LINCOLN, Nebraska – With an historic 20th season officially on the horizon, it’s a chance to look back on another fun season with the Lincoln Saltdogs at Haymarket Park.
Both individually and collectively, 2019 ended as a record-setting year for the over 150,000 fans that came through the ballpark’s gates.
Curt Smith, who is a season away from potentially setting most of Lincoln’s all-time individual career records, began the year with his 600th career American Association hit against Sioux City in May.
Smith later became only the sixth player in league history to 700 with his multi-hit night on Aug. 28th – just two months after brand-new ‘Dog Josh Mazzola became the fifth with hit No. 700 against Winnipeg, the club he’d spent five seasons with.
Smith, who’s appeared in seven seasons with the club, now ranks 1st all-time with 224 walks and 2nd with 86 homers, 390 RBIs, 701 hits, 340 runs and 578 games played.
Former big-leaguer Nick Tepesch took the mound in Lincoln’s home opener against Cleburne on May 23rd. Tepesch tossed six innings, which was all that he needed in a rain-shortened, 3-2 win – Lincoln’s 500th all-time at Haymarket Park.
Later in the year, the ‘Dogs rallied to beat Cleburne 9-8 in 12 innings on Aug. 28th – manager Bobby Brown’s 400th career win all-time.
John Brownell, an Omaha native and one of independent baseball’s most decorated pitchers all-time, found his way to Lincoln for 2019 after spending seven record-setting seasons in the Atlantic League.
Brownell – pitching in his 14th season of pro baseball and 13th in various independent leagues – made career start No. 300 and turned in his 40th career complete game in a 5-2 win over the RailCats on August 24th. He’d earlier notched his 1,500th strikeout and 2,000th career inning in what became his 13th consecutive season tossing 100 or more innings.
Brownell also earned the Saltdogs’ ‘Pitcher of the Year’ award in his first American Association campaign since 2012. Over the previous seven years, Brownell became the Atlantic League’s all-time strikeout king with an illustrious career in Long Island.
Shairon Martis became one of the few to pitch five different seasons for one club, and has now appeared for the ‘Dogs in every season dating back to 2015. Martis began the year as Lincoln’s opening-night starter, but after injuries sidelined him for a few weeks, the Curacao native went back to the bullpen, where he finished the year on a noteworthy run.
Martis now sits 3rd all-time with 24 wins and 2nd all-time with 52 starts. He is 5th all-time with 96 appearances.
Lincoln finished the year 40-59, but it was the first losing season since 2015. The ‘Dogs return to Haymarket Park for the 20th season of baseball in Lincoln beginning in May 2020.
On behalf of everyone within the organization, a huge thanks goes out to all of the fans, sponsors and anyone else who makes professional baseball a reality in Lincoln.
We’ll see you all in 2020.
The Saltdogs will celebrate their 20th season of baseball in Lincoln during 2020. Stay tuned for all ticket and promo information at saltdogs.com, and follow the ‘Dogs on Twitter/Instagram @saltdogsball.