Twenty-five years ago, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons stepped on the field for the first time. In honor of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre franchise’s 25th year anniversary, The Times Leader is counting down the Top 25 memorable moments in its history every week until the end of the season. All three teams — Red Barons, Yankees and RailRiders — are represented on the list as put together by the staff of The Times Leader. There’s sure to be some debate here as well, which makes it that much more fun.
Since there aren’t 25 weeks in the Triple-A baseball season, there are two moments this week. Starting next Sunday, there will be one a week from now until the end of the season.
No. 20: King Cole
It was just three games in 2006 that Cole Hamels pitched in a Red Barons uniform. But boy, did he make an impression. In those starts, the left-hander allowed just one run in 23 innings, while whiffing 36.
His most memorable start was his only one in Moosic, which came on May 7, 2006. The 22-year-old Hamels fanned 10 in seven innings leading the Red Barons to the win. Hamels electrified the crowd of 8,776, which came out to see the future World Series MVP. Hamels didn’t allow any runs in the outing, but took a no-decision in the 2-1 Barons 10-inning victory.
No. 19: The franchise’s fireman
Manager Dave Miley has always liked to use one pitcher to close out games when he has the luxury to do so.
In 2010, he had one of the best closers in minor league history in Jonathan Albaladejo, who had one of the best seasons in the International League for a relief pitcher. He set the league record with 43 saves and gave up just 38 hits and 18 walks while striking out 82 in 63 1/3 innings. He went 4-1 with a 1.42 earned run average helping the Yankees claim their fourth straight International League North Division championship.
The 43 saves are by far the most in one season in franchise history, as are his 54 career saves with the franchise.