There is something that annoys me in Minor League baseball. And that thing is minor league teams that just copy what their parent club’s name is. It is, in a way, almost insulting to the city that hosts the team plays in, making it impossible for that team to truly build a unique identity. To be sure, there are exceptions- the Pawtucket Red Sox have been around since the 70s and it seems inconceivable to think of them as anything else- but in general, they are generic names that make it impossible for the team to truly represent the town it plays out of.
So, today, I declare war on most of the Copy-Pasted Minor League Team Names…. after the jump:
In 1988, the Rochester Red Wings won the Governor’s Cup championship under the helm of Johnny Oates and a team that included young guns like Steve Finley (would lead the league in batting, Pete Harnisch and Craig Worthington (who would be that year’s IL MVP) as well as veterans like Dale Berra and Jerry Narron, all while dealing with plenty of movement between AAA and the Orioles, who were infamously in the middle of their worst season ever. And while they lost a AAA championship with the American Association champion Indianapolis Indians, it remained the Red Wings’ first IL title since 1974.
So, it makes sense that that would be on the front of the following year’s program. Oh, it’s sort of bland, but it gets the message across: The Red Wings were defending champions!
Now, this program I have is a bit beaten up, and is missing a few pages, but most of it is intact, so go below the jump to read about what was in the 1989 Red Wings program, and click on any picture to make it bigger:
In this recurring piece, I look at the programs and yearbooks of my hometown Rochester Red Wings. This is the first part of the series.
In 1981, the Rochester Red Wings were, if nothing else, notable. They played in the longest game in baseball history- a 33-inning loss against Pawtucket that was begun in April and finished in June. Cal Ripken played his last full season in the minor leagues for Rochester. Future All-Star and Gold-Glover Mike Boddicker also played for Rochester that season.
So it’s as good a place as any to begin our look back at Rochester Red Wings programs/yearbooks.
Herman Wedemeyer was a All-American football player at St. Mary’s College and would later go on to be elected to College Football’s Hall of Fame. He also played two years of professional football and was a politician in his native Hawaii- where he also dabbled in acting, appearing as “Duke” Lukela in 143 episodes of the original Hawaii Five-O.
However, he also had a brief baseball career, playing in 15 games in 1950 for Sal Lake City in the Pioneer League, where he played alongside future MLB player Mike Baxes and also Wally Yonamine, who would be the first American to play in Japan after WWII.