Rich "Goose" Gossage
Rich "Goose" Gossage enjoyed one of his best professional seasons in 1971 as a member of the Appleton Foxes. He was the Midwest League Player of the year, leading Appleton to a division championship with an 18-2 record and a 1.83 ERA in 25 starts.
Gossage went on to become one of the greatest relief pitchers in baseball history. In 22 major league seasons, Goose appeared in 1,054 games and amassed 125 wins and 310 saves. He was the American League Fireman of the Year in 1975 and 1978 and led the AL in saves three times. The fireballing right-handed set the National League record for strikeouts by a relief pitcher in 1977 with 151 and five times had more strikeouts than innings pitched.
Grover "Deacon" Jones
Fox Cities Foxes
1966, 1967, 1973
Grover "Deacon" Jones may have had the best season of any player to play in Appleton. His league-leading .353 batting average, .484 on-base percentage, and 58 extra-base hits in 114 games led the Fox Cities Foxes to the 1966 Midwest League Championship. Jones was a player/coach that year and in 1967. He returned to the team in 1973 to serve as the Foxes Manager, which was a historic event as he became the first black manager in the Midwest League.
While Jones only had a couple of short big league stints with the Chicago White Sox, he was one of the greatest minor league hitters of his era.
John "Boog" Powell
Fox Cities Foxes
John "Boog" Powell's career as a hard-hitting first baseman began with the Fox Cities Foxes. In 1960, he hit .312, knocked in 100 runs and led the team to the Midwest League Championship.
Powell carried his reputation to the majors, where he pounded out 339 home runs from 1962 to 1976. He led the American League in slugging percentage with .606 in 1964. Powell was named the American League Most Valuable Player in 1970 after leading the Baltimore Orioles to a World Series victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Chicago White Sox Farm Director
Responsible for Fox Cities Foxes Affiliation with the White Sox
Glenn Miller is perhaps the man most responsible for minor league baseball staying in Appleton in the mid-1960s. When the Baltimore Orioles terminated its affiliation with the Foxes, Miler, a Kaukauna native and farm director for the Chicago White Sox, arranged an affiliation with the Sox. Miller saw to it that Appleton was provided with quality minor-league players and managers throughout the years. The White Sox affiliation lasted 21 seasons, and during that time, the Foxes won seven Midwest League Championships and four other division championships.
Fox Cities Foxes
Earl Weaver managed the Foxes in 1960 and 1961, compiling a 149-118 record. The 1960 Foxes team won the Midwest League Championship.
The fiery Weaver is better known for his success in managing the Baltimore Orioles, which he led to a World Series victory in 1970 and World Series appearances in 1969, 1971, and 1979. The Orioles also captured division championships under his direction in 1973 and 1974.
Weaver was named A.L. Manager of the Year three times and was inducted into the Professional Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.
1968, 1969, and 1972
Bart Johnson was one of the most versatile players in Foxes history. In 1969, he led the Foxes to the Midwest League Championship with a sparkling 16-4 record, 2.17 ERA and a league-leading 200 strikeouts. He moved up to the Chicago White Sox, wherein 1971 he had 12 wins, 14 saves, 153 strikeouts, and a 2.93 ERA.
His promising pitching career was slowed by injury, and in 1972 he returned to Appleton as an outfielder. He hit .329 in helping the Foxes win a division championship. He returned to the White Sox for a few more seasons, primarily as a starting pitcher, but never regained his earlier brilliance.
Fox Cities Foxes
As an 18-year-old shortstop from Cuba, Versalles hit .278 with 9 home runs for the 1959 Foxes, before being promoted to the Washington Senators later that year. By the mid-1960s, he was an established major league all-star, winning 3 gold gloves and leading the league in triples 3 times.
The pinnacle of his career was the 1965 season when he was named the American League MVP for leading the Minnesota Twins to the World Series. He led the league with 126 runs scored, 45 doubles, and 12 triples that year.
Greg Walker was an outstanding first baseman for the 1980 Foxes, both on the field and with his bat. Besides being the league's top defensive first baseman, his 98 RBI's also led the league. He went on to a successful career with the Chicago White Sox, hitting 98 home runs in 1983-1987 before being slowed by injury.
