It took 15 years for the Toronto Maples to reach the Great Lakes Baseball League Championship Series, their last and only first place finish was in 2019. And then, they were brushed aside by the Windsor Vigilantes. That Toronto team won 80 games and lost 60. In 2021 and 2022 the Maples reached 81 wins narrowly missing first place in the Canadian League. But, each time the club failed to advance to the finals.
The year 2029 was the culmination of an improved regular season record for the 4th consecutive year as the Maples finished 91-53 and were never seriously challenged for first place all year long. The top two teams in the GLBL met for the championship as the Toledo Neptunes were gunning for back to back championships, having won their only title the year before.
Colin Miller (12-3) and and Scott Churchill (18-5) were a highly effective one, two punch most of the season. Miller, acquired from the perennially strong pitching Kingston franchise was outstanding at keeping the ball in the park as his .2 HR/G average led the league. He didn’t stop there, as his 1.2 BB/G led the league in that department. Churchill’s 2.36 ERA was league best as was his 18 win total.
If we’re looking for one two punches on offense, no one could be faulted for selecting two of their outfielders, Whip Charles and Clyde Benson. Whip had a 7.3 WAR and Benson finished at 7.1. Of course, the two didn’t carry the offensive load by themselves as Serge Thibault (.923 OPS) was a huge force in the line up. Nelson Wooten struck out 103 times but then he batted in a team leading 109 RBI’s. Before the editor gets a hold of this paragraph let me just amend that one/two punch to the one through 4 knockout blow. This team crushed opposing pitchers.
The final series saw a game Toledo squad come up short as the Maples, in 6 games, claimed their first championship rewarding GM Martin Abrams for his due patience and diligence with the trophy.