November 2010

Texas Rangers Outfielder and NC Native Josh Hamilton Wins AL MVP

-Nick Parson, Front Office Assistant

 

As the grand finale of the 2010 MLB awards season, Texas Rangers’ outfielder Josh Hamilton took home the MVP award for the American League.

Hamilton, a native of Raleigh, is the first recipient on the Rangers since Alex Rodriguez won it in 2003. In addition to being the AL MVP and an American League Champion, Hamilton also earned himself the MVP award in the ALCS.

Although Hamilton and his Rangers  team mates fell short of a World Series victory, they have won just about everything else they could have. In addition to Hamilton’s recent honors, Rangers closer Neftali Feliz locked up the vote for American League Rookie of The Year.

Having received 22 of 28 first place votes, Hamilton set the bar with a league leading .359 batting average and .411 on-base percentage. In addition to outstanding offensive numbers, Hamilton also demonstrated an impressive amount of determination late in the season as he battled rib fractures to remain in the lineup going into the postseason.

With all of the accomplishments that they have made this year, both on team and personal levels, the Texas Rangers certainly have something to be invigorated about when they start camp in February. As far as what this means for the Crawdads, players like Josh Hamilton are setting a precedent for what it means to be a member of the Texas Rangers, giving the players in Hickory an example to follow.

Rangers Closer Neftali Feliz Wins Rookie of The Year

-Nick Parson, Front Office Assistant 


Despite falling short of their first World Series title, the Texas Rangers, MLB affiliate of the Hickory Crawdads, have a long list of things to be proud of now that the 2010 season has drawn to an end. Adding to that list is the young closer Neftali Feliz, who has earned himself the American League Rookie of The Year Award for 2010.

With the award, Feliz has put an end to the longest drought in the American League for a Rookie of The Year. Prior to this season,  a Rangers rookie had not won since Mike Hargrove in 1974.

Feliz, who was just 21 years of age when he broke camp with the Rangers last spring, put up intimidating numbers to say the least. In addition to his Rookie of the Year honors, Feliz earned a trip to this year’s MLB All Star Game, and set a new record for saves by a rookie with 40 to his credit.

Although Feliz did not come up through the Rangers system, he serves as yet another reminder of the value that the Rangers place on young talent. Feliz was signed by the Atlanta Braves in 2005 and was acquired by Texas in the trade that sent Mark Teixeira to Atlanta in 2007. Having made his major league debut as a September call-up in 2009, Feliz got his first opportunity as a closer for Texas after Frank Francisco began the 2010 campaign with two blown saves. From that point on, sitting batters down in the 9th inning became a habit for Neftali Feliz.

Although postseason appearances are not considered in awards voting, Feliz had a successful playoff run as he retired the Yankees in order in Game 6 of the ALCS to send Texas to their first World Series appearance in franchise history.

As for what this award means for next season, Feliz will have the same challenge that every Rookie of the Year faces in proving himself as more than just a fluke with beginner’s luck. The one thing that Feliz has already proven though is that he not only has the potential to be a dominant closer, he has the potential to be one of the best in the game.

Some Fall, Some Stand Tall… but the ‘Dads Keep the Fun Alive!

-Nick Parson, Front Office Assistant

 

The Texas Rangers appeared to be loaded for bear going into the 106th World Series against the San Francisco Giants. Unfortunately for the Rangers, they could only get a few shots off before being soundly beaten 4-1 in the best of seven series.

As disappointed as we were to see the Rangers fall in the World Series, we tip our caps to local hero Madison Bumgarner, who is now Hickory’s resident World Series champ. Bumgarner, who pitched his highschool ball mere miles away from L.P. Frans Stadium, was a key contributor for the Giants in their World Series victory, shutting down the Rangers to the tune of three hits over eight frames in Game 4.

Also getting a World Series ring is former ‘Dad Aaron Rowand. Rowand played in Hickory during the 1998 season, and is now a utility outfielder for the Giants.

The longest postseason run in Texas Rangers history definitely generated some exitement here in our front office. Things can get lonely here sometimes after the ballpark has been empty for a month, but the fact that our big brothers on the Rangers kept their season going for so long made the transition into the offseason just a little more gradual.

Now that the baseball season is officially over, we have turned off the tv and are hunkering down at our desks to begin crafting the 2011 Hickory Crawdads campaign. The ideas are flowing freely now, and we look forward to having you all here at L.P. Frans next season to see some of our new plans come to fruition. In addition, we hope you take advantage of the opportunity to see the future players for what is now a World Series calibur franchise, the mighty Texas Rangers!

Until baseball here gets going again on April 7th, stay tuned to our website for announcements on ways to make your winter more fun. From events at the ballpark to ticket deals for those looking for stocking stuffers, we’ll be keeping things exciting around here until the players break from camp and show up at our doorstep.

Until next time, keep those warm North Carolina nights fresh in your memory and get excited to do it all over again next season.