76 teams, 734 players (stories from the minors)

When I started researching Wichita’s minor league history this time – it wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last – I was most curious about the number of players who passed through town on the way to or coming down from the major leagues.

It bothers me not having affiliated minor league baseball in town and I’ll write about that more extensively next week in a newspaper column.

And one of the things that bothers me the most is not seeing future or former big leaguers. The biggest bonus of minor league baseball is the players. It means something to be able to say I saw Vida Blue pitch for the Iowa Oaks against the Wichita Aeros back in 1972. Or that I saw Warren Spahn managing the Tulsa Oilers in the old American Association.

Or that Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar was just 19 when he played shortstop for the Wichita Pilots in 1987.

I’m Baseball Guy. These things mean something to me. And they should mean something to you. But more on that in next week’s column. I want to save my ammunition.

Thanks to the super-fantastic website baseballreference.com, I’ve determined that the 76 minor league teams in Wichita’s history included 734 players who played in the big leagues. That’s a lot and it’s not something we’re getting much of now with the Wichita Wingnuts, an independent league team whose roster has been dotted with only ex-big leaguers in six seasons.

Wichita’s minor league history started 126 years ago, in 1887. It ended in 2007, when the Wichita Wranglers franchise was sold and moved to Northwest Arkansas, which now is the Double-A home of the Kansas City Royals.

Will minor-league baseball ever return? History says it will. And I’ll have many more thoughts on how that might happen next week.

For now, though, read through the names. Some will surprise you.

Wichita Braves
1887 (6)
Pete Daniels
Jumbo Harting
Ducky Hemp
Art Sunday
Farmer Weaver
Lew Whistler

Wichita Eagles
1898 (2)
Russ Hall
Jock Menefee

Wichita Jobbers
1905 (1)
Hank Gehring

1906 (5)
Bill Dammann
Rudy Kling
Dusty Miller
Larry Milton
Ed Willett

1907 (4)
Dick Bayless
Beals Becker
Clyde Milan
Harley Young

1908 (5)
Ed Cermak
John Masse
Gus Hetling
Jim Scott
Kid Speer

1909 (4)
Ad Brennan
Willis Cole
Skipper Roberts
Art Weaver

1910 (1)
Raleigh Artchison

1911 (4)
Ira Belden
Red Faber
Frank Isbell
Al Shaw

Wichita Witches
1912 (3)
Vernie Clemons
Tommy Mee
Tex Wisterzil

1913 (3)
Charlie Babb
Ned Pettigrew
Mike Regan

1914 (5)
James Durham
Tom Fitzsimmons
Nick Maddox
Patsy O’Rourke
Goldie Rapp

1915 (6)
Lyman Lamb
Ovid Nicholson
Ham Patterson
Allan Sotharon
John Sullivan
Buzzy Wares

1916 (5)
Bill Abstein
Gil Britton
Ben Hunt
Jim Jackson
Joe Pate

Wichita Jobbers
1917 (5)
Joe Berger
Ike Davis
Pep Goodwin
Bobby Wallace
Harry Williams

1918 (3)
Ben Harris
Tex Jones
Elmer Koestner

1919 (5)
Art Ewaldt
Adrian Lynch
George Lyons
George McAvoy
Paul Meloan

1920 (2)
Abe Bowman
Yam Yaryan

Wichita Witches
1922 (4)
Fred Beebe
Carl East
Raymond Haley
Carl Manda

Wichita Izzies
1923 (4)
Johnny Butler
Joe Casey
Jacko Conlan
Ernie Maun

1924 (3)
Fred Beck
Hugh McMullen
Paul Musser

1925 (7)
Chet Chadbourne
Chuck Corgan
Fred Graf
Ed Hovlik
Ray Morehart
Ken Penner
Bill Sweeney

1926 (2)
Jack Berly
Howie Gregory

Wichita Larks
1927 (6)
Archie Campbell
Adam Comarosky
Pea Ridge Day
Bill Doran
Raymond Haley
Bill Hollchan

1928 (6)
Uke Clanton
Doc Crandall
Ox Eckhardt
Red Peesy
Jim Stoner
George Stueland

Wichita Aviators
1929 (6)
Buck Freeman
Bob Johnson
Jimmie Long
Jim Masolf
Bill Piercy
Glenn Spencer

1930 (10)
Andy Bednar
Leon Chagnon
Gus Dugan
Ralph Erickson
Woody Jensen
Marty Lang
Rufus Meadows
Lenny Metz
Ben Sankey
Spades Wood

