Syracuse Baseball History: Part III

Chick Hafey of the St louis Cardinals.

In 1918 the Syracuse Stars/Hamilton Tigers were a part of the International League. The team was managed by Patsy Donovan and played its games in Hamilton Ontario as well as Syracuse New York. Syracuse moved to Hamilton on August 6th and the team finished the year with a record of 38-76 placing them 7th, 45 ½ games behind the first place Toronto Maple.  Donovan was able to field a team with the following players who had or would play in the major leagues at some point in their career, Snooks Dowd and Red Shea.

After taking a break in the 1919 season, the Stars were a member of the International League in 1920 with Tony Cummings Bunny Madden, Amby McConnell and Johnny Enzmann all taking a seat in the manager’s chair. The team finished in 8th place with a record of 33-116, 75 games behind the first place Baltimore Orioles.  Joe Benes, Johnny Enzmann, Tim Jordan, Bunny Madden, Amby McConnell, Howard McGraner, Charlie Niebergall, Epp Sell, Dan Tipple and pitcher Parson Perryman were on that team.

The 1921 International League season saw the Syracuse Stars under the leadership duo of Shag Shaughnessy and Bunny Madden. Sparky Adams, Swede Carlstrom, Jewel Ens, Jimmy Esmond, Mike Kircher, Heinie Mueller, Charlie Niebergall, Ole Olsen, Frank Schulte, Epp Sell, Shag Shaughnessy, Specs Toporcer, Al Grabowski, Jakie May and Walt Schultz would be the Syracuse players who at some point would have major league baseball playing experience. The Stars finished the year in 6th place with a record of 71-96, 48 ½ games behind the first place Baltimore Orioles.

Shag Shaughnessy again managed the Stars during the 1922 International League season. Sam Barnes, Les Bell, Jim “Sunny Jim” Bottomley (later elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974 by the Veteran’s Committee), Jean Dubuc, Eddie Dyer, Howard Freigau, Howie Jones, Chick Keating, Mike Kircher, Harry McCurdy, John Mohardt, Charlie Niebergall, Queenie O’Rourke, Art Reinhardt, Walt Shcullz, Epp Sell, Shag Shaughnessy, Lefty Stewar, Johnny Stuart, Ernie Vick and pitcher Sid Benton all had time as major league players. It was a 7th place finish for the team as they finished the year with a record of 64-102, putting them 50 ½ games behind the first place Orioles of Baltimore

Again, for the 1923 season Shag Shaughnessy was at the helm of the Syracuse Star baseball ship. The Stars moved up to 6th place in the International League standings with a record of 73-93 putting them 38 ½ games behind Baltimore. He fielded a team that included the following players with major league experience at some point in their careers. Les Bell, Jean Dubuc, Fred Frankhouse, Wattie Holm, Chick Keating, Jim Kelly, Red McKee, Charlie Niebergall, Slicker Parks, Art Reinhardt, Tink Riviere and Ed Clough were those players.

For the fourth year in a row, Shag Shaughnessy would be managing the Syracuse Stars of the International League. It was another 6th place finish as Syracuse ended the year 37 ½ games behind the Orioles, with Syracuse’s record 79-83. The Stars 3rd baseman George Makin was a member of the All-Star team as well. The players who had major league playing time for the 1924 squad included: Fred Frankhouse, Harery Freemn, Al Grabowski, Bill Holden, Jim Kelly, Red McKee, Heinie Meine, Slicker Parks, Art Reinhardt, Shaughnessy, Tommy Thevenow, Dutch Wetzel and Bill Hallahan. On a sour note Syracuse was no hit twice during the year, once on August 27th against Rochester. The winning pitcher for Rochester was Bill Moore. Then on September 1st Frank Karpp, also of Rochester, no-hit the Stars 8-0 in a 7-inning game

Harry Myers would also manage the Stars in 1925 along with the aforementioned Shag Shaughnessy in the International League. Syracuse’s roster had the following men with major league playing time. Pea Ridge Day, Fred Frankhouse, Al Grabowski, Chick Hafey (elected to the Hall of Fame in 1971 as a player by the Veteran’s Committee), Bill Hallahan, Wattie Holm, Jim Kelly, Jimmie Long, Heinie Meine, Russ Miller, Charlie Niebergall, Slicker Parks, At Reinhart, Wally Roettger, Tommy Thevenow and Epp Sell. Syracuse finished the year with a record of 74-87 putting them 6th, 28 ½ games behind the Orioles. Syracuse’s Al Grabowksi on August 22 won a 1-0 no hitter versus the team from Providence.

