Since we don’t exactly have teams to rank (ohh wait, WE DO! more on this later), I’ll be ranking the best teams to ever hit the field at Bush Grapes Park (using stats!). We will start with number ten.
10.) 2013 Freaky Franchise
Stats: 13-7, .337 AVG, 42 HR, 189 runs scored, 134 runs allowed
The 2013 Freaky Franchise didn’t exactly live up to the expectations placed on them after their historic 2012 season. Still, this team did win the 2013 OCWA Championship. The rank in the top ten of every major category except for batting average and runs allowed. They struggled to hit the ball (ranking 26th out of 32 all-time teams) but when they did they hit it far (7th in runs scored, 5th in home runs). This team did lose seven games, but they won when it mattered.
9.) 2011 Flying Squirrels
Stats: 13-7, .398 AVG, 44 HR, 167 runs scored, 143 runs allowed
The 2011 Flying Squirrels are a surprise on this list, as they were a forgotten team from the 2011 season. This season saw the real emergence of Chris Roeder and the emergence of the Freaky Franchise, but few people remember that the Flying Squirrels won the Opening Day Tourney this year, and took the Freaky Franchise to three games in the championship. They allowed a lot of runs and had a small run differential, but they ranked in the top ten of every other major category.
8.) 2011 Freaky Franchise
Stats: 18-2, .388 AVG, 25 HR, 165 runs scored, 98 runs allowed
This team went 18-2 and should probably be ranked higher, but they were not a statistically dominant team. Offensively, they rank outside the top ten in every category, but defensively, they show the opposite. This team wasn’t the highest scoring team in the league that year, but they allowed very few runs and had a large run differential. The team only hit 25 home runs, but they got the runs when they were needed, as they took home the 2011 OCWA Championship.
7.) 2009 BT Renegades
Stats: 11-4, .430 AVG, 38 HR, 148 runs scored, 95 runs allowed
This is the second team on this list that never won an OCWA championship, but they did win Opening Day Tournament. This team ranked in the top ten in every major category except for runs scored, but keep in mind that this team also played five less games than other teams on this list. This team could hit the ball, posting a .430 average. They also took the Lil Pens to three games in the OCWA Championship. However, they did let up a lot of runs for only having 15 games played, but they were still pretty dominant.
6.) 2009 Big Test Icicles
Stats: 9-6, .492 AVG, 48 HR, 136 runs scored, 98 runs allowed
This is the other 2009 team on this list, which is surprising given that the 13-2 Lil Pens won the championship that year and were left off. This team is on this list for one reason: they were probably the best offensive team to ever play. They rank first in team average, and fifth in home runs, but again, it was a 15 game season. They didn’t win very much and are the only team on this list outside the top ten in winning percentage, but they were dangerous at the dish.
5.) 2011 Brown Eye Bears
Stats: 14-6, .436 AVG, 37 HR, 208 runs scored, 98 runs allowed
This is another Chris Roeder team that was insanely good but didn’t win in tournaments. They were dominant in every aspect of the game except for hitting homers, and it led to 14 wins for the team. They came up short in both the Opening Day Tournament and the OCWA Playoffs. This team scored 208 runs, which is good for second all time. They also are in the top five in batting average, runs allowed, and run differential.
4.) 2013 Strong Tough Dudes
Stats: 19-1, .413 AVG, 38 HR, 133 runs scored, 43 runs allowed
The Strong Tough Dudes were the most talented team in the OCWA in 2013, but they couldn’t take home a championship in either tournament. They didn’t score that many runs, but they didn’t need to. They only allowed 43 runs, which is the least all-time. Their lack of runs scored is due to a few forfeits, but they still ranked fourth all-time in run differential. They also won 19 of 20 games, a feat only topped by one other team. They couldn’t pull it out in the Championship series, but that was considered an upset.
3.) 2010 BT Blue Storm
Stats: 16-4, .426 AVG, 53 HR, 166 runs scored, 92 runs allowed
The BT Blue Storm is the first team on this list that finished in the top ten in every major category. They were known for their intense rivalry with the Southern Nevada 96er’s, as well as being the only team to sweep an OCWA Championship series. They did many things well including hit the long ball (2nd all-time) and score runs (4th all-time). Their Griffey Division championship series against the 96ers is considered one of the greatest playoff series of all-time. Speaking of that…
2.) 2010 Southern Nevada 96ers
Stats: 16-4, .435 AVG, 60 HR, 211 runs scored, 93 runs allowed
This team may have lost that series against the Blue Storm, but they were statistical freaks. They are no worse than seventh all time in any category measured, and their highlights include first all-time in homers and runs scored. They hit a whopping 60 homers (average of 3 per game) and scored a whopping 211 runs (average over 10 per game). These numbers are the gold standard for offensive minded teams in the OCWA, but they also boasted a huge run differential. They were one out away from an OCWA Championship but couldn’t finish it.
1.) 2012 Freaky Franchise
Stats: 20-0, .454 AVG, 51 HR, 207 runs scored, 81 runs allowed
Is there any other option? This is the only 2012 team on this list for a reason. They were completely dominant in every aspect. They rank in the top three all-time in every single category, and are the only team to ever finish the regular season undefeated. This team came close to losses a few times, but they always pulled it out in the end. They sport the best all-time run differential, and were only 4 runs away from the runs scored record. Ohh, and they won the Opening Day Tournament, and the OCWA Championship (which featured their only loss of the season), and were named NWLA’s National Champions. And they won the 2012 NWLA Tournament. This team just wouldn’t lose, and that’s why they’re the best team in OCWA history.
We have some teams to rank now! Although the league hasn’t quite filled out yet, I’m ranking the ones we have so far.
1.) Chris Roeder’s Team
Yeah, they brought back the same team as last year. Then they added BJ Turner. This team will hit the ball, will let up less than 50 runs, and just be awesome in general.
2.) Freaky Franchise
Any team with Ryan Bush can never be far from the top. Teaming up with Justin Tomkins isn’t such a bad thing either. They’ll be good but adding a fielder wouldn’t hurt.
3.) The Mitch and Tommy Team
This team consists of two relatively new players: Mitch Rupp and Tommy Wagner. They showed that they can play last year as members of the Master Batters, and they’ll bring that experience into this year.
4.) Jon Suhre’s Team
This is half of the Freaky Franchise of previous years, plus one big addition: Chris Sacheli. Sach will bring some much needed pitching depth as well as another bat to add to a great hitting lineup.
5.) Lil Pens
The Lil Pens will probably prove me wrong since they find a way to finish at or around .500 every single year. Doug Bush will be heading up the team again this year, and should lead in every category.
6.) Pavlov’s Dawgs
The players on this team have showed some promise on the pitching end. But they just struggle to hit the ball. Plus, big time pitcher Ari Knill isn’t committed for the summer yet, but if he plays, they’ll be better.