Tag Archives: Pelicans

New Orleans Gold Sox (1995-2005), New Orleans/Kansas City Gold Sox (2006), New Orleans Pelicans (2007-)

Frank Thomas and Mike Mussina elected to ULB Hall of Fame!

The Class of 2015 is here, and for the first time we will have two players entering the ULB Hall of Fame. Both players were considered one of the greatest at their respective positions throughout the early decade and a half of the ULB.

player_9363Mike Mussina (Vancouver Canucks,1996-2003; St. Paul Saints, 2004, Las Vegas Vipers, 2004; New Mexico Suns, 2007)

Elected with 82.3% of Votes, Second Year on Ballot (62.5%, 2010)

Mussina was a dominant force in the early history of the ULB, helping the Vancouver Canucks to reach the Union Cup in 1996 and 1997. Mussina totaled 144 wins in the ULB and added 89 in the MLB for a total of 233 wins in both leagues. He led the ULB in wins in 1996, 1997 and 1998. He amassed 3 Nolan Ryan Trophies (1996, 1998 and 2002) and was elected to the All Star Game 7 times in his 10 years in the ULB.

Honors and Awards
Award Years Times Won
Nolan Ryan Award 1996, 1998, 2002 3
All-Star 1996, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004 7
Pitcher of the Month 7/97, 9/97, 6/98, 4/00, 6/00, 5/02, 6/04 7

 

player_12902Frank Thomas (Boston Colonials, 1998-2004; Oklahoma City RedHawks, 2005; Phoenix Fire, 2008-2009)

Elected with 76.5% of Votes, First Year on Ballot

The Big Hurt came over to the ULB signing  a 5 year contract with the Colonials in the 1997-1998 offseason worth a then record $102,500,000 million. Gripes about him being overpaid were quickly quieted as he led the league in Home Runs and Runs Batted in his 1998 season. He would go on to hit 243 Home Runs with the Colonials and added 9 more in short seasons plagued by injuries with the Oklahoma City RedHawks and Phoenix Fire. Thomas added a Fielding Bible Award at 1B in 2000 and was elected to the All Star Team four times with the Colonials. Thomas would add another 248 Homers in his MLB career to reach a total of 500 home runs. In his combined ULB and MLB career he had a total of 2,233 hits, and was also an MVP in 1993 and 1994 in the MLB with the Chicago White Sox.

Former San Jose Jedi General Manager Mak Dolnick, now an executive assistant to White Sox Owner Joe Reinsdorf, commented on Thomas’ election.

“He’s the Big Hurt, what else needs to be said?”

Honors and Awards
Award Years Times Won
Fielding Bible Award Winners 2000 (1B) 1
All-Star 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 4

Of those not making the cut, Washington’s Larry Walker fell just short of getting ‘The Call’ in his 4th year of eligibility. He appeared on 58.8% of ballots this season. Walker has to be encouraged by the fact that his percentage climbed higher than in 2010, when he had 50% of the vote. Manno Wickey, the New Orleans Gold Sox poster boy for a decade, received 52.9% of the vote in his first year on the ballot, but will have to wait another year before hopefully receiving his call.

2011 ULB Hall of Fame Ballot Results
Pos Player Votes Vote%
SP Mike Mussina 14 82.3
1B Frank Thomas 13 76.5
LF Larry Walker 10 58.8
1B Manno Wickey 9 52.9
SP Roger Clemens 8 47.1
SP Pedro Luis Lazo 7 41.2
C Mike Piazza 7 41.2
DH Ryan Keith 5 29.4
SP Curt Schilling 5 29.4
SP Kevin Brown 4 23.5
C Tyler Houston 4 23.5
CF Andruw Jones 4 23.5
SS Enrique Aguilar 3 17.6
SP Ramiro Mendoza 3 17.6
RF Mark Merchant 3 17.6
SP Andy Pettitte 3 17.6
C Steve Coture 2 11.8
SP Tom Gordon 2 11.8
DH Mark McGwire 2 11.8
2B Roberto Alomar 1 5.9
LF Mark Anthony 1 5.9
LF Brian Apolskis 1 5.9
LF Darryl Brinkley 1 5.9
LF David Diaz 1 5.9
1B Darren Doucette 1 5.9
CF Christopher Garife 1 5.9
RP Daniel Ginder 1 5.9
3B Brian Heigle 1 5.9
SS Howard Hill 1 5.9
RF Tomoaki Kanemoto 1 5.9
SP Brett Lagerblade 1 5.9
C Ken Love 1 5.9
CF Vernon Maxwell 1 5.9
2B Warren Morris 1 5.9
3B Bill Mueller 1 5.9
SP Hideo Nomo 1 5.9
DH Curtis Parham 1 5.9
LF Roberto Singer 1 5.9
LF Dernell Stenson 1 5.9
CF Zack Watts 1 5.9

