The 2042 season featured a record-tying hit streak, a perfect game, a pitching triple crown, exciting races in both leagues, a tie-breaking game 145, and several tense playoff series. In the end, a familiar name had won the Championship: the Chicago Architects. The Architects made the playoffs for the 20th time in 28 years and won their eighth Championships.
Shortstop Albert Forbes tied the all-time record by getting a hit in 29 straight games. The streak began on May 23, when he singled in his first at-bat against Duluth. He was at his hottest in early June: during one seven-game stretch he went 16-for-31. The streak ended on June 27 when he went 0-for-4 against Chicago. Forbes tied Philippe Janin for the record. Janin hit in 29 straight games for Kingston in 2031.
Three players hit three home runs in one game this season. Thunder Bay’s Gustavo Hernández hit three solo home runs against Hamilton on May 10. On August 3, Owen Sound’s Larry Wells hit three in the midst of a 14-5 rout of Toledo. The least likely of the trio, Kingston’s Ron Knowles, hit three of his season’s five home runs on September 12 against Owen Sound.
On May 16, Clyde Benson drove in his 1,000th career run. On June 14, he collected his 2,500th career hit—joining Hall of Famers Guillermo García and Nabhan Ubadah as the only players to have reached the plateau. After a weak 2040, Benson had a bounce-back 2041: he hit 15 home runs, stole 42 bases, and led Canada with a .377 on-base percentage.
On May 27, David Frederick collected the 2,000th hit of his career. In a 15-year career spent entirely in Thunder Bay, the left-handed hitting infielder has collected 2,093 hits, including 299 doubles and 158 home runs. He has a career batting average of .293, and he’s stolen an even 500 bases.
On August 1, Daniel Huffman hit his 300th career home run. He hit 27 home runs in 2042, and his big infield bat earned him a third-place finish in the USA Lake Superior Player Award voting.
On August 22, Chicago’s Eduardo Gómez tossed a perfect game against Toledo. He struck out 8 batters and need 102 pitches. For good measure, he went 2-for-4 at the plate, singling twice and scoring a run. His was the fifth perfect game in Great Lakes Baseball History.
On August 31, Kingston’s Valentín Guerrero went 5-for-5 with a double, two home runs, and seven RBIs.
On September 10, Toledo’s José Álvarez tossed a no-hitter against Milwaukee in his first major league start. Normally a reliever, Álvarez had been called in from the bullpen 110 times in 2041 and 2042 before finally getting a chance to start a game. His pitching was not always pretty—he walked four batters and plunked four more—but he managed to induce three double plays to get himself out of jams. He also went 1-for-3 at the plate, singling in a run.
On July 16, the USA standings showed a three-way tie for first between Chicago, Traverse City, and Detroit—with Milwaukee hovering three games back. Chicago got hot in late July—at one point rattling off eight straight wins—and pulled away from the pack. The other three ran neck-and-neck. With just one week left in the season, the T-Birds held a one-game lead on the Bears and Eagles. Milwaukee collapsed, losing their final five games and being no-hit by José Álvarez in the process. The Bears caught the T-Birds with a game to spare. Their final games featured a pair of heroic comebacks. On September 9, pinch-hitter Avery Wider hit a three-run home run in the ninth inning to give the Bears a 6-5 win over the Architects. On September 13, the Bears rallied for four runs in the bottom of the eighth to beat the Eagles, 4-3. In the one-game playoff with Detroit, pitcher Marcos Román (7-13, 3.84 ERA) stepped up to pitch eight innings of one-run ball. Traverse City won the game, 5-2, and won the Wild Card.
Chicago’s depth once again proved too much for other American teams to overcome. Center-fielder António Méndez finished second in the USA Superior Player voting: he hit .306 and led the league in both hits (158) and doubles (45). Daniel Huffman and Harrison McGill both hit 27 home runs. The rotation was led by the formidable threesome of Jeff Michaud (16-6, 3.33), Everton Mounsey (13-9, 2.62 ERA), and baseball’s wins leader Eduardo Gómez (18-5, 3.02 ERA).
At the age of 30, Traverse City’s Pedro Morales showed no sign of slowing down. Morales hit an even .300 with 20 home runs and 69 stolen bases, all while playing sterling defense in center field. He was awarded his second USA Superior Player Award. Steve Klassen (16-7, 2.43 ERA) led the league in ERA for the second consecutive year and won USA Pitcher of the Year for the second consecutive year. Troy Lee hit only .217 but walked 91 times, giving him a .360 on-base percentage. Those walks often turned into doubles as he led the league with 88 stolen bases.
Detroit posted just their second winning season in the past 16 years. They looked to be playoff-bound but came up just short. Right fielder Jon Harrison hit 21 doubles, 10 triples, and 16 home runs to win USA Rookie of the Year. Fellow rookie Ralph Baxter (15-6, 3.09 ERA) finished second in the voting. Albert Forbes not only hit in 29-straight games but also won the Flashing Leather Award at shortstop.
Milwaukee was led, once again, by on-base machine Markus Tiegland. Leading the league in walks (109) for the 11th consecutive season, Tiegland reached base at a .411 clip. He also led the league with 87 runs scored and 11 triples.
Toledo’s Ming-Feng Cong (34 SV, 1.64 ERA) struck out 77 batters in 66 innings and won USA Reliever of the Year. Neptunes fans were perversely disappointed at the team finishing the season on a five-game win streak, which dropped them from first to fourth in the order of next season’s draft.
