Our #SummerOfBaseball series No. 14 – Boise Hawks – @BoiseHawks #HawksRock

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The 14th installment of our #SummerOfBaseball series comes to us from the Boise Hawks! The Hawks are the Short-Season Class A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies and play in Boise, Idaho in the Northwest League.

The history of the Hawks dates back to 1987 when the organization operated as an independent team in the Northwest League before becoming an affiliate of the Angels beginning with the 1990 season. During their 11 year affiliation with the Angels, they won the League Championship 4 times. After the 2000 season, the Hawks changed their affiliation to the Chicago Cubs where they remained for the next 14 seasons and won two more League Championships. The 2015 season marks the first year they are affiliated with the Colorado Rockies.

Some of the notable players who have passed through Boise on their way to the show over the years include Garret Anderson, Troy Percival, Jarrod Washburn, John Lackey, Francisco Rodriguez, Dontrelle Willis, and Jeff Samardzija.

Chicago Cubs rookie Third Baseman, All-Star, and Home Run Derby participant Kris Bryant also passed through Boise in 2013, where he hit .354 as a Hawk.

Check out the Boise Hawks website at http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t480

Check out their twitter at @BoiseHawks and check out their hashtag #HawksRock! Make sure to say hello!

Thanks Hawks for sending up the logo ball and for participating in our #SummerOfBaseball series!

#SummerOfBaseball Series No. 13 – The Atlanta Braves @Braves

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The 13th team in our #SummerOfBaseball series is once again from the Major League ranks and the heated rival of our New York Mets – the Atlanta Braves.

The Braves knew I was a Big Mets Fan and they were still cool enough to send up an official Major League Baseball with Rob Manfred’s stamped signature and the Atlanta Braves tomahawk logo.

We all know the story of the Braves – the franchise history dates back to 1871 in Boston. They first began using the “Braves” back in 1912. They moved to Milwaukee in 1953 and they’ve been in Atlanta since 1966. They played in Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium from 1966-1996 before they moved into Turner Field in 1997. The place which has been a historic House of Horrors for our Mets and they’ll be moving into the new SunTrust Park for the beginning of the 2017 season.

The Braves have won three World Series titles in their existence, the most recent in 1995 and their only one in Atlanta came in 1995 when they defeated the Cleveland Indians in 6 games. The team won 11 straight Eastern Division Titles from 1995-2005 under the guidance of Bobby Cox.

True Home Run King Hammering Hank Aaron was an Atlanta Brave. Orlando Cepeda was a Brave. Hoyt Wilhelm, Phil Niekro, Joe Torre, and Bruce Sutter were Braves. The Braves had the triple-headed monster pitching staff of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz when they had their prolonged Eastern Division run (much to our Mets chagrin).

So thank you Atlanta Braves for sending in a #SummerOfBaseball. Check out their twitter @Braves – the team’s website is braves.com

Our 12th #SummerOfBaseball feature – Frisco Roughriders – @RidersBaseball

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The 12th team in our #SummerOfBaseball series comes from the Texas League – the Class-AA affiliate of the Texas Rangers, the Frisco Roughriders.

The Roughriders are names after the 1st U.S. Volunteer Calvary Regiment during the Spanish-American War which was led by future U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and sport the “Swinging Teddy” logo. They have been an affiliate of the Texas Rangers since the team came to Frisco in 2003.

The Roughriders play their home games in Dr. Pepper Ballpark, which holds 10,600 fans and the franchise was named by Forbes as being the 4th most valuable franchise in Minor League Baseball in 2012. The team has won four South Division titles in the Texas League and were the League champions back in 2004.

Some of the notable players who have passed through Frisco on their way to the show include Elvis Andrus, Joaquin Arias, John Danks, Chris Davis, Scott Feldman, Neftali Feliz, Adrian Gonzalez, Derek Holland, Tommy Hunter, Ian Kinsler, Mitch Moreland, Laynce Nix, Alexi Ogando, Scott Posednik, Jurickson Profar, Justin Smoak, Mark Teixeira, Edinson Volquez, and C.J. Wilson.

If you haven’t seen the Full House jerseys the Roughriders wore last month during a game, check out the link here – http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/frisco/headlines/20150612-roughriders-to-welcome-uncle-joey-with-full-house-night-tonight.ece

So if you’re in Frisco, catch a Roughriders game. Check out their team website at http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t540

Give them a follow on twitter at @RidersBaseball

Thank you Frisco Roughriders for sending in a Swinging Teddy logo ball for the #SummerOfBaseball!

