2021 Season Recap
FOND DU LAC, WI – The 2021 NWL season was both a season that Dock Spiders’ fans and the historians will remember for a long time as the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders found much success in setting two new Northwoods League records and eight new franchise records.
In his first season at the helm, Manager Chuck Thielmann rewrote the history books with his innovative style of play and talented roster. Across the 72-game season, the Dock Spiders set a team-record with 43 wins which included the first-ever Great Lakes West first-half title in the organization’s fifth-year anniversary season.
From the jump on opening day, both teams and fans alike recognized that Fond du Lac was going to utilize its speed to its advantage. Between 24 different players, the Dock Spiders shattered a 25-year-old NWL team record as they totaled 235 stolen bases during the 2021 campaign. The mark was previously set by Waterloo in 1996 with 192 stolen bags. Georgia Tech’s Chandler Simpson led the charge for the Dock Spiders’ aggressive base running as he set a new NWL single-season individual record and team record with 55 stolen bases in 51 games.
In addition to his stolen base record, Simpson lead the team with 77 hits this summer and set franchise single-season records in both that category and runs scored (52).
While Simpson was consistently finding a way onto the base paths, Jackson Loftin and the Dock Spiders seized the opportunity to total 374 Team RBI, a new season-high, with Loftin becoming the new Fond du Lac individual single-season record holder (52).
Also, Loftin, a native of Spring, TX, broke another team record with 38 drawn walks in his first season with the organization.
Meanwhile, no player in Dock Spiders’ history played more baseball in a single season than Rutgers’ Ryan Lasko did in 2021. Across a new season mark of 59 games, the star outfielder hit .254 with five home runs, seven doubles, one triple, and 32 RBI.
After securing the best overall first-half record between the two Great Lakes divisions, Thielmann, along with assistants Jayson Yano and Austin Griffie were selected to coach in the NWL All-Star game in Mankato, MN on July 20. Joining the coaching staff, Simpson, Loftin, and West Virginia pitcher Carlson Reed were among the 31 players selected from the Great Lakes divisions.
Later in August, five Dock Spiders were nominated to participate in the Major League Dreams Showcase. In front of a large crowd of fans and professional scouts, Loftin, Simpson, Sam Ireland, Victor Scott II, and Calvin Harris put their abilities on display in La Crosse, WI.
As the season came to a close, the Northwoods League announced their postseason awards and two familiar faces from Fond du Lac found themselves in the headlines. Simpson and Loftin were each voted NWL Postseason All-Stars with Simpson being named NWL Co-Most Valuable Player, a first in Dock Spiders’ history.
For a full, updated history of Fond du Lac team records, click here.
Northwoods League Records:
-Team Stolen Bases (235)
-Individual Single-Season Stolen Bases (Simpson, 55)
Fond du Lac Team Records:
-Wins in Single-Season (43)
-Team Stolen Bases (235)
-Team RBI (374)
-Hits in Single-Season (Simpson, 77)
-Runs Scored in Single-Season (Simpson, 52)
-RBIs in Single-Season (Loftin, 52)
-Walks Drawn in Single-Season (Loftin, 38)
-Games Played in Single-Season (Lasko, 59)