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Columbus Mudcats

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In 1989 the Columbus Astros of Columbus, GA were renamed the Columbus Mudcats. In their first season in the Southern League, the Mudcats went 71-72, finishing third in the five-team eastern division in both halves under manager Tom Wiedenbauer. The team boasted league MVP Eric Anthony, who hit .300/~.356/.558. He missed the batting title by 3 points behind Scott Leius and led the league in home runs (28) and slugging despite being promoted in late July. Anthony was voted the top prospect in the league according to Baseball America while the #2 prospect was teammate Darryl Kile. Kile had made the league's post-season All-Star team as well after going 11-6 with a 2.58 ERA, fourth in the Southern. Tuffy Rhodes led the club in doubles (25), runs (81) and walks (93), Lou Frazier led in steals (43) and Mike Simms hit 20 homers. The team's offense was hurt by a couple sub-.200 hitters, Tony Eusebio and Carlo Colombino.

In 1990 Columbus again finished third in the division in both halves of the year, overall going 67-77 under new manager Rick Sweet. Shane Reynolds allowed the most hits (182) in the league and went 9-10, 4.81 while some of the best moundwork came from 40-year-old Jerry Reuss, who was 1-0 with a 1.66 ERA in 10 relief appearances before his May 14 release. SS Andujar Cedeno (.240/~.288/.442) led the circuit with 11 triples and also hit 19 home runs while the man playing to his left, Luis Gonzalez hit .265/~.337/.495. Gonzalez fanned 100 times, but he stole 27 bases and hit 24 homers.

The next season the club switched affiliations to the Pittsburgh Pirates and moved temporarily to Wilson, NC then to Zebulon, NC. The team was renamed the Carolina Mudcats as it moved northeasternly.


[edit] Year-by-Year Record

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1989 71-72 5th Tom Wiedenbauer
1990 67-77 6th (t) Rick Sweet
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