May 3, 1960 & May 3, 1985

You will understand this in a bit.

50 years ago today


John Papa was the winning pitcher and struck out 11, but a future Orioles manager played a key role in this comeback win by the Foxes.

Fox Cities trailed the game 3-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth and Cal Ripken, Sr. was having a tough night at Goodland Field. He had committed an error and was charged with two passed balls.

In the seventh, he stepped to the plate and, I'll let Mike Drew take it away:
The veteran catcher banged a two-run double in the seventh to put the Foxes up to stay.
On top of that, Drew reveals that Charlie Johnson, who hit the winning homer against Burlington on May 2, used Ripken's bat for the tremendous clout. (Drew didn't write that. I was just getting the spirit of the thing).

Interesting note from the notes section after the main story. Three umpires worked the game. The game up in Green Bay had been postponed and ump George Sosnak, who was supposed to work that game, drove down to Appleton to keep busy.

Sosnak is an interesting story in and of himself.
Sosnak had always enjoyed painting, but he had an odd request while he was umpiring a game in Idaho in 1956. A female fan asked if he could paint a baseball featuring her favorite ball player. Sosnak obliged; he always obliged.

The painting of baseballs began from that simple request and then became a viable outlet for Sosnak to share his passion for the game of baseball. Sosnak’s work slowly grew to cult-like popularity, and demand soon followed for his work. The demand came from all directions – politicians, baseball players, batboys, fans, presidents, baseball owners, hospitals, foreign dignitaries, charity groups, churches, sportswriters, managers and anyone who would simply ask. Sosnak was not one to turn anyone down. Oftentimes, players sought out his services at spring training games in Florida when he was umpiring. He was sometimes paid for the work. However, he would often finish a baseball and simply present it to the player, person or organization as a gift.

If he had a favorite team, it was the Detroit Tigers. There is an unusually large array of Tigers-related work among his finished work. Sosnak was an umpire for several years at the Tigers spring training site, and he ultimately settled in Lakeland, Fla. He would also attend the Annual Florida Governors dinner, and there are many works featuring players and politicians that he met through this venue. In typical fashion, he would get an item signed at the dinner and then start his research to lay the foundation for his next creation.
Click that link to see the whole story. This really cool Bill Mazerowski ball up at the top is the work of Sosnak.

The win was the second straight for the Foxes. They are 2-4 on the season at this point.

25 years ago today

........................R..H E
KENOSHA..011 010 100 -..4 10 3
APPLETON.220 030 60x - 13 12 2

WP: Tony Mendez (3-0)

ATTN: 1,989

The Foxes beat up on the Twins and put the game away with a 6-run seventh inning. But it was a homer early in the game that gave the Foxes some breathing room. Jim Markert hit a three-run homer on a 3-2 pitch and moved the score from 4-3 Appleton to 7-3 Appleton.

Troy Thomas was a big part of the offense, too. He had three hits and three RBI for the Foxes.

Appleton's win moved their record to 13-8 and it came in front of their biggest crowd of the season...to date.

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