January 18, 2022

Trade Mate Hurls No-Hitter on Day Lima Died; Second Hurler Missed Gem by One Out

May 29, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

In an amazingly ironic twist, Kris Honel hurled a no-hit game for Chico, CA on the same day Jose Lima passed away.  The two pitchers were traded for each other last season with Lima moving from Long Beach to Edmonton in the Golden League swap.

Honel, a first-round draft choice of the Chicago White Sox as a teenager in 2001, allowed only three walks while striking out 10 Tijuana Cimarrones hitters in a seven-inning gem in Mexico. “They had no answer for what he was dealing today,” praised Outlaws Manager Garry Templeton, the onetime major league shortstop.

Tijuana is the early leader in attendance in its maiden season in the league, averaging 3,396 per game, although the team has dropped its first five games with a horrendous 12.46 earned run average.

Female Knuckleballer Debuts Saturday

The much-anticipated debut of Japanese knuckleball pitcher Eri Yoshida comes up Saturday when Chico and Tijuana do battle again, this time in Northern California. The teen-ager will be the first woman to play pro baseball in a United States-based league since Ila Borders was in the Northern League in the 1990s.

“We have credential requests from most of the major (media) outlets and every Internet site you can imagine,” Chico Director of Media Relations and Broadcasting Dan Hawkins told Fred Claire of MLB.com. He said a number of Japanese media outlets also will be on hand.

One Strike Away From American Association Gem

It could easily have been a two no-hit week in Independent circles, but Shreveport-Bossier (LA) Captains hurler Osvaldo Rodriguez came up one out short in an American Association game in Fort Worth, TX.  He had a 3-2 count on 5-foot-7 Cats rookie Jeremy Sauceda before the Henderson (AR) State alum slapped a two-run double into the gap in right-center.  Leftfielder Palmer Karr was credited with two outstanding catches to keep the no-hitter going for the 25-year-old right-hander, who came into the season with a 23-13 career record in major league organizations.

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More Outstanding Pitching Feats

In affiliated leagues, former Northern League (Schaumburg, IL) and Atlantic League (Newark,, NJ) lefty R. J. Swindle, once again healthy, has allowed only six hits and has not walked anyone (10 strikeouts) in 9.1 innings spread over six games for Tampa Bay’s top farm club in Durham, NC. He has a 0.96 earned run average.

‘New Start’ in Joliet Worth Watching

One home-opening series worth paying extra attention to this weekend will be in Joliet, IL where the Northern League’s JackHammers have a new field boss with a successful past, 2009 Frontier League Manager of the Year Chad Parker, an ambitious and experienced new general manager, Jamie Toole, and an owner, Pete Ferro, who is catching up on past bills.  Attendance has been dropping and Joliet has not had a winning season since 2004.  “So we thought it was time to bring in some fresh ideas and some fresh thinking,” Ferro told The Chicago Tribune.

The elaborate story, not always easy for an Independent Baseball team to get in a market the  size of Chicago, was a meaningful step.  So were some billboards which proved controversial to some, but brought still more attention.  Now it is time to see the results at the box office and on the diamond.

(This is an excerpt from the column Bob Wirz writes on Independent Baseball.  Fans may subscribe at www.WirzandAssociates.com, enjoy his blogs, www.AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com and www.IndyBaseballChatter.com, or comment to RWirz@aol.com.  The author has 16 years of major league baseball public relations experience with Kansas City and as spokesman for two Commissioners and lives in Stratford, CT.)

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