12/8/2011-Ruidoso Osos 2011 Year in Review- The Ruidoso Osos will forever have a strong place in the history of the Pecos League and be remembered for their 2011 season. The Osos players were some of the Pecos League's best and by the end of the season their fans were some of the best as well. Along the way the team went some of the worst problems possible.

As well documented Ruidoso was the 6th team in the Pecos League due to the fact Clovis ISD wanted $37,500 for their field with no concessions and no signage. Ruidoso was the logical place to put the 6th team because it is located 30 minutes from Alamogordo, 1:30 from Las Cruces and one hour from Roswell.

The Ballpark Ruidoso quickly became a trap for visiting teams. The Osos took the league by storm when they swept League Favorite Roswell Invaders the first two games of the season. They continued success by taking 3 of 4 from Alpine in Alpine. The story of the Osos was their ballpark and the amount of runs that were scored in the ballpark. The Osos split 28 games with Las Cruces and White Sands winning every game at home and losing every game on the Road. Alpine and Roswell only won 5 games combined in Ruidoso. Their home record was 28-9. The ballpark was a hitters dream, with the concrete infield and elevation of 6930 it made the rest of the Pecos League Parks seem big. The pitchers mound was measured at 23 inches high. Their players quickly adapted and Shortstop Eddie Brown, Centerfielder Drew Peterson, Rightfielder Chris Juarez, Third Baseman Case Rigby knew exactly how to play the angles and hops. Chris Welborn somehow threw a shutout in the park. If the Pecos League weren't using the Pro Nine Baseball then the Osos would have averaged 20 runs a game. The Pro Nine Baseball is widely considered the gopher of all baseballs because of its lack of carry. All day games also should be considered in the offensive uprising. Word Spread quickly through the lead and visiting pitchers did not want to play there. White Sands and Roswell both attempted to get the league to move all games out of Ruidoso due to ballpark that was not to professional standards. Two Carlsbad pitchers gave up 10 runs in an inning.

The Team Amazingly the team was built by Pecos League Commisioner Andrew Dunn and Roswell Manager Chris Paterson. Two weeks into the season Paterson wished he would have signed almost half of the team for his Roswell Invaders.
  • Case Rigby quickly emerged as the best hitter, he only hit 11 home runs also it seemed like hit 70. He hit .373 with 64 rbis and was promoted to the GateWay Grizzles.
  • Ben Gorang was somehow promoted to Quebec in the CanAm League he hit .394 with 4 hr's for Ruidoso. Ben was the 4th outfielder for the Quebec team.
  • Drew Peterson was the teams leadoff hitter and let the team in hits with 87, he stole 22 bases
  • Chris Juarez was the teams right fielder and hit .318
  • Eddie Browne was the teams shortstop/2b and he hit .351 and played the concrete infield perfectly.
  • Kip Masuda was acquired by Dunn in an offseason trade from Alpine and proved to be one of the leagues best catchers, he hit 9 home runs and hit .349, Kip signed with Traverse City Beach Bums for 2012 season
  • Chris Welborn posted numbers that were amazing a 2.86 ERA with 56.2 innings pitched
  • Alan Gatz was 4-3 with a 5.28 with 61.1 inningss pitched
  • Mike Jackson Jr was 3-4 with a 7.13 era in 65 innings pitched.
  • Erik Campos was 3-0 with 47.1 era in 47.1 innings pitched
  • Edgar Correa, Alex Fernandez, Mike Devito and Courtney Nelson, Josue Iniquez sewed up the bullpen.
  • Ruidoso lead the league with an unheard of .324 batting average, .475 team slugging percentage. Ruidoso did not league the league in hits,home runs or runs scored
  • Their team ERA was 6.33 which was worst in league

The Osos made virtually no transactions, they lost ace Joe Scamaci to the Frontier League the first two weeks of the season. They had no housing to put players in. They made more transactions off the field than on.

The Characters

Clyde Woods-Clyde Woods leased the team from the Pecos League, he quickly realized there would be no profit and the team was going to be a headache. Clyde put effort into the team for two weeks and had enough. He withdrew from his lease leaving the Pecos League and the city to assume the team. Clyde did not return the sponsor money he collected from sponsors and left the team virtually cornered. There was some debate about how much money Clyde made off with. Clyde had huge profit ideas on the team and they didn't come true. Clyde's main concerns were the other cities had lights and could sell beer and he was stuck with day games. He had no shot to match attendence so he had enough. The Pecos League had to make a decision, they could turn the team into an outright travel team like Carlsbad or try to keep the current players. There were many debts the team owned to operate and this was quickly turning into a black hole. The league decided to try to keep the team together and none of the players left. They already had housing setup.

Billy Page assumed control of the team in what was supposed to be a weekend. Billy somehow kept things going throughout the season and the Osos players stayed with the team. The Osos actually picked up steam in the middle of the season. While Woods was laughing all the way to the bank, Page and the Pecos League attempted to keep things alive. Billy and his wife did the best they could to keep things alive, but with two weeks in the season left Billy had to report to high school football practice. Billy hired tim Ferguson to replace Griffin.

Kevin Griffin-Kevin Griffin was hired from the Amarillo Sox to manage the team when Clyde Woods couldn't find Chris Schmidt was the original manager. Schmidt later claims he researched Woods background and was scared to work for him. Griffin arrived in Ruidoso and made the best of the situation and was probably by far the leagues best manager. Griffin was never paid the money Woods owned him and it was a matter of time before he left. Griffin's hot temper was his only downside, he had several run ins with umpires. And in a crazy situation he had a run in with the Las Cruces scorekeeper. Griffin will make a fine manager in 2012 if he has basic tools to work with. He set an attitude for his players that the carried all the way to the championship game. The Osos weren't done they beat Roswell in the first game of Championship Series before losing the final two games to end a great season. This season will be remembered by the Osos fans, players and community if there is never baseball in Ruidoso again they can remember the summer of 2011.

Debbie Jo Almager was probably the biggest help for the team. She helped get host families and helped keep the Osos going. Without her the team would not have made it. She was in charge of naming the Osos which was probably one of the leagues most colorful names. She setup temporary housing in the gym for the players.

Tim Ferguson came end near the end of the season and kept the Osos fired up. He really buried White Sands when he posted Keith Essary's newspaper article in the clubhouse and the Osos responded by sweeping the Pupfish in two games in the first round of the playoffs.

Shawn Maudly-Shawn was the best local umpire that could be located anywhere close to Ruidoso. He turned out to be a great umpire that the Pecos League will use for the 2012 season

Todd Fuqua-Todd was a report for the Ruidoso Free Press that never missed a game, he loved his Osos and covered the team 2nd to none in the Pecos League.