1931 (10)
Sam Dailey
Alex Houks
Art Jacobs
Lloyd Johnson
Vern Kennedy
Tony Piet
Tony Rego
John Stoneham
Arky Vaughan
Pep Young

1932 (9)
Peaches Davis
Luther Harvel
Chuck Hostetler
Gene Lillard
Ernie Neitzke
Emmett Nelson
Fred Nicholson
John Singleton
Nick Ward

Wichita/Muskogee Oilers
1933 (6)
Mort Cooper
Kirby Higbe
Paul Hinson
Joe Klinger
Frank Mulroney
Rube Marquard

Wichita Indians
1950 (7)
Bobby Balcena
Mike Blyzda
Perry Currin
George Elder
Don Larsen
Carl Powis
Bob Turley

1951 (3)
Harry MacPherson
Don Minnick
Don Mossi

1952 (2)
Jack Bruner
Lefty Wallace

1953 (5)
Mark Christman
George Hausmann
Mel Held
Chuck Locke
Jim Pisoni

1954 (2)
Garland Lawing
Les Layton

1955 (7)
Bud Bates
Johnny Goryl
Lenny Green
Bob Harrison
Hal Hudson
Jim Snyder
Tommy Warren

Wichita Braves
1956 (28)
Charlie Bicknell
Dan Bollweg
Ed Charles
Chico Garcia
Bob Giggie
Charlie Gorin
Harry Hanebrink
Bob Hartman
Bob Hazle
Earl Hersh
Joey Jay
Joe Koppe
Don Leppert
Georges Maranda
Don McMahon
Chet Nichols
Jim Pendleton
Taylor Phillips
Billy Quinn
Humberto Robertson
Bob Rosello
Bob Ross
Bob Talbott
Ben Taylor
Bob Trowbridge
Roberto Vargas
Charlie White
Carl Willey

1957 (15)
Toby Atwell
Dick Cole
Wes Covington
Roy Hawes
Ron Henry
Chick King
Bobby Malkmus
Red Murff
Phil Paine
Juan Pizarro
Ray Rippelmeyer
Mike Roarke
Ray Shearer
Bob Uecker
Corky Valentine

1958 (16)
Eddie Haas
Ernie Johnson
Dave Jolly
Don Kaiser
Mick Krsnich
Dick Littlefield
Joe Lonnett
Ken MacKenzie
Lee Maye
Joe Moran
Don Nottebart
Dick Phillips
Claude Raymond
Mel Roach
Al Spangler
Casey Wise

Wichita Aeros

1970 (28)
Bob Allen
Rick Austin
Frank Baker
Del Bates
Jack Brohamer
Larry Burchart
Lou Camilli
Chris Chambliss
Frank Coggins
Vince Colbert
Ed Farmer
Ted Ford
Pedro Gonzalez
Steve Hargan
Phil Hennigan
Jerry Hinsley
Bob Kaiser
John Lowenstein
Ray Miller
Steve Mingori
Mike Paul
Cap Peterson
Jim Rittwage
Billy Rohr
Richie Scheinblum
Tommie Sisk
Ken Suarez
Dick Tidrow

1971 (12)
Buddy Bell
Kurt Bevacqua
Gary Boyd
Jim Clark
John Hairston
Rich Hand
Jack Heidemann
Dennis Higgins
Steve Jones
Chuck Machemehl
Rich Nye
Fred Stanley

1972 (25)
Ossie Blanco
Bill Bonham
Pat Bourque
Danny Breeden
Frank Coggins
Joe Decker
Frank Fernandez
Skip Guinn
Larry Gura
Jim Hibbs
Gene Hiser
Terry Hughes
Cleo James
Bill Kelso
Al Montreuil
Bill North
Jose Ortiz
Paul Reuschel
Rick Reuschel
Roberto Rodriguez
Dave Rosell
Art Shamsky
Jim Todd
Ron Tompkins
Floyd Weaver

1973 (17)
Matt Alexander
Wade Blasingame
Ray Burns
Clint Compton
Casey Cox
Frank Estrada
Bobby Fenwick
Adrian Garrett
Pete LaCock
Tony La Russa
Tom Lundstedt
J.C. Martin
Dan McGinn
Rob Sperring
Andre Thornton
Jim Tyrone
Chris Ward

1974 (15)
Tom Dettore
Ronn Dunn
Jack Hiatt
Herb Hutson
Jim Kremmel
Dave LaRoche
Dave Lemonds
Dave Leonhard
Gonzalo Marquez
Willie Prall
Buddy Schultz
Scipio Spinks
Steve Swisher
Ken Szotkiewicz
Jerry Tabb

