Results tagged ‘ All-Star Game ’

A 2012 encore?

Tommy Thompson will don the Dash purple again in 2014 (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Tommy Thompson will don the Dash purple again in 2014 (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

The 2012 season was a special one in Winston-Salem. Thanks to the White Sox 2014 field staff assignments, the three leaders of that squad are back for another go-around this summer.

Tommy Thompson will lead the Dash this season, with pitching coach J.R. Perdew and hitting coach Gary Ward also returning to the Triad.

The Dash’s 2012 season was one for the record books. Here are some of my favorite stats from that season:

  • The Dash finished with the best record in full-season Minor League Baseball (87-51-1), narrowly edging out the Asheville Tourists (Low-A, Colorado) and the Indianapolis Indians (Triple-A, Pittsburgh) for the top mark.
  • This record is good for the second-best mark in the 110-year history of the franchise. Only the 1950 Winston-Salem Cardinals (106-47) had a better record. That team is the best in the history of the Carolina League.
  • Thompson won the circuit’s Manager of the Year Award, which was Winston’s third in the previous four years. Dan Black collected the club’s second straight Most Valuable Player honor.
  • The Dash went 15-3-3 in home series and never suffered a sweep at BB&T Ballpark. Winston-Salem’s 48-23 home record was the best in full-season Minor League Baseball.
  • Five players from that squad have already advanced to the big leagues, while 14 others have made it to Triple-A since appearing on that team.
  • These three men led the Carolina League past the California League 9-1 in the 2012 California-Carolina League All-Star Game. That victory snapped the Carolina League’s three-game losing streak in the series.

There is no question that Tommy, J.R. and Gary will have a tough time replicating the success they shared during the 2012 season. However, Winston-Salem fans have to be excited about what their reunion could mean for the Dash in 2014.

- Brian

2012 All-Star Game alums in The Show

Yesterday, the Boston Red Sox called up infield prospect Xander Bogaerts from their Triple-A affiliate in Pawtucket, making him the fourth player that played in the 2012 California-Carolina League All-Star Game at BB&T Ballpark to make it to The Show. Here are the four who have made it to the majors so far:

INF Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox

Xander Bogaerts is the most recent player from last year's ASG at BB&T Ballpark to make it to the majors (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash)/

Xander Bogaerts is the most recent player from last year’s All-Star Game at BB&T Ballpark to make it to the majors (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash)

Bogaerts had a very good first half of the season last year, posting a .293 average with nine home runs and 42 RBIs. Used primarily as a shortstop, he also shined on the defensive end to earn his spot as the starting shortstop for the Carolina League, one of three representatives of the Salem Red Sox to start for the CL. The Aruba native went 0-for-2 in the contest before he was replaced by Nick Ahmed, who is now in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ system.

This year, Bogaerts played for Team Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic before starting the season with Double-A Portland, where he ended 2012. The 20-year-old hit .311 in 56 games with the Sea Dogs of the Eastern League, proving he was ready to head to Pawtucket in mid-June.

At the big league level, Bogaerts is expected to add depth to the left side of Boston’s infield. Per MLB.com’s Ian Browne, he will play some at shortstop and some at third base, a position he has played a little bit in the minors and the World Baseball Classic.

OF Jackie Bradley, Jr., Boston Red Sox

Bradley, Jr., was one of the other two Salem Red Sox to start in last year’s All-Star Game for the Carolina League, playing the entire game in center field. He went hitless but did score a run and drive in another in the CL’s 9-1 mauling of the California League. Bradley, Jr., had a scorching first half for Salem, hitting .359 to earn his All-Star spot and then a call-up to Double-A after the break. We caught up with him right before the jump to Double-A.

The former University of South Carolina Gamecock finished his season there before impressing in spring training enough to begin this season as the Red Sox Opening Day left fielder. Bradley, Jr., struggled in his first taste of big league action and was sent to Triple-A Pawtucket after a few weeks. He has been back up to Boston a few times since, but has not stuck with the big club for a long period of time yet.

Dylan Bundy represented Frederick in last year's ASG and was pitching for Baltimore by September Game (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Dylan Bundy represented Frederick in last year’s ASG and was pitching for Baltimore by September (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

RHP Dylan Bundy, Baltimore Orioles

A first-round pick in 2011, Bundy started last year with Low-A Delmarva in the Baltimore system before quickly earning the bump up the to Orioles’ Carolina League affiliate in Frederick. The righty made just four starts for the Keys prior to the All-Star Game but was still selected and pitched a scoreless sixth inning in the game. Bundy was on the fast track and only made eight starts in the second half for Frederick before he was promoted to Double-A Bowie.