#SummerOfBaseball Series 11 – Cedar Rapids Kernels @CRKernels & @t_hildy

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The 11th team in our #SummerOfBaseball series once again comes to us from the Midwest League, who I must say is a league which has really been coming through. Today’s featured team is one of the oldest teams in the country, with a history which dates back to 1890 – the one, the only Cedar Rapids Kernels.

The Kernels are the Class-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, and have been affiliated with the Twins since the 2013 season. They’ve been known as the Kernels since the 1993 season, but over the years they’ve also been known as the Reds, Giants, Astros, Cardinals, Red Raiders, Braves, Raiders, Indians, Rockets, Bunnies, Rabbits, and Canaries.

The team has played in the Midwest League since 1962 and they’re currently managed by Jake Mauer, the older brother of current Minnesota Twins superstar Joe Mauer.

Over the years, there have been many former Kernels who have made it to the show including notables Jerry Reuss, Ted Simmons, Bob Brenley, Rob Deer, Chili Davis, Eric Davis, Paul O’Neill, Chris Sabo, Rob Dibble, Reggie Sanders, Trevor Hoffman, Bengie Molina, John Lackey, Ervin Santana, Howie Kendrick, Mark Trumbo, and Mike Trout.

The Kernels were kind enough to send up an official Midwest League ball signed by the team’s closer Trevor Hildenberger. Trevor has been putting up some sick stats in the Midwest League. Entering play on July 18th, Hildenberger has been pitching to a miniscule 0.82 ERA with 13 saves while punching out 59 batters in 44 innings while allowing just 23 hits and 5 walks with a WHIP of 0.64. If he keeps on putting up numbers like that – we’ll certainly be seeing him in the Show before long.

So give the Cedar Rapids Kernels a follow on twitter at @CRKernels and check out their website http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t492

Give Trevor Hildenberg a follow at @t_hildy and you can say you knew him before anyone else!

 

On deck – the Frisco Roughriders

Our 10th #SummerOfBaseball team – the South Bend Cubs! @SBCubs

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The 10th team in our #SummerOfBaseball series is the South Bend Cubs!

The South Bend Cubs are the Class-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs in the Midwest League. The 2015 season is the team’s first year of affiliation with the Cubs. From 1994-2014, the team was known as the South Bend Silver Hawks when they were an affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks and from 1988-1993 they were the South Bend White Sox when they were an affiliate of the other team from the Windy City. The team is currently in the first year of a four-year player development contract with the Cubs. The Cubs play their home games at Four Winds Field.

The Cubs were definitely on with their #SummerOfBaseball game – they sent in an official Midwest League Ball signed by members of this year’s squad.

Check out some of the guys who signed the ball!

Jason Vosler – 21 year old infielder and 16th round pick of the Cubs in the 2014 draft and local to my neck of the woods who attended Don Bosco Prep High School.

Gleyber Torres – 18 year old Venezuelan Shortstop prospect hitting over .300 in his minor league career.

Erick Leal – 20 year old RHP out of Venezuela.

Jordan Minch – 22 year old LHP drafted in the 35th round of the 2014 draft.

Andrew Ely – 22 year old second baseman drafted in the 32nd round of the 2014 draft.

Corbin Hoffner – 21 year old RHP drafted in the 14th round of the 2012 draft

Jake Stinnett – 23 year old RHP and 2nd round pick in the 2014 draft.

Rashad Crawford – 21 year old outfielder and 11th round pick in the 2012 draft.

Ryan McNeil – 21 year old RHP and 3rd round pick in the 2012 draft.

David Bote – 22 year old IF/OF and 18th round pick in the 2012 draft.

Thanks to the South Bend Cubs for taking part in #SummerOfBaseball! Give them a follow on twitter at @SBCubs and check out the team’s official website at http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t550

#SummerOfBaseball – No. 9- New England Collegiate Baseball League – @TheNECBL

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The 9th installment in our #SummerOfBaseball series is the New England Collegiate Baseball League.

