On December 12, 1980, the Milwaukee Brewers traded Lary Sorensen, Sixto Lezcano, David Green and Dave LaPoint to the St. Louis Cardinals to acquire Ted Simmons (Cedar Rapids Cardinals – 1967), Rollie Fingers and Pete Vuckovich. Fingers and Vuckovich went on to the the American League Cy Young awards in 1981 and 1982 respectively and Simmons was selected to the A.L. all-star squads in 1981 and 1983. All three were instrumental in the Brewers 1982 American League pennant winning squad which lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.
Ted Simmons, an eight-time All-Star hit .285 with 248 HR and 1389 RBI during his 21 year career playing for the Cardinals Brewers and Braves. Simmons retired with more career hits (2472) and more career doubles (483) than any catcher in the Hall of Fame. Simmons served as a member of the front office and field staff for the Pirates, Indians, Padres, Brewers and Mariners following his playing career. In 2012, he was a Senior Advisor to the General Manager for the Seattle Mariners.
Ted Simmons was a member of the 1967 Cedar Rapids Cardinals team that finished 53-67 under manager Jack Krol. Simmons hit .269 with 4 HR and 11 doubles in 47 games for the Cedar Rapids Cardinals.
Mike Trout (2009-10) added another honor to his rookie season taking home a Silver Slugger award. Major League baseball distributes Silver Slugger Awards to the best offensive players at each position. Trout is the fourth Cedar Rapids professional baseball alum to win a Silver Slugger award joining Bob Forsch (Cedar Rapids Cardinals – 1970-71), Ted Simmons (Cedar Rapids Cardinals – 1967) and Eric Davis (Cedar Rapids Reds – 1982). The Silver Slugger awards started in 1980. Mike Trout is the first of our alumni to win the award in the American League.
Mike Trout hit .267 in 5 games for the 2009 Kernels squad late in the season. Trout returned to Cedar Rapids in 2010 where he hit .362 with 19 doubles,7 triples, 6 HR, 39 RBI and stole 45 bases in 81 games. He was named to the 2010 Midwest League All-Star game, played in the XM Futures Game in Anaheim and swept Midwest League post season awards winning the 2010 MWL batting title, MWL Player of the Year award and MWL Prospect of the year award. Trout became the youngest recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award as the Topps Minor League Player of the Year in 2010. He earned Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year Award in 2011. Cedar Rapids finished the season with a 82-56 record under manager Bill Mosiello. The Kernels lost to Clinton in the first round of the Midwest League Playoffs.
Cedar Rapids Alumni who have won Silver Slugger Awards
Ted Simmons – Catcher, National League 1980
Bob Forsch – Pitcher, National League 1987
Eric Davis – Outfielder, National League 1987
Eric Davis – Outfielder, National League 1989
Mike Trout – Outfielder, American League 2012
On August 2, 1972, Gary Trumbauer pitched a complete game no-hitter, but the Cedar Rapids Cardinals fell 1-0 to the Burlington Bees. It was the third no-hitter thrown by a Cedar Rapids pitcher since joining the Midwest League in 1962. Trumbauer struck out five batters while allowing five walks in the loss. The Cardinals tallied 10 hits in the game but could not push a run across the plate to support Trumbauer’s effort. This is the only no-hitter thrown by a Cedar Rapids pitcher in the Midwest League that resulted in a loss. The article also mentions the arrival of Larry Herndon, who went on to play in the big leagues with the Cardinals, Giants and Tigers.
This following article was published in the August 3, 1972 edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. It contained coverage of a Midwest League contest against the Burlington Bees held on August 2, 1972. The 1972 Cedar Rapids Cardinals featured four players who played in Major League baseball after their time in Cedar Rapids (Hector Cruz, Larry Herndon, Jerry Mumphrey and Mike Vail). The 1972 Cedar Rapids Astros posted a 51-77 record under manager Gary Geiger’s guidance.
On July 29, 1967, the Cedar Rapids Cardinals defeated the Clinton Pilots 11-0 as Jerry Reuss earned his first professional victory with a two-hit shutout. Reuss, the Cardinals second round pick in the 1967 amateur draft (Ted Simmons was their first rounder that year), struck out 12 and walked only one batter in the opening game of a doubleheader. Raul Guerrero supplied the offense with a grand slam in the third inning and Ted Simmons went 3-4 with three RBI. The Cardinals rallied in game two with a three-run sixth inning to sweep the day’s games with a 4-2 victory. Ted Simmons was 1-3 with a RBI single in the three-run sixth.
This following article was published in the July 30, 1967 edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. It contained coverage of a Midwest League contest against the Clinton Pilots held on July 29, 1967. The 1967 Cedar Rapids Cardinals featured five players who played in Major League baseball after their time in Cedar Rapids (Bob Chlupsa, Jerry Reuss, Bob Schaefer, Ted Simmons and Jack Whillock). The 1967 Cedar Rapids Cardinals posted a 53-67 record to finish 8th in the Midwest league under manager Jack Krol.
