What to Order at Cindy’s, Better Know Appleton, and Jose Home

The TinCaps lost again in Appleton last night, 6-3, to the Timber Rattlers. Fort Wayne had its chances, but went 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 runners on base. Defense was an issue for the TinCaps, too. Fort Wayne committed three errors. Only one run was unearned but the sloppy pay had a snowball effect.

Before last night’s loss, we talked with starting pitcher Zach Eflin about how he’s improved since April, who his stiffest competition is on the golf course, and what his “regular” order is at Cindy’s Diner. Take a listen below:

BETTER KNOW A WEST DIVISION CITY

Since the TinCaps only visit West Division cities every other year (not counting seasons like 2012 when they made the Championship Series), here’s some background you may not know on the hometown of the Timber Rattlers.

* Appleton is 30 miles southwest of Green Bay and 100 miles north of Milwaukee. Population as of 2010: about 70,000.

* It’s one of the Fox Cities (with Oshkosh being the other central city in the region), named so for its location along the Fox River, which flows from Lake Winnebago north to Green Bay.

*  Lawrence University, a liberal arts school founded in 1847, is in Appleton. That’s also the year the city was first settled.

* The town’s name has nothing to do with there being a lot of apples produced here or anything. Rather, Amos Lawrence, who bankrolled the university named after him, was married to Sara Appleton. I suppose that’s a pretty name way of saying, “I love you.” You can’t just buy a “I’ll name a town after you” card in Hallmark.

* The paper industry is big here. (Now that explains why earlier this season the T-Rats had a “Tribute to Paper” theme night.) Appleton Papers is the third largest employer in town, behind only Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and the Appleton Area School District.  There’s actually a Paper Industry International Hall of Fame in Appleton. I presume Michael Scott is in it.

* Famous people from Appleton: The late U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy, Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, and John Bradley, who was one of the flag raisers on Iwo Jima. Harry Houdini grew up here, too.

* The town’s motto: “Meeting community needs… Enhancing quality of life.” Sounds like a solid mantra.

JOSE HOMECOMING

Sweet ‘stache.

Fort Wayne’s skipper played the first eight years of his 16-season career with the Brewers. Most followers of baseball in the 90s and aughts are familiar with Jose and whenever the TinCaps go on the road, there are fans who marvel at a former MLB vet is visiting their small town. In Appleton, though, there are even more Jose admirers than usual because of its proximity to Milwaukee. Even Jude Wilbers of the FOX affiliate in Green Bay came down to interview Jose. You can watch the feature here, as Jose reminisces about his playing days in Wisconsin and shares how he’s enjoying life as the TinCaps manager.

The highlight of our seven-hour bus trip from Fort Wayne on Monday night was driving past both Comiskey Park in Chicago and Miller Park in Milwaukee and seeing Jose’s reaction. He was excited to point out to his young players that he played in those parks (in addition to their predecessors) and could tell them all the best places to eat in the neighborhood.

MUSICAL GUEST

The Office, take it away…

Thanks as always for reading. Feel free to be in touch on Twitter @John_G_Nolan or by email: nolan@tincaps.com. Hope you can catch tonight’s game on The Fan 1380 orTheFanFortWayne.com. Coverage starts at 7:45 EST.

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