What comes to mind when you look at the man in this photo? Relaxed? Debonair? Sophisticated? L.L. Bean Catalog cover model?
All those things and more can apply to our PFL 1991 World Series Champion GM Mark Kummerer. Mark's Indians earned a hard-fought victory over the Red Sox in Game 7 to return the PFL crown to Cleveland for the first time since 1987.
That Mark is one relaxed dude, isn't he? Word is he doesn't really show up for games, but has the help text instructions from his place on the Cape. Whatever he does seems to be working. The 1991 crown was Mark's fourth, tying him with Scott for third in the PFL. It also represents four more than I've won, which earns him my total respect and admiration.
Thanks for playing, you guys. Now, on to 1992.
The glasses, the fancy suit, the trophy... it could only be... our 1991 PFL Manager of the Year! Yep, that's Scott Philipp, Red Sox' braintrust and GQ cover model for 1998. Scott outclassed the field this year, and as the French Army said after launching a missile, "it wasn't even close, Monsieur!"
The PFL East was one tough division, producing the league's top three records. Winning the East took brains, cunning, and an extensive wardrobe. It's not surprising that Scott Philipp, clothes horse by day and PFL's version of Earl Weaver and Casey Stengel by night, took first place.
Scott accumulated eight of twelve first place votes, easily outdistancing Fred, Dean, and Mark for this season's honor. Scott, congratulations from all of us, friend!
Final results are below. First place votes are in parentheses. Voting is two points for a first place vote and one point for second.
Scott Philipp, Red Sox (8) 17
Fred Aaron, Mets (2) 8
Mark Kummerer, Indians (1) 6
Dean Collins, Orioles (1) 5
It was a night to remember in Montreal last evening. Not for the hometown Expos, but for the Red Sox of Boston as they fought to overcome a 3-2 deficit to win the 1990 PFL World Series.
More than a few Expos fans popped the corks early, as the home-towners jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one frame. The Sox came back with three of their own in the fourth, but Montreal scored again later that inning. The game was a nail biter, as all Series games should be, but in the end the Sox prevailed.
Yes, indeed, it will be a night to remember for all involved with the exception of Owner/GM Scott Philipp. Philipp hit the bottle early and often and, sadly, as the Bosox celebrated in the visiting locker room, their leader was fast asleep in the owner's suite. Fortunately, our crack crew of stealthy photographers were able to snap the above pic of Scott before he retired for the night.
Congratulations, Scott! And Geoff. Thanks to all the rest of your for playing along!
Now, on to 1991.
The Expos steamrolled the competition during the regular season, earning everyone's favorite Canadian public accountant, Geoff Brookes, his fourth PFL Manager of the Year Award.
Geoff's Expos took the division lead from the Red Sox after just twenty-five games, and never looked back. Reached for comment at an undisclosed high-rollers' lake resort where he was kayaking with his beautiful daughter, Courtney, Geoff said, "How did you find me? Don't bother us here." Pressed for just one comment related to his team, Geoff said, "I love my Expos and am pleased with how well we did this year. Now, leave us alone."
Congratulations to our friend and 1990 PFL Manager!
Voting was as follows. First-place votes are in parentheses.
Geoff Brookes, Expos (5) 15
George McGowan, Blue Jays (3) 10
Jeff "Yountfan" Kloster, Brewers, (2) 6
Dean Collins, Orioles (2) 4
Scott Philipp, Red Sox 1
"Break Up the Brewers!" Opponents Shout.
After falling behind two games to none in the Semi-Finals the Milwaukee Brewers roared back with a vengeance to down the Mets and earn the right to square off against the Orioles in the 1989 PFL World Series. The Orioles were up to the challenge, splitting the first four games before stumbling into the buzzsaw that is the Brewers' calling card. The balanced Brewers' squad did what they always do - combine decent pitching with a balanced offense and timely clutch hitting to win the series in six games.
Jeff Kloster earned his eighth PFL championship, surpassing Geoff Brookes for the lead. Kloster trails Brookes by just six in the PFL all-time win category, another title Yountfan says he is coming after. "Brookes got off to a fast start," Yountfan said after finishing a guitar set with rock legends Journey following the big win. "But I've played it smart, and he needs to know that I'm coming after him in 1990."
Following the jam session Yountfan boarded his private jet for a flight to an undisclosed location for a month of celebration. "Let's just say there won't be any snow or ice," Yountfan said with a wink. Then, catching himself, he added, "Well, there may be some ice, but only in my glass."
Congrats, Jeff. Now, on to 1990.
It was a quiet night at home when Yountfan got the call.
"Hello, is this Yountfan?"
"This is the IRS. We need to talk to you about your 2019 taxes."
Okay, not that call. We're talking about the one that came later. The call informing him that he had been named the 1989 PFL Manager of the Year.