From there, Bundy logged just three appearances for the Baysox before he was called up to the majors, becoming the first player from the 2012 California-Carolina League All-Star Game to make his big league debut when he pitched against the Boston Red Sox on September 23, 2012. Unfortunately, the top pitching prospect in the Orioles’ organization hasn’t pitched in the majors or the minors at all this year due to injury. Bundy underwent Tommy John Surgery in late June and will not return until sometime in 2014.

INF Brad Miller, Seattle Mariners

The lone California League All-Star from last year to have made it to The Show, Miller represented the High Desert Mavericks in last year’s game. A first-round pick in 2011 by the Mariners, Miller earned his way to Winston-Salem with a .326 first-half average to go with nine long balls and 34 RBIs. He came into the game as a substitute and had a double and a walk in his two plate appearances.

The former Clemson University product ended 2012 and began 2013 in Double-A Jackson, while he eventually jumped to Triple-A Tacoma. Miller lasted only 26 games in the Pacific Coast League, raking to the tune of .356 before the Mariners called him up in late June. Since his promotion, he has been playing just about everyday, with the majority of his time spent at shortstop. Of the four, he is the only one to have stuck in the big leagues so far and earn an everyday starting job. With all the talent that was in that game, he surely will not be the only one to do so.

After snapping their eight-game slide last night, the Dash will look to earn a split of their four-game set at Harry Grove Stadium against the Keys tonight. Check back later today for a preview of the final regular season meeting between the two clubs.

- Rob

Shagging baseballs at the Home Run Derby

In the summer of 1998, baseball fanatic Josh Richmond was gearing up for his ninth birthday. Richmond grew up in Cincinnati and, naturally, was a huge Reds fan. The Boone brothers (Aaron and Bret), Sean Casey and Barry Larkin were his favorite players. When young Richmond laid his head on his pillow at night, he dreamt of putting on a Major League Baseball uniform. Little did he know, that day would come before his 10th birthday.

The 1998 Home Run Derby was held at Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies. Ken Griffey, Jr., won the event with a total of 19 home runs. Legendary sluggers Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez and Jim Thome participated, too. Richmond, with wide eyes and just nine years of life under his belt, was also there, shagging fly balls in the outfield.

Richmond2

Richmond (wearing the Reds jersey) poses with the other young baseball shaggers in Denver (Photo courtesy of the Richmond family).

“I was at my grandmother’s house on the pool deck when my dad got the call that I had won a spot to go to the Home Run Derby,” Richmond said. “He was so excited that he ran out to the backyard and tackled me into the pool. That was just his way of celebrating.”

Richmond competed in skill competitions that tested a player’s power, accuracy and speed in order to qualify. “I won the competition, but my scores still had to be in the top four in my age group in the country, so I had been waiting for the results,” he said. Richmond did not quite understand what he was about to experience, but it turned out to be one of the most memorable days of his life.

Major League Baseball flew the Richmond family to Denver the day before the Home Run Derby. When the rest of the kids got to the ballpark, they were all given a tour of the stadium and rubbed elbows with some of the All-Stars. “I made my parents drive me to the stadium way too early because I was just so excited,” Richmond recalled.

Richmond had a special encounter with Griffey, Jr., one of baseball’s most popular stars. “When he came over to introduce himself, he rubbed my head,” Richmond said. “That was really special because every kid loved Griffey.” Richmond said that it was difficult for him to wash his hair again after that moment, but he eventually did.

After the tour was over, Richmond was handed his own Cincinnati Reds uniform to don for the Home Run Derby. The moment that Richmond had been waiting for was finally here, and he was about to run out onto a big league field in front of 50,000 fans. “I remember anxiously waiting in the tunnel to run out onto the field with my jersey on and my glove in hand,” Richmond said.
Richmond may have only been nine years old, but he knew how to defend one of the greatest left-handed hitters of all time. “When Griffey would hit, I would always run to right field because I knew that he was going to pull the ball.”

Unfortunately, Richmond was never able to catch a ball off Junior’s bat because most of them went over the fence, but there was one ball off McGwire’s bat that Richmond did field. It was a line drive that he had to fight off another kid in order to make the play. The kid who Richmond was wrestling with was Chris Parmelee, who has since logged big league time with the Minnesota Twins.

Another future major leaguer who was shagging fly balls that night was Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer. “Eric and I became best friends in high school, and we played together for the Midland Redskins where we won a national championship,” Richmond said. “It was surreal when my mom showed me the picture of Eric and me at Coors Field all those years ago.”

