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Thursday, February 28, 2013

1990 Visalia Oaks

Recreation Park in Visalia, Ca., in 2012. Recreation Park was home to the 1990 Visalia Oaks. (G21D Photo)
Features on each member of the 1990 Visalia Oaks, high-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.

Interview (1) 
1 - Chad Swanson, Good Pitches
Chad Swanson played four seasons and helped prank two umpires.

Visalia Oaks (31)
1 - Brian Allard, Main Objective
Brian Allard played in three major league seasons, went on to a career coaching young pitchers in the minors.
2 - Mike Aspray, Settled For
Mike Aspray nearly got a perfect game at single-A, settled for a no-hitter. He played four seasons, never made the bigs.
3 - J.T. Bruett, More Selective
J.T. Bruett tried to be more selective. He was successful enough to get time in two major league seasons.
4 - Troy Buckley, Test of Response
Troy Buckley tried to get a response from his Long Beach State pitcher. He got it with four scoreless.
5 - Brian Bucz, Best Promotion
Brian Bucz knew that as general manager the best promotion was winning.
6 - Joseph Bucz, Both Fixtures
Joseph Bucz and his wife Mary were both fixtures at Visalia Oaks games.
7 - Chris Capellan, Started Slow
Carlos Capellan played eight seasons as a pro. He made AA, but not the majors.
8 - Ramon Cedeno, Lucky Night
Ramon Cedeno tried to hit a ball hard in each at bat. He played as a pro for eight seasons, never made the bigs.
9 - Jason Elick, Collected Himself
Jason Elick served as a Visalia Oaks bat boy. He also got his own card.
10 - Tom Fine, Lost Concentration
Tom Fine lost his concentration at single-A, then lost 11 games to no wins. Played four seasons, never made the bigs.
11 - Carl Fraticelli, Came Ready
Carl Fraticelli's Aliis came ready to play. Fraticelli came with his own playing and coaching experience.
12 - Rich Garces, Proved Himself
Rich Garces finally got his chance to prove himself, then he ran with it.
13 - Jose "Cheo" Garcia, Twins Tour
Cheo Garcia played as a pro for six seasons, made AAA in two of them. He never the bigs.
14 - Darren Holt, Different Role
Darren Holt served as the Visalia groundskeeper in 1990. He previously played.
15 - Mike House, Different Path
Mike House turned his career around at new school. He couldn't turn it around enough for a long pro career.
16 - Jay Kvasnicka, Means Everything
Jay Kvasnicka's AA playoff run meant everything to him. He never made the majors.
17 - Todd Logan, Tough Kid
Todd Logan was called a tough kid, competitor. His pro career lasted just four seasons.
18 - Pat Mahomes, Paying Off
Pat Mahomes saw a resurgence late in his career. He played in 11 major league seasons and in Japan.
19 - Dan Masteller, Like This
Dan Masteller didn't bunt, was given green light and hit his first major league home run. It was a walk-off.
20 - Bob McCreary, Toughest Adjustment
Bob McCreary tried two paths to the bigs, hitting and pitching. He never made it in either.
21 - Denny Neagle, Already Familiar
Denny Neagle made connections in his new town, it led him to the Mitchell Report.
22 - Ray Ortiz, Winning Teams
Ray Ortiz helped his minor league teams to titles. In eight pro seasons, he never got a chance to help one in the majors.
23 - Joel Safly, Little Things
Joel Safly became a school athletic trainer after a brief pro stint.
24 - Dan Segui, Some Kids 
Dan Segui's father and brother made the bigs. In four seasons, Dan Segui never made it.
25 - Robert Spurlock, Well Acquainted
Robert Spurlock was in his fourth season as Visalia bat boy in 1990.
26 - Chad Swanson, Successfully Deployed
Chad Swanson and a teammate decided to pull a prank in 1988. Their chosen targets: The umpires.
27 - Mike Trombley, Good Times
Mike Trombley took the good times with the bad. He did so for 11 major league seasons.
28 - George Tsamis, Greatest Place
George Tsamis saw the big leagues as the greatest place. It was. And he was there for a single season.
29 - Scott Ullger, Chance Taken
Scott Ullger looked forward to returning to the bigs as a player, later returned as a coach.
30 - Fred White, Unlimited Potential
Fred White impressed scouts in high school with a 20-strikeout game. He played eight seasons as a pro, never made the bigs.
31 - Phil Wiese, Left Off
A torn rotator cuff forced an early end to Phil Wiese's baseball career, an early start to his golf career. 

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