Syracuse Baseball History: Part II

Syracuse was a member of the New York State League which was a Class-B minor league that the Syracuse Stars were a part of from 1902 to 1917.

Sandy Griffin and John Humphries co-managed the Stars in 1902. Syracuse finished the year with a record of 61-55, 10 ½ games behind the first place Albany Senators. Mike Donavan of Brooklyn, Jack Fifield of Enfield, NH, Charlie Loudenslager of Baltimore MD, Willard Mains of North Windham, MA, Jim McGuire of Dunkirk New York, Bill O’Hara of Toronto Ontario, Fred Payne of Camden New York, Dave Rowan of Elora, Ontario, Frank Schulte of Cochecton, NY, and George Wheeler of Methuen, MA were the players on the 1902 Stars that at one time would play in the Major Leagues. Arthur Ross and Robert Cargo of Albany tied for the league lead in runs scored with 94.

In 1903 the team was managed by Sandy Griffin and the players who had or would have major league experience were Nick Carter of Oatland, VA, Frank Delahanty of Cleveland (One of five Delahanty brothers to play in the major leagues), Jack Fifield, Charlie Loudenslager, Willard Mains, Mike Mitchell of Springfield, OH, Fred Payne, Dave Rowan and Frank Schulte.  The record for the Stars for the 1903 season was 80 wins 54 losses placing them in 3rd place one game behind the Schenectady Frog Alleys. Charlie Loudenslager led the league with a .326 batting average and in hits with 167. Jack Fifield of Syracuse led the league in wins with 26

Frank Schulte

Sandy Griffin was at the helm of the Stars for their third year of play in the New York State League for the 1904 season. They would finish in first place with a record of 91 wins 44 losses placing them nine games ahead of the second place Albany Senators. The following players had or would have stints in the major leagues. They include Pat Crisham, Jack Fifield, Dick Harley, Charlie Loudenslager, Willard Mains, Mike Mitchell, Fred Payne as well as Frank and Jack Schulte. The Stars Pat Crisham led the league with 89 runs scored and his teammate Frank Schulte tied for the league lead in hits with J.T. Fox of Utica, both men with 159 hits. Stars hurler Jack Fifield led the league in wins with 26 and his record of 26 wins 7 losses gave him a league leading winning percentage of .778 for the year. Syracuse was no-hit by George Bell of the Amsterdam Johnstown team on June 29 as they lost 1-0.

For the fourth year in a row Sandy Griffin was at the helm of the Syracuse Stars for the New York State League season. Syracuse players with major league connections included: Nick Carter, Pat Crisham, Jack Fifield, Charlie Luskey and Willard Main. Syracuse finished the year in second place with a record of 70-51, ½ game behind the first place Amsterdam Johnstown Jags.

Again, it was Sandy Griffin who was the manager for the Syracuse Stars in the 1906 New York State League season. Syracuse’s record for the year was 70-65 placing them 3rd 14 ½ games behind the Scranton Miners. Nick Carter, Pat Crisham, Jack Fifield and Joe McCarthy (not the Joe McCarthy that would later go on to manage the NY Yankees) who would have a playing stint of some kind in the major leagues.

For Sandy Griffin, the manager of the Syracuse Stars for the 1907 New York State League season. Syracuse was 61-75 for the year finishing in 6th place 21 ½ games behind the first place Albany Senators. The following players at some point in their career played in the major leagues. They were Chub Aubrey, Lew Carr, Nick Carter, John Castle, Pat Crisham, Jack Fifield and Jimmy Walsh,

The 1908 season of the Syracuse Stars saw Sandy Griffin still in the manager’s seat for the team. The Stars wold finish in 4th place with a record of 76 wins 64 losses. That placed them 10 ½ games behind the first place Scranton Miners. Chub Aubrey, Lew Carr, Pat Crisham, Bill Cristall, Art Goodwin, Nap Shea, Jimmy Walsh, Snake Wiltse (so named for his unusual way of twisting his body as he delivered a pitch) and Ralph Works as the players with major league experience.

Sandy Griffin still was the manager of the Stars for the 1909 New York State League season with the team finishing seventh out of the eight teams in the league. Syracuse had a record of 60-78 and was 26 ½ games behind first place held by the Wilkes-Barre Barons. For experience in the major leagues Griffin could rely on Chub Aubrey, Jimmy Bannon, Monte Beville, Lew Carr, Pat Crisham, Gene Good, art Goodwin and Jul Kustus as well as Snake Wiltse. Despite being no hit by Meldon Wolfgang of Albany on May 19 they won the game 1-0.

