BOISE, Idaho (BVM) – For the first time in thirty years, the Boise Hawks are no longer a part of an MLB organization.
The club previously affiliated with the Colorado Rockies (2015-2020), held tryouts six months ago. Manager Gary Von Tol and General Manager Mike Van Hise handpicked a new coaching staff and team roster. Responsibilities they didn’t have the authority of carrying out in previous years. And, despite facing new challenges, Boise’s club managed to go all the way to the Pioneer Baseball League (PBL) Championship.
The Hawks had bright spots in both hitting and pitching throughout the season. However, many key players could be departing elsewhere, leaving Van Tol and Van Hise to find replacements and rebuild again for the following season.
Leonard Barry, the play-by-play announcer for the Hawks, said the season was “extremely unique because neither of them (Von Tol and Van Hise) had ever deal with being the men in charge of signing and releasing players. Gary spent most of his time on the bus and on road trips scouting players and trying to find out ways that he could make the team better.”
Boise would end the season strong by winning their last six consecutive series and thanks to a second-half record of 28-19, the Hawks earned the top spot of their division in the Pioneer League. The Hawks would fall short in the postseason but crushed all-time single-season records in hits, home runs, runs scored and RBIs.
Two of those players that helped the Hawks break those record were Myles Miller and Wladimir Galindo. They were certainly individuals who made the season worth watching.
Myles Miller was Boise’s leadoff hitter and tempo setter.
“Myles Miller brought an infectious positive energy to the team every single day…Gary always said if Myles was rolling the team was rolling and that seemed the be the case all season long,” said Barry.
When asked if Myles Miller will return to the Hawks for 2022, the Hawk’s first-year announcer said, “I think that Myles could certainly get his chance at a higher level, but I know that if he doesn’t there’s a high probability you seem him back in Boise next year.”
Wladimir Galindo was Boise’s reliable power hitter who recently lifted Boise to a victory in an elimination game.
Barry mentioned, “Galindo was an extremely dependable clean-up hitter and spent practically the entire season there for Gary, he was someone the Hawks could count on to deliver clutch hits in the biggest moments all season long.”
Galindo, who previously spent seven years in the Chicago Cubs organization (2013-20), broke the Hawk’s single-season record in total bases (211), home runs (20) and RBIs (78). Not to mention, Wladimir also is second all-time in hits (187) and third in doubles (27) in a single season. Galindo ended the season with a .348 batting average play in over 89 games.
The Boise Hawks also had reliable pitching this season that they’re hoping to keep for next year. Four months ago, Manager Gary Van Tol joined the “Hawks Nest Podcast” and mentioned an important trade to acquire RHP Matt Dallas. Dallas, a hometown kid that can throw a mid-90s heater, grew up a position player and recently picked up pitching a few years ago. Van Tol mentioned in the podcast that Matt had “big league stuff” that was worth having on the squad.
Dallas ended the season with an impressive 9-4 overall record and is the new all-time single-season record holder in strikeouts (123). The right-handed pitcher also provided a veteran presence by helping younger pitchers out of college adjust to the league.
“It’s impossible to put into words how much Matt meant to the Hawks this season. Every time he took the mound there was an expectation that we were going to win…his ability to help mentor our pitchers who came straight out of college this season was incredibly valuable,” Barry said.
The Hawks also have another pitcher that they would like to have back healthy next season. The Nampa, Idaho native and LHP, Zach Penrod is an ace that Leonard Barry wants Hawk’s fans to look out for.
“If Zach Penrod comes back to the team next year he is certainly one to keep an eye on. He was the most dominant pitcher on the staff at the start of the season.”
Penrod led the league in strikeouts through the first month of the season. However, an abdomen injury halted Penrod’s season.
“He was never able to recapture his early form. If he returns to the team fully healthy next season he has a chance to be one of the best pitchers in the entire league,” Barry said.
Even if the Hawk’s won’t be able to assemble the same squad they had for next season, Coach Van Tol and his club have a lot to be proud of. A deep playoff push and multiple record-setting performances were not in the cards of an organization that just went through a vast amount of adjustments.