|Manager & Years||Won-Lost||Tied||Pct|
|Rich Koegel 1983-85||81-33||4||.711|
|Dennis Sheehan 1980-81, '86, '93-95||122-55||1||.689|
|Jeff Dodig 1990-91||25-13||0||.658|
|Kiko Romaguera 1996-97||38-25||0||.603|
|Boo Schaffer 1982||15-11||1||.577|
|Mike Dodig 1987-89||39-43||1||.476|
|Ernie Anderson 1992||7-9||1||.438|
1997, the 18th Dutchmen season, was arguably the very strangest of all. One factor was the addition of former Yankee star & controversial author Jim Bouton. But, alas, after just 2 mound efforts, The Bulldog conceded that his 56-year old arm just didn't have anything left.
The final season's record was a respectable 20-14 but those numbers don't begin to tell the story. It was a season of streaks. The D'men would lose 5 straight, then win 6 straight, lose 3 in a row, win 3, lose one, win 5 straight. They did bury the opposition to win the Sawyer Motors Classic and for the last 3 weeks of the campaign were engaged exclusively in tournament play....and quite successfully to boot.
There were tourneys in Albany, Ottawa, Canada and the finale at home, with 3 second place finishes achieved and an overall tourney slate of 13-3.
It was a season in which the offense was generally awesome and had to be! -- since the pitching staff was rewriting the record book, largely with new marks of a negative nature.
An early indication of the offensive potential came on Opening Day when rookie Mike Onyon pinched hit and socked a grandslam in his first Dutchie at bat. Later in the season he did what no one had ever accomplished, hit a 2nd grandslam. Brian Lindhorst reached new heights in his D'men career with a .416 batting average, a record 12 doubles and 31 runs batted in, the 2nd highest total ever. Jesse Arvidson continued his fine fielding and hitting and added to it effective baserunning, swiping 13 sacks in 14 tries. Rookies Bruce Burley and T.J. Konopka promised good years ahead in batting .393 and .355 respectively, while Chris Fabiano returned from pro ball and added new laurels to past numerous ones.
Despite those negative records, there were pitching highlights. Ray Mikesh won 4 games to set the all-time victory mark at 30. Mike Lindhorst, Steve Mangione and Eric Lovgren all won crucial games during the tournaments and 17 year old Justin Jeune, added for the Canadian trip, excelled with a win and 2 saves in 3 relief appearances. Then there was the case of Jeremy Clausi, who showed up one day asking if we could use him. He went on to win 4, lose just one (strictly on errors), compiled a 1.42 E.R.A. (2nd best ever) and truly made the difference in a successful '97 season.
It was a unique season in that, after playing 93% of its games at home since going independent in 1991, this summer the D'men had 10 road games. Most were added through competition in two out-of-town tourneys, boosted tournament competition to an all-time high of 4 and gave the ballclub the opportunity to play in a fine facility like Heritage Park and a ate-of-the-art stadium like JetForm in Ottawa.
Of course, absolutely none of this would be possible without the continued support of our...
and those who supported in ways other than monetary. A total of 145 individuals, organizations and businesses did contribute to the team's financial well being, plus Sawyer Motors and Helsmoortel-Erceg Insurance & Financial Services sponsored tournaments for the 5th straight year and full-page program ads were taken by Stewart's Shops and Anaconda Sports. Further, the Saugerties Kiwanis Club aided by having another "Day at the Ballpark" and the treasury was helped immeasurably by the Dutch Tavern's cooperation in maintaining "The Dutchmen Roll" fundraiser.
Appreciation must be extended to Greg Chorvas and his men in the Town's Department of Parks & Recreation. The singular manner in which they maintain the main diamond and their added attention during tournaments and on rainy days assures that the Cantine-Veterans Memorial Complex continues as the recreational gem of the Mid-Hudson Valley and the envy of all visiting ballclubs.
Thanks go to the local and area newspapers for the fine coverage given us and no review of the season can be properly done without giving credit to our loyal batboys, Danny Ereceg with 4 years experience and Eric Lawless with 3. They play an important role in making the Dutchmen Game a class operation and visiting teams do very much appreciate them.
Unfortunately, the recap of the 1997 season has to end on a sad note, a very sad note. We refer, of course, to the death of Sean Cavallaro just days before he commenced his 7th season with us. He is fondly remembered and will be as long as there is "Dutchmen Baseball".
Mention was made in the Season's Recap of strong hitting overcoming a rocky season for the mound staff. That is reflected in part by Team Totals as compared to the past. The batters plated the 3rd most runs ever on the 4th most hits. They set a record for most doubles, and had the most homers in 12 years, the 2nd best extra-basehit total and a .320 batting average, surpassed only once since 1985. They also had the biggest one inning explosion ever by tallying 12 runs in a single stanza.
