The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers returned home from Fort Wayne yesterday and today they're headed off in a dozen different directions as the 2012 Midwest League season has drawn to a close. All told Brew Crew Ball covered 19 Wisconsin games this season, including six in the playoffs, along with Media Day back in April and the celebration to welcome the Midwest League champions back to Grand Chute last night.
Now that the season has wrapped up, I wanted to take a moment to remember some of my favorite moments from the Timber Rattlers Notebook this season:
- 2011 third round pick Drew Gagnon opened the season with Wisconsin and pitched some cold April night games in short sleeves. I asked him about it and he told me it was because he'd bought the wrong color sleeves.
- I showed up at the ballpark for a May game to do a story about Mark Williams and Chad Thompson's combined no-hitter, but might have had more fun covering a rare pitchers' batting practice.
- One of the strangest stories I've written on any topic all year has to be the final feature from this Notebook in May on "Sprinkles," a tarantula.
- A couple of Rattlers were hot at the same time in August, allowing me to discuss Chadwin Stang's 19 game hitting streak and a 20+ scoreless inning streak for Stosh Wawrzasek on the same day.
- A 140 game regular season is a long grind, and Nicole did a great job with this story on Rattlers playing their first full professional seasons.
- Starting pitching carried Wisconsin for most of the playoffs, and we interviewed three different starting pitchers shortly after they got the shaving cream pie treatment in the clubhouse. Here's a picture of Mark Williams, who was the third.
- The Rattlers walked off with a win eleven times this season, and won the first game of the championship series when Rafael Neda came home on a tenth inning wild pitch.
- And finally, getting to be there as the Timber Rattlers brought the trophy home yesterday was pretty cool too.
This was our first season credentialed to cover the Rattlers, and I can't imagine it going much better. Thank you to Chris Mehring and the Wisconsin staff for being great to us all season, to manager Matt Erickson and the Timber Rattlers for always being willing to talk to us and to all of you for reading our coverage.
Wisconsin opens the 2013 home season with a game against Cedar Rapids on Monday, April 8, and I'm already counting down the days until it's time to open a new Notebook.