April 17, 2013

1999: Yes to Norton, and a no-hitter

Chris Norton’s 38 homers and a combined no-hitter highlight a season that fell short on the field.

While the franchise was honored with the Bob Freitas Award – given for excellence in all aspects of its operations –  the team was not quite as successful on the field. 

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STAFF PHOTO BY JOHN EWING -- Wednesday, August 18, 1999 -- Brad Penny delivers a pitch to an Altoona hitter during his start on Wednesday afternoon.

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STAFF PHOTO BY HERB SWANSON -- Sunday, June 6, 1999 -- Pablo Ozuna fires to first base for a double play as Adam Robinson of the Akron Aeros turns to look after being forced out. Sea Dog early game action at Hadlock Field

Additional Photos Below

Affiliation: Florida Marlins
Manager: Frank Cacciatore
Attendance: 402,582 (5,670 average)

Final standings

Northern Division
Team Aff W L Pct.
Trenton BOS 92 50 .648
Norwich NYY 78 64 .549 14
New Haven SEA 65 77 .458 27
PORTLAND FLA 65 77 .458 27
New Britain MIN 59 82 .418 32.5
Binghamton NYM 54 88 .380 38
Southern Division
Team Aff W L Pct.
Erie ANA 81 61 .570
Harrisburg MON 76 66 .535 5
Reading PHI 73 69 .514 8
Bowie BAL 70 71 .496 10.5
Akron CLE 69 71 .493 11
Altoona PIT 67 73 .479 13

Notable hitters

Player HR RBI SB Avg.
Chris Norton 38 97 1 .291
Nate Rolison 17 69 0 .299
Julio Ramirez 13 64 64 .261

Notable pitchers

Player W L SV ERA
Michael Tejera 13 4 0 2.62
Brad Penny 1 0 0 3.90
A.J. Burnett 6 12 0 5.52

The team finished 65-77 and failed to make the playoffs for a second straight season.

Designated hitter Chris Norton belted 38 home runs, three short of the all-time Eastern League record of 41 held by both Ken Strong (1930) and Rick Lancellotti (1979). Norton’s slugging percentage of .633 also set a team record.

In the meantime, Julio Ramirez was leaving opposing players in the dust. He set single-season and career records with 10 triples and 64 stolen bases. Ramirez broke Todd Dunwoody’s single-season record with 568 at-bats.

Fletcher Bates set two career records with 279 games played and 1,074 at-bats. Also noteworthy was Nate Rolison, who set a Sea Dog mark with 132 walks. Pitcher Michael Tejera was dominating, earning 13 victories and tying Tony Saunders for the most in a season. Tejera also broke Saunders’ single-season record for earned- run average with a mark of 2.62.

Many fans that left Hadlock Field on Aug. 8 during the 3-hour, 37-minute rain delay could only shake their heads the next morning as they read the paper. Brad Penny and Luis Arroyo had combined to pitch the first no-hitter in Sea Dog history in a 3-0 win.

Penny threw six hitless innings, striking out five and walking four in his first outing with the team. Arroya came on in the seventh to throw three scoreless innings and get his first save.

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Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

STAFF PHOTO BY JOHN EWING -- Wednesday, August 18, 1999 -- Chris Norton is greeted by teammates after hitting his 34th home run of the season to give the Sea Dogs a 4-2 lead in the seventh inning.

click image to enlarge

STAFF PHOTO BY HERB SWANSON -- Sunday, August 15, 1999 -- Sea Dog's pitcher Michael Tejera delivers during Sunday's game against the Erie Seawolves at Hadlock Field in Portland.


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