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Springfield Sultans

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In 1994 the Springfield Cardinals moved to Madison, WI to become the Madison Hatters. That left a gap in Springfield, IL which was filled two weeks before the Midwest League season opened when stadium lease negotiations failed in Waterloo, IA, forcing the Waterloo Diamonds to move. The Waterloo club, a San Diego Padres affiliate, was renamed the Springfield Sultans. They won the first half southern division title with a 38-32 record but went 31-39 in the second half and fell in the playoffs. The overall 69-71 record was a pleasant surprise for a team with no All-Stars and which was outscored 723-674. Manager Ed Romero's club had SB leader Earl Johnson (.280/.328/.317, 80 SB) in the outfield as well as Bobby Bonds Jr. (.276/.382/.411). The team drew just 54,218 fans, the least in the circuit.

The 1995 team switched affiliations to the Kansas City Royals; attendance was even worse (39,467, last in the 14-team MWL). Brian Poldberg was the manager of a team that nearly won the western division in the first half (38-31) but almost finished last in the second half (27-43). Javier Gamboa (6-6, 3.15) lost a no-hitter that year. The only All-Star in Sultans history was 3B Sean McNally (.271/~.321/.438). Lance Carter (9-5, 3.99) has gone on to one of the best careers from the club.

In 1996 the team moved to Lansing, MI and became the Lansing Lugnuts, multiplying their attendance more than ten-fold in the process.

Sources: 1995-1997 Baseball Almanacs, 1995 Baseball Guide


[edit] Year-by-Year Record

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs Hitting coach Pitching coach
1994 69-71 8th (t) Ed Romero Lost in 1st round
1995 65-74 10th Brian Poldberg Mike Mason
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