1975 (9)
Mike Adams
Ken Crosby
Julio Gonzalez
Vic Harris
Eddie Solomon
Rick Stelmaszek
Joe Wallis
Eddie Watt
Milt Wilcox

1976 (12)
Ken Frailing
Dave Geisel
Mike Krukow
Dennis Lamp
Donnie Moore
Gerry Pirtle
Ed Putman
Mike Sember
Bruce Sutter
Wayne Tyrone
Geoff Zahn
Oscar Zamora

1977 (11)
Larry Anderson
Pete Broberg
Ed Crosby
Bobby Darwin
Keith Drumright
Jim Dwyer
Mike Gordon
Rick Jones
George Riley
Dave Schneck
Scot Thompson

1978 (11)
Tim Blackwell
Bill Caudill
Steve Davis
Dennis DeBarr
Jesus Figueroa
Al Javier
Randy Martz
Rudy Meoli
Karl Pagel
Rodney Scott
Manny Seoane

1979 (11)
Derek Bothello
Doug Capilla
Punch Delgado
Bob Gorinski
Greg Keatley
Gene Krug
Steve Macko
Kurt Seibert
Jim Tracy
Jim Willoughby
Darrell Woodard

1980 (10)
Miguel Dilone
Bill Earley
George Enright
Bill Hayes
Mark Lemongello
Carlos Lezcano
Bob Myrick
Mike O’Berry
Dan Rohn
Lee Smith

1981 (30)
Terry Bogener
Bobby Bonds
Mike Bruhert
John Butcher
Nick Capra
Odie Davis
Adrian Devine
Dan Duran
Jim Farr
Ed Figueroa
Dan Gonzales
Roger Holt
Bob Johnson
Bob Jones
Don Kainer
Jim Kern
Jack Lazorko
Dennis Lewallyn
Rick Lisi
Mark Mercer
Nelson Norman
Jim Norris
Dave Rajsich
Mike Richardt
Billy Sample
Dave Schmidt
Wayne Tolleson
Don Werner
Len Whitehouse
Gary Wilson

1982 (28)
Shooty Babbitt
Greg Bargar
Tom Dixon
Hal Dues
Rick Engle
Pepe Frias
Mike Fuestes
Mike Gates
Tom Gorman
Rick Grapenthin
Mike Griffin
Brad Golden
Roy Johnson
Wallace Johnson
Brian Little
Jerry Manuel
Brad Mills
Willie Mueller
Rich Murray
Dan Norman
Ken Phelps
Mike Phillips
Luis Quintana
Pat Rooney
Kim Seaman
Bryn Smith
Chris Smith
Tom Wieghaus

1983 (13)
Butch Benton
Joe Hesketh
Bob James
Mike Kinnunen
Rick Lancelotti
Al Newman
Rodney Scott
Razor Shines
Mike Stenhouse
Rennie Stennett
Dave Tomlin
Chris Welsh
Jerry White

1984 (27)
Dann Bilardello
Tom Browning
Bob Buchanan
Keefe Cato
Eric Davis
John Franco
Leo Garcia
Mark Gilbert
Paul Householder
Alan Knicely
Wayne Krenchicki
Bill Landrum
Tom Lawless
Brad Lesley
Lloyd McClendon
Dave Miley
Frank Pastore
Charlie Puleo
Ron Robinson
Wade Rowdon
Tom Runnells
Bill Scherrer
Mike Smith
Scott Terry
Jay Tibbs
Freddie Tolliver
Dave Van Gorder

Wichita Pilots

1987 (10)
Roberto Alomar
Sandy Alomar
Jerald Clark
Gerry Davis
Storm Davis
Greg Harris
Thomas Howard
Steve Luebber
Eric Nolte
Candy Sierra

1988 (4)
Jim Austin
Carlos Baerga
Matt Maysey
Jim Tatum

Wichita Wranglers
1989 (14)
Andy Benes
Ricky Bones
Doug Brocail
Paul Faries
Jeremy Hernandez
Dave Hollins
Jim Lewis
Jose Mota
Warren Newson
Omar Olivares
Rich Rodriguez
Rafael Valdez
Jose Valentin
Dan Walters

1990 (7)
Frank DiMichele
Kevin Higgins
Mike Humphreys
Pedro Martinez
A.J. Sager
Dave Staton
Guillermo Velasquez

1991 (7)
Howard Hilton
Luis Lopez
Frank Seminara
Darrell Sherman
Roger Smithberg
Phil Stephenson
Atlee Hammaker

