Kill or Be Killed

That was the motto of the 1995C Calumet City Killers. It was time for their franchise to put up or shut up. After barely being involved in the whole ordeal in 1994, 1995 brought a lot of promise for this proud franchise. But the 95A, and definitely the 95B teams did nothing but disappoint. After those three completed seasons, I was the only one of the "big 4" not to be in a World Series. But 95C was a completely different animal. Drafting was done on the fly- literally. We drafted these teams while parking cars one morning, with the guy driving the golf cart writing down who everyone picked. We had all played 2 seasons already with these players, and were quite familiar with all of them, so the draft process went very quickly. There were only 5 of us in the league at this point, and unfortunately the season only lasted about 2 weeks before the computer crashed. But it was a memorable 2 weeks for the Killers, as they were unofficially awarded the league championship. I think I had the least games played (around 70 or 75), but had won about 2/3 of them. Below I am including my probable lineup, rotation, relief staff, and bench players with either their actual major league stats, or what I remember their pitching grade to be, as we donít have actual SL stats due to the computer failure.

****LINEUP****
1. Lofton CF .349 .412 .536 60 SB
2. OíNeill LF .359 .460 .603
3. Bagwell 1B .368 .451 .750
4. Vaughn DH .310 .408 .576
5. Buhner RF .279 .394 .542
6. Valentin SS .316 .400 .505
7. RAlomar 2B .306 .386 .452
8. Ventura 3B .282 .373 .459
9. Steinbach C   +5 throwing

Granted this was only a 5-team league, but this offense was quite formidable. And the defense was quite good also, probably had at least a 42 plus the pitcher. They could steal some bases, and had great arms in the outfield, giving them a good balance offensively.

****ROTATION****
Clemens 15
McDowell 14
ZSmith 12
Appier 12
Gross 11

This was definitely the weak spot for this team, but wasnít the worst in the league, as Jim didnít take a starter until round 11.

****BULLPEN****
Jackson 22 XYZ
Howe 20 Z
Eichhorn 19 Y
McElroy 17 XYZ J-0
Ayala 15 XY

This was the teamís strength, as I took the 4 best relievers in the league rounds 4-7, before anyone else took one.

****BENCH****

Offensively on the bench I had CDavis, who had eerily similar stats to MVaughn (.311 .410 .561), and EMartinez (.285 .387 .482) as my top pinch-hitters. Vince Coleman was a highly coveted pinch-run specialist, and Jeff "Fish" Frye could either pinch run or hit. Mondesi was a capable backup/fill-in outfielder, and Karkovice and Bordick were good defensive substitutes.

Looking back, this was a pretty good team, and though we didnít play the full season, I am pretty confident that I would have at least won the regular season, as we all know that anything can happen in the playoffs. But I think I could have ridden pretty far on that bullpen. The one thing I remember most about that league is playing 40 games vs. Jim on one Sunday, to try and catch up to the rest of the league. That was fun (especially since I won about 30 of them). And while it is disappointing to have not been able to finish that league, I am more than happy to accept the asterisk. The guys who were in the league know my team was good enough to win.