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Evansville Triplets

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In 1970 the American Association expanded, putting AAA baseball in Evansville, IN for the first time. A $500 savings certificate was offered to whoever gave the best name for the team - from over 3,000 entries, the name Evansville Triplets was selected. The root of the name was that the team would represent not just Indiana, but also Kentucky and Illinois. In the team's first year, they were greeted to dazzling work by Bert Blyleven for 8 games, including a 17-strikeout contest. Other future stars to pass through over the years included Darrell Porter, Mark Fidrych, Lance Parrish, Howard Johnson, Kirk Gibson and Jack Morris. The team served as a farm club for the Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers. In 15 years, the team finished first just once ('79) but won the division four times ('72, '75, '79 and '81) and the pennant three times ('72, '75 and '79). Managing the last two division winners was Jim Leyland. The small city could not compete with the larger ones in the AA at that time and in '84 the franchise was sold and moved to Nashville where they became the Nashville Sounds.

In 1970, manager Ralph Rowe was away from the team for 14 games to be with his ailing mother. The first 7 games were managed by "The Committee" (as Frank Lane dubbed it) consisting of players Garland Shifflett, Jim Glover, and Hoss Bowlin. The players managed a 3-4 record before Twins' scout Early Wynn came to direct the club for the next 7 games. [1]

Source: "The American Association" by Bill O'Neal


[edit] Year-by-Year Record

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1970 67-71 7th Ralph Rowe (60-64) / Interim (3-4) / Early Wynn (interim 4-3)
1971 60-78 8th Del Crandall
1972 83-57 2nd Del Crandall (20-17) / Al Widmar (5-2) / Mike Roarke (58-38) League Champs
1973 66-70 5th Mike Roarke
1974 68-67 4th Fred Hatfield
1975 77-59 2nd Fred Hatfield League Champs
1976 55-81 8th Fred Hatfield
1977 65-68 6th Les Moss
1978 78-58 2nd Les Moss
1979 78-58 1st Jim Leyland League Champs
1980 61-74 5th (t) Jim Leyland
1981 73-63 3rd Jim Leyland Lost in 1st round
1982 68-65 5th (t) Roy Majtyka
1983 61-75 8th Gordon Mackenzie
1984 72-82 6th Gordon Mackenzie
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