle’s supplemental first-round pick (#33 overall) out of Ferguson (FL) High School.  Baron struggled in his first pro assignment with Pulaski, hitting .179 with 2 HR and 13 RBI in 30 games.  However, his numbers slightly improved towards the end of the season.  Baron raised his average 39 points over his final seven games.  Taking into consideration that ’09 LumberKing Nate Tenbrink hit just .198 with Everett in 2008 prior to batting .282 with 10 HR and 59 RBI last year, it’s possible that Baron comes to Clinton and improves at the plate.  However, Tenbrink was older and more experienced than Baron will be heading into 2010.  Tenbrink also didn’t have the added responsibilities of working with a pitching staff like Baron has.

If no Baron, 2009 draft picks Trevor Coleman (9th round) and Brandon Bantz (30th round) could catch for the Kings.  Coleman struggled, hitting .184 in 32 games with Everett, while Bantz produced a solid .290, 3 HR, 15 RBI stint with the AquaSox.  Given the fact that Juan Fuentes, Tommy Johnson and Henry Contreras all saw limited time behind the plate in Clinton last year and could be back, it’s quite possible that none of these three arrive in ’10.

A Wealth of Potential in the Outfield

When looking at the outfield of both Pulaski and Everett, it’s hard not to get excited about the
Rivero.jpggroup that could be coming in.  The AquaSox had both James Jones (4th round) and Matt Cerione (13th round) in their outfield last year, in addition to Jose Rivero (pictured right).  Jones hit .311 over 45 games, mashing 3 HR and 24 RBI in that span.  Cerione flashed a little more power with 7 HR, hitting .266 with 14 RBI over 43 games.  Rivero finished third on the club in RBI behind Avila and Mario Martinez with 32, going along with his .251 average and 4 HR.

Brandon Haveman (29th round) was Pulaski’s standout outfielder thanks to a .339, 5 HR, 18 RBI campaign.  Jarrett Burgess (.187, 5 HR, 22 RBI), Mark McGonigle (.283, 2 HR, 14 RBI) and Greg Waddell (.195, 2 HR, 6 RBI) all saw time in the Mariners’ outfield as well.  Burgess is still trying to find his way after a 6th round selection in the 2008 June draft.

Much like the catching corps, it’s tough to say which of these players will be LumberKings this year.  It’s more likely that we see the return of Ryan Royster, Welington Dotel, Dwight Britton and others at least at the beginning of the season.

The Rotation:  A Tough Act to Follow

It’s no question that pitching was the key to success for the LumberKings last year, specifically starting pitching.  At times last year, at least three Kings’ hurlers ranked amongst the league’s Top 10 in ERA.  Kenn Kasparek finished the season as the ERA leader, Clinton’s first since Salomon Torres in 1991.  Quite simply, it’s going to be hard to top last year.

Stanton.JPGHere’s some of the new names that might try.  Right-hander Taylor Stanton (pictured left), Seattle’s 26th round pick in 2008, had a breakout year of sorts with Everett.  In 15 starts, he went 5-3 with a 3.50 ERA.  Most notably, he led the rotation in innings (87.1), WHIP (1.23) and wins (5).  Outside of Stanton, only two other pitchers made at least 14 starts for the AquaSox…Chris Kirkland (a LumberKing briefly last year) and right-hander Luke Burnett.  Like Stanton, Burnett was an ’08 draft pick (14th round) that finally saw action last year.  He went 2-4, 4.66 in 14 starts.

Righty Taylor Lewis (3-1, 7.82 in 5 starts) and left-hander Nick Czyz (2-2, 3.34 in 5 starts) were also brief members of the Everett rotation.  Lewis also logged one start for Pulaski.

Transitioning back to the Appalachian League, the Pulaski club featured four pitchers with eight-or-more starts.  Thirty-sixth round right-hander John Housey (3-2, 2.62) was the most successful of that bunch, posting a 1.10 WHIP and a .194 opponent batting average.  Righty Brandon Maurer (3-4, 3.61 in 12 starts, 1 CG) and Jean Tome (3-4, 5.18 in 10 starts) put up very similar numbers. Eighth-round lefty James Gillheeney is the top draft pick of the group (8th round), but he went 0-3, 4.84 over six games, four starts.

This is a resounding theme, but with Kirkland, Anthony Vasquez, Maikel Cleto, Andres Esquibel and Jon Hesketh all possible returnees, its not for certain who might join the rotation this year.  One thing is for sure, they have their work cut out for them to match last year’s league-leading 3.35 team ERA.

Can the Pen Get Any Mightier? 

Much like the conversation on the starting rotation, it’s fairly clear that next year’s bullpen will have big shoes to fill.  Last year’s staff featured All-Stars Ruben Flores and Cheyne Hann,staehely.JPG plus solid set-up in guys like Brandon JosselynJose Jimenez, Brian Moran and Matt Renfree.

