Get to know the NoL - Fargo-Moorhead
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May 13, 2010 - Fargo-Moorhead joined the Northern League in 1996 as an expansion franchise and quickly became known as a league powerhouse. During that inaugural season, the RedHawks compiled the league’s best regular season record, winning 53 games, at the time setting a league record. Fargo-Moorhead would advance to the league championship series, only to lose to the St. Paul Saints. The team reloaded for the 1997 season, and got back to the playoffs, this time they fell in the first round to Winnipeg. The RedHawks returned in 1998 with one of the greatest independent league teams ever. Fargo-Moorhead was in first place for most of the season, and finished with a 64-21 record. The .753 winning percentage the RedHawks achieved in 1998 still stands as the highest winning percentage in league history. The winning ways continued in the playoffs as Fargo-Moorhead beat Winnipeg three games to one advancing to the League finals. The RedHawks then swept St. Paul for the League Championship, the franchise’s first.

The franchise stretched their consecutive seasons with playoff appearances to six, making it the first six years of existence (1996-2001). That consistency did not go unnoticed as Baseball America voted Fargo-Moorhead as the Independent League Team of the decade for the 1990’s. The RedHawks continued their winning ways in 2002, finishing with a record of 52-37. That record was not good enough to qualify for the playoffs, and 2002 remains the only season in franchise history to not include a post-season berth.

In the off-season, Fargo-Moorhead regrouped, and they returned to the top of the Northen League standings, finishing at 62-28. The RedHawks went neck and neck with the Schaumbug Flyers, as the series went to a decisive game five, where Fargo-Moorhead would win to advance to the Northern League finals, where they beat Winnipeg three games to one for their second Northern League title. Fargo-Moorhead reached the playoffs in 2004, before losing to St. Paul three games to one in the division finals. During the 2005 season, Fargo-Moorhead dominated, winning a record 68 games, which included a 40-7 mark in the second half and a league record 14 game winning streak. Despite the regular season wins record, the team could not put together a championship as they lost in the League Finals to Gary three games to two.

In 2006, the RedHawks sought revenge for the way 2005 ended, as they met Gary in a rematch of the League Finals, this time winning the series in four games for the franchise’s third championship. Highlighting the 2006 season was Joe Mathis who captured the league MVP. 2007 was another solid season for Fargo-Moorhead, as the team finished with the second best overall record, qualifying for the playoffs. The playoffs were short for the RedHawks, as they were swept out of the first round by the Calgary Vipers. Mike Just was named Rookie of the Year in 2007, Mathis won the league’s best defensive player award, and closer Nate Cotton earned Relief Pitcher of the Year honors.

In 2008, the RedHawks again posted the best regular season record, and were swept in the first round, this time by Kansas City. Mathis won his second consecutive defensive player of the year award, and Billy Weitzman was named Rookie Pitcher of the Year. Manager Doug Simunic won Manager of the Year for the sixth time.

2009 continued the success of the franchise, as they captured their fourth league title, defeating Gary three games to one in the League Final. Nic Jackson won Player of the Year for Fargo-Moorhead. The RedHawks call Newman Outdoor Field home, and have had 50 contracts sold to MLB organizations. Two RedHawks have gone on to play in the major leagues, Jason Pearson and Chris Coste who was a member of the 2008 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies. Fargo-Moorhead has never had a losing season, and has made the playoffs in all but one season.


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