1992 (12)
Mark Ettles
Scott Fredrickson
Jay Gainer
Joey Hamilton
Ray Holbert
Dwayne Hosey
Chris Jelic
Brian Johnson
Lance Painter
Scott Sanders
Dean Wilkins
Tim Worrell

1993 (10)
Andrew Berumen
Terry Clark
Bryce Florie
Don Heinkel
Curt Leskanic
Pablo Martinez
Ray McDavid
Joe Strong
Wally Whitehurst
Jim Pena

1994 (16)
Don August
Robbie Beckett
Homer Bush
Camern Cairncross
Glenn Dishman
Jason Hardtke
Dustin Hermanson
Fernando Hernandez
Greg Keagle
Kevin Maas
Jose Martinez
Sean Mulligan
Alex Sanchez
Mackey Sasser
Mike Schooler
Jason Thompson

1995 (20)
Brian Bevil
Jaime Bluma
Mike Bovee
Johnny Damon
Chris Eddy
Bart Evans
Sal Fasano
Mark Fyhrie
Raul Gonzalez
Jeff Granger
Ryan Long
Felix Martinez
Allen McDill
Rod Myers
Kevin Ray
Mandy Romero
Steve Sisco
Andy Stewart
Larry Sutton
Derek Wallace

1996 (8)
Jed Hansen
Mendy Lopez
Mike Sweeney
Michael Tucker
Tim Byrdak
Jim Pittsley
Jose Rosado
Dilson Torres

1997 (12)
Jamie Brewington
Kiko Calero
Jeremy Giambi
Chris Haney
Chris Hatcher
Carlos Mendez
Hector Ortiz
Kit Pellow
Brad Pennington
Mark Quinn
Jose Santiago
Jamie Walker

1998 (10)
Kevin Appier
Carlos Beltran
Carlos Febles
Orber Moreno
Scott Mullen
Alex Prieta
Ken Ray
Dan Reichart
Scott Taylor
Matt Turner

1999 (9)
Jeff Austin
Juan Brito
Dee Brown
Lance Carter
Chad Durbin
Terry Mathews
Jeff Montgomery
Paul Phillips
Kris Wilson

2000 (10)
Brandon Berger
Joe Dillon
Mark Ellis
Curtis Goodwin
Garvin Alston
Tony Cogan
Chris George
Mike MacDougal
Blake Stein
Corey Thurman

2001 (14)
Jeremy Affeldt
Angel Berroa
Doug Bochtler
Ryan Bukvich
Endy Chavez
Rick DeHart
Nate Field
Jason Gilfillin
Alexis Gomez
Ken Harvey
Bran Sanches
Brian Shackelford
Mike Tonis
Brad Voyles

2002 (15)
Winston Abreu
David DeJesus
Jimmy Gobble
Jason Grimsley
Runelvys Hernandez
Chuck Knobblauch
Darrell May
Brent Mayne
Shawn Monahan
Wes Obermueller
Chan Perry
Mark Quinn
Mike Rose
Kyle Snyder
Mac Suzuki

2003 (13)
Miguel Ascencio
Buddy Carlyle
Jason Dellaero
Byron Gettis
Zack Greinke
Jeremy Hill
Norris Hopper
Alejandro Mechado
Brian Rose
Oscar Salazar
Chad Santos
Jorge Vasquez
Les Walrond

2004 (13)
Cory Aldridge
Brian Bass
Denny Bautista
Andres Blanco
Ruben Gotay
Aaron Guiel
Junior Herndon
Doug Linton
Wilken Ruan
Jimmy Serrano
Mel Stocker
J.J. Trujillo
Eduardo Villacis

2005 (18)
Brian Anderson
Mike Aviles
Jonah Bayliss
Ryan Braun
Ambiorex Burgos
Billy Butler
Shane Costa
Chris Demoria
Matt Diaz
Derrin Ebert
Irvin Falu
J.P. Howell
Justin Huber
Devon Lowery
Mitch Maier
Donnie Murphy
Juan Carlos Oviedo
Matt Tupman

2006 (10)
Paul Bako
Chris Booker
Billy Buckner
Alex Gordon
Kila Ka’aihue
Neal Musser
Mark Redman
Randy Ruiz
Ryan Snare
Mike Wood

2007 (16)
John Bale
Craig Brazell
Jorge De La Rosa
Octavio Dotel
Scott Elarton
John Foster
Adam Greenberg
Luke Hochevar
Luke Hudson
Dusty Hughes
Ed Lucas
Jorge Padilla
Jared Sandberg
Carlos Rosa
Jason Shiell
John Thomson