Fox Cities Foxes
Dean Chance was an outstanding pitcher throughout the 1960s, highlighted by his 1964 and 1967 seasons. Chance was the 1964 Cy Young award winner as a Los Angeles Angel, thanks to his 20-9 record, a sparkling 1.65 ERA and an amazing 11 shutouts.
Chance also won 20 games for the 1967 Minnesota Twins. In August 1967, Chance pitched both a 5-inning perfect game against the Boston Red Sox and a 9-inning no-hitter over the Cleveland Indians.
Chance was an 18-year-old workhorse for the league champion 1960 Foxes, going 12-9 with 145 strikeouts.
Mike Garcia led the 1954 Cleveland Indians pitching staff-which many consider to be the best staff in baseball history-with an AL-best 2.64 ERA and a 19-8 record.
The three-time All-Star finished his career with a 142-98 record, including two - 20 win seasons and 27 shutouts.
Garcia began his professional career as an 18-year-old in Appleton, going 10-10 for the 1942 Papermakers.
Gordon (Gordie) Lund
Fox Cities Foxes
1974-75, 1977-78, 1980
Gordie Lund finished the 20th century as the winningest manager in Appleton Professional Baseball. Lund piloted the Foxes to a 350-304 record in five seasons. His Midwest League Champion 1978 squad posted a 97-40 record, the best in Appleton history.
Kevin Bell began his professional baseball career with the Appleton Foxes in 1974 and also spent part of 1975 in Appleton. Bell was a highly touted third baseman out of high school and was the Chicago White Sox first-round selection in the 1974 draft. In his two years in Appleton, Bell was a standout player batting .279, belting 23 home runs, and adding 101 RBI's.
Bell played six seasons in the majors beginning in 1976 with the White Sox and ending with four games with the Oakland Athletics in 1982. Bell ended his major league career with a .222 batting average, 13 home runs, and 64 RBI's in 297 games.
Brian Downing was a member of the 1971 Appleton Foxes Division winning team. In his one year in Appleton, Downing hit .246 with 3 home runs and 22 RBI's.
Downing began his 20 year Major League career with the Chicago White Sox in 1973. Downing played five seasons with the White Sox, 13 seasons with the California Angels, and finished up his career with two seasons with the Texas Rangers. Downing was a member of the 1979 American League All-Star team where in 1979 he batted .326 with 12 home runs and 75 RBI's. Downing was also a member of three Angels clubs that won the AL West pennant in 1979, 1982, 1986. His career stats include 2,099 hits with a .267 batting average, 275 home runs, and 1,073 RBI's.
General Manager of Chicago White Sox
Roland Hemond is a three-time winner of Major League Baseball Executive of the Year Award. Always a huge supporter of baseball in Appleton, Hemond went out of his way to do anything he possibly could to make baseball in Appleton better.
Hemond's career in baseball began in 1951 and he later became General Manager of the Chicago White Sox in 1970. As GM with the White Sox, Hemond would send top prospects to Appleton and provide anything he could to make the Appleton Baseball Club a success. He was GM of the White Sox until 1985 when he joined the Commissioner's Office for two years before becoming the GM of the Baltimore Orioles in 1988. Hemond left that position in 1995 and became the Senior Executive Vice President of the Arizona Diamondbacks. In 2001, Hemond made his return to the Chicago White Sox as Executive Advisor to the General Manager.
Terry Forster was a phenom signed out of high school who began his professional baseball career with the Appleton Foxes in 1970. He was so impressive in his one season in A-ball, he made the Major League Chicago White Sox the following season. Forster only pitched in 10 games for the Foxes in 1970 but went 6-1 with a 1.33 ERA as a starter.
Forster pitched 16 years in the big leagues, beginning in 1971 with the White Sox. Forster played six seasons with the White Sox and then went on to pitch one season with the Pittsburgh Pirates, five seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, three seasons with the Atlanta Braves, and finishing up his career pitching one season with the California Angels. Forster was the AL Fireman of the Year in 1974, saving a league-high 24 games. His career stats are 54 wins, 65 losses, 127 saves, and a 3.23 ERA. He was also a lifetime .397 hitter.