Duluth, who won the Wild Card last season, couldn’t find their 2041 mojo. Free agent signing Paul Boulay, formerly of Owen Sound, did his part: he hit .316 and won the batting title. Harvey Ormon missed five weeks of the season do to injury. The all-time home run leader only hit 11 this season, but a .397 on-base percentage and .459 slugging percentage shows that there is still life in the 38-year-old’s bat.
Last year’s magic deserted Hamilton. The defending champions stumbled out of the gate and were never a factor in the pennant race. For much of the season, Canada looked to be a three-team race between Owen Sound, Thunder Bay, and Toronto. In mid-July, Kingston won 12 straight games to join the leaders. At July’s end, the four teams stood within two games of each other. In August, the Maples took the lead while the Caribou faded. The Comets ended August winning 11 of 14, tying the Maples for first, but they lost their first seven games in September. The Waveriders seized their chance and won the wild card.
Toronto had the best pitching in baseball, and ace Rolland Girault had one of the best individual pitching seasons in history. He began the season 16-0 and didn’t lose his first game of the year until mid-August. He finished the season at 17-2 with a 2.13 ERA and 251 strikeouts, winning the Triple Crown. He is the third pitcher in history to win the Triple Crown: Cory Stinson in 2023 and Derril Dougherty in 2029 also achieved the feat.
Owen Sound had the best hitting in Canada. Zhao-Ji Fang hit .322, won the batting title, and won the Canada Lake Superior Player of the Year Award. Teammate Gustávo Gómez finished second in Superior Player voting, hitting .302 with 20 home runs. Brett Collins won the Home Run Challenge and led all of baseball with 38 home runs and 107 RBIs. Geoff Harris hit 27 home runs. On the mound, Marc Rowsell (15-5, 2.25 ERA) set career bests in wins and ERA and finished second in Pitcher of the Year voting.
Thunder Bay fans were thrilled to witness the electric arm of young Yakumo Hasegawa (13-12, 2.84 ERA). The 24-year-old pitcher won Rookie of the Year and looks to have a great future with the club. Veteran Pete Haynes (16-6, 2.43 ERA) seemed fully recovered from his 2041 injuries, and reliever Gah-Fat Liang (34 saves, 2.94 ERA) saved 30+ games for the second straight season and won Reliever of the Year.
Kingston second baseman Sterling Morin hit .302 with a career-high 22 home runs. Ed Bowes slugged 31 home runs. Dennis Wemp (14-8, 2.39 ERA) won the 100th game of his career and finished third in Pitcher of the Year voting. Théo Charles (11-7, 2.86 ERA) had the best season of his career, just in time to hit free agency.
Amidst a depressing season, Hamilton’s Lewis MacEwen (17-8, 2.81 ERA) and Miguel Suárez (.822 OPS) excelled. Arthur Walker fractured a finger and missed six weeks of play, but when he was healthy he hit .308 with 29 doubles and 15 home runs.
After finishing above .500 in 2040 and in third place in 2041, Windsor took a step back and finished last for the first time in five seasons. As a team, the Vigilantes hit just 50 home runs. No player reached the double digits in home runs. Aaron Bennett led the team with nine before being traded to the Maples. Reliever Brian Walsh (9-8, 4.52 ERA) led the staff in wins.
In the Canadian Championship Series, Toronto won the first two games at home. Owen Sound won game three. The series turned on a tense Game Four. The Waveriders took a 2-0 lead, but a two-run home run by John McIlmoyle evened the score. The game went into extra innings. In the 11th, the Maples rallied for three runs. Toronto took a 3-1 lead in the series. Game Five was similarly tense, but Toronto won by a run, 3-2, and advanced to the Great Lakes Championship.
In the United States, Traverse City won the first two games in Chicago, and Chicago won game three in Traverse City. In Game Four, the Bears squandered a 4-0 lead but won, 5-4, on a walk-off walk. Facing elimination, the Architects won Game Five, but their hopes hung by a thread when the Bears took a 5-0 lead in Game Six. In the bottom of the seventh, Chicago rallied and tied the game, 5-5. The game went to extra innings, and in the bottom of the 10th, Chicago loaded the bases with two outs. For the second time in the series, a walk-off walk won the game. In Game Seven, Eduardo Gómez pitched eight shutout innings and Chicago won easily, 7-0, to complete the comeback.
In the Great Lakes Championship, Chicago won a close Game One, 4-2. They looked to take a second road game in Game Two, but Toronto scored 10 runs in the eighth to transform a 5-3 deficit into a 13-5 win. Chicago won Game Three comfortably, 7-1. Game Four went to extra innings, where Jim Gates hit a three-run homer in to win the game for Toronto and once again tie the series. Gave Five featured a pitchers’ duel between the two staff aces: Girault and Mounsey. Toronto scored the first run in the eighth, courtesy of a Gates double, but Chicago scored one in the bottom half of the inning. In the bottom of the ninth, with two outs and the bases loaded, reliever Joon-Suk Lee hit Tynan Conner with a pitch to force in the winning run. Game Six went to extra innings. Both teams scored a run in the 13th, but in the 15th a Daniel Huffman home run kicked off a five-run inning. Chicago won the game, 8-3, and the series. At two in the morning on the shores of Lake Ontario, the Architects once again stood tallest, winners of their eighth Great Lakes Baseball Championship.