Dispersal Draft ushers in new era for league

Our 2015-16 Dispersal Draft will be held this Saturday, Jan. 2, beginning at 4 p.m. ET, officially marking the debut of three new managers in the I-75 League as we zero in on the start of our 37th season.

Jason and Ryan Renbarger, sons of Mike, brothers to John and nephews to Dave, join the league as the fourth and fifth Renbargers on our managerial roster; and Jeff Richards, a veteran Strat player going back to the 1970s, comes aboard as well. They replace the departing managerial trio of Phil Roselli, Mike Wilson and Dan Wilson.

Their first order of business is to build an 18-man roster from a pool of players comprised of former Chatfield, Hickory and Wisconsin players. A serpentine draft will be conducted, with each manager having one minute per pick. A random draw for the order was held on Dec. 29, with Ryan’s Dyersville Treblemakers getting the first pick, Jason’s New New York Hypnotoads getting the second pick, and Jeff’s West Atlanta Crush getting the third pick.

For the second round, the order will reverse: West Atlanta, New New York and Dyersville.

At some point in the draft, each manager also much select his March draft position from among the three draft positions Chatfield, Hickory and Wisconsin would have had. This makes for a 19-round draft.

You can watch the draft live as we are using a shared Google doc for making draft selections. Here is the link.

A reminder to the rest of the league that your 17- or 18-man retention rosters are due by 10 p.m. ET on Sunday, Jan. 3.

Our new managers are already well into their strategy sessions as they scope out the considerable talent in the dispersal pool.

Here’s a quick look at some of the aspects of the dispersal draft that will be interesting to see how they play out:

Rookies vs. the vet: This is the first league action for Jason and Ryan, while Jeff has considerable experience playing the game. Will that affect the kind of teams they draft, or their drafting strategy? Continue reading

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Applegate shocks Chatfield for 2015 World Series title

paperclipsIt will forever be known as “The Lomax That Derailed the Choo-Choos.”

With Chatfield up 3-1 in games and 2-1 in the fourth inning of Game Five, Troy Tulowitzki rolled into a lomax triple play, the Applegate Paperclips took the lead in the bottom of the inning and the Choo-Choos never scored in that game again.

The series went back to Chatfield for Games Six and Seven, but the Choo-Choos’ momentum never returned, as Applegate posted a 4-1 win in Game Six and 5-2 win in Game Seven to capture the 2015 I-75 League World Series title.

It’s the third World Championship for Gary Kicinski and Applegate, and second in four years, having also conquered Chatfield in the 2012 World Series. Applegate’s other World Series win came in 1996.

“I’m still stunned,” Kicinski said hours after the games. “To think we nearly threw in the towel on this team after April … we just were very fortunate in the last three games of the Series and had a lot of things fall our way at key moments.”

It was a bittersweet outcome for Chatfield, which lost a 3-1 series lead one year after watching a 3-0 series lead go down the drain to South Grand Prairie.

Applegate had started the season 15-25, but shook off two months of ineptitude to storm to an 82-38 record the rest of the way. A trade deadline pickup of Ken Giles from Hickory added 46 unblemished innings to an already-strong bullpen.

But Chatfield presented an even stronger team that had made even stronger trades to compile a deeper bullpen, built for the playoffs and backed by two of the best starting pitcher cards in the set and a lineup stacked with players who were great both offensively and defensively. The Choo-Choos were the postseason’s top-seeded team after a league-best 103-win season.

So when the Clips headed to Chatfield for Games Six and Seven, their expectations of winning both games to come home with the title were fairly faint.

Continue reading