While putting together this blog post, I realized there were three types of Midwest League-related news I was including in it: good, bad and ugly. So please humor me as I paraphrase a Clint Eastwood quote from the actor’s most popular spaghetti western film. On the Internet there’s two kinds of people, those who write and those who read. You read.
This week the Topps Company announced its 2013 Minor League Baseball Class-A All-Star Team, which includes a pair of prospects who played in the Midwest League this year: outfielders Byron Buxton and Andrew Toles.
Buxton, a Minnesota Twins prospect, played the first half of the season in the Midwest League, hitting .341 with 8 HR, 55 RBI and 32 SB in 68 games with the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Among his postseason accolades: Midwest League Most Valuable Player and Prospect of the Year, Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year, and Topps Minor League Player of the Year.
Toles, a Tampa Bay Rays prospect, played the entire season with the Bowling Green Hot Rods. He led the MWL in batting average (.326), hits (169) and triples (16); he ranked second in stolen bases (62) and third in total bases (242). (Click here to read my previous post about this year’s Midwest League leaders in the main 10 statistical categories.)
Twins prospect Eddie Rosario reportedly has been suspended 50 games for violating Minor League Baseball’s drug policy. The positive test supposedly happened due to some pills Rosario took to help recover from an arm injury.
Rosario is primarily a second baseman, but he also played outfield in the past. He split the 2013 season between High-A and Double-A, batting a cumulative .302 with 10 HR and 73 RBI in 122 games. He played most of the 2012 season in the Midwest League, hitting .296 with 12 HR and 70 RBI in 95 games with the Beloit Snappers.
On Thursdays this offseason, the Rattler Radio blog is looking back at different jerseys the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers have worn over the years. This week’s edition features the pink uniforms the T-Rats wore for Mother’s Day in 2010.
Click here to read the Rattler Radio post and see more photos of the pink uniforms, which included pink socks!
Baseball Hall-of-Famer Ernie Banks didn’t play in the Midwest League, but I really like this photo of him with President Barack Obama, so I’m including it here.
The Chicago Cubs legend was among 16 people awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom on Wednesday. The above photo, tweeted by Pete Souza on his official White House Twitter account, is of Obama and Banks with a Jackie Robinson bat. Banks is wearing his new medal in the photo.
Incidentally, Banks’ former Cubs teammate and fellow Hall-of-Famer Billy Williams played for the Burlington Bees in 1958. He batted .304 in 61 games.
Although he played for the Bees, Williams is not one of the six Hall of Fame players who are alumni of the Midwest League. That’s because the Bees were part of Illinois-Indiana-Iowa League (commonly referred to as the Three-I League) in 1958. The Bees joined the Midwest League in 1962.