Grover Cleveland Alexander

Syracuse would finish second in the New York State League standings for the 1910 season for their new manager Ed Ashenbach. The Stars record was 78-57 and they were 5 ½ games behind first place Wilkes-Barre Barons. Ashenbach’s roster of players included the following with major league playing experience. There was Grover Cleveland “Pete” Alexander, who later had an outstanding major league career. During his time in the major leagues he would win 20 or more games 10 times including 1915,1916 and 1917 when he won 31,33 and 30 games respectively. He totaled 373 wins for his career tying him for 3rd place all-time with Christy Mathewson and trailing Walter Johnson and Cy Young. Alexander won the pitching version of the Triple Crown (wins, ERA and strikeouts) three times (1915,1916 and 1920) and was involved in one the more memorable moments in World Series history during the 1926 games. In game seven Alexander after pitching a complete game victory the day, came on in inning seven to strike out the Yankees Tony Lazzeri with the bases loaded to end a Yankee threat. He would stay in the game and preserve a Cardinals victory. In 1938 he was selected for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Besides Alexander there were also the following players who spent time in the major leagues. They were Harry Armbruster, Chub Aubrey, Snake Deal, Gene Good, Jerry Hurley, Lee Meyer and Snake Wiltse. Alexander also led the New York State League in shutouts that year with 12.

Ed Ashenbach and Snake Deal co-managed the 1911 Syracuse Stars in the New York State League to finish sixth out of the eight teams on that circuit with a record of 65-74. They would finish 15 games behind the Wilkes-Barre Barons. Besides Deal who was a player manager, the players with or that would have major league experience included Harry Armbruster, Gene Good, Joe Knotss, Si Pauxtis, Bill Pounds and pitcher Mike Cunningham.

Fred and Ed McCafferty took over the  Syracuse Stars for the 1912 New York State League season. They would finish the year with a record of 54-82, placing them 7th 26 ½ games behind the first place Utica Utes. The players he could choose from who had played in the big leagues included himself, Les Backman, Chick Evans, Gene Good, Joe Knotts and Jack White and Charlie Loudenslager of the Stars, who led the league with 166 hits.

Burchell and Fred Payne managed Syracuse in the 1913 New York State League season and could choose from these players who had played or would play in the major leagues. Both Payne and Burchell did as well as Gene Good, Rankin Johnson, Joe Mathes, Jim Riley and Jack White. Syracuse would finish the year with a record of 61-78 placing them 24 games behind the first place Binghamton Bingoes. Syracuse was no hit by Utica’s Kip Dowd on July 3rd as they lost 5-0.

Fred Payne

Fred Payne would manage the Stars by himself in 1914. He chose from himself, Frank Fletcher, Lou North, Hank Perry and Jim Riley who had played or would play in the major leagues. Syracuse would finish in 7th place with a record of 48-79 placing them 36 ½ games behind the first place Elmira Pioneers. Lou North a Star pitcher led the league with 181 strikeouts. Joe Doyle of Elmira tossed a 6-0 no hitter versus the Stars on July 21.

Mike O’Neil took over the manager’s seat for the 1915 season of the Syracuse Stars and they finished the year with a record of 60-60 placing them 5th, 17 ½ games behind the first place Binghamton Bingoes. George Bell, Pep Deininger, Amby McConnell, Queenie O’Rourke, Jim Riley, Lefty Russell, Fred Tyler and pitchers George Bell, John Frill and Bill Steele were the Stars players in 1915 with or who would have major league experience. Syracuse’s Monte Priest finished with a record of 13-1 for a league leading .928 winning percentage.

O’Neil could choose from the following players, George Boehler Howard Ehmke, Harry Fritz, Palmer Hildebrand, Mike Konnick, Gene Madden, Billy martin, Joe Mathes, himself, Jim Riley who had played or would play in the major leagues during the 1916 season. That year Syracuse finished in first place in the New York State League with a record of 81-52, seven games ahead of the second place Scranton Miners. Howard Ehmke of Syracuse that year led the league in wins with 31, strikeouts with 195 and his 31-7 record gave him a league leading .816 winning percentage.

1917 was Syracuse’s final season in the New York State League. Mike O’Neil managed that team and Palmer Hildebrand, Chick Keating, Mike Konnick, Gene Madden O’Neil himself and Jim Riley were player who at some point played in the major leagues during their careers. The Stars would finish the year with a 64-51 record placing them third 15 ½ games behind the Wilkes Barre Barons.

 

>>You can read Syracuse Baseball History: Part I HERE