Richmond was a local celebrity after the event ended (Photo courtesy of the Richmond family).

Richmond was a local celebrity after the event ended (Photo courtesy of the Richmond family).

Even though many years have passed, Richmond will always remember that unique experience 15 years ago. “The opportunity to field fly balls in front of 50,000 people while wearing a major league jersey motivated me to continue to work hard.”

“Heading into the 1998 Home Run Derby, I knew that I loved baseball, and after that experience I knew what I wanted to pursue for a living.”

Sure enough, Richmond is still in pursuit of the dream, while plenty of nine-year-old fans now watch him here in Winston-Salem.

- Curt

Game 95 Preview – Winston-Salem at Carolina

Game #95 – Road Game #48
Winston-Salem Dash (11-13, 49-45) at Carolina Mudcats (11-12, 33-60)
Wednesday, July 17 – 7:15 p.m.
Five County Stadium (Zebulon, N.C.)

GAME BACKGROUND:

Fresh off the club’s first off day of the second half, Winston-Salem begins a four-game series in Zebulon against the Carolina Mudcats. The Dash are just 1-5 at Five County Stadium this season.

Chris Beck looks for his ninth win, which would lead the Carolina League (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

Chris Beck looks for his ninth win, which would lead the Carolina League (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

STARTING LINEUP:

Micah Johnson – 2B
Joey DeMichele – SS
Chris Curley – DH
Kevan Smith – C
Courtney Hawkins – CF
Rangel Ravelo – 1B
Jeremy Farrell – 3B
Grant Buckner – LF
Josh Richmond – RF
Chris Beck – RHP

DASH DOTS:

  • For the fourth time this season, Winston-Salem has lost a season high-tying three consecutive games. The Dash have not dropped four games in a row since August 16-20, 2011, when the club suffered a five-game skid.
  • Since that streak, the Dash have lost three games in a row seven times, and Winston aims for a seventh straight win after a three-game skid tonight. In those first six games, Winston-Salem has doubled up its opposition by a combined score of 44-22.
  • For the first time since May 21, Dash infielder Jeremy Farrell drove in three runs in Monday’s finale. Farrell now stands third in the Carolina League with 58 RBIs, a total that is 10 shy of teammate Chris Curley and Salem outfielder Keury De La Cruz for the league lead.
  • Over their last three games, the Dash have stranded 34 runners and hit just .136 (6-for-44) with runners in scoring position. The Dash still pace the circuit with a .278 team average with men in scoring position.
  • Winston-Salem lost its first five games of the season in Zebulon before winning 11-4 to avoid a sweep on May 26. Since suffering a sweep at Salem from July 9-11, 2011, the Dash have only been swept once in their last 84 sets, and it was the 2013 season’s lid-lifter at Carolina from April 5-7.
  • White Sox lefty Chris Sale, who debut as a professional with Winston-Salem in 2010, threw a pair of spotless innings and earned the victory in Tuesday’s MLB All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York City. Sale struck out Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowizki, a pair of Colorado sluggers voted in as starters.

BROADCAST INFORMATION:

The Pregame Dash begins at 7 p.m., and fans can listen live here. You will hear from Carolina play-by-play broadcaster Darren Headrick during our pregame coverage.

- Brian

Phegley’s first weekend in The Show

2010 alum Josh Phegley had a good start to his major league career this weekend for the White Sox (wsdash.milbauctions.com).

2010 alum Josh Phegley had a good start to his major league career this weekend for the White Sox (wsdash.milbauctions.com).

On Friday, the Chicago White Sox promoted catcher Josh Phegley from Triple-A Charlotte. With that move, Phegley became the 13th Winston-Salem Dash alum to make it to the big leagues, joining the likes of current White Sox ace Chris Sale, fellow Chicago starters Dylan Axelrod and Hector Santiago, closer Addison Reed and current Arizona Diamondback Daniel Hudson.

The 2010 Dash alum had been hitting .316 with 15 home runs and 41 RBIs for the Knights prior to his promotion. He was also named to the International League All-Star Team and the United States Team for the Sirius XM All-Star Futures Game. However, he will gladly pass on those spots for the chance to continue what he did this weekend in Florida.

Phegley made his major league debut Friday night at Tropicana Field against the Tampa Bay Rays. He picked up his first major league hit in his second at-bat, an RBI single off Tampa right-hander Jeremy Hellickson. Later in the contest, the Indiana University product drove in a second run with a sacrifice fly.

