1996 Season

The league increased the schedule to 144 games and remained at 12 teams, but with a few changes. The Rahl’s River Rats and Rob’s StingRays left the league while the Pocatello Panthers – managed by Kyle Gilbert and the Washington Grizzlies – managed by Craig Quigley became the new editions. The 1996 season also saw the start of the preseason, 22 games which has since changed to 33 games. Silver King and Bob Caruthers of the Loafer Mt. Lightning were MVP’s in the 1-0 All-Star game. Division winners included: Rainier (Alan), Loafer Mt.–1st team to win 100+ games–(Bob), Provo (Ethan), Pocatello (Kyle), and wild card teams – Washington (Craig) and Teton (Devan). While the Loafer Mt. Lightning dominated the entire regular season, they were unable to hold off the amazing Washington Grizzlies. The Grizzlies, their first year in the league, were the final team to make the playoffs, but they went 12-1 in the playoffs to eliminate Loafer Mt. in the semi-finals and sweep past the Provo Power for the league championship. Provo had reached the championship despite being 14 games under .500 for the regular season. Hal Trosky garnered championship series MVP honors for the Grizzlies. Regular season awards went to the following: MVP – Josh Gibson (Loafer Mt.), Cy Young – Bill Sweeney (Rainier), and Most Valuable Relief Pitcher – Jay Howell (Teton).

Championship Team:

Ca – Johnny Bench

1b – John Olerud

2b – Tony Lazzeri

ss- Alan Trammell

3b – Edgar Martinez

Of – Tip O’Neill, Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds

DH – Hal Trosky

Starting Pitching – Dwight Gooden, Guy Hecker, Tim Keefe

Jim Whitney, Old Hoss Radbourn

Relievers – Bobby Thigpen, Bruce Sutter, Greg Minton