The NECBL is a 12 team summer league which began play in 1994 and is a showcase league for top college level talent and plays a 42-game schedule. The league started out as the brainchild of TV producer Joseph Consentino and began under the guidance of its first commissioner, former Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets outfielder George Foster. Over the years, the league has expanded and now includes franchises in all six New England states. The current commissioner, Sean McGrath, also happens to be a Big Mets Fan.

The league is split into two divisions:

North Division:
Keene Swamp Bats (Keene, NH – founded 1997)
Laconia Muskrats (Laconia, NH – founded 2000)
North Adams SteepleCats (North Adams, MA – founded 2002)
Sanford Mainers (Sanford, ME – founded 2002)
Valley Blue Sox (Holyoke, MA – founded 2001)
Vermont Mountaineers (Montpelier, VT – founded 2003)

South Division:
Danbury Westerners (Danbury, CT – founded 1995)
Mystic Schooners (Groton, CT – founded 1994)
New Bedford Bay Sox (New Bedford, MA – founded 1997)
Newport Gulls (Newport, RI – founded 1999)
Ocean State Waves (South Kingston, RI – founded 2013)
Plymouth Pilgrims (Plymouth, MA – formed 2013)

The League Motto is “Keep Your Eye on the Dream” and as the more than 75 alumni who have made it to the majors have shown, it’s certainly a league that attracts top collegiate talent and a league that has the attention of MLB scouts.

Prominent alumni of the NECBL:
Joe Nathan – 15 year MLB veteran, 6x All-Star, 377 career saves, 9 seasons of 30 or more saves
Craig Breslow – 10 year MLB veteran with over 500 games pitched and 7 seasons of 60+ appearances.
Andre Ethier – 10 year MLB veteran, 2x All-Star, over 1300 career hits and over 1350 games played.
Brian Wilson – 9 year MLB veteran, 3x All-Star, 4 seasons of 36+ saves
Joe Smith – 9 year MLB veteran, over 550 games pitched and 5 seasons of 70+ appearances
Jason Motte – 7 year MLB veteran, led National League with 42 saves in 2012
Stephen Strasburg – 1st overall pick in 2009 draft, 6 year MLB veteran, 1x All-Star

Thank you NECBL for sending in two balls – an official league ball and a souvenir logo ball. Check out the league website necbl.com and give them a follow on twitter @TheNECBL
On Deck – the South Bend Cubs

#SummerOfBaseball – Batting 8th – Winchester Royals – @WincRoyals

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Today’s #SummerOfBaseball team comes to us from the Valley Baseball League – the Green and Gold of the Winchester Royals. The Royals began play in 1979 and they are the most successful team in the history of the League, having won 13 championships.

The team hails out of Winchester, Virginia and is one of the 12 teams in the league, which is a collegiate wooden bat league which is part of the National Alliance of College Summer Baseball, is endorsed by the NCAA and is sponsored in part by a donation from Major League Baseball.

The Royals have had 25 players make their way to the majors, including the New York Mets own Josh Edgin. Perhaps the most heralded former Royal was been 4-time All-Star and two time Cy Young award runner up Jimmy Key, who played 15 MLB seasons and won 186 games including five seasons of 16 or more victories, an ERA crown in 1987 (2.76 with the Toronto Blue Jays).

Former All-Star Reggie Sanders was also a former Royal, having played in 1777 MLB games over 17 seasons with the Reds, Padres, Braves, Giants, Pirates, and Cardinals before finishing his career as a Royal (of the MLB blue variety). Over Sanders 17 seasons, he scored 1037 runs, had 1666 hits, hit 305 home runs, and drove in 983 runs with a .267 career batting average.

Give the Royals a friendly hello and follow in twitter at @WincRoyals and check out the team website at http://www.eteamz.com/winchesterroyals/

Thanks for sending up the awesome Green and Gold logo baseball – it’s a real standout!

If you want your team featured in a #SummerOfBaseball post – drop me an email at metsfanontwitter@aol.com

Our #SummerOfBaseball lineup:
1. New York Mets – @Mets
2. Wisconsin Woodchucks – @ChucksBaseball
3. Valley Baseball League – @VBLBaseball
4. St. Lucie Mets – @stluciemets
5. Jackson Generals – @jacksongenerals
6. Dayton Dragons – @DragonsBaseball
7. Lansing Lugnuts – @LansingLugnuts
8. Winchester Royals – @WincRoyals
On Deck – New England Collegiate Baseball League – @TheNECBL