After receiving Saturday’s contest off, Phegley was back behind the plate for yesterday’s series finale, and he took 2012 Cy Young Award Winner David Price deep for his first major league home run. Through his first two career games in the majors, Phegley is 2-for-7 (.286) with a home run and three RBIs. During the weekend series, he drove in three of the White Sox four runs as the South Siders were broomed by the Rays. 

It appears that Phegley’s spot in the big leagues will be a long-term one, especially considering this line from Scott Merkin’s game recap on whitesox.com following Friday’s affair.

“Phegley, who was called up from Triple-A Charlotte prior to Friday’s setback and basically will take over as starting catcher, knocked out his first Major League hit and picked up his first two RBIs.”

Sale makes AL All-Star Team

In other Dash alum news, the rosters for the MLB All-Star Game were announced on Saturday, and Chicago southpaw Chris Sale was named as one of two White Sox All-Stars, the other being reliever Jesse Crain. While the Florida Gulf Coast University product only has a 5-8 record so far in 2013, he is in the top five in the American League in both ERA (2.78) and strikeouts (123). This will be the 2010 alum’s second appearance in the Midsummer Classic after being named an All-Star last year as well.

Check back later for the preview of tonight’s series opener between the Dash and the Potomac Nationals at BB&T Ballpark.

- Rob

More on the 2013 Midsummer Classic

With the All-Star Break coming to an end today, let’s take a look back at some of the sights and sounds of the 2013 California-Carolina League All-Star Game.

The Dash's four All-Stars pose with San Francisco's 2010 and 2012 World Series trophies (from left to right: Jeremy Farrell, Chris Curley, Chris Bassitt and Chris Beck).

The Dash’s four All-Stars pose with San Francisco’s 2010 and 2012 World Series trophies (from left to right: Jeremy Farrell, Chris Curley, Chris Bassitt and Chris Beck).

Chris Beck and Chris Bassitt represent the White Sox on the field prior to the Midsummer Classic (Geoff Lassiter/W-S Dash).

Chris Beck and Chris Bassitt represent the White Sox on the field prior to the Midsummer Classic (Geoff Lassiter/W-S Dash).

As Winston-Salem fans experienced last summer, the California-Carolina League All-Star Game is one of Minor League Baseball’s biggest and best events, and the Dash’s four All-Stars represented Winston well. Talk to you tomorrow for the start of the second half!

- Brian

Dash quartet helps Carolina League roll

The Carolina League cruised to its second straight Midsummer Classic rout on Tuesday night at Municipal Stadium in San Jose, Calif., by a score of 12-2.

The Dash boasted four All-Stars in the contest, and all of them contributed to the blowout win.

  • Jeremy Farrell, who was the starting designated hitter, went 1-for-4 with a leadoff homer on the first pitch of the top of the second inning. He also scored after getting plunked in fifth.
  • Chris Curley, who entered as a pinch hitter in the fifth, went 1-for-2 with an eighth-inning single. He also participated in the Home Run Derby, which was won by Lynchburg’s Robby Hefflinger.
  • Chris Beck worked a scoreless sixth inning. He induced a pair of groundouts and a flyout with a one-out walk mixed into his first career All-Star effort.
  • Chris Bassitt stranded a pair of runners in a scoreless eighth frame. He walked a batter with one out before surrendering a single on a check swing by Angel Villalona. Bassitt responded with a pair of strikeouts to escape the jam.

Including last year’s 9-1 victory in Winston-Salem, the Carolina League has outscored the California League 21-3 over the last two All-Star Games. The “good guys” now own a slight 8-7-2 all-time series lead.

We’ll have more on the Midsummer Classic throughout the week.

- Brian

Curley selected to 2013 Home Run Derby

Chris Curley is third in the Carolina League with 12 homers (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Chris Curley is third in the Carolina League with 12 homers (Steve Orcutt/W-S Dash).

Winston-Salem infielder Chris Curley will participate in the 2013 Home Run Derby in advance of the California-Carolina League All-Star Game in San Jose, Calif, on Tuesday night.

Curley sits in sole possession of third place in the Carolina League with 12 home runs. He and the rest of the Dash have combined for a league-leading 60 home runs. Before this season, Curley had mustered 14 home runs in the minor leagues.

This will be the Fort Mitchell, Ky., native’s second derby in his professional career. He represented the Florence Freedom in the 2011 Frontier League Home Run Derby and failed to advance past the first round despite three home runs.

Curley will aim to make it back-to-back Home Run Derby titles for Winston-Salem. A year ago, Brady Shoemaker bested former Warthog C.J. Retherford in the finals to take the crown in front of the hometown crowd BB&T Ballpark.