Simply put, the Brewers darn near ran the table this season. They almost topped the magical 100-win mark and rarely faced stiff competition in the second half. When the voting results were tabulated Yountfan earned seven of twelve first-place votes. Like the PFL West Division, the race wasn't close. Three managers, Fred Aaron, Dean Collins, and Mark Kummerer tied for second with seven points each.
Congratulations, Jeff Kloster. Now call back the IRS.
PFL Manager of the Year Final Vote
(First Place Votes in Parentheses)
Jeff Yountfan Kloster (7) 15
Dean Collins (2) 7
Mark Kummerer (2) 7
Fred Aaron (1) 7
The Brewers made it look easy.
The 1989 season will be remembered for tight races that led to a ho-hum World Series as the Milwaukee Brewers and their erstwhile leading man, Jeff Kloster, won in five games over the formidable New York Yankees. No one expected it to go this smoothly, but after taking the first two games in New York, Kloster's Brewers put the hammer down to end the Yankees' season a couple days earlier than Yankees GM Randy Partin had hoped.
The title was number seven in the storied PFL career of Kloster, tying him with Geoff Brookes for most in the league's 27-season existence. The two, Kloster and Brookes, own over half of the league's championships.
In the picture above, Kloster appears set on getting to work to defend the championship. "We're ready," Yountfan told PFL beat reporters. "I predict right here and now that the 1989 crown will remain in Milwaukee."
Now on to 1989.
What a day it is for the McGowan family.
Sure, they've known their share of successes, the McGowans. A happy marriage, great kids. A nice house in the Orlando suburbs. But can anything match being selected as the PFL 1988 Manager of the Year?
I think not.
When reached by phone, George "G-Mac" McGowan, the erstwhile Owner/GM of the Blue Jays became visibly emotional when hearing the news. "I've never... I thought I was just..." McGowan paused to wipe away the tears and compose himself before continuing. "I'm honored that my peers felt I deserved this honor."
And deserved it was. George's Blue Jays battled all season long with the Braves and Orioles in the knock-down environment that is the PFL Central. Smart roster moves and a strong lineup ultimately helped the Jays rise to the top, where they and the Orioles both qualified for the PFL playoffs.
To celebrate, George made a last minute pilgrimage to Citi Field in New York. "New York was where my love for baseball began," McGowan said. In the photo above you see him pointing to his family's brick at the entrance to the ballpark. In the second picture, Assistant General Manager I.M. Katt plans roster strategy for the coming season.
Voting was as follows. First place votes in parentheses.
George McGowan, Blue Jays (6) 15
Randy Partin, Yankees (3) 9
Dean Collins, Orioles (1) 6
Jeff "Yountfan" Kloster, Brewers (1) 4
Paul Wootten, Angels (1) 2
Why don't I ever win PFL Championships? That's a question that's been bugging me for years. I look at the competition and know that I'm as smart as they are and smarter than most. I draft well, implement my strategy, and then... nothing.
Well, I finally know why I don't win. I don't have a secret cave with three screens and a bevy of baseball strategy guides. Most of my work is done from my green La-Z-Boy with the dog on my lap, pork rinds and Vienna sausages on the end table, and a binge-worthy Netflix series on the big screen. That's going to change. I'm going to become like my friend, Mark Kummerer, the owner/manager/GM of the 1987 champion Cleveland Indians.
Yep, the Tribe are PFL Champs for the third time. Their previous titles came in 1973 and 1979. They did it with a dramatic comeback, down three games to one, Most impressive, they had to win the last two games at County Stadium, where Yountfan's Crew is always hard to beat.
Caught in a quiet moment in his brain cave, Tribe Chief Mark Kummerer was quick to praise his team. "The players won this for us, they and the secret bunker where I crunch the numbers. It took both to bring the crown back to Cleveland. By the way, do you like my shirt? And how about this ball? It's signed by Charlie Spikes, my all-time favorite Indian."
Mark, congrats! And thanks for being a good sport.
On to 1988.
Who is that masked man? None other than the 1987 PFL Manager of the Year, the Red Sox' Scott Philipp.
One-hundred wins ain't no easy feat, even with a powerhouse lineup. Prior to 1987 only three teams had achieved the century milestone. Well, this season, the Red Sox join that elite group. Scott kept his team on its toes to win the always-tough East Division. Not an easy feat when you also have to maintain a beautiful back yard and keep the pool clean. Scott's a renaissance man, though, so this is just another day for him.
When reached for comment, Scott, speaking through his surgical mask, said, "Mmmphhh, mphhh." Translation: this mask is starting to make my ears stick out.
Congrats, Scott. Well deserved!
Voting was as follows.
Scott Philipp, Red Sox (8) 18
Mark Kummerer, Indians (1) 9
Jeff Yountfan Kloster, Brewers (1) 5
George McGowan, Blue Jays (1) 2
Randy Partin, Yankees (1) 2