History of Our Team
This article was submitted to the league as
Home Talent celebrates its 75th year. There will be special events and
publication to mark the anniversary. This was submitted by our Business
Manager and fine friend Jim Hellenbrand.
Middleton Home Talent team was one of the original charter teams of the Home
Talent League when it was formed back in 1929. It has been an active
league member since that time, except for a handful of years. Middleton
has won a total of 13 Home Talent Championships.
It won the League Championship the inaugural year of 1929, as well as
League Championships in 1952, 1971, 1979, 1982, 1993, and 2002.
In addition to single championships in those years it also won
back-to-back championships on three occasions. Those years were 1938 and
1939, 1956 and 1957, 1975 and 1976.
2002 Championship Season Recap
With the start of the 2002 season it
was decided by the team members to dedicate the season to Steve Adler. Steve was diagnosed, had surgery, and was treated for a brain
tumor from May of 2001. He was a
former player who was member of the championship teams of the 1970’s, a past
member of the Middleton Baseball Commission, and a great supporter of not only
the Middleton Home Talent baseball team, but of other Home Talent teams in the
Middleton vicinity. He battled his
illness like the competitor he was, but sadly died on July 20th
during the course of the 2002 season. He will be remembered for his many
contributions to the sport of baseball in the Middleton community.
a rookie manager, a few veterans, and huge number of new young players without
Home Talent experience the 2002 season was approached with guarded optimism.
An opening day win got the team of to a good start.
Over the course of the next nine games
the team would record four wins against five losses.
The next game played on July 4th was a tough extra inning loss
that now showed the team with a disappointing record of five and six, and in
danger of not making the playoffs.
After a team meeting following that game no one could have predicted what
was in store for the rest of the season.
team went on to win the next two games getting them back over the .500 mark.
The day before our game on July 21st our great friend and
supporter Steve Adler died.
It was an emotional time playing that game which was against one of our
chief rivals in Cross Plains.
A moment of silence was held before the game, and a jersey was hung
behind the bench in Steve’s honor.
The team won that game by a score of 8-2, and the victory assured us of a
playoff spot. We
proceeded to win the last two regular season games, so ended the regular season
with a ten and six record and a five game winning streak.
team went on to sweep all the Northern section playoff games, which earned them
a spot in the Championship series. They
also swept all the games in the Championship series and went onto win the 2002
Home Talent Championship. After
that July 4th game the team did not lose another game and finished
the season with an eleven game winning streak and an overall season record of
sixteen and six.
was a season that was full of many of life’s experiences, which will bond the
members of this team forever. It
was an accomplishment they’ll never forget, especially the younger players
experiencing this for the first time. It
was also a memorable season for the fans and community as well.