Riggins & Muller rewarded with Rawlings Big Stick Awards


Madison, WI – October 6, 2009. The Northwoods League has announced recipients of the Rawlings Big Stick Award, and the Madison Mallards had two winners in All-Stars Harold Riggins and Kurtis Muller. The awards are given annually to the player at each position who had the best batting average during the previous season.

Riggins made 56 starts between first base and as a designated hitter and accumulated a batting average of .308 with 13 doubles, 9 home runs, and 48 RBI. He was also named to the NWL Mid-Season All-Star Team for the South Division and won the Home Run Derby in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Meanwhile, Sun Prairie-native Muller split time between center field (35 games) and second base (18 games) and hit .335 with 8 doubles, 3 home runs, and 24 RBI. He was also named the Mallards’ MVP for his performance in 2009.

Excerpt from Northwoods League:

As expected the 2009 Northwoods League Batting Champion, La Crosse’s Rob Brantly (California-Riverside), earned the award at catcher. Brantly finished the season with a .346 average, after vaulting up the leader board by hitting .511 in the final two weeks of the season. Battle Creek’s Chris Lewis (Western Michigan) finished a close second in the batting race and takes home a Rawlings Big Stick as the top hitting outfielder in the NWL with a .344 average. Waterloo’s Mike Giller (Illinois), the NWL’s third best hitter, picks up the Big Stick at shortstop by hitting .335 for the Bucks. He finished just ahead of three other shortstops that all ended the season in the NWL’s top-10 batting leaders. Madison’s Harold Riggins (NC State) led the league in RBI (48) and also carried the top batting average for all first baseman. Two of the outfielders earning a Big Stick, Madison’s Kurtis Muller and Mankato’s Ryan Durant, hail from the University of Iowa. A couple of west-coast players, Green Bay’s Riley Henricks (Portland) and La Crosse’s Chris Engell (San Diego), earn the Big Stick at second and third base, respectively.

To honor their achievement the eight award winners will receive an engraved bat from Rawlings. The complete list of 2009 Rawlings Big Stick Award Winners is below.

Catcher                Rob Brantly, La Crosse Loggers, University of California-Riverside, .346

First Base             Harold Riggins, Madison Mallards, North Carolina State University, .308

Second Base      Riley Henricks, Green Bay Bullfrogs, University of Portland, .270

Third Base           Chris Engell, La Crosse Loggers, University of San Diego, .296

Shortstop            Mike Giller, Waterloo Bucks, University of Illinois, .335

Outfield               Chris Lewis, Battle Creek Bombers, Western Michigan University, .344

Outfield               Kurtis Muller, Madison Mallards, University of Iowa, .335

Outfield               Ryan Durant, Mankato MoonDogs, University of Iowa, .324

To be eligible a player would’ve needed to have enough plate appearances to qualify for a batting title. In 2009 it took at least 184 plate appearances to be listed among the league leaders. Those players that saw time at more than one position qualify at the position they played most often.

The Northwoods League plays more games than, draws more fans than, and plays in venues superior to any Summer Collegiate Baseball League in North America. The Northwoods League recently completed its 16th season of play.