|09-07-2008, 08:17 PM||#1|
Join Date: Apr 2001
14 years of champions.
Which one is the best?
I decided to take a look at the history of each of the Champions of FOOL to see which was...well, better? Well, to chronicle the teams, to talk about their history a bit and how they managed to get where they did.
1961 BALTIMORE GOTHAMS (97-57)
After beating Hartford in seven games in the CL Champions Series, they took heavily favored St. Louis to the brink and won the first-ever FOOL Classic in seven games.
The team was led by Manuel Cota, the DH who hit 45 HRs and 134 RBI that year on .307 batting. Clearly a different era in FOOL, as that team had five guys who had 100+ RBI including names you'll recognize like Tyler Reilly (.347/35 HR/ 111 RBI) and Christian Larsen (.305/34 HR/ 120 RBI)
The ace of their pitching staff was Tom Williams who went 22-5, with 261 strikeouts.
It seems the team was just a formidible RBI making machine, which made them feared by the whole league, though it's hard to how they'd match up against today's teams.
1962 BALTIMORE GOTHAMS (92-62)
The first dynasty in FOOL, the Gothams beat Charleston in the CLCS in six games, then swept the Terriers to claim their second straight title.
Their offense was just as crazy, boasting six players who had 100 RBI or more. Some of the stars on that team were 3B Cristo Farias (.285/39 HR/ 100 RBI)
The pitching staff that year was led by two 16-game winners in Gordon Burkey and Justin Sutton.
The '61 team was obviously a lot stronger, yet their prize was the same.
1963 ST. LOUIS TERRIERS (106-48)
The Terriers squeezed their way out of a seven-game series with the Colorado Rancheros to capture their third straight RL pennant.
The Terriers were poised to play the Charleston Chew (107-47), the dominators of the CL that year, but they were beaten by the upstart Worcester Browns (84-70) in the CLCS in seven games.
The Browns were massively overmatched by the mighty Terriers, though.
St. Louis was not an offensive juggernaut. Their strength was pitching up and down. The rotation was led by names that you've heard of as legends in this league. 17-game winners Rob Roberts and Joe Morris, coupled with a 16-game winner in Gabriel Prado and 15-game winner Benny Myers.
The Terriers won their first title in a sweep over the Browns, becoming the infamously first and only FOOL team to win a Classic over an AI opponent.
1964 ST. LOUIS TERRIERS (106-48)
Making their fourth straight appearance in the Classic, the Terriers no longer had to contend with playoffs, but were welcomed to a league with 16 human owners.
The Terriers faced off against the Charleston Chew, the dominant team in the CL that year and beat them in seven games, the first FOOL Classic that was a best-of-nine game tilt.
Again, it was all about pitching. Benny Myers went 20-4 with a 1.93 ERA that year, Gabriel Prado went 17-5 was a 2.33 ERA. Pete McKeane was still a closer back then and went 4-0 with 40 saves and an ERA of 0.75.
That would be the last title of the Terriers reign, but knocking off arguably the best team and GM never to win a title was probably the proudest moment of the franchise's history.
1965 NEW YORK HIGHLANDERS (95-59)
Hideaki Tanaka and the New York Highlanders had all of the potential in the world. Most of us in early FOOL expected them to be dominant from the start, but it took them five years to hit their stride and winning their first FOOL Classic in eight games over the St. Louis Terriers.
Tanaka hit .325 with 31 HRs and 112 RBI that year and future Hall of Famer Fernando Spindola hit .267 with 26 HR sand 99 RBI.
Their pitching staff was anchored by Vicente Reyes who went 20-4 and Anastasio Gomez who went 16-8 with a 4.25 ERA. They were well balanced and ultimately, had more offensive firepower than the fledging Terriers who would be relegated to history as the first five-time league champion and now, a defunct legacy.
Stay tuned for more...
Last edited by Young Drachma : 09-07-2008 at 08:33 PM.
|09-07-2008, 08:38 PM||#2|
Hall Of Famer
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Where Hip Hop lives
Ooh, awesome. Definitely want to see how this plays out.
I think the 1972 Valdosta team (I think...the one that one, like 112 games) was the best.
On this subject I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation. No! no! Tell a man whose house is on fire, to give a moderate alarm; tell him to moderately rescue his wife from the hands of the ravisher; tell the mother to gradually extricate her babe from the fire into which it has fallen; but urge me not to use moderation in a cause like the present. I am in earnest--I will not equivocate--I will not excuse--I will not retreat a single inch-- AND I WILL BE HEARD!!!
|09-07-2008, 08:46 PM||#3|
Join Date: Apr 2001
1966 COLORADO RANCHEROS (93-61)
The Rancheros captured their elusive first title, foiling the New York Highlanders attempt to go back to back.
Colorado was led by Pablo Gonzalez, a 20-game winner and Alden Hendricks who went 18-9 that year, with Doug Proctor pitching in with 17 wins.
Offensively, the Rancheros sported four guys with 20+ HRs that year include Santiago Gonzalez (.280/22 HR/84 RBI) and playoff veteran Christian Larsen who hit .335 with 20 HRs and 71 RBI that year.
1967 ANN ARBOR WOLVERINES (98-56)
This team came out of nowhere to win the 1967 Classic over Valdosta. Led by Juan Rodriguez (33 HR/114 RBI) and Adam Stanley (25 HR/102 RBI)
Their pitching staff was led by 21-game winner Alberto Vargo and former St. Louis star Pancho Duran who went 17-7 that year.