Six sluggers will participate in the event, which will precede the Midsummer Classic. Curley joins Lynchburg’s Robby Hefflinger and Carolina’s Tyler Naquin from the Carolina League, while the California League’s trio consists of High Desert’s Jabari Blash, Inland Empire’s Zach Borenstein and San Jose’s Angel Villalona.

- Brian

Dashing to 600

dash1While BB&T Ballpark approaches its one millionth fan, the Dash hit a different milestone last night in Lynchburg. For the 600th time, Winston-Salem’s franchise suited up with the Dash nickname.

The team became the Dash prior to the 2009 season, and the club boasts a 331-268-1 (.553) record in the Dash’s 600 total games (regular season and playoffs).

Here are some of the many accomplishments for Winston-Salem during the Dash era:

  • The Dash lead the Carolina League in winning percentage (.553) and total wins (331) since Opening Day 2009.
  • Winston-Salem has qualified for the playoffs in three of its four full seasons under the Dash nickname (2009, 2010, 2012). The Dash have also played in a pair of Mills Cup Championship Series (2010, 2012).
  • The Dash finished the 2012 campaign with the best regular season record in full-season Minor League Baseball (87-51-1).
  • Among Winston-Salem nicknames, the Dash have the second-best winning percentage. Only the Cardinals (.585, 1945-53) recorded a better one.
  • A total of 13 Dash alums have played in Major League Baseball. So, Winston-Salem has churned out a big leaguer every 46 games since 2009.
  • The Dash have also hosted an All-Star Game and an exhibition against the Chicago White Sox, both of which resulted in victories for the home team.

The only current Carolina League squad with a winning record against the Dash invades BB&T Ballpark for the first of a three-game weekend set tonight at 7. Join Rob and me for the Pregame Dash at 6:45 here. Here’s to 600 more!

- Brian

Dash Top 10: #1 – BB&T Ballpark Hosts All-Star Game

The scene moments before the 2012 All-Star Game inside BB&T Ballpark (Jody Stewart/W-S Dash).

This is the 10th and final installment of the “Dash Top 10,” where we rehash the top 10 moments from the Dash’s historic 2012 season.

Previous Top 10 Moments:
#10: Second-half clinch
#9: Hankerd’s walk-off

#8: 10-game win streak
#7: 5-run 9th sinks Salem
#6: Postseason awards
#5: First-half clinch
#4: MCCS Game 2 win
#3: SDCS-clinching victory
#2: Dash earn MiLB’s top mark

Moment #1 (June 19): The Dash and BB&T Ballpark host the 2012 California-Carolina League All-Star Game.
___________

“This has been a fabulous experience for me and a great experience for minor league baseball,” said Minor League President Pat O’Conner.

“It’s hard to imagine the event doing any better, and I knew that would be the case,” Carolina League President John Hopkins said. “I just knew it was going to come together beautifully, and it did.”

For the first time in BB&T Ballpark history, the Midsummer Classic came to Winston-Salem, and it was a tremendous success.

A simple nine-inning game transformed into a three-day spectacle during which the Dash hosted eight events. The All-Star Game and surrounding festivities wowed owners, executives, players and coaches from both the Carolina League and the California League.

The Dash put together a FanFest on Fourth the night before the game, which included live music, autograph sessions and much more. The day of the game, every All-Star and many members of the Winston-Salem community enjoyed an All-Star Luncheon headlined by Hall of Famer Johnny Bench.

Gates opened at 3:30 p.m., and fans enjoyed batting practice by both teams, a home run derby with a hometown winner and plenty of pregame ceremonies.

Once the game began at 7:29 p.m., almost 7,000 fans settled in for the Carolina League’s first win since 2008. The California League scored in the opening frame thanks to Billy Hamilton’s ridiculous speed, but the home squad, with three Dash players on the roster, followed with the game’s final nine runs en route to a 9-1 blowout victory.

After the game, fans experienced a postgame fireworks show, followed by a party at Ziggy’s. In all, Winston-Salem and the Dash were well-represented due to an All-Star Game that brought plenty of business and coverage to the area and franchise.

The best way to recap this wonderful event is through you, the fans. We compiled these tweets and photos from the fans in Winston-Salem less than 24 hours after the Midsummer Classic’s first pitch. The Dash could not be more thankful for the loyal support the area and its citizens showed before, during and after the All-Star Game.

Winston-Salem most certainly shined in mid-June, and the minor league world was here to watch it.

Thanks for following along with the Dash’s Top 10. We’ll be back on the blog Monday for much more coverage. Talk to you then.

- Brian

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