Next year’s pen might very well consist of some of the pitchers mentioned in the above section, but here’s a few more to consider.  Right-hander Christian Staehely (pictured right) went 4-2 with a pen-best 3.16 ERA in Everett, striking out 40 while walking only nine over 31.1 innings.  Pulaski right-handers Jorden Merry (40th round in ’09) and Chris Sorce (26th round in ’09) were the most serviceable relievers in an otherwise lackluster pen.  Merry led the club in saves, converting 5-of-6 in addition to his 2-1, 3.06 statline.  Sorce was 2-1, 3.45 with a save in two chances over seven outings.

Some AZL Standouts

At about this point, I’m sure you’re thinking “what about the guys in Peoria?”.  Well, many of the players listed above (Franklin, Rivero, Housey, etc.) did spend some time in the Arizona League last year.  I’ll list a few more below who could see Clinton this year.

First-baseman Rich Poythress, last year’s second-round pick and a Golden Spikes finalist while at Georgia made his pro debut in AZ and hit .300 with a HR and 6 RBI over six games.  It’s very possible Poythress’s college experience (.376, 25 HR, 86 RBI as a junior) will help him move directly to High Desert like fellow second-rounder Dennis Raben did a year ago. First-baseman Evan Sharpley, Seattle’s final draft choice in 2009 (50th round) had a nice showing over 37 games, hitting .333 with 12 doubles, 7 HR and 29 RBI.  Second-baseman Kevin Mailloux (45th round) hit .311 with 14 doubles, 5 HR and 37 RBI before a brief call-up to Everett.

On the mound, Peoria’s most impressive man was their closer.  Right-hander Jeff Breedlove went 2-1 with a 1.52 ERA and converted 10-of-12 saves.  Opponents hit just .205 against him over his 20 appearances.  In the rotation, Miguel Celestino (5-3, 4.73) and Chris Kessinger (5-3, 2.45) were the only pitchers with at least seven starts.  Kessinger was a 37th-rounder last season.       

And there you have it, my preview is complete.  Again, this is all speculation and we won’t know until early April who has actually made the 25-man roster.  Once that announcement is out, you’ll see it here and on LumberKings.com before anywhere else.  Finally, as I said at the finale of Part One, if there’s anyone I’ve overlooked, any mistakes you’ve caught or any differing opinions you might have, feel free to add your thoughts/comments.


2010 Hot Stove Banquet a Success


Back Row:  Paul Schnack (Team President), Mitch Butz (Director of Operations), Nate Kreinbrink (Assistant GM), Tyler Hildreth (Clubhouse Manager), Ted Tornow (General Manager).  Front Row:  John Tamargo (LumberKings’ Field Manager), Dave Lezotte (Director of Broadcast/Media), Brad Seward (P.A. Announcer) and Ryan Marcum (Team Accountant)

Over 170 people attended the Friends of Riverview Stadium’s annual Hot Stove Banquet this past Saturday night at Eagle Point Lodge in Clinton.  This year’s program was highlighted by keynote speaker John Tamargo, a former Major League catcher and the new manager of the Clinton LumberKings.

Other speakers included General Manager Ted Tornow, Team President Paul Schnack, Assistant GM Nate Kreinbrink, Friends of Riverview Vice President Judy Dennis and Clinton Mayor Rodger Holm.

Tamargo spoke on his 30-plus years of professional baseball experience, including his five-year stint as a bullpen and bench coach with the Houston Astros.  After telling stories of the Killer B’s in Houston and a young Jose Canseco with the Miami Marlins in 1982, he went on to speak about his managing philosophy and brought up some of the names of potential returnees, including Mario Martinez and Ryan Royster.

The LumberKings also held a raffle and silent auction during the banquet, with all proceeds benefitting Friends of Riverview Stadium.  An autographed Ryne Sandberg bat headlined the auction, fetching a winning bid of $400.  Also included in the auction was Terry Serrano’s game-worn autographed Cancer Awareness Day jersey, autographed team balls from the East and West Division All-Stars and a signed photo from Midwest League ERA champion Kenn Kasparek.

Some photos from the event:

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Tamargo speaks to LumberKings Nation for the first time 

ted hot stove.JPGGeneral Manager Ted Tornow

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Clinton Baseball Club Executive Board President Paul Schnack

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Myself, the Emcee

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Assistant GM Nate Kreinbrink

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Friends of Riverview Stadium Vice President Judy Dennis

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Clinton Mayor Rodger Holm

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Director of Operations Mitch Butz and his favorite signed photo of Cheyne Hann.

Thanks once again to all who helped with this year’s Hot Stove Banquet, including the City of Clinton Parks Department, G. Baker Distributing/PepsiCola, Hy-Vee Catering, OfficeMax of Clinton, the Clinton County Community Development Association, Vision Iowa, the Wild Rose Casino and Resort and Wolfe Beverage Company/Miller Brewing Company.