FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 11, 2000
For more information, contact
Bryan Dolgin, Director of Media & Public Relations, 843-918-6016
Furcal Wins On Election Day, Former Pelican Named NL Rookie of the Year
MYRTLE BEACH, SC – Former Myrtle Beach Pelicans shortstop Rafael Furcal was named the National League Rookie of the Year today receiving 25 of 32 first place votes and a total of 144 voting points from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Furcal, 20, successfully made the jump from Single-A Myrtle Beach to the Atlanta Braves bypassing Double-A and Triple-A as he started the 2000 season on the Braves Opening Day roster. He played in Myrtle Beach during the team’s Inaugural Season, from July 23, 1999 through the completion of the Carolina League’s Mills Cup Championship Series.
This season, Furcal batted .295 and led NL rookies with 87 runs scored, 73 walks, a .382 on-base percentage and 40 stolen bases (54 attempts). Furcal was the hardest player in the major leagues to double up as he grounded into just two double plays in 455 at-bats. Furcal earned the award beating out St Louis’ pitcher Rick Ankiel (87 points), New York Mets outfielder Jay Payton (37), Philadelphia’s outfielder/first baseman Pat Burrell (10) and Houston’s catcher Mitch Meluskey (7).
Prior to Furcal’s arrival in Myrtle Beach from the Single-A Macon Braves on July 23, 1999, the Pelicans owned an overall record of 49-and-47. The Pelicans were 34-and-16 for the remainder of that regular season and playoffs with Furcal. In 43 regular season games, Furcal batted .293 (54-for-184) with no home runs, three triples, nine doubles, 12 RBI, 32 runs scored and 23 stolen bases (31 attempts). In seven playoff games, Furcal batted .357 (10-for-28) with a double, six stolen bases and seven runs scored. In total, Furcal stoles 102 bases between Macon (73), Myrtle Beach (23) and the playoffs with Myrtle Beach (6).
Furcal is one of four former Pelicans that made their major league debut in 2000. Right handed pitchers Jason Marquis and Luis Rivera (now with the Orioles) made their debut with the Braves. Left handed pitcher Joey Nation made his debut with the Chicago Cubs in a late season call-up. All four of these players were members of the 1999 Pelicans.
Furcal hails from Loma de Cabrera, Dominican Republic. The Braves signed him as a non-drafted free agent on November 9, 1996 at the age of 16. He played three seasons in the minor leagues before making it to the major leagues.
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans Back-2-Back Championship party is on Tuesday, November 14 at Overtime Sports Café (1409 Hwy 17 South) in North Myrtle Beach. The party lasts from 6 PM to 9 PM. Admission is free and it’s open to persons of all ages. Brian Snitker, the Manager of the Pelicans championship teams will be in attendance.
The Championship Party will feature Overtime’s Tuesday Sports Trivia (including Pelicans questions) from 6 to 7 PM. There will be free food (hors d’oeuvres) beginning at 7 PM and the introductions/interviews of Snitker and Pelicans players will occur soon thereafter. Bryan Dolgin, the Pelicans Director of Media/Pubic Relations and radio/TV broadcaster will emcee the event. The 1999 and 2000 Mills Cup Championship trophies will be on display, and fans can get their pictures taken with the trophies. Replays of Pelicans game action from the 2000 Mills Cup Championship Series will be aired on the many televisions throughout Overtime. The event will conclude with the unveiling of the 2000 championship banner.
Those planning to attend are asked to bring non-perishable food items for a food drive to benefit the Salvation Army. One will receive a raffle ticket for each donated item. A raffle ticket will make one eligible to win Pelicans game worn jerseys and helmets, tickets for the 2001 season including Opening Day, a night in a luxury suite, gift certificates to The Pelicans Pro Shop, Goose Gossage and Steve Avery autographed baseballs and more. If one does not bring in non-perishable food items, then raffle tickets will be available for purchase at $1 per ticket. All proceeds will benefit the Pelicans Youth Diamond Fund, the team’s primary charitable foundation.
Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc. is a diversified communications company which owns and/or operates WRAL-TV, WRAL-Digital, WRAL-FM, Microspace, the North Carolina News Network, DTV Plus, Wolfpack Sports Marketing, and Capitol Sports Management in Raleigh, NC; WJZY-TV and WFVT-TV in Charlotte, NC; WILM-TV in Wilmington, NC; WRAZ-TV and the Durham Bulls Baseball Club in Durham, NC; and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans Baseball Club in Myrtle Beach, SC; Capitol Broadcasting Company also founded Local TV on Satellite in Raleigh, NC.