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1969   |   1970   |   1971   |   1972   |   1973   |   1974   |   1975   |   1976   |   1977   |   1978

1969 Stats   |   1970 Stats   |   1971 Stats   |   1972 Stats   |   1973 Stats   |   1974 Stats   |   1975 Stats   |   1976 Stats   |   1977 Stats   |   1978 Stats

SIZZLER OF THE YEAR

1977
For the first time in francise history, the Topeka Sizzlers have co-Sizzlers of the year, pitchers Frank Tanana and Phil Niekro.  Acquired during the offseason, Phil Niekro was brought to Topeka to co-anchor the Sizzler staff.  Niekro did not disappoint as he exceeded expectations by winning the 1977 Cy Young and leading the Sizzlers to the 1977 USRL World Series title. He and Tanana, who finished second in the Cy Young voting, formed a potent one two punch at the front of the Sizzler rotation as they each posted identical 24-6 records.  In 39 starts, Niekro threw 7 complete games with 3 shutouts, 248 strikeouts and a 3.37 E.R.A.  Tanana went the distance 5 times with 232 strikeouts and posted a 3.21 E.R.A.

1977 Co-Sizzler of the Year Phil Niekro
1977 Co-Sizzler of the Year Frank Tanana
1977 Sizzlers of the Year Starting Pitchers Phil Niekro and Frank Tanana

1977 Season
ERA
W
L
PCT
G
GS
CG
SH
SV
IP
H
R
ER
HR
BB
SO
Niekro
3.37
24
6
.800
39
39
7
3
0
272.2
224
106
102
19
148
248

1977 Season
ERA
W
L
PCT
G
GS
CG
SH
SV
IP
H
R
ER
HR
BB
SO
Tanana
3.21
24
6
.800
35
35
5
0
0
252.2
220
95
90
23
72
232

1976
1976 was finally the season that Doyle Alexander was given the opportunity to take a regular turn in the Topeka rotation.  Doyle did not disappoint the Topeka Faithful. In a season in which the Sizzlers put up their highest win total in team history, Alexander was brilliant.  In 28 starts, Alexander won 17 games against only 5 losses.  His 2.51 E.R.A. was good for sixth best in the league, and on August 17, 1976, he joined Denny Lemaster as the only other Sizzler in team history to pitch a No Hitter, when he blanked the North Lake Icemen 8-0.

1976 Sizzler of the Year Doyle Alexander
1976 Sizzler of the Year Starting Pitcher Doyle Alexander

Season
ERA
W
L
PCT
G
GS
CG
SH
SV
IP
H
R
ER
HR
BB
SO
1976
2.51
17
5
.773
29
28
8
3
0
208.1
167
61
58
10
68
60

1975
It took a big time season, but finally, someone was able to wrestle the Sizzler of the Year Award away from Lou Brock.  That someone was Ron Cey, and his outstanding season led a revitalized Sizzlers team to its first ever postseason berth.  Cey put together power numbers that were never before seen in Sizzler history.  He hit .295 with a club record 36 home runs and 119 RBI.  Cey also set team marks in total bases with 329, slugging pct. (.570) and O.B.P.S. (.947), and was the franchise's first ever First Team All Star and Silver Slugger.

1975 Sizzler of the Year Ron Cey
1975 Sizzler of the Year Third Baseman Ron Cey

Season
BA
GM
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
HB
SH
DP
SB
CS
E
1975
.295
160
577
95
170
27
12
36
119
74
78
5
7
14
11
5
21

1974
The 1974 season was the best season to date for the Sizzlers, who posted a 92-70 record, and finished over .500 for the first time.  It was also arguably Lou Brock's finest season in the USRL.  Brock once again was the leader of the Sizzlers' attack.  Brock was a force, as he hit .302, and set a new league record for stolen bases with 157, bettering his own league mark of 148.  His 157 thefts were also good for his fifth consecutive season with over 100 steals.  Brock also led the league in runs scored with 117, and was fourth in the league with 204 hits.