On July 28, 1967, the Cedar Rapids Cardinals rebounded from being shutout in game one of the day doubleheader to take game two by a 8-2 margin behind home runs by Ted Simmons and Raul Guerrero, who hit two in the victory. The game was scoreless until the third inning when the Cardinals tallied five runs behind Simmon’s three-run shot and Guerrero’s first HR of the game. Guerrero hit his second HR over the scoreboard in the fifth inning as the Cardinals cruised to victory.
This following article was written by Gus Schrader and was published in the July 29, 1967 edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. It contained coverage of a Midwest League contest against the Clinton Pilots held on July 28, 1967. The 1967 Cedar Rapids Cardinals featured five players who played in Major League baseball after their time in Cedar Rapids (Bob Chlupsa, Jerry Reuss, Bob Schaefer, Ted Simmons and Jack Whillock). The 1967 Cedar Rapids Cardinals posted a 53-67 record to finish 8th in the Midwest league under manager Jack Krol.
This article was published in the June 8, 1969 edition of the Cedar Rapids Gazette. It contained coverage of a Midwest League game against the Decatur Commodores held on June 7, 1969. The 1969 Cedar Rapids Cardinals featured three players who played in Major League baseball either before or after their time in Cedar Rapids (Ken Reitz, Jorge Roque and Bob Sadowski). The 1969 squad went on to finish the season with a 55-68 record in the Midwest League under manager Roy Majtyka.
Bowlby Pitches No-Hitter for Cedar Rapids
Larry Bowlby of the Cedar Rapids Cardinals pitched the first no-hitter of his professional career and the first of the Midwest League this year with a 2-0 shutout in 10 innings over Decatur Saturday night in the second game of a twin bill.
Bowlby’s masterpiece, coupled with the Cards’ 5-3 win in the opener, increased C.R.’s winning streak to seven games and moved them into third place in the league standings with an 18-14 record.
It was Bowlby’s first appearance for Cedar Rapids this year, as he joined the club only last Thursday. The 6-5, 215-pounder hurled for Cedar Rapids two years ago, but spent last season with Modesto in the California League.
Saturday night, Larry struck out eight and walked three. One runner was thrown out by catcher Dave Cichon while attempting to steal second. Only one runner reached second and that came in the seventh on Bowlby’s wild pitch.
Four Decatur errors helped the Cards score their three runs in the 10th. Jorge Roque reached base on an error, was sacrificed to second by Gary Marion and came all the way around on Jerry Bartee‘s infield hit. That run proved enough for the win.
Bartee picked up two of the four C.R. hits in the game, with Lou Cosenza and Marion getting the others. It was the seventh straight loss for Decatur and their 10th in the last 11 games.
The Cards scored all their runs in the top of the seventh in the first game, ironically, with the help of five infield hits. However, Hector Navarro got the big blow with a line single that scored two runs and aided Jack Price in winning his first game after two losses.
Transcribed from the digital archives of the Cedar Rapids Library.
The Reds have announced Pedro Borbon has passed away at the age of 65. Borbon played 12 MLB seasons for the Angels, Reds, Giants and Cardinals between 1969 and 1980. He compiled a 69-39 record with 80 saves and a 3.52 E.R.A. in 593 career games. Borbon appeared in three World Series with the Cincinnati Reds earning rings in two of them (1975 and 1976). He was a key member of the Big Red Machine bullpen at the peak of their success and is the Reds career leader in appearances with 531. Borbon was elected into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2010.
Pedro Borbon made his professional debut in 1966 with the Cedar Rapids Cardinals. He posted a 6-1 record with a 1.96 E.R.A. in 38 games. The team finished 81-40 in 1st place during the regular season under manager Ron Plaza. The Cedar Rapids Cardinals fell to Fox Cities 2 games to 1 in the Championship Series.
His son Pedro Borbon, Jr. served as the Cedar Rapids Kernels pitching coach at the start of the 2007 season.
There have been many players who have come through Cedar Rapids since the first MLB amateur draft was held in 1965. The first player selected in the draft who would play in Cedar Rapids was Joe DiFabio, a pitcher from Delta State University in Cleveland, MS, who was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals with the 20th overall pick in the initial draft in 1965. DiFabio would pitch for the Cedar Rapids Cardinals in 1966 posting a 11-3 record with a 1.86 E.R.A. in 17 games.
Jerry Pruett was selected with the Cardinals fifth round pick in 1965 and joined DiFabio on the 1966 Cedar Rapids Cardinals squad. Pruett posted a 13-7 mark with a 2.85 E.R.A. in 23 starts. The team finished 81-40 in 1st place during the regular season under manager Ron Plaza. The Cedar Rapids Cardinals fell to Fox Cities 2 games to 1 in the Championship Series.
