The internal team MVP goes to Greg Maddux for his sterling performance in Game 5 (9IP, 5H, 2 BB, 0 R) to break a 2-2 series tie, although the official media tabulations are still unavailable in the party atmosphere that is downtown Grand Junction. The crowd spilled out from the stadium shortly after the game ended, and began partying with the bar viewers along newly named Skillet Avenue.
"When the franchise came into town, I thought 'who is this howley who thinks Grand Junction needs a baseball team?'" stated Jason Brown, 22 year-old reveler, bandwagon Skillet fan, and driftwood craftsman. "But this is the greatest thing since the first day of ski season! WOOHOO!"
The team had the league's worst record at the 40 game mark, and franchise rivals thought this was the year to knock Skillet majority owner Greg Nims from his lofty perch. The team, however, proved critics wrong.
"The media had its doubts, our fans (the few that there were) had their doubts, even some of our own players had their doubts. I have to credit the veterans for the leadership they provided down the stretch," stated Nims.
"Greg Maddux, Raul Mondesi, Todd Hundley, and Jay Bell, the top four active players on the franchise career games list, really took the team on their shoulders and led us to the promised land. My hat goes off to them," reflected Nims, as he sipped the traditional Spit Cup beer.
Bell (0-for-18) and Hundley (0-for-15) combined to go 0-for-33 in the Series, but Bell carried the Skillet in the semifinals victory vs. the Harrison Cheeky Monkeys, and Hundley's inspirational return from rotator cuff surgery provided the spirit that the team needed to once again climb the mountain.
Mondesi has taken the torch from Jay Buhner as the league's top right fielder and team-oriented winner. "I like to hit the home run," stuttered Raul after winning his second straight and third overall Spit Cup ring and driving in over 100 runs in the regular season while leading the Skillet in runs scored and runs driven in.
Maddux won his second ring with the team, and declared his desire to return to the franchise, wherever it may be, next year. "The franchise has the class and winning tradition that every ball player loves to play for. I refuse to sign with any team that drafts me next year outside of this organization."
On those words the Skillet front office turns its sights towards the '99 Spit Cup title.