In Memoriam…a season wraps up

What a surreal season it’s been.

It’s difficult for me to NOT wax poetic as I talk about the changes as a writer and sports journalist over the past few months.

I’ve covered a lot of losses, as the Hawks finished under .500. I’ve covered some unbelievable wins too, and have encountered some people that won’t soon be forgotten by me.

I’ve decided to separate it into two blogs. This one…about the players that have gone.

Special thanks to Onalee Carson for tracking down this info and pictures for me.

Nine position players and eight pitchers have come and gone as the season has progressed.

I’ll try not to focus too much on those players released or sent down, especially early. But players like Matthew Cerda, who was batting .174 when he got hurt but was the first fan-favorite of the season. At least, that’s how it sounded when he came to bat. The fans seemed to embrace him long before many of the other players.

Jose Valdez was one of my favorite players to watch before he got called up. His speed was something to write home about.

Or on here…and I did plenty.

Jordan Petraitis started with the Hawks, and was one of the many MAC connections on the squad before his departure. I’ve heard he has stayed connected with the Boise team in more ways than just facebook and occasional viewings of the BoiseHawks.COM website.

Then there’s the big one. Brett Jackson was here for a short time, but I was lucky enough to get to cover him on my road trip to Eugene. There is a lot of class on the Boise Hawks, and he’s hardly an exception. He was good for a hearty laugh, or at least a smile every game I worked at Memorial Stadium.

When it comes to pitchers, there was the hurt Su-Min Jung that went back to college in Korea, and Josh Whitlock who got the call up just recently.

Joe Simokaitis was an “aged” perspective on the team, and helped players like Greg Rohan with batting, even though he had made the change over to pitching.

Mike Perconte was a stunning talent too, at times. I remember a pit in my stomach when he got called up, because I knew his spot from the bullpen wasn’t going to be easy to replace.

It wasn’t.

But the one that stood out to me most was Jeff Antigua. This guy was stellar, with a 2.30 ERA while he was here, and baffled the batters unlucky enough to face him. He and fellow-departed pitcher Tarlandus Mitchell were the only pitchers I sat in awe of. Antigua for his over-all capabilities, and Mitchell for his accent and 98-mph fastball.

It’s hardly a complete list, but the Boise Hawks that took the field for their final game were much different than those that struggled to the 3-12 start.

There was more than just bats and gloves that took the field, there were personalities this season. I’m glad I got to know at least PART of them.

I tip my hat to the struggles of the team. And with one last seventh-inning stretch, I’ll remove my hat to Franky Font as well. His ability to lead a struggling team in the beginning for Casey Kopitzke should not be forgotten.

I’ll try to keep you all posted on the progress of these guys as we move forward.

 

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