Lively Tales About Dead Teams

Archive for the ‘Sal Maglie Stadium’ tag

1970-1979 Niagara Falls Pirates

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1979 Niagara Falls Pirates ProgramNew York-Penn League (1970-1979)

Born: 1970
Died: 1979

Stadium: Sal Maglie Stadium

Major League Affiliation: Pittsburgh Pirates

Team Owners:

New York-Penn League Champions: 1972

 

The Niagara Falls Pirates were the short-season Class A farm club of the Pittsburgh Pirates throughout the 1970’s. Future Pittsburgh regulars such as Dale Berra, Omar Moreno, Ed Ott and Rod Scurry all began their climb to the Major Leagues in Niagara Falls.

The team managed only three winning seasons out of ten. Niagara Falls’ finest hour came during the summer of 1972 when the club won the New York-Penn League pennant with a 48-22 record.

The Pirates’ final season in Niagara Falls was the summer of 1979. The NY-Penn League returned to Sal Maglie Stadium in 1982 with the arrival of the Niagara Falls White Sox.

 

Niagara Falls Pirates Memorabilia

 

Downloads

1973 Niagara Falls Pirates vs. Auburn Phillies Roster Insert

 

Links

New York-Penn League Media Guides

New York-Penn League Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

March 4th, 2017 at 1:13 pm

1989-1993 Niagara Falls Rapids

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Niagara Falls RapidsNew York-Penn League (1989-1993)

Born: January 1989 – NYPL expansion franchise
Moved: October 15, 1993 (Jamestown Jammers)

Stadium: Sal Maglie Stadium

Major League Affiliation: Detroit Tigers

Owner: Bob Rich Jr.

New York-Penn League Champions: 1993

 

The Niagara Falls Rapids were the last Major League-affiliated pro baseball team to call Niagara Falls, New York home. The Detroit Tigers short-season Class A farm club play five seasons in the New York-Penn League from 1989 to 1993. The Rapids won the league title in the final summer of play in 1993.

Rapids founder Bob Rich was an experienced and respected minor league operator who also owned the popular Class AAA Buffalo Bisons and the Class AA Wichita Wranglers. In 1991, an audit of Sal Maglie Stadium recommended $1.8 million in upgrades to bring the aging stadium into compliance with rising minor league facility standards dictated by Major League Baseball. This, combined with the Rapids’ persistent financial losses, ultimately doomed the club in the Cataract City.

Rich moved the ball club to Jamestown, New York after his 5-year lease of Sal Maglie Stadium expired in late 1993. The team moved again in 2015 to Morgantown, West Virginia where it is known today as the West Virginia Black Bears. Rich still owns the franchise as of this writing in 2017, nearly 30 years after founding the club in Niagara Falls.

 

Niagara Falls Rapids Memorabilia

 

Links

New York-Penn League Media Guides

New York-Penn League Programs

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Written by Drew Crossley

February 18th, 2017 at 1:23 pm

1982-1985 Niagara Falls White Sox

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New York Penn League (1982-1985)

Born: 1982
Moved: Postseason 1985 (St. Catharine’s Blue Jays)

Stadium: Sal Maglie Stadium

Major League Affiliation: Chicago White Sox

Team Colors:

Owner: George Wenz

New York-Penn League Champions: 1982

 

The Niagara Falls White Sox were one of several Niagara Falls entries in the New York-Penn League between the years 1970 and 1993, following the Niagara Falls Pirates (1970-1979) and preceding the Niagara Falls Rapids (1989-1993).

The Sox were a short season single-A farm club of the Chicago White Sox from 1982 to 1985, one of the bottom rung’s on Chicago’s developmental ladder.  Twelve Niagara Falls players from the White Sox era ultimately made it to the Major Leagues.  The most notable were 1990 National League Cy Young Award winner Doug Drabek and closer Bobby Thigpen, who established a Major League record with 57 saves with