One of the most balanced teams in history, they had to play a schedule that included CL teams as all teams did that year and emerged victorious from that schedule and the Classic.
1968 RIO GRANDE ROADRUNNERS (98-56)
If you thought offense was dead, Hideaki Tanaka proved it wasn't. After what has to be the best season in FOOL History by an offensive player -- 39 HR, 144 RBI and .357 average (118.1 VORP for those at home...) the Roadrunners looked like the smartest kids in the room after signing the former New York star as a free agent.
Tyler Reilly pitched in with 35 HRs and 126 RBI and Andres Aguilera hit .297 with 32 HRs and 106 RBI for the 'runners in their title year.
The rotation was led by Jose Medina and his 17-8 record and closer Raul Pagan saving 43 games that year.
|09-09-2008, 08:10 PM||#4|
Join Date: Apr 2001
1969 BROOKLYN BROWNSTONES (97-57)
Nathan Adams and tour-de-force outfielder Rich Lang and his 106.4 VORP that year, propelled the Brownstones to the CL title, before capturing the whole shebang over Compton in a battle that lasted 9 games and went to extra innings.
Walt Withcombe, a veteran of Colorado's title teams was the closer, saving 44 games that year for the B-stones, Joel Nelson won 19 games and Sadaharu Kobayashi had everyone in a frenzy, after his 16-win season where he struck out 183 batters.
1970 VALDOSTA PEANUTS (99-55)
Rick Inman (46.8 VORP), Roberto Pagan (50 VORP) and Cris Segura (38.4 VORP) were just the tip of the iceberg in helping the Peanuts clinch their first FOOL Classic title in their second try. A well balanced and young pitching staff of Hiro Nakamura (15-6, 3.31), and 23-year old Carlos Gonzales (16-8, 3.80) partnered with veteran ace Gabriel Prado (16-8, 3.83) to knock off Compton in eight games.
1971 VALDOSTA PEANUTS (108-46)
Capturing back-to-back titles, this was quite possibly the best offensive team in the history of FOOL Classics. Eight starters on this team hit over .300, working together for a team batting average of .302, add that with a pitching staff of THREE 19-game winners (Carlos Gonzales, Charles Wilson, Whit O'Neal) a and 20-game winner Joel Garner and what we call this, is a full house.
The Peanuts took out Colorado in eight games to capture their second straight title.
1972 VALDOSTA PEANUTS (106-48)
Not content sharing history with anyone else, the Peanuts became the first team to win three straight titles, after they SWEPT the Colorado Rancheros, performing the first ever five-game sweep in FOOL Classic history.
Rick Inman had another monster year, hitting .305 with 113 RBI and 18 Hrs, Roberto Pagan was in rare form as well, posting a 61.8 VORP that year.
The pitching staff was led by Charles Wilson's 19-4 record, but two 17-game winners in Carlos Gonzales and Whit O'Neal proved that this was no one-man show.
This Classic seared the Peanuts name into the recordbooks forever.
1973 COLORADO RANCHEROS (90-69)
Three players over 90 RBI including Teruo Miyahara, John King and Jorge Lopez and an ace in Rob Goodwin's 19-win season, gave the Rancheros their first title since 1966.
1974 VALDOSTA PEANUTS (98-56)
Any reports of their demise were greatly exaggerated. Carlos Gonzales went 21-2 with 219 strikeouts and a VORP of 68.9 to lead the Peanuts pitching corps into battle.
Offensively, Rick Inman proved that he just gets better with time, logging another MVP season with a 75.3 VORP, teaming with his partner in crime Roberto Pagan in what many in FOOL circles are calling the best 1-2 duo in history.
Former Quad City prospect Bob Arnold exacted revenge against his former team by beating them in six games in the FOOL Classic, hitting 20 HRs and 74 RBI, proving that 24 isn't just a number, it's an age where players become born-again.
This the fourth title in five years for the Peanuts, leave them alone as the best team in the history of FOOL, a standard by which the likes we may never see again.
Last edited by Young Drachma : 09-09-2008 at 08:10 PM.
|09-30-2008, 07:25 PM||#5|
Join Date: Apr 2001
1975 CHICAGO THUNDERSTORMS (89-65)
After years of being FOOL's doormats, the ballclub from Chicago return to the city as heroes. Stars included Luis Mendoza who hit 36 home runs that year and future Hall of Famer Mac Rasmussen who belted 124 RBI on .334 hitting that year.
1976 COLUMBUS CRUSADERS (89-65)
Another year, another new champion. The former expansion club took the field and surprised everyone after a few close finishes in past years. Led by Holden Matthews (50.6 VORP) and a pitching duo of Gilbert Perreault (16-8) and Ryan Wilkins (17-7), the team conquered its way to its first ever FOOL title.
1977 HARTFORD HARPOONERS (100-54)
The lovable losers of FOOL, the 'Pooners for years struggled while watching other teams dance to the title. But not in '77. Led by a star studded cast of the best 1-5 rotation in league history, Jorge Aquino (20-2), Dylan Robinson (18-10) and Artie Wiley (17-8) among them, the Hartford faithful were dazzled in a way that they'd not seen since the days of the Hartford Blue Sox in 1961 -- and this team made that memory fade immediately with their play. With a young core of players, the 'Pooners made the rest of the league a distant memory en route to slaying Valdosta in the most exciting Classic in history, coming back from a 0-4 deficit to win the last 5 games of the Classic and claiming their first ever league championship.
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