2001 Season

The league continued with 12 teams in a head-to-head in a 144-game schedule for the 9th year of the LFBL. One team left and one team was added: The Provo Pikachus (Jon Stutz) called it quits after 4 years and the Santaquin Polar Bears (Scott Quigley) were added. The four divisions were again divided geographically and named by area. The Seattle Sluggers (Alan Thompson) had the best record in the league by 15 games and won the Northwest division. The Michigan Mobsters (Mark Hinkson) had the third best record and won the East division. The Harbor Park Eagles won the West division and Santaquin won the Mountain division in their first year. Wild Card teams included: Fern Hill (Craig Quigley), Dodgeville Tornadoes (Devan Thompson), Loafer Mt. Lightning (Bob Stutz) and Wisconsin Blizzard (Mark Jarva). Harry Heilmann (Dodgeville) and Johnny Bench (Wisconsin) shared All-Star game MVP honors as the Northwest/East All-Stars out-lasted the Mountain/West All-stars 6-5. In the playoffs only one wild Card team made it out of the quarter finals: Dodgeville, but they lost to Seattle in the Semi-finals. In the other Semi-final, Santaquin came from down from 3-2 to beat Michigan in 7 games as the visiting team won all the games in the series. The championship went back and forth with close wins and high scoring affairs. Seattle tied the series at 3-3 in the 6th game, but failed to stop the first year Santaquin Polar Bears from winning the Championship. Santaquin ousted the #1 and #2 seeds both by 4-3 games and became the second first year team to win the league championship. Seattle became the third team to make it to the finals twice and lose (others are Dodgeville and Harbor Park). Seattle has made it to the playoffs 7 of 9 years and Loafer Mt. has made it 8 of 9 years. Seattle kept the #1 seed losing streak alive at 7 years, while only two #1 seeds have even won the championship: 1994 Provo Power and 1993 Elite. Regular season awards went to: MVP – Josh Gibson (Santaquin) and Ted Williams (Loafer Mt.), Cy Young – Denny Driscoll (Seattle), and Most Valuable Relief Pitcher – Dennis Eckersley (Michigan) and Trevor Hoffman (Fern Hill). Eckersley won for the 4th time, the most by any award winner.