The Clinton LumberKings’ 16-run comeback against the Burlington Bees on May 7 was named the Minor League Baseball Game of the Year by MiLB.com staff.
Only 558 people attended the game at Burlington’s Community Field, but thousands more would soon hear about it via ESPN and other media outlets. Perhaps the crowning achievement, coverage-wise, was a four-page spread in the May 19 issue of Sports Illustrated.
Here’s the Clinton comeback in a nutshell: The Bees led 17-1 after five innings, then the LumberKings scored 19 unanswered runs to beat Burlington 20-17 in 12 innings. The highlight of the comeback was a grand slam by Marcus Littlewood to tie the score 17-17 in the top of the 9th inning.
Tyler Maun of MiLB.com did a great job of recapping the game here, and you can read my post about it here. My post includes tidbits about the two teams that combined to set the Midwest League record for most runs scored in a game back in 1956.
Buxton suffers another setback
Minnesota Twins prospect Byron Buxton dislocated his left middle finger Monday while diving for a ball during an Arizona Fall League game.
He was limited to 31 regular-season games this year because of a bruised left wrist suffered while diving for a ball during spring training, and a concussion suffered during his Double-A debut in late August.
Buxton was the Midwest League MVP and Prospect of the Year in 2013 after hitting .341 with 8 HR, 55 RBI and 32 SB in 68 games with the Cedar Rapids Kernels. He also played 57 games with the High-A Fort Myers Miracle that year, hitting .326 with 4 HR, 22 RBI and 23 SB.
Ex-MWLers involved in MLB first
The first no-pitch intentional walk in a Major League Baseball-affiliated game took place Monday in the Arizona Fall League when Surprise Saguaros manager Delino DeShields called for Milwaukee Brewers prospect Nick Ramirez to be given a free pass.
The no-pitch walk is one of the rule changes MLB is testing out in the AFL in an effort to speed up games.
DeShields managed the Dayton Dragons in 2011-12, winning a second-half division title in 2011. He also played in the Midwest League, batting .252 with 12 HR, 46 RBI and 59 SB in 129 games with the 1988 Rockford Expos.
Ramirez played 132 games with the 2011-12 Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, batting .235 with 19 HR and 93 RBI.
Pitcher Ben Klimesh was on the mound for the no-pitch walk. He went 3-0 with a 2.60 ERA, five saves, and 45 strikeouts in 34.2 IP for the 2013 Dayton Dragons.
As you may already know from a post I wrote last week, a major renovation project is underway at Cooley Law School Stadium, home of the Lansing Lugnuts. The team has been sharing photos of the construction via social media, including this one from last Friday:
Removal of the stadium’s batting cages revealed a sight usually hidden from view: a wall with the Lugnuts logo painted on it.