Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Decade of Dominance - Huntington Hillbillies

Tito McQueen - Cobb Times Herald

Decade of Dominance - Banjos, Buds, and Baseball
Another one of the original 8 franchises, the Huntington Hillbillies hold the honor of winning the first ever World Series in Cobb history. Their early teams were dominated with fearsome hitters that hold up as one of the all time great lineups of all time, including Jose Barrios, Francisco Tavarez, Vitas Newman, Fred McConnell, and P.T. Henderson all in their primes. Pitching has never been a strong suit of this franchise, but more often then not they have had the bats and the ballpark to overcome that weakness. After a brief bout of rebuilding, the Hillbillies are back in playoff contention, and Budweisers are being thrown down all over West Virginia in celebration.

#6 - Huntington Hillbillies
Franchise Power Ranking: 71
Best Year: 112-50, s2 - Worst Year: 68-94, s5
Postseason Achievements: 3 Division Titles, 1 Wild Card Berths, 2 DCS Titles, 2 NLCS Titles, 1 World Series Title.
Best Player: Jose Barrios - Barrios is the best player for any team he is on, and he began his career in Huntington with a bang, a MVP, ROY, and All Star season 1.
Best Pitcher: Bernie Lopez - It's been all about the offense in Huntington, but the young SP Lopez is the Hillbillies career leader in wins, and has potential for a long and productive career.
Best International Prospect:
Quilvio Suarez
Best Draft Pick: Sam Lockwood
Franchise Theme Song: Dueling Banjos - If anyone has ever been to a Hillbillies game, then this is a no-brainer, crowd watching is like living a scene from 'Deliverance.'
Franchise Highlights: Franchise won the first World Series in Cobb history, triumphing over the Las Vegas High Rollers. Franchise made the World Series in season 2, but fell short of victory. Franchise won the NL South in season 3, and made the playoffs as a Wild Card berth in season 8. Franchise has signed more high profile international prospects than any other, a list that includes Quilvio Suarez, Jung Lee, Pedro Franco, Josias Lopez, Geronimo Lugo, Tony Cruz, David Kwon, Vladmir Segui, and many others. Franchise has also drafted very well, especially hitting prospects. Franchise owner krs96 guaranteed a playoff berth in season 8, and was correct.
Franchise Lowlights: Franchise traded away Jose Barrios in a fair deal in season 4. Franchise suffered losing seasons in seasons 4, 5, and 7. The rest of the league had to endure the sights of Hillbillie country during a tour of Eble Park.
Franchise Outlook: King of the hill once again. The Hillbillies have finished their rebuilding, and Jackson and Louisville have just started theirs. So it looks like unless Richmond shows a phenomenal improvement over the next season or two, the Hillbillies should have the NL South locked up for a while. They still don't have the pitching to make it very far in the playoffs, but they have the farm system depth to get it through trades. The forecast is pretty good in Huntington.

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