5 Time Sizzler of the Year Lou Brock
Five Time Sizzler of the Year Lou Brock

Season
BA
GM
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
HB
SH
DP
SB
CS
E
1974
.302
162
676
117
204
22
6
5
47
52
85
2
2
6
157
64
10

1973
The 1973 season was one of great improvement for the Sizzlers, who managed to win 18 more games than the prior season, and finished with a 63-99 record.  However, the more things changed, the more they stayed the same.  Sweet Lou Brock continued to be the  Sizzlers' offensive catalyst.  Again, Brock was a one man wrecking crew, creating havoc whenever he found his way on base.  Brock played in all 162 games, hit .307 and paced the league in stolen bases for the Fourth season in a row.  His 119 swipes were also good for his fourth consecutive season with over 100 steals.  Brock also led the team in runs with 113, good for third in the league, and was also third in the league with 206 hits.

4 Time Sizzler of the Year Lou Brock
Four Time Sizzler of the Year Lou Brock

Season
BA
GM
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
HB
SH
DP
SB
CS
E
1973
.307
162
670
113
206
32
8
8
54
72
99
0
4
4
119
50
7

1972
The 1972 season was a disappointing one for the Sizzlers, but not for Lou Brock.  Sweet Lou continued to be the  Sizzlers' offensive catalyst.  In spite of the Sizzlers' 45-117 finish, Brock was a force, as he hit .293 and paced the league in stolen bases for the third season in a row.  His 102 thefts were also good for his third consecutive season with over 100 steals.  Brock also led the team in runs with 85 and was third in the league with 197 hits.

Three time Sizzler of the Year Lou Brock
Three Time Sizzler of the Year Lou Brock

Season
BA
GM
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
HB
SH
DP
SB
CS
E
1972
.293
162
673
85
197
22
6
7
34
40
102
0
2
10
102
45
17

1971
Named team captain before the 1971 season, Lou Brock continued to lead the Sizzlers offensively, as he ranked in the top ten of the league in eight major offensive categories.  He finished the season with a .305 average, and totaled more than 100 stolen bases for the second consecutive season as he paced the league with 107 thefts.

1971 Sizzler of the Year Lou Brock
Two Time Sizzler of the Year Team Captain Lou Brock

Season
BA
GM
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
HB
SH
DP
SB
CS
E
1971
.305
162
665
97
203
27
15
11
44
70
100
0
4
3
107
44
13

1970
Acquired before the 1970 season, the Sizzlers hoped that the addition of Lou Brock would give them a leadoff hitter for years to come, who would soon become a fan favorite.  Lou did not disappoint as he set a league record for stolen bases with 148, and hit .323 with a league leading 220 hits.  Lou also smacked a career high 20 home runs, and scored 119 runs for the upstart Sizzlers who totaled 75 wins during their sophomore campaign, a full 13 more wins than in their expansion season of 1969.

1970 Sizzler of the Year Lou Brock
Sizzler of the Year Topeka Outfielder Lou Brock

Season
BA
GM
AB
R
H
2B
3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
HB
SH
DP
SB
CS
E
1970
.323
162
681
119
220
30
3
20
63
54
93
0
3
8
148
30
11

1969
With their fifth pick in the expansion draft, the Topeka Sizzlers selected Denny Lemaster. In selecting Lemaster, the Sizzlers hoped to get one more solid season out of the crafty left hander who was entering the twilight of a fine USRL career. The Sizzlers were not disappointed as Lemaster went on to win 14 of 26 decisions for the expansion club. One of those victories was the franchise’s first and only No Hitter, which he pitched on April 16, 1969 against the Madison Cheese Sox. Lemaster also posted the fifth best E.R.A. in the league at 2.36, and struck out 181 for the season.

1969 Sizzler of the Year Denny Lemaster
Sizzler of the Year Topeka Hurler Denny Lemaster

Season
ERA
W
L
PCT
G
GS
CG
SH
SV
IP
H
R
ER
HR
BB
SO
1969
2.36
14
12
.538
36
35
7
1
0
259.1
196
80
68
20
67
181