Tag Archives: mwlguide

An Anniversary, a day or four late. And a thank you.

On January 24 of 1996 I began work on what would evolve into MWLguide.com, but the site’s original URL was www.wp.com/JOWO/. The first page, built from a template supplied by my Web Pages host, was an early draft of this biographical page–that bio’s structure remains basically theirs–and two days later I’d composed A Fan’s Guide to the Midwest League in Lotus Word Pro and uploaded it to the site.

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A Fan’s Guide Farewell

Emails often made my day. I heard from fans, from past and present players, from team radio voices, from former and would-be player girlfriends, from executives, from prospective team owners, from newspaper reporters. Over the years I received thousands of notes on a vast array of topics. A Danville fan told me about watching Butch McCord. One writer told about his mother boarding black players in Decatur. Another filled me in on a former player’s troubled life after baseball. A batboy told about his continuing friendships with players who’d shared the Dubuque dugout. Pat Neshek wrote me a delightful note after his MWL summer. Bob Sprout thanked me for writing up his remarkable season, as did Bob Lawrence; both were reminded of lost friends. In the best email I ever received, a kind lady from Williamsport, Pennsylvania, told me in detail how her family became unintentional hosts to a gentle giant named Juan Salazar, and fell in love.

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Midwest League Rosters

For the past few months, I’ve been compiling (or creating, in some cases) electronic rosters for every Midwest League team, organization, and season. I’ve been collecting the basic resources for several years; the recent effort’s been more about getting things into a useful shape than actually acquiring the data. The compilation effort has been–and continues to be–an odd combination of automation and manual handling; it turns out that much of the work is tweaking the data.

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Minor League Franchise Continuity

I was a season ticket holder in Battle Creek. That’s given me no emotional stake in the successor franchise, Great Lakes–and I rooted against the Springfield and Madison predecessor franchises when they actually existed. I’ve now transferred my loyalties mostly to the Lugnuts, and I root against the Loons.

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Rick Patterson

So, where are we? We still need to fill in the gap between his playing career and his managerial career (that one will be hard unless I find the information in a South Bend program), and there are a couple one-year gaps where he was likely on some team’s coaching staff (I can usually solve those). The pitching coach stint looks like I miscopied something, which has happened before. Loose ends: Was he working in baseball this summer? Did Patterson really play in the minors for three years; if so, where and when? And I need a couple biographical details: What do those initials stand for? When and where was he born? (I’m betting on Mobile, probably in 1955 or thereabouts.) Finally, we still need won/lost records for the partial season at Greensboro, his collegiate teams, and the winter league stints; that will be some other year’s project, methinks.

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Bill Mosiello

That voluntary mid-season job change is really quite unusual. But changing schools has been Mosiello’s norm; except for a fairly long stint at Oklahoma, he’s made a habit of moving to another university after a couple years.

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Perfection, and a note on imperfection

There are no fully reliable sources of information about Midwest League history. Those of us who research MWL history find recording mistakes almost every time we look into something. This is mainly because the records are kept by fallible human beings; fifty-five years is a long stretch and affords many opportunities for errors.

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Eight years ago today, I posted the essay A Fan’s Guide to the Midwest League; thus was born the website with the same name.

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