Terry Milani was selected in the second round out of Lewis University in Romeoville, IL. Milani would play for the Cedar Rapids Cardinals in 1968 and 1969. He hit .244 wityh 5 HR in 1968 and returned in 1969 to hit .230.
The St. Louis Cardinals were more successful with their 1967 draft. They selected Ted Simmons with the 10th overall pick and followed that up selecting Jerry Reuss in the second round. Simmons and Reuss each arrived in Cedar Rapids during the second half of the season and went on to very successful All-Star careers with World Series appearances.
The highest selection to ever play for Cedar Rapids was Kurt Stillwell who was selected with the second overall pick in the 1983 draft by the Cincinnati Reds. Kurt Stillwell was part of the 1984 Cedar Rapids Reds team that finished 4th with a mark of 75-63 under manager Jim Lett. Stillwell hit .251 with 4 HR, 33 RBI and stole 24 bases in 112 games.
A second Cedar Rapids Professional Baseball Alum, Eddie Williams, was selected with the fourth overall pick of that 1983 draft by the New York Mets. He was traded to the Reds on June 15, 1984 along with Matt Bullinger and Jay Tibbs in exchange for Bruce Berenyi. Eddie Williams was a member of the 1985 Cedar Rapids Reds team that finished in 3rd place with a record of 78-61 under manager Jay Ward. Williams hit .261 with 20 HR in 199 games for the Cedar Rapids Reds.
The Giants selected Ted Barnicle eighth overall in 1975 and sent him to Cedar Rapids for the 1976 season. Barnicle pitched a complete game no-hitter against Dubuque on June 29, 1976.
In more recent years, the highest selection from the Angels to play in Cedar Rapids was Joe Torres who pitched for the Kernels during the 2001, 2002 and 2005 seasons. Torres was the 10th overall pick in the 2000 draft. He continues to pitch in the Colorado Rockies organization but has yet to reach the big leagues.
Several other Angels first round selections have played in Cedar Rapids during our affiliation. Casey Kotchman (2001-13th overall), Joe Saunders (2002-12th overall), Brandon Wood (2003-23rd overall), Trevor Bell (2005-37th overall), Hank Conger (2006-25th overall), Randal Grichuk (2009-24th overall), Mike Trout (2009-25th overall), Tyler Skaggs (2009-40th overall), Garrett Richards (2009-42nd overall) and Tyler Kehrer (2009-48th overall) in recent seasons.
Kaleb Cowart (2010-18th overall), Cameron Bedrosian (2010-29th overall) and Chevez Clarke (2010 -30th overall) have been playing for the 2012 Cedar Rapids Kernels squad.
Every so often I get the honor of meeting a former Cedar Rapids alumni who happens to drop by the area to check in on the stadium and remember ballgames of the past. I was lucky enough to meet Dave Byers (1972 Cedar Rapids Cardinals) this afternoon. Dave is just beginning a journey that will take him across North America traveling 12,000 miles over 56 days. He started his solo motorcycle venture in London, Ontario and Cedar Rapids is an early stop during his journey. We had great timing with a 2 p.m. game this Memorial Day against the Quad Cities River Bandits for him to enjoy before heading on. It was great to share a tour through our Hall of Fame and Cedar Rapids Baseball Timeline areas while enjoying his stories of the Cardinals organization.
Dave Byers hit .242 with 2 HR in 37 games for the Cedar Rapids Cardinals. Byers was a six-time all-star for the London Majors during his 18 year (1970-87) career playing in the Intercounty Baseball League, finishing with 551 hits, 317 RBI, 74 HR and 105 doubles. Dave captured the batting crown in 1977 with a .453 average. source Jeffrey Reed – The Londoner Byers number 18 was retired by the Majors.
It was great to meet and visit with Dave. We wish him safe travels. Follow Dave’s journey as he documents his trip and learn more about the charities he is working to raise awareness for at http://www.wunderlust2012.com/.
On April 21st, 1982, Jerry Reuss (Cedar Rapids Cardinals – 1967) threw a one hitter in the Dodgers 6-0 win over the Astros at Dodger Stadium Wednesday, April 21, 1982. Art Howe (1st inning double) and Jose Cruz (8th inning walk) were the only Astros hitters to get on base in the game. Reuss struck out two batters in the game.
Reuss finished his MLB career with a record of 220-191 and a ERA of 3.64 over his 22 years playing for the Cardinals, Astros, Pirates, Dodgers, Reds, Angels, White Sox and Brewers.
Jerry Reuss posted a 2-5 mark with a 1.86 ERA in 9 games for the 1967 Cedar Rapids Cardinals. He struck out 63 batters in 58 innings of work while only allowing 19 walks. The Cardinals finished 53-67 in 8th place under manager Jack Krol.