Fox Cities Foxes
Pat Gillick graduated from USC in 1958 and was a member of the 1958 National Title baseball team. He spent five seasons in the minor leagues spending 1960 with the Fox Cities Foxes. As a member of the Foxes, Gillick was dominant going 11-2 with a 1.91 ERA and 135 strikeouts in 114 innings.
Gillick made his way all the way up to Triple-A before accepting his first official position in 1963 as the assistant farm director for the Houston Astros. His illustrious career has taken him to become the coordinator of Player Development and Scouting for the New York Yankees, Executive Vice President of the Toronto Blue Jays, General Manager of the Baltimore Orioles, and currently the Executive Vice President and GM of the Seattle Mariners, the parent club of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
Gillick's list of achievements includes back-to-back World Series titles with Toronto in 1992 and 1993, Major League baseball's Executive of the Year Award in 1985 and 2001. AL Executive of the Year Award in 1993, and Baseball America's "Executive of the past 20 Years" awarded in 2001.
Carlos May was a member of the 1967 Appleton Foxes. In his one year in Appleton, May batted a robust .338 with 10 home runs and 48 RBI's in 63 games.
May played ten seasons in the majors beginning with a short stint in 1968 with the Chicago White Sox. In his official rookie year of 1969, May had already been named an All-Star when, on Marine reserve duty, he was injured when a mortar misfired. At the time he was batting .281 with 18 home runs and 62 RBI's. He finished the year being named the Sporting News Rookie of the Year. May came back to play with the White Sox for another six seasons before being traded to the New York Yankees and then finishing his career with the California Angels. May's career stats include 1,127 hits with a .274 batting average, 90 home runs and 536 RBI's.
Harold Baines began his professional baseball career in Appleton with the Foxes in 1977. Shortly after being the first overall selection in the draft, Baines hit .261 with 5 home runs for the Foxes. Quickly moving through the Chicago White Sox system, he made his Major League debut in 1980 and soon became a fixture in the White Sox lineup.
Baines went on to play on Chicago's south side for 10 seasons, before joining Texas in 1989. Stints in Texas (1989-1990), Oakland (1990-1992), and Baltimore (1993-1995) led Baines back to the White Sox in 1996 then back to Baltimore for the second half of 1997 and all of 1998. He split 1999 between Baltimore and Cleveland and 2000 with Baltimore and Chicago. In 2001 Baines finished his Major League career where it began, as a member of the Chicago White Sox at the age of 42.
Earning a spot in the all-star game in 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1991, and 1999; Baines appeared in one World Series with Oakland in 1990. He holds a .289 lifetime average while collecting 2855 hits.
John Boles managed the Midwest League Champion Appleton Foxes to their second of three consecutive titles and was named Manager of the Year in 1983. Boles compiled an 87-50 record as a manager for the 1983 Foxes.
Since managing the Foxes in 1983, Boles spent two more years managing in the White Sox system, reaching Triple-A Buffalo in 1985. He spent the next couple of years working for the Kansas City Royals and the Montreal Expos. In 1991, Boles was named Vice President of Player Development for the new Florida Marlins franchise. Midway through the 1996 season, he was named manager for the Marlins. In 1997, Boles moved off the diamond but returned to Florida's helm in 1999 for two and one-half more seasons.
Boles has been described by many as a truly great baseball man and is well respected by persons within and outside the game.
Fox Cities Foxes
Bill Melton played at Goodland Field for the Midwest League Champion Fox Cities Foxes in 1966. For the Foxes, Melton hit .284 collecting 93 hits and 12 home runs.
After Melton's season in Appleton, he broke into the majors with the White Sox in 1968 and became a regular at Comiskey's hot corner in 1969. After hitting 23 home runs in his first full season, he became the first White Sox to hit over 30 home runs in 1970. Melton matched his 33 homers from 1970 to lead the AL in 1971. He stayed in Chicago's south side until 1976 when he joined the California Angels, before finishing his career with the Cleveland Indians in 1977.
