Jun 25 2037: Rafael "MV4" Ortiz Retires - by amalric7 on August 31st, 2018
Rafael Ortiz, without question the greatest player in franchise history, finally hung up his cleats June 24th 2037. Ortiz, who was nicknamed "MV3" after winning his third career Most Valuable Player Award following the 2030 season (a nickname later changed to the less-rhyming MV4 following his fourth such award in 2033), was the very definition of a franchise player and team leader. When times were hard, Rafael was always there, raking baseballs to all parts, making clutch hits and winning games that seemed all but lost. In addition to his four MVPs (and at least three runner-ups) Ortiz garnered 102 POTG awards, was an eight-time All Star and was named All League no fewer than nine times, testament to his consistently high levels of performance.
Rafael dominates the Lancers record books - he retires as the franchise career leader in hits (2072), batting average (.317), doubles (544), home runs (232), RBIs (1030), RISP (.359) and POTG awards (102), and single season leader in hits (230 in 2029), batting average (.346, 2029), doubles (63, 2030), SLG (.620, 2033), OPS (.996, 2033) and RISP (.411, 2033). He is top five in every other category.
Owner/GM amalric7 was visibly emotional at a team press conference to announce the retiral. "It is impossible to overstate just how much Raffy has done for this franchise. Impossible. I...we...would not be where we are today without his efforts. Raffy has been the embodiment of everything Lancer baseball stands for, and his legacy will shape everything we do from this point on. Number 14 may have played his last game for us, but I know he looks forward to joining our front office team to ensure we continue along the trail he has blazed. We will not see his like again."
Rafael Ortiz bobblehead night will be October 23rd, the final day of the season, when the Lancers play home to West Palm Beach. New York will be sure to give Raffy a rousing send off.
Oct 20 2035: New York Nosebleeds - by amalric7 on April 30th, 2018
For the first time in franchise history those plucky underdogs from New York will play in LLIII next season. In what owner/GM amalric7 described as variously "a tear in the space-time continuum" and "blind luck", the Lancers got off to a rare fast start and never looked back. The season also included parting ways with veteran manager Leo Zambrano, who was ousted in the traditional fashion - accused of running a backroom gambling ring by his own AAA manager (in this case Lloyd Monroe) and kicked out unceremoniously.
While team doctors sought to quash rumours of altitude sickness being a problem at these giddy heights, journalists wanted to know if the owner/GM believed his team could compete at the next higher level?
"Of course I believe it. If those bums in Missoula and College Station can do it, anyone can!"
Nov 04 2033: Lancers Embrace Inner Mojo and Claim Title! - by amalric7 on October 5th, 2017
For the first time in nineteen seasons the Lancers are League Champions! After losing their four previous playoffs New York prevailed 4-2 over a tough Mesquite team for their title, and the first in three attempts for owner/GM amalric7.
"I'm stoked," said the Scotsman, "Now I'm gonna get loaded, and have a good time."
The Lancers won a game one for the first time but then lost the next two, and at one point went 22 innings without scoring. But they rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth in game four to tie, and scored two more in the tenth to win. But it was game five that really gave them belief: down by two in the ninth once more and down to their last out, they were totally ignited by the Jedi's (Jeffrey Di Carlo) two-run homer which tied the game (the force is strong with that one). Two innings later they piled on six runs to turn it into a rout.
Which all set the stage for game six in New York. The Lancers took a 2-0 lead in the first but once again found themselves down by two entering the bottom of the seventh inning. With two down and the bottom of the order coming up hopes were not high, but...after Vic "Vega" Connelly reached on an error and "Big Bad" Barry singled, rookie catcher "Mojo" Moran stepped up and whacked only his second career homer for a 5-4 lead, which the Lancers dominant bullpen made stand up.
"We're the Kings of New York!" exclaimed manager Leo Zambrano after a hugely successful first full season. "This town has needed a good baseball team for a long time, and I'm mighty glad we built one!"
Mar 10 2032: Lancers lose their Nuts, call in the Doc - by amalric7 on May 17th, 2017
The Lombard Lancers today sacked firebrand manager Ignacio "Nuts" Martinez, after three often tumultuous seasons. "The Igniter" took up the reins on the franchise's one-season move to Broken Arrow (OK), and followed that winning season with a tremendous 103-win, division-clinching effort in garnering promotion to LLIV. However, Martinez's confrontational style failed to win many admirers at the higher level in 2031, and a rebuilding team appeared to lose its way early in a 98-loss season, demoting back down to LLV. "Nuts" apparently left a trail of flaming destruction on exiting Lancers' Lair for the final time, but the team has no plans to pursue damages at this time.
GM amalric7 called a press conference just a few hours later to announce the hiring of "Doc" Ward as the new manager.
"We are delighted to announce Donnie Ward as our new manager. "Doc" has an outstanding track record against all levels of competition, and we believe he has the ability to bring the best out of our young hitters as they climb the ladder of success. We hope Doc is here for many seasons to come. Now, does anyone still smell smoke in here..?"
Jan 15 2031: Third of the Big Four moves on - by amalric7 on February 19th, 2017
A year on from the release of core hitters Al "The Answer" Dorsey (2B) and "Electric" Edgar Fuentes (SS), the Lombard Lancers today announced the release of the third member of the team's "Big Four" hitters. Veteran slugging LF Brian "Babe" Parisi has left the club after ten years, six of which he was a full-time starter. During that time Parisi banged out 163 home runs (tied 6th in team history) and managed 34HR in back-to-back seasons, both of which are tied for second. A four-time All-Star who was also All-League in 2027, Parisi will always be remembered fondly by Lancers for his remarkable 2026 season: a .308 AVG in 597 AB, with 50 doubles, 5 triples, 34 homers, 109 runs scored and a club-record 147 RBI, all with a .979 OPS as Lombard clinched the V7 East division title.
Athough his numbers would never quite reach those heights again Parisi continued to produce in the lineup, and his veteran presence helped to bring on a bunch of young bats this past season. His departure now leaves three-time MVP Rafael Ortiz (3B) as the last of the original Big Four - now the Lancers need to build a new gang around him.