Burt Shotton took over as manager in 1926 for Syracuse in their pursuit of the International League pennant. Later on in his career, Shotton was Jackie Robinson’s first major league manager after the Dodgers Leo Durocher was suspended for a year. The team finished 7th with a record of 70-91, 36 ½ games behind the Toronto Maple Leafs. The players that had some major league experience at some point in their career and were playing for Syracuse in 1926 included the following men: Danny Clark, Tony Cuccinello, Leo Dickerman, Eddie Dyer, Max Flack, Fred Frankhouse, Charlie Gelbert, Al Grabowski, Hal Haid, Don Hurst, Paul Johnson, Duster Mails, Pepper Martin, Russ Miller, Charlie Niebergall, Wally Roettger, Carey Selph, Howie Williamson, Ole Olsen and Frank Wayenberg.

Syracuse was affiliated with the St Louis Cardinals in 1927 with Shotton still in the driver’s seat as the team’s leader in their quest for the International League title. The Stars finished second with a record of 102-66, 10 games behind the first place Buffalo Bisons. Frank Barnes, Eddie Dyer, Del Gainer, Charlie Gelbert, Hal Haid, Bill Hallahan, Don Hurst, Syl Johnson, Gus Mancuso, Russ Miller, Homer Peel, Joe Poetz, Carey Selph, Allyn Stout, Howie Williamson and Red Worthington were players who would have played in the major leagues at some point in their pro baseball careers. Bill Hallahan of Syracuse was the International League leader in strikeouts that year with 195 and Syl Johnson of the Stars pitched and won a 2-0 no hitter versus Buffalo on July 31st.

There was a new manager and a new league for the Syracuse Stars for the 1928 season. They would be playing for Mike O’Neill in the New York-Pennsylvania League. The Stars had a record of 64-74 and finished in 6th place 19 games behind the Harrisburg Senators. There were only three players who had or would play in the major leagues that season.  They were Harry Davis, Bernie Hungling and John Milligan. Bernard Hungling of Syracuse and Ray Flood of Harrisburg finished tied for the league lead in home runs with 11 each, and John Milligan of the Stars was the league’s ERA leader with 2.10 for the year.

From 1930 to 1933 professional baseball was not played in Syracuse, and the in 1934 the team was a part of the International League. The Chiefs as they were now known had a record of 60-94 for Andy High and Bill Sweeney putting them in 7th place 33 ½ games behind the first place Newark Bears. Footsie Blari, Ed Chiocki Bobby Coombs, Bill Cronin, Fred Fussell, AL Glossop, Andy High, Ralph Judd, Jim McClosky, Tim McKeithan, Spike Merena, Clarence Pickrel, Max Rosenfield, Monk Sherlock, Bill Sweeney, Eddie Taylor, Zak Taylor, Johnny Watwood, Spud Chandler, AL Eckert, Hal Elliott, Oscar Estrada, Clarene Fisher, Ad Liska and Earl Mattingly all played in the major leagues at some point.

For the 1934 season, Nemo Leibold managed the team in the International League where they finished

Nemo Leibold

in second place in the standings five games behind the Montreal Royals. The team had a record of 87-67. The members of the team who would have or had had major league playing team were Joe Cascarella, Bobby Combs, Dom Dallessandro, Fred Fuseell, Reggie Grabowski, Skinnt Graham, Hank Johnson, Lou Leggett, Ollie Marquardt, Joe Mulligan, Al Niemec, Proce Oana, Flint Rhem, Harry Taylor, Specs Topercer, Hy Vanderberg, Johnny Watwood, Jack Wilson, Glenn Wright. Also, Bob Brown, Bill Chaberlain, Clarence Fisher and George Hockette had playing time as well. The Chiefs Joe Cascarrella led the league with a 2.35 ERA.