Britt Burns helped the Appleton Foxes to a record of 101-40 in 1978 but was promoted to the Chicago White Sox before the Foxes took the Midwest League Title. In only six games for the Foxes, Burns recorded 28 strike outs while only walking two. In 1978 his record was 3-2, with an ERA of 2.40.
Burns pitched eight seasons for the White Sox, recording 70 victories, a career ERA of 3.66 and had a career strikeout to base-on-balls ratio greater than 2:1. In 1981 he was honored with a selection to the All-Star game at only 22 years old. In his only playoff game, Britt pitched nine scoreless innings, taking the loss in the tenth.
His final year in the majors Britt posted 18 wins, before being traded to the New York Yankees and then having to retire due to injuries.
LaMarr Hoyt led the 1978 Appleton Foxes to a Midwest League Championship by way of the Northern Division Title. The right-hander recorded a league-leading 18 wins for the Foxes who finished 101-40 under Gordy Lund. On his way to completing 13 of the 27 games he started, Hoyt held an ERA of 2.90.
LaMarr was originally drafted by the New York Yankees but was traded to the White Sox just before the 1977 season. Only one year after his season in Appleton, Hoyt debuted with the White Sox on September 14, 1979. In 1983 the White Sox won a Division Championship, Hoyt won the American League Cy Young award and posted a record of 24 wins and 10 losses. In the meantime, he struck out 148 hitters and walked 31. Just one year after the Cy Young, Hoyt was traded to San Diego where he would become an All-Star in 1985 for the Padres.
1986 would be the last season for Hoyt in the majors, where he ended with 98 wins, a career ERA of 3.99 and 48 complete games.
Ron Kittle spent parts of 1979 and 1980 in Appleton with the Foxes. Kittle appeared in 35 games in 1979, hitting .258 with 2 home runs. In 1980 Kittle's power showed as he hit 12 home runs in 61 games, carrying an average of .316.
Three seasons after his last game in Appleton, Kittle was an All-Star and the 1963 American League Rookie of the Year. He led the Chicago White Sox with 35 home runs and 100 RBI's in 1983.
In Kittle's 10 seasons in the Major Leagues, he played for the White Sox (1982-1986, 1989-1990 and 1991), New York Yankees (1986-1987), Cleveland Indians (1988), and the Baltimore Orioles (1990). For his career, he went on to blast 176 home runs, collect 460 RBI's and hit .239.
Cal Ripken Sr.
Fox Cities/Appleton Foxes
Cal Ripken Sr. caught in Appleton with the Fox Cities Foxes in 1960. In 1960 Cal posted his career high with 9 home runs, hitting .273 and knocking in 41 runs. Cal's career drifted away from Wisconsin, only to return two years later.
In 1962 Cal Ripken Sr. was assigned by the Baltimore Orioles to the Appleton Foxes as the club's manager and catcher. Upon his return, he also took over as the bus driver. His 1962 Foxes posted a record of 51-63 for the Class D, Midwest League Affiliate, meanwhile he went on to hit .273 in 143 at-bats. After 14 years of managing in the minor leagues and 11 years as a major league coach, he reached full-time managerial status in 1987.
In 1987 Cal Ripken Sr. began his first full season as the manager of the Baltimore Orioles and had the opportunity to manage his two sons in the Major Leagues, Cal Ripken Jr., and Billy Ripken. Cal Ripken Sr.'s influence continues to be one of the strongest in baseball, by his commitment to himself and teaching others "The Ripken Way."
Lamar slugged the Appleton Foxes into the Midwest League-best overall record in 1971 (79-44) and 1972 (76-51). In 1971 Lamar hit .269 with 18 home runs and 97 RBI's. In 1972 he continued his power surge with a career-best 26 home runs, hitting .313 with 89 RBI's.
Lamar was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 1968. He made his Major League debut on May 18, 1974. In 1976 he started his sixth consecutive year on Chicago's south side. Lamar signed with the Texas Rangers for his final year in 1982. Johnson compiled a career .287 batting average with 122 doubles, 12 triples, 64 home runs, and 381 RBI's in 792 games.
