Monday, December 24, 2012

A look back at the 2012 Gateway Grizzlies

Hello all!  With 2012 coming to a close in almost one week, it's time to take a look back at the year that was in Gateway Grizzlies Baseball.  Here's a 'Best Of' list for 2012.  Hope you enjoy! 

Photo courtesy of Paul Baillargeon
Best moment of 2012: This one is an easy selection.  The best moment came on a day when the Grizzlies didn't even play a game.  It was August 31st and the Grizzlies magic # to win the division was at 1..the Grizzlies had their first and only rain out of the season, but with the magic # at 1, the team gathered at a local bar and listened to the Washington/Schaumburg radio broadcast together.  The Wild Things cruised to a win and all the players, coaches and staff celebrated when the final out was recorded.  It was an unbelievable night that I will never forget.  The night the West was won - 8/31/12. 

Worst moment of 2012: It still pains me to listen to this clip.  The Grizzlies were one out away from advancing to the Championship series.  They led Game 4 of the Divisional series 5-1 before Florence scored 6 unanswered runs, including a 3-run walk off HR by Drew Rundle with the Freedom down to their final out in the game AND series.  Here's the Radio Highlight from the Rundle HR..notice the tone in my voice.  I was say the least.
Drew Rundle Walk Off HR Game 4 Divisional Series

Best play of 2012:  Jonathan Johnson, you are superman!  'JJ' made a thrilling catch near the home team bullpen at GCS Ballpark during the season.  This was one of many great plays from Johnson during the season, but this one certainly sticks out.  Here's the Radio Highlight..
Jonathan Johnson Defensive Play of the Year 2012

Photo courtesy of Paul Baillargeon
Best game in 2012: It was the first playoff game for the Grizzlies since 2008 and Gateway delivered in a big way.  Phil Warren's team jumped out to a 1-0 series lead with an impressive win @ GCS Ballpark in Game 1 of the Divisional Series against the Florence Freedom.  Here's Radio Highlights from that playoff win!   
Grizzlies Game 1 Divisional Series Radio Highlights

Best series in 2012: With the West Division as tight as ever, the Grizzlies picked up a HUGE road sweep @ Windy City in late August to grab the lead in the West Division.  Some would say it was the biggest series for the team in recent memory, and boy did they deliver.  Below are Radio Highlights from the series.  
Grizzlies Radio Highlights @ Windy City

Photo courtesy of Paul Baillargeon
Best individual performance in 2012: Rogelio Noris tied a Grizzlies franchise record w/ 3 HR's in a game @ Traverse City late in the season to lead Gateway to a BIG win that helped them avoid getting swept.  Wuerfel Park is a big yard, but Rogelio treated it like his backyard that night in late August.  One of the best performances in team history!

Best trade in 2012: Ahh, Mr. Noris.  Rogelio was acquired by the Grizzlies roughly 25 games into the season, and boy was he exactly what the team needed.  Noris became the big bat the Grizzlies needed in the middle of their order and the team took off when he came to town.  This is an easy selection..some would say it's the biggest trade in team history.  Here's a highlight of one of Rogelio's many HR's in 2012!   Rogelio Noris HR @ Southern Illinois 

Surprise player in 2012: Rookie reliever Zac Treece came to Gateway after an impressive college career, but no prior pro experience.  No one knew how this tall, lanky right-hander would handle the transition from college to the pro's.  Boy did he handle it well.  Treece finished the season with an ERA just over one and was named the Frontier League Rookie of the Year.  He was one of the best pitcher's in the league in 2012..can't wait to see what he has in store for an encore in 2013.

Hope you enjoyed this post.  Looking forward to's hoping this is the year the Grizzlies capture a Championship!

    -Voice of the Grizzlies, Adam Young

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