Your Waterloo Bucks had a non-stop, action-packed, and exciting 2014 season. The team followed up a 51-win 2013 season with a 2014 campaign in which they finished with the third best record in the Northwoods League. The Bucks saw success through career achievements, player signings, and organizational success. As the Bucks look to use 2014 as a building block for the upcoming 2015 season, here are the top 10 Bucks headlines to remember from the season of 2014:
10.) Bucks enter 20th season of play with a Win
The Waterloo Bucks started off their 20th season in the Cedar Valley with a road win against the rival Rochester Honkers. Twenty seasons is a milestone that the entire community and organization is proud of and is a testament to the support the team has received throughout its time in Waterloo. The Bucks will enter their 21st season in play on May 28th at Riverfront Stadium against the Mankato Moondogs
9.) Ten Bucks players taken in the MLB draft
Ten former and current Waterloo Bucks players were selected in the 2014 MLB Draft in June. Draftees included four players from the record-setting 2013 team, including LHP Eric Stout, second baseman Chesny Young, outfielder Gerrion Grimm III, and catcher Kyle Pollock. The entire Bucks organization wishes the best for these athletes as they look to further their career in professional baseball.
8.) Mountain Man comes to Riverfront Stadium
On July 17th, the Bucks and Riverfront stadium welcomed a very special guest in attendance. Mountain Man from A&E’s hit television series, Duck Dynasty, greeted fans, signed autographs, and cheered on the Bucks from the crowd. Mountain Man was able to be a part of special on-field entertainment which included judging a duck calling contest and selecting the “Best Beard” winner at the game. Fans packed the stands to see this one-of-a-kind guest
7.) Bucks win 8 straight games on improbable finish
The Bucks recorded a season-high 8 straight wins on a walk-off ending on June 21st against the Duluth Huskies. The game was highlighted by a stellar pitching performance from Landon Simpson who was good for 8 innings, allowing only 3 hits and 1 run. Pat MacKenzie hit a ground ball which allowed Jon McAllister to score from second on a throwing error by Duluth third baseman Alex Greene.
6.) Pat MacKenzie steals club record with 61 career stolen bases
MacKenzie was able to steal the 61st base of his career against the Battle Creek Bombers. This broke the previous club record of 60 career stolen bases by Mike Byas which was set back in the 1996 season. This was not the only career record MacKenzie set during the course of the 2014 season.
5.) Pat MacKenzie sets franchise career record with 109 walks
Pat Mackenzie followed up his career stolen bases record by drawing his 58th walk of the season on August 10th. Finishing just 2 walks short of tying the single season record for walks in a single season by Chesny Young the year before, this walk marked the 109th of MacKenzie’s career with the Bucks which stands as the most in club history.
4.) Bucks Win Inaugural Scheel’s Highway 63 Cup
The Bucks defeated the rival Rochester Honkers 6-4 on July 30th to win them the first annual Scheel’s Highway 63 Cup. The team and fans were excited about the win over their opponents who reside just up Highway 63 across the Minnesota border.
3.) Manager Travis Kiewiet notches 100th win
Manager Travis Kiewiet reached a significant milestone on June 20th when he won his 100th game as the club’s manager. The Bucks defeated the Eau Claire Express 5-4 on the road. The 2013 NWL Manager of the Year closed out 2013 with 130 career wins as manager (3rd all-time in club history).
2.) One Millionth fan enters Riverfront Stadium
The Bucks were privileged to recognize Kathy Swisher of Waterloo as the one millionth fan at Riverfront Stadium. Kathy was honored on the field during the seventh inning and was offered a prize pack that included an autographed team jersey, tickets and other great Bucks gifts. The Bucks view one million fans as a significant milestone that embellishes the outstanding support of the Waterloo Bucks friends and family.
1.) Cedar Rapids purchases Waterloo Bucks
On September 29th, the Bucks welcomed Cedar Rapids Ball Club, Inc. into the community as new owners of the team. Cedar Rapids Ball Club, Inc. is also the ownership group of the successful Cedar Rapids Kernels, single-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins. While the team will remain in Waterloo and part of the Northwoods Summer Collegiate League, there are many changes for fans and the community to be excited about. These changes include significant upgrades to Riverfront facilities and cleanliness, bolsters to the fan experience, and increased community involvement. Fans will see a new brand of Bucks pride take shape throughout the Cedar Valley and the community will be reenergized by the good things to come.