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Midwest League 1988

Summary

  • Midwest League Champion: Cedar Rapids Reds (Reds)
  • Team with Best Won/Lost Record: Cedar Rapids Reds (Reds) 87/53, .621
  • Most Valuable Player: Lenny Webster (Kenosha/Twins)
  • Prospect of the Year: Tom Gordon (Appleton/Royals)
  • Manager of the Year: Marc Bombard (Cedar Rapids/Reds)
  • Executive of the Year: Bob Lee (President/GM, Kenosha Twins)

  • League Attendance: 1,657,595
    • 14 teams in two divisions played a 140 game, split-season schedule which began on April 8 and ended on August 29. A two-tier post-season playoff qualifying all four half-season champions determined the league champion.
    • The MWL had teams in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Wisconsin.
  • Best Big League Career: Tom Gordon (Appleton/Royals)
    • Albert (then Joey) Belle appeared in 9 games for Waterloo.


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28oct09


1988 Season
Summary
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Highlights
League
MWL Fan's Guide

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Overview

The Midwest League's long-delayed expansion--it was approved and franchises were sold after the 1984 season--finally occurred in 1988 when the Rockford and South Bend teams joined the fray. Rockford had a fine year on the field, while South Bend had an excellent year at the gate.

Cincinnati sent a strong team to Cedar Rapids, and the players delivered a first-half title and a Championship Playoff win. After a stumbling start, Kenosha won the the North's first half. Second half champions Rockford and Springfield won easy titles, but both lost in the first playoff round. The Reds overpowered Kenosha in the championship round.

In general, 1988 was a pitcher's year in the MWL; only three hitters topped .300, while 22 HR and 89 RBI were enough to the circuit. Kenosha's Lenny Webster had a strong season (.288; 11 HR, 87 RBI) and parlayed his leadership and clutch hitting into an MVP year. Tom Gordon's three months in Appleton were spectacular: 2.06 ERA, and 176 strikeouts in 118 innings; thus his Prospect of the Year prize. Ramon Sambo's 98 stolen bases for Cedar Rapids set a league standard.


Composite Record for Each Team

                Nickname  Affiliate Won Lost  Pct (Rank)
Appleton        Foxes     Royals    58  82   .414 (13)
Beloit          Brewers   Brewers   66  74   .471  (8)
Burlington      Braves    Braves    60  80   .429 (11)
Cedar Rapids    Reds      Reds      87  53   .621  (1)
Clinton         Giants    Giants    78  62   .557  (5T)
Kenosha         Twins     Twins     81  59   .579  (4)
Madison         Muskies   Athletics 65  75   .464  (9)
Peoria          Chiefs    Cubs      70  70   .500  (7)
Quad City       Angels    Angels    60  79   .432 (10)
Rockford        Expos     Expos     84  56   .600  (2)
South Bend      White Sox White Sox 59  81   .421 (12)
Springfield     Cardinals Cardinals 81  58   .583  (3)
Waterloo        Indians   Indians   78  62   .557  (5T)
Wausau          Timbers   Mariners  52  88   .371 (14)

First Half

North      W  L   Pct  GB    South          W  L   Pct  GB
Kenosha    41 27 .603  ---   Cedar Rapids   46 24 .657  ---
Rockford   39 29 .574  2.0   Clinton        42 24 .636  2.0
Madison    33 34 .493  7.5   Waterloo       40 26 .606  4.0
Appleton   28 38 .424 12.0   Burlington     37 31 .544  8.0
South Bend 29 41 .414 13.0   Springfield    32 37 .464 13.5
Wausau     26 41 .388 14.5   Peoria         29 40 .420 16.5
Beloit     26 41 .388 14.5   Quad City      27 42 .391 18.5

First half ended on June 17.


Second Half

North      W  L   Pct  GB    South          W  L   Pct  GB
Rockford   45 27 .625  ---   Springfield    49 21 .700  ---
Kenosha    40 32 .556  5.0   Cedar Rapids   41 29 .586  8.0
Beloit     40 33 .548  5.5   Peoria         41 30 .577  8.5
Madison    32 41 .438 13.5   Waterloo       38 36 .514 13.0
South Bend 30 40 .429 14.0   Clinton        36 38 .486 15.0
Appleton   30 44 .405 16.0   Quad City      33 37 .471 16.0
Wausau     26 47 .356 19.5   Burlington     23 49 .319 27.0

1988 Post-Season

 Round 1:
 Kenosha d. Rockford, 2-0
 Cedar Rapids d. Springfield, 2-0

 Championship:
 Cedar Rapids d. Kenosha, 3-1

1988 All Star Game

July 11 @ Clinton, Iowa
North 5, South 2

          North             010 100 300 - 5 7 ?
          South             100 000 010 - 2 6 ?

WP: Jesus DeLeon (Appleton/Royals)
LP: Tom Kramer (Waterloo/Indians)
MVP: Jorge Pedre (Appleton/Royals)

Box Score and Details


1988 League Changes

  • Rockford Expos: expansion franchise; new nickname, new affiliation, new stadium (Meinen Field in Blackhawk Park).
  • South Bend White Sox: expansion franchise; new nickname, new affiliation, new stadium (Stanley Coveleski Regional Stadium).
  • Burlington Braves changed affiliations and nicknames (both from Expos to Braves).

Sources

  • Lloyd Johnson & Miles Wolff, Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (Durham: Baseball America, 1997)
  • 1989 Baseball America Almanac
  • 1988 Burlington Bees Yearbook
  • 1989 Kenosha Twins Yearbook
  • 1989 Midwest League Record Book
  • 1995 Midwest League Yearbook
  • 1995 Cedar Rapids Kernels Media Guide
  • 2000 Baseball America Super Register
  • 1988 & 1989 Programs/Yearbooks:
    • 1988 & 1989 Beloit Brewers
    • 1988 & 1989 Kenosha Twins
    • 1988 & 1989 Appleton Foxes
    • 1988 Waterloo Indians
    • 1989 Waterloo Diamonds
    • 1988 & 1989 Wausau Timbers
    • 1988 Burlington Braves
    • 1988 & 1989 Peoria Chiefs
    • 1988 & 1989 Madison Muskies
    • 1988 & 1989 South Bend White Sox
    • 1988 Clinton Giants
    • 1988 & 1989 Quad City Angels
    • 1988 & 1989 Cedar Rapids Reds
    • 1989 Rockford Expos

Note

This summary originated as the January 7, 2001, Midwest League Tidbit on the Midwest League Mailing List.




The Midwest League plays Single-A, professional baseball in America's agricultural and industrial heartland. 16 teams play a 140 game schedule which begins in early April and ends Labor Day weekend.

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The opinions expressed on this page are mine, and are worth about that.


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