James honored by Baseball America
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October 7, 2009 - LOVES PARK, Ill. – Baseball America made official what fans of the Rockford RiverHawks could see all summer – Jason James was one of the best players in independent baseball in 2009.

The magazine named its annual All-Independent Leagues team on Wednesday and James was named to the first team after a record-breaking season that had drawn Joe DiMaggio comparisons by the all-star break.

“Jason has always been a tremendous, natural hitter,” RiverHawks manager Bob Koopmann said. “This year, he performed at such a high level that everybody in independent baseball had to take notice.”

James led the Frontier League with a team-record .374 average, 14 home runs and 48 RBI. In June and July, James hit in 40 straight games, the longest hitting streak in league history and tied for 15th-longest in the 133-year history of minor-league baseball. James also led the league in hits (129) and on-base percentage (.455).

James signed with the Chicago Cubs last month. The 25-year-old outfielder left the RiverHawks, who moved to the Northern League following the season, as the team’s all-time leader in batting average (.355), hits (415), home runs (34), RBI (199), doubles (86), games (306) and at-bats (1,170). James departed the Frontier League sixth on the all-time hits list and second on the active list.

Greg Porter of the Wichita Wingnuts was named Independent Leagues Player of the Year. He hit .372 with 21 home runs and 86 RBI in the American Association.

To view the full team, visit BaseballAmerica.com.

James is the fourth RiverHawk to be named by Baseball America to its all-Indy first team. The others were: pitcher Jason Shelley (2003 Independent Leagues Player of the Year), outfielder Rich Austin (2004) and pitcher Tanner Watson (2007).

The RiverHawks are members of the Northern League, an eight-team independent professional baseball league that will play its 18th season in 2010. Advertising and ticket information is available by calling (815) 885-2255. Most games are broadcast live on ESPN 1380 (WTJK-AM) and the internet. Fans can also visit the RiverHawks online at www.rockfordriverhawks.com.


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