One Win Away

Two of the four Divisional Cups have gone to a 7th game, which will be decided tonight. Meanwhile the Charlotte Eagles and Jersey City Giants wait in the on deck circle for looming League Championship Cup Series. The Eagles swept the defending Union Cup Champions in their series with the San Jose Jedi, while the Jersey City Giants again look to move on after sweeping the Buffalo Blizzard. The Oklahoma City RedHawks are looking to avoid another Divisional Cup record after setting a ULB record for the most regular season wins in the 19 year history of the league. A first round playoff defeat to the St. Paul Saints would surely tarnish that historical achievement. Meanwhile the New Orleans Pelicans are looking to finish off the Salt Lake Bees and move on to face their Divisional Rival. Tonight’s Game Seven looms large for all four teams, but only two will move on in their quest to win the Union Cup.

Trade Deadline Rumblings

The Trade Deadline approaches in the ULB, and several big names are potentially on the move.

Portland continues to shop SP Roy Halladay, and have had discussions with at least one team has proposed a deal that Portland is considering.

Phoenix has not had any bites on either 1B/SH Kenneth Payne who has recently returned from the Disabled List, or for CL Brad Lidge who has 17 Saves and a 1.66 ERA.

The Saints are looking hard at acquiring New Mexico's Joe Mauer.
The Saints are looking hard at acquiring New Mexico’s Joe Mauer.

The St. Paul Saints have been very active in Ace Cooan’s early days as General Manager. They are shopping SS Abraham Nunez and have reportedly proposed a swap of home town prospect C Joe Busch Jr for a home town star in New Mexico’s C Joe Mauer.

When asked about it, Busch was non committal, saying “”I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

The Saints also reportedly covet Buffalo prospect SS Tim Beckham and have made inquires about his availability.

New Orleans’ C Tom Brady also remains on the block, but teams are concerned about his lack of production this season, despite his making the FL All Star Team.

Teams have until Midnight EST on Sunday, August 9th, 2009 to make non waiver trades. (Wendesday September 17th, 7:30PM EST)

Brian Apolskis Suspended 10 Games By ULB

Apolskis hit .297 with 205 HR from 1995-2005 in the ULB.
Apolskis hit .297 with 205 HR from 1995-2005 in the ULB.

Brian Apolskis has been suspended 10 games by the Office of the Commissioner of Union League Baseball for a violation of the Banned Substances Policy. Since Apolskis spent 2007 as a member of the MLB’s Tampa Bay Rays, he was suspended under the Non-ULB Free Agent Provision, which has slightly reduced penalties. Had Apolskis been a ULB Player in 2007, he would have been subject to an increased 30 game suspension which takes effect in 2008. Apolskis had previously been a member of the New Orleans Gold Sox, Oklahoma City RedHawks, Houston Apollos and New Mexico Suns in the ULB before signing with the Rays in 2006. This will be his first season with the Washington Senators.

He had a career line of .297 with 205 home runs in his first ten seasons in the ULB. In his two seasons with the Rays, he played in 229 games and hit .301 with 21 home runs. He had no comment on his suspension, and is eligible to play in spring training with the Senators.

2007 Playoffs: RUNNING OUT OF TIME

The ULB Playoffs will be set is just 8 days, and there is plenty of excitement in three of the four divisions. With the Charlotte Eagles as the lone team that has clinched their division outright, everything is still up for grabs in the rest of the league.

The Federal League East Champonship is suddenly in doubt as the Buffalo Blizzard and New Orleans Pelicans have gained significant ground on the Jersey City Giants in recent weeks. While the Giants will begin the final full week of the season with a 3 game winning streak, they’ll have one game vs the always awful Generals and then face the Salt Lake City Bees at home and finish the season in San Juan against the Storm.