Since retiring as a player, Johnson has taken on an instructional role. He has served as a Major League hitting coach with the Milwaukee Brewers, Kansas City Royals, and Seattle Mariners.
Chicago White Sox
Mr. Reinsdorf headed the limited partnership that purchased the Appleton Foxes' parent club, the Chicago White Sox, in 1981. The Foxes stayed under the Chicago White Sox for the next six years. In 1982, 1983, and 1984 the Appleton Foxes won three consecutive Midwest League Championships.
Heading the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls, Mr. Reinsdorf has brought seven championships to the city of Chicago. His Chicago Bulls won the NBA title in 1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, and 1998. In 2005 the Chicago White Sox swept their way to the team's first World Series Championship since 1917.
Kenny Williams spent the entire 1983 season with the Midwest League Champion Appleton Foxes. Williams held a .231 batting average with 12 home runs and 53 RBI's. In 1984 he returned to Appleton, only to be promoted to Double-A after 38 games with the Foxes.
Making his Major League debut in 1986, Kenny hit .281 the next year. His three years with the Chicago White Sox were followed by stints with the Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays, and Montreal Expos.
Following his playing career, he has climbed through the White Sox organization, being named General Manager before the 2001 season. Williams celebrated his fifth season as General Manager in 2005 with a World Series Championship.
John Cangelosi helped the Appleton Foxes win a Midwest League Championship title in 1983, the year in which he set, and still holds, the Appleton Baseball record for stolen bases in a season with 87. During that season he led the Foxes in hits, runs scored, and stolen bases. By 1986, he was starting on opening day in centerfield for the Chicago White Sox.
Over the course of 14 years, he played for seven different teams including the White Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates, Texas Rangers, New York Mets, Houston Astros, Florida Marlins, and Colorado Rockies. Cangelosi was a member of the 1997 World Champion Florida Marlins. He finished his playing career batting .250 with 12 home runs and 134 runs batted in.
Adrian Garrett's first year as a manager after his playing career was with the Appleton Foxes in 1982. He would lead that team to a regular season record of 81-59 and a Midwest League Playoff Championship.
Garrett won minor league home run titles in the International League, Texas League (twice), Pacific Coast League and American Association in his playing days. He played in the Major Leagues for the Atlanta Braves, Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, and California Angels. Garrett also spent three years in the Japanese League playing for the Hiroshima Carp and became the first player to hit three homers in a Japanese All-Star Game when he achieved that feat in 1978.
After his one season in Appleton, Garrett went on to manage Glens Falls (Eastern League) and Denver (American Association). He would go on to coach in the Kansas City Royals, Florida Marlins, and Cincinnati Reds organizations with time in the majors as a third base coach and hitting coach for the Royals from 1988-92.
Chicago White Sox
Bill Veeck was one of the most innovative baseball owners in history. He was the owner of the Cleveland Indians and St. Louis Browns as well as the White Sox two different times. The first time was from 1958-1961, with the second stint from 1975-1981.
Veeck came up with everything from using 3' 7" Eddie Gaedel as a pinch hitter to an exploding scoreboard to promote his teams.
Cleveland's World Series Championship in 1948 and the White Sox pennant in 1959 were won with Veeck as the owner.
Veeck's second time as the owner of the White Sox coincided with Chicago being the parent club of the Appleton Foxes. The close relationship between Appleton baseball and Veeck saw many major leaguers like Harold Baines, Greg Walker, Britt Burns, and Ron Kittle come through Goodland Field.
Daryl Boston was the 7th overall pick in the 1981 draft out of a Cincinnati, OH high school. He came to Appleton at the start of the 1982 season after playing 56 games in the Gulf Coast League the year before.
He became one of the top hitters on the 1982 Midwest League Champion Appleton Foxes. Boston led the champs in home runs (15), triples (9), RBI (77), and games played (139) as a 19-year-old outfielder.
Boston left the Foxes and went on to a Major League career that lasted from 1984 through 1994, as he played 1,058 games for the Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, Colorado Rockies, and New York Yankees.