Entries Tagged as 'minors'

Good info on the Three-I League

Charles Braxton points out in a TBZ comment that there is a nice summary  on the Three-I League in Baseball Reference’s Bullpen section. 

tileagueYou usually don’t find a lot of documentation on the now defunct Midwest-based league anymore so I’m happy to see this.  Indeed, you’ll find standings and league leaders for each year of its sixty-year history at the BR Bullpen. 

If you browse the page, baseball historians will most likely find names they recognize.  Hank Majeski, Joe Vosmik, Tony Kubek, Mudcat Grant,.. and some pitcher named Warren Spahn.

And only in the early-to-mid 1900s Midwest would have team names like the Peoria Tractors, Moline Ploughboys and Bloomington Bloomers.

thanks for passing this on, Charles!  A real gem!

Tale of Two (Baseball) Twitterers


Lately, I’ve switched to Twitter as one of my main feed of baseball news.  Most sports news sources have a Twitter feed and Twitter while chaotic, is more convenient than Google Reader.

Anyway, here are two people of interest I’ve found on Twitter that readers here might also find useful, relevant or fun.  I wouldn’t put these two under the category of hard news but they do make the day more interesting.


479373 How many of you have heard of minor leaguer Michael Schlact?  Yeah, me either till today.

But apparently, 1,089 other people have heard of him.  That’s how many people are following Schlact on Twitter.  Schlact has utilized the medium of Twitter to connect with his fans and quite frankly, to make new ones. 

Schlact is a pitcher in the Texas organization (he ended up at the AA level last year).  He’s a devout Christian and obviously familiar with new technology.  Some athletes create online personas on Twitter or Facebook only to see them die on the vine or have others ghost-write for them.  Schlact, however, is a pro at not just using social networking tools like Twitter but knowing how to interact with fans. 

Schlact has been answering all kinds of questions from fans (he prefers creamy peanut butter and his baseball pitch-back was his favorite childhood toy).  But he also asks questions of his Twitter fans too. 

No doubt, it takes more than popularity and fan recognition to make it to the bigs.  He’ll have to learn to pitch a mean curve ball too (if you’re interested here a decent scouting report from a year and half ago).  But I have to like the way this kid is getting to know his fans because if and when he makes it to the majors, he’ll have a hell of a following. 



I’m a sucker for old sports photos, especially baseball photos.  And Andy Gray seems to be the go-to guy for some really good ones.  According to Gray, he runs the Sports Illustrated Vault.  Andy’s mission on Twitter is to provide us with links to “old photos of athletes”. 

I’m enjoying them as he posts them.  There are some wonderful ones like this one of Mike Schmidt wearing some weird kind of wig.

So follow Andy if you want more of that. 

And yeah, if you want, you can follow me @BaseballZealot.

Scott Maine to the Cubs

Here’s the Baseball Cube report on Scott Maine who the Cubs just picked up in the Aaron Heilman trade. 

1127905 6’4” Maine (no relation to John) had a 10.0 strikeout/9 IP ratio over his minor league career but control might be an issue (55 walks in 120+ innings).  The good news is that he seems to have settled down in that area in 2009 allowing only 22 free passes in 62.  Not great but ok.

Maine hasn’t started a game since his college days at Miami.  Since then it’s been strictly been out of the pen for him.  He’s had his share of experience with pitching with the game on the line with 13 career minor league saves.

That said, the scouting reports on him show his prospects as a probable middle reliever.  Now that he’s with the Cubs, I don’t see that changing.

Reports also say that he may be up a soon as early next year.

17 runs, 6 hits

The DSL (Dominican Summer League) Padres gave up 17 runs on just six hits to the DSL Tigers yesterday. 

How?  The usual culprits in games like this.  Lack of control (13 walks) and no support from the glovemen (four errors). 

The Tigers won 17-8.  Here is the box score.

(via Bus Leagues Baseball)

Three-I League Exhibit at the Early American Museum

Two weekends ago, I went to an exhibit at the Early American Museum at Mahomet, IL entitled “A Whole ‘Nother Ballgame”. The speaker (whose name escapes right now) spoke about the Three-I League which existed 1901-1961. Apparently, it was the precursor of the current day Midwest League.

Ehm Franzen

Sitting behind me was an old man. During the Q&A he raised his hand and said he was a pitcher in the Eastern Illinois League and he faced Satchel Paige twice and defeated him both times. His name was Ehm Franzen and apparently he was quite a hurler in his day. I got a chance to listen to him after the talk. He says he struck Paige out to end one of the games.

More photos of the event here.