In 1936 Mike Kelly and Nemo Leibold managed the team to a 7th place finish in the International League with a record of 59-95, 35 games behind the Buffalo Bisons. Henry Johnson of Montreal pitched an 11-inning no-hitter against Syracuse on May 3rd adding to the dismal year. The members of the team with major league experience were Vince Barton, Stew Bowers, Babe Dahlgren (who would become more well known for replacing Lou Gehrig as Yankee first baseman in 1939). Also, Dom Dallessandro, Fred Fussell, Johnnie Heving, George Hockette, Red Kellett, John Kerr, Fred Koster, Lou Legett, Leo Magnum, Mike Meola, Dick Midkiff, Price Oana, Andy Pilney, Johnny Reder, Ray Starr, Hy Vandenberg and Dib Williams. There also were pitchers Al Blanche, Bob Brown and Frank Pearce.

The 1937 season saw Syracuse finish in third place in the International League with a record of 78-74, 31 games behind the Newark Bears for manager Mike Kelly. Syracuse was beaten in the first round of the playoffs that year four games to none by that Newark team. On a high note for the Chiefs Lloyd Moore pitched a no-hitter for the Chiefs winning 1-0 versus the Jersey City team on July 25. Buzz Arlett, Gilly Campbell, John Campbell, Earl Cook, Harry Craft, Fred Fussell, Lee Gamble, Johnny Gee, Al Glossop, George Hockette, Eddie Joost, Ray Kolp, Lou Legett, Bob Loane, Frank McCormick, Eddie Miller, Dee Moore, Whitey Moore, Jake Mooty, Arnie Moser, Jimmy Outlaw, Frank Pearce, Dick Porter, Johnny Reder, Gene Thompson. Also pitchers Bob Brown, Leo Magnum, John Pomorski, Gene Thompson and Johnny Vander Meer. It was Vander Meer who set the major league record when he pitched two consecutive no-hitters. The first was a 3-0 victory by the Reds over the Boston Bees on June 11, 1938. The second no-hitter was June 15th against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the first ever night game in New York City.

Dick Porter and future Hall of Fame player Jim Bottomley co-managed the Chiefs in 1938 to a record of 87-67 placing them 18 games behind the first place Newark Bears as the Chiefs finished in second place. Syracuse was beaten in the first round of the playoffs four games to none by the Buffalo Bisons. Syracuse pitcher Charlie “Red” Barrett led the league with a 2.34 ERA. Players who would or did have major league experience were Jimmy Adair, Red Barrett, Nino Bongiovanni, Jim Bottomley, Earl Cook, Johnny Gee, Paul Gehrman, AL Glossop, Reggie Grabowski, Irv Hall, Ted Kleinhans, Don Lang, Joe Mack, Bobby Mattick, Dee Moore, Eddie Moore, Jake Mooty, Jimmy Outlaw, Dick Porter and Lloyd Russell. Also, pitchers Ray Benge, Bob Brown, Fred Fussell, Arnie Moser and Gene Thompson would or did play in the major leagues.

For the 1939 season, the Chiefs had Dick Porter as their manager and guided them to a record of 84-74 nine games behind the Jersey City Giants in the standings. Syracuse who finished in a tie with Newark, lost a one game play off for fourth place and a spot in the playoffs. Jack Tising who split the year between Baltimore and Syracuse led the International League with 134 strikeouts. Ray Benge, John Bottarini, Johnny Gee, Irv Hall, Art Jones, Ted Kleinhans, John Kroner, Jake Mooty, Charlie Moss, Dick Porter and Danny Taylor as well as pitchers Reggie Grabowski, Mike Meola, Dick Midkiff, Frank Pearce and Jack Tising all had or would play in the major leagues at some point.

Dick Porter also managed the team in 1940 in pursuit of the International League pennant. The Chiefs finished the year with a record of 71-90 which put them 25 games behind the Rochester Red Wings. The players with major league experience were George Barnicle, Cy Blanton, John Bottarini, Merv Conners, Dutch Dietz, Irv Hall, Roy Johnson, Art Jones, Red Juelich, Ted Kleinhans, Ed Leip, Jim McLeod, Ace Parker, Dee Phillips, Dick Porter, Pep Rambert, Goody Rosen, Oad Swigart, Danny Taylor, Jack Tising and Eddie Yount.