Lively Tales About Dead Teams

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1962 Visalia White Sox

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California League (1962)

Born: 1962 – Affiliation change from Visalia A’s.
Died:
1963

Stadium: Recreation Park

Team Colors:

Owner:

 

The Visalia White Sox were a Class C farm club of the Chicago White Sox for one season in the summer of 1962.

Three players from the 1962 Visalia club eventually made it up to the Major Leagues: outfielder Ken Berry, pitcher Cisco Carlos and second baseman Dick Kenworthy.  Berry had the most distinguished career, playing parts of 14 seasons in the Majors from 1962 to 1975, mostly with the White Sox.

Visalia dropped out of the California League after the 1962 season, consigning the White Sox to One-Year Wonder status.  Visalia then went without pro baseball from 1963 through 1967, which is the longest stretch the city has been without a ball club since World War II.  Baseball returned in 1968 with the arrival of the Visalia Mets and Visalia has been a fixture on the California League summer schedule ever since.

 

==Links==

California League Programs

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Written by andycrossley

April 24th, 2014 at 1:11 pm

1939-1940 Dayton Wings

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Middle Atlantic League (1939-1940)

Born: 1939 – Re-branded from Dayton Ducks.
Died: 1941 – Switched back to Dayton Ducks.

Stadium:

Team Colors:

Owner:

 

The Dayton Wings were a Class C farm club of the Brooklyn Dodgers.  The Dayton franchise played in the Middle Atlantic League from 1933-1942 and was known as the “Dayton Ducks” for all of that time except for this two-year interlude in 1939-1940.  The Ducks took their name from the team’s owner and field manager, a cantankerous former catcher named Howard “Ducky” Holmes who played one week in the Majors for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1906 and later became a Major League umpire.  T

The Dayton club seems to have parted ways with Holmes in 1939 and felt the need to re-brand the team at the same time.  In 1941, Holmes regained control of the ball club and changed the name back to the Ducks.

The most prominent player to come out of Dayton during the Wings era was Wally Westlake, who appeared in 30 games for the club as a 19-year old outfielder in 1940.  Westlake eventually made the Majors in 1947 and stayed for ten seasons, appearing in nearly 1,000 games and hitting 127 home runs for six teams.

 

==Links==

Mid-Atlantic League Programs

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Written by andycrossley

April 20th, 2014 at 1:07 am

1970 Sumter Indians

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Western Carolinas League (1970)

Born: December 1, 1969 – The Monroe (NC) Indians relocate to Sumter, SC.
Died: 1971 - Affiliate change to Sumter Astros.

Stadium: Riley Park

Team Colors:

Owner: Joe Buzas

 

The Sumter Indians were a South Carolina minor league baseball team that played for only one season in the summer of 1970.  Sumter was a new addition to the six-team Western Carolinas League, replacing a faltering Indians farm club that split the 1969 season between the small North Carolina cities of Statesville and Monroe.  The Indians were the first pro baseball team to call Sumter home since the Sumter Chicks of 1949-1950.

Notable players included 18-year old third baseman Buddy Bell and 21-year old pitcher Jim Kern.  Both became Major League All-Stars for the Cleveland Indians and later for the Texas Rangers.

Attendance was miserable with fewer than 300 spectators per game for the first two months of the 1970 season according to The Sumter Daily Item.  Following the 1970 season the Indians withdrew from Sumter and were replaced by the Houston Astros for the 1971 season.  The Astros also lasted just one season and Sumter went without pro baseball again from 1972 until 1985.

 

==Links==

Western Carolinas League Programs

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Written by andycrossley

April 7th, 2014 at 3:03 am

1966 Oneonta Red Sox

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New York-Penn League (1966)

Born: 1966 – The Wellsville Red Sox relocate to Oneonta, NY.
Died:1967 – Affiliation change to Oneonta Yankees

Stadium: Damaschke Field

Team Colors:

Owner: Joe Buzas

 

The Oneonta Red Sox were a Class A farm club in the New York-Penn League for one season in the summer of 1966.  A previous incarnation of the Oneonta Red Sox played in the Class C Can-Am League from 1946 to 1951.

The team featured a pair of teenage Red Sox prospects who would go on to long Major League careers in pitcher Ken Brett (brother of George) and outfielder Amos Otis.  The 1966 O-Sox finished 65-59-1 (yes, they had a tie), good for fourth place in the six team NY-Penn League.

The 1966 Oneonta club was one of dozens owned by legendary minor league operator Joe Buzas between 1958 and his death in 2003.  Buzas had close ties with the Boston Red Sox – he also operated their Class AA farm team in Pittsfield, Massachusetts at the time.

After his first season in Oneonta, Buzas sold the team to a local consortium led by Oneonta Mayor and longtime baseball booster Sam Nader.  During the same winter offseason, the Red Sox pulled their affiliation and the New York Yankees replaced them for the 1967 season.

 

==Links==

New York-Penn League Media Guides

New York-Penn League Programs

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Written by andycrossley

April 7th, 2014 at 2:31 am

1964-1965 Raleigh Cardinals

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Carolina League (1964-1965)

Born: 1964 – Affiliation change from Raleigh Mets.
Died: 1966 – Affiliation change to Raleigh Pirates.

Stadium: Devereux Meadow

Team Colors:

Owner:

 

Raleigh, North Carolina hosted a franchise in the Carolina League from the formation of that loop in 1945 until.  During the city’s last decade in the league from 1962 to 1971, the ball club changed identities six times as Major League organizations kicked the affiliate back and forth every couple of years.

The St. Louis Cardinals came in for two summers in 1964 and 1965. George Kissell managed the Cards in 1964 and Ray Hathaway helmed the team in 1965.

The best player to come out of Raleigh during the Cards era was pitcher Mike Torrez, who went 4-8 for the team as an 18-year old in 1965.  Torrez went on to win 185 games in an 18-year Major League between 1967 and 1984.

The Pittsburgh Pirates took over the affiliation in 1966 and the team was re-named the Raleigh Pirates. Devereux Meadow ballpark was demolished in 1979.

 

==Links==

Carolina League Media Guides

Carolina League Programs

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Written by andycrossley

April 6th, 2014 at 7:44 pm