The Pelicans would have to hope to sweep the Blizzard before getting to the Generals for an easy series if they can pull off an improbable comeback to end 2007. The Blizzard face the Storm for 1 game in Puerto Rico then finish the season with 3 games against the Pelicans and Apollos on the road. Jersey City is still the favorite, but as we’ve learned in the past, don’t count out New Orleans. in 1999, New Orleans and Jersey finished the season tied and went on to play a game 155. The Giants won that game and went on to win the Union Cup that season. You can bet that if we get a game 163, the Pelicans would love to get some payback against the Giants.

Wade Townsend is hoping to lead the Stars to a Division Title.
Wade Townsend is hoping to lead the Stars to a Division Title.

In the Federal League West, The Mavericks are currently on top, but the Los Angeles Stars are sitting just a half game back and are looking to get their second FL West Division title. It would be the Stars 2nd title and first since 1995. The loser of the FL West Division Title will get the 1st Wild Card, so the Stars are all but assured of a playoff berth. The Bees hold the 2nd Wild Card for now, but the Blizzard are just 2 games back and Pelicans 3 games back in the Chase final Federal League Playoff spot.

The race everyone is talking about is of course the Players League West Wild Card Race. While the Vipers look to have the Division all but locked up, barring a monumental collapse, we have a 3 way race for the final two spots. The Saints hold Wild Card spot #1 for now at 91-63, and the Oklahoma City RedHawks and San Jose Jedi are tied at 91-64 for the 2nd spot.

Perhaps OKC GM Mark Bauer said it best:

“Holy cow. That is nuts”

The Three way race could very well end in a tie for final spot, meaning the league could be looking at multiple Game 163’s to end the season. Holy Cow is an understatement.

Push For The Union Cup Playoffs Begins

The ULB has entered the month of August, and we are now just 57 days away from the end of the 2007 regular season. The trade deadline has passed, and while teams may still be able to acquire players through waivers, rosters appear to be set for the time being. The Players League has one of the tightest races in recent memory right now, with the St. Paul Saints leading the division.

Nelson Gil Santovenia is 15-3 this season and looking to lead the Jedi to the Playoffs.
Nelson Gil Santovenia is 15-3 this season and looking to lead the Jedi to the Playoffs.

The San Jose Jedi are just 1.5 games behind them in the standings, and the Las Vegas Vipers are 2.5 games behind the Saints. All three of them could be heading to the playoffs, with Oklahoma City a distant dark horse in the playoff race at 5 games back.

Currently, the Charlotte Eagles remain in 1st place in the PL Eastern Division, with the Milwaukee Brewers nipping at their heels, 6 games back. The Eagles just lost 4 time All Star Gus Harrison to a fractured knee that will end his season, and reportedly has Eagles management panicking behind the scenes. The club was active at the trade deadline, adding Tagg Bozied and Robb Nen to their roster.

Both the Brewers and Eagles are aiming for their first playoff spot. The Brewers have not made the playoffs since joining the league in 2001, and the Eagles are looking to become the next expansion team to join the postseason club. Of the four expansion teams in league history, only the Oklahoma City RedHawks have made it to the postseason, leaving the Brewers, Eagles and New Mexico Suns in the dust.

Over in the Federal League, the Jersey City Giants are once again the Kings of the Eastern Division, but the reborn New Orleans Pelicans are taking flight and nipping at their heels at 3.5 games back. The Los Angeles Stars are leading the Western Division. If they both manage to hold on to their divisions, it would mark the first time since 1995 that both the Stars and Giants won their respective divisions. In 1995, they were the New Jersey Giants and the Hollywood Stars, and the Giants would go on to lose the Union Cup to the Vancouver Canucks, who are now the St. Paul Saints.

The Stars have the Salt Lake City Bees looking to make sure this does not happen, and they trail Los Angeles by 3.5 games in the West. Both the Bees and Pelicans are holding on to the Wild Card spots at the moment. The Portland Mavericks and the 2007 Union Cup Champion Buffalo Blizzard are trailing in the Wild Card standings, 3 and 3.5 games back respectively.

With just two months to go, who will be heading to the postseason? Time will tell.

Mavericks, Blizzard, Colonials and Crickets Advance

The 2006 ULB Divisional Cup is now finished, and the ULB League Championship Cup match ups are now set. Four teams remain to challenge for the right to hold the Union Cup high.

