Blake Snell — the former Bowling Green Hot Rods pitcher who made his major-league debut for the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday — is not the first person in his family to pitch in the Midwest League.
His dad, Dave Snell, pitched six seasons in the minor leagues, including the majority of 1986 in the Midwest League. He went 5-6 with a 3.32 ERA, two saves, 85 strikeouts and 34 walks in 86.2 innings (41 appearances) for the Wausau Timbers, who were a Seattle Mariners affiliate. He made two starts, going the distance in one of them.
His most notable teammate on the Wausau squad was 19-year-old shortstop Omar Vizquel, who batted .213 with 4 HR, 28 RBI and 19 SB in 105 games. Vizquel went on to play over 2,700 games in 24 major-league seasons, earning 11 Gold Glove Awards along the way.
Dave Snell’s final season was 1988, which he split between Seattle’s High-A and Double-A affiliates. Wausau’s last season in the Midwest League was 1990, after which the franchise moved to Geneva to become the Kane County Cougars.