However...for the first time ever the opposition batted over .300 against us, hit an all-time high of homers, scored 7.14 earned runs on 12.4 hits per 9 innings (both records) and during one Canadian nightmare clubbed 3 consecutive homers in one inning and 7 for the game -- all, quite naturally, new negative standards for D'men hurlers. The opposition also set marks by scoring 10 or more runs in 3 straight games and in 8 overall. An odd comparison of statistics showed that the mere yield of 3.0 walks per 9 innings (3rd best ever) was offset by the fact that the moundmen fired a new high of 46 wild pitches, far surpassing the old standard of 28.
Moving to individual records and achievements, we find a super season by Brian Lindhorst as he boosted his leading career batting average to .397 on the strength of his 2nd .400 season (done 17 times by 9 different batsmen) and now holds the best batting average over a 3-year stretch, .417. His 12 doubles set a new mark and another came when he drove in 9 runs in a 4-game tournament. The old record for consecutive games with an rbi was 8 but Brian reset it with an 11-game streak. He drove in 31 all told, the most since 1984 and the 2nd highest total ever. Along the way he also tied for career sacrifice flies at 10. Additionally, he made one pitching appearance and that too resulted in new records: Most homers yielded in a game, in an inning and consecutively.
Ray Mikesh just kept rewriting the record book in '97 as he extended his own career records for seasons pitched, games pitched, innings pitched, relief appearances, games finished, hit batsmen and homers yielded. But he additionally put his name on the top rung for games started and the big one! -- career victories! -- as his 4 wins put him at 30, two better than the legendary Tom Willerson.
Player-manager Kiko Romaguera literally showed the way in '97. He tied the record for most rbi in a game with 6 and also tied the mark for reaching base the most times in a game when he delivered 4 hits and walked twice. As the career records section shows, he extended his record for most doubleplays executed both by himself and as part of the same keystone combination with Chris Fabiano.
Besides the above-mentioned fielding mark, Fab (along with Brian Lindhorst) became the 5th Dutchmen combo to hit back-to-back homers. He further set a new record by delivering 2 sacrifice flies in a game.
Donovan Cavallaro tied the record for consecutive errorless games at 3rd base at 13 and then later tied the record of 17 other D'men, past and present, by committing 3 errors in a game.
Mike Onyon's record-setting 2 grandslams were previously reported and his "1st at bat homer" broke the old record as the earliest a D'men had ever hit his 1st was in his 7th at bat. He also, along with Jesse Arvidson, set a new mark for sacrifice flies in a season with 5.
Besides breaking the sac fly standard, Jesse also tied the record for most unofficial at bats in a game when he walked 3 times and hit one of those SFs. Jed Sagazie extended his record for outfield assists and extended his own record for Most Triples when he led the team for the 4th straight season. Those 3-baggers also put him in a tie for the most career triples.
There are no records kept in the "Revenge Is Sweet" category but the Dutchies will long savor their 1997 experiences with the Otsego Macs. First the Macs shut them out in both games of a doubleheader (1st time ever) and then frustrated them by winning both games of a twinbill on unearned runs. Later, however, in crucial games in 2 different tournaments, the Dutchmen battled back for a pair of come-from-behind triumphs over the Macs.
What was the Greatest Day in Dutchmen History? Was it August 17, 1980, when the D'men defeated the Newburgh Atoms 5-4 to win the League Championship in their very first season? Or was it another August 17 -- in 1986, when the ballclub rallied for 5 runs in the bottom of the 7th to nip the Half Moon Tigers 9-8 and record their 3rd straight league title? Dennis Sheehan should decide. He was the manager on both occasions.
Continuing w/a long tradition of "First Ball" Honorees, this year the ballclub had: On opening day, Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Roger Donlon; new Saugerties Sports Hall of Famer and a player on the original Dutchmen, Jim Farrell; Rich Jackson, the president of the Saugerties Kiwanis Club, on "Kiwanis Day At The Ballpark"; At the Roy Helsmoortel Memorial Tournament, Roy's grandsons, Chris and Scott Helsmoortel; Saugerties Sports Hall of Famer Mike Mauro, who'd played in the first game on the newly reversed Cantine Friend diamond when he was an S.H.S. catcher; Burke Bartells, grandfather of Sean Cavallaro, when Sean's family was presented a memorial plaque.
This Saugerties Dutchmen ballclub's first game was a 4-2 victory over the Beacon Bears on June 1, 1980. It was truly "Tom Whitaker Day" as he hurled a 4-hit, 10-strikeout gem and went 3-3 with a double and 3 [sic] singles.
The Dutchmen have pulled off 4 triple plays over the years but the last was particularly memorable. It was the rarest of baseball feats -- an unassisted triple play! Kevin Ward did it, in the top of the 7th of a 0-0 game on June 10, 1989 vs. the Newburgh Atoms. The D'men went on to win the contest in the bottom of the inning.
3 ea. by Bowers, Coon, Jorgensen, Mason, MIKESH & Whitaker
The ballclub has had 3 general managers in its history. The first was Greg Helsmoortel, who served for the 10 years that Helsmoortel Insurance sponsored the team. When it became a community-supported undertaking, Steve Dodig took over as GM for 3-year stint. Jack Keeley has now held the post for the last five seasons.