All Time Winningest Coach in Rafters History to Return for 2019 Season
Wisconsin Rapids, Wis. – The Rafters are pleased to announce the all-time winningest field manager in Rafters history, Craig Noto, will return for his fifth season in 2019. “It was a no brainer bringing Craig back,” said new general manager Andy Francis. “During his time with the Rafters, he has elevated the team to a whole different level.”
This hopes to be a bounce back season after coming up just short of making the playoffs last season. The Rafters were 34-37 last season. There were however, some bright spots last season. The team had 5 All Stars and 4 players either drafted or offered contracts by Major League Clubs.
During his tenure as Rafters’ Manager, Noto has seen 17 of his players become Northwoods League All-Stars, five Rawlings “Finest in the Field” Gold Glove winners and has helped develop 23 plus players that have gone on to play professional baseball. Including postseason play, Noto holds a career record of 173-116 (.599 winning percentage) in his first four seasons as the Rafters’ skipper. Craig also has a World Series Championship and holds the record number for number of wins in single season with 52 in 2017under his belt.
Noto came to Wisconsin Rapids prior to 2015 with over 20 years of coaching experience at the youth, high school, and Division 1 Collegiate levels. His recruiting ties and contacts around the United States have been integral into helping him shape the Rafters rosters each season. Noto is currently an Assistant Coach and Recruiting Coordinator at Wagner College in Staten Island, New York. Prior to Wagner, he spent nine seasons as the Head Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator and Pitching Coach at LIU-Brooklyn.
Tickets to the Hot Stove Rendezvous on January 10th are on sale NOW and can be purchased by calling the Rafters office at 715-424-5400 or by stopping into the Rafthouse Team Shop at Witter Field. Tickets are available to all fans in advance for $12 and $17 at the door. All kids 10 and under are free to attend. Tickets include access to the program, a buffet-style dinner, along with complimentary punch and water. A cash bar will also be provided by Hotel Mead. A raffle will take place at the event for items including a 20-person Rat Trap Party, Point Craft River Tickets, signed memorabilia, and more. All proceeds from this event will be put into ballpark improvements at Witter Field for the 2019 season.
The Rafters office hours are Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm. Season ticket packages and group outing options are now available. Call a Rafters representative to lock in your summer plans today! The Rafters front office will be closed for the holiday season from December 20th until January 2nd.
The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters are a member of the finest developmental league for elite college baseball players, the Northwoods League. The Northwoods League is the largest organized baseball league in the world with 22 teams, drawing significantly more fans, in a friendly ballpark experience, than any league of its kind. A valuable training ground for coaches, umpires and front office staff, over 200 former Northwoods League players have advanced to Major League Baseball, including three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer (WAS), two-time World Series Champions Ben Zobrist (CHC) and Brandon Crawford (SFG) and MLB All-Stars Chris Sale (BOS), Jordan Zimmermann (DET) and Curtis Granderson (TOR). All league games are viewable live via the Northwoods League portal. For more information, visit www.raftersbaseball.com or download the new Northwoods League Mobile App on the Apple App Store or on Google Play and set the Rafters as your favorite team.