The Portland Mavericks swept the San Juan Storm in 4 games, sending one former champion packing. The Mavericks weathered the Storm easily, but Portland remains concerned about the poor performance of Ace pitcher Roy Halladay, who allowed 11 hits and 6 runs in 6 innings of work in Game 1 of the Division Cup. Thankfully for the Mavs, the offense picked up the slack and was able to help Portland squeak out a 7-6 victory. Game 2 went 11 innings, with Portland coming out on top thanks to a Mark Teahen walk out solo home run.

Kevin Forbes hit .381 with 3 HR against the RedHawks to lead Boston to victory.
Kevin Forbes hit .381 with 3 HR against the RedHawks to lead Boston to victory.

The Boston Colonials defeated the Oklahoma City RedHawks, 4 games to 1, and were the only Wild Card to advance to the League Championship Cup. Oklahoma City took Game 1 by a score of 6-5, but the Colonials then dominated the rest of the series. Kevin Forbes and Dernell Stenson both homered in Game 2 and led the way to a 7-5 victory.  Dan Mozingo gave up just 1 run in 6.2 innings of work in Game 3 to help the Colonials to a 4-1 win in Boston. Ben Sheets went 8 innings and allowed just 3 hits in Game 5 as Boston won the series in 5 games with a score of 5-2.

The Columbus Crickets put out the Phoenix Fire in 5 games to eliminate another former Union Cup Champion. The Fire won game one by a score of 5-4 behind Tim Lemon. The rest of the series was not as kind to the fire. A.J. Pierzynski provided a home run to tie Game 2 in the 3rd inning, and Jeff Baker scored on a Pat Osborn double to give the Crickets all the lead they would need in a 2-1 victory in Game 2. Matt White kept the Fire at bay in Game 3, allowing just 2 runs and 4 hits in 8 innings of work in a 5-2 victory for the Crickets. Kerry Wood went  7 innings and allowed just 2 runs in an 8-4 victory in Game 4. The final nail in the Fire’s coffin was Dan Denham who allowed just 2 unearned runs in Game 5. Eric Junge would allow a Jody Gerut solo homer in the 9th to briefly bolster the Fire’s hopes, but he then got Tagg Bozied to ground out and struck out Michael Sirois to send the Crickets to the League Championship Cup with a 4-3 victory.

The defending Union Cup Champion Buffalo Blizzard survived the hardest fought series as they sent the New Orleans/Kansas City Gold Sox back to their adopted home for the rest of the playoffs. Buffalo won Game 1 on a 3 run walkoff home run by Corey Smith in the bottom of the 9th inning to give the Blizzard an 11-10 victory. The Gold Sox won Game 2 in the 10th inning on a Tom Brady RBI single in a 4-3 Gold Sox victory. The Gold Sox took a 2-1 lead in the series behind Gen Sueyoshi’s 8 inning, 2 run masterpiece in a 5-2 loss for Buffalo. The Blizzard tied the series in a 15-11 scorefest in which every starter for both teams had a hit. Darren Holt had 5 hits in  5 at bats, with 3 runs scored to lead Buffalo to a hard fought victory. Jeff Flaig added 4 hits and 2 home runs and 4 RBIs as well. Lloyd Peever went the complete game in Game 5 and allowed just 1 run, while Roy Oswalt fell apart early and lasted just 1 inning and allowed 5 runs. The Gold Sox would win 11-1 and take a 3-2 lead in the series. Antonio McDowell,  Bryan Bass and Gene Smith all homered for the Gold Sox. With the series on the line, Gerik Baxter turned in a dominant performance and held the Gold Sox to 2 runs on 6 hits in 8 innings of work. Corey Smith and Brent Abernathy both homered for the Blizzard as they went on to win 6-2 and send the series to a decisive Game 7. Kris Benson went 7.1 innings and allowed 4 runs on 8 hits. But Gen Sueyoshi lasted just 1.2 innings and allowed 5 runs, 2 of them unearned. Bryan Bass had the unfortunately costly error in the second which led to the unearned runs by Ben Cordova and Brent Abernathy and ultimately drove Sueyoshi from the game. Bass was also caught stealing in the top of the 2nd to end the inning. Darren Holt added another 3 hits to bring his Division Cup average to .433 with 13 hits, as well as 11 RBI’s. The Blizzard would secure a 8-4 victory, with Stan Green striking out Auturo McDowell to end the game and send the Blizzard to the League Championship Cup as they continue to attempt to become 3 team to win back to back Union Cups.

In the League Championship Cup it will be the Boston Colonials hosting the Columbus Crickets and the Portland Mavericks hosting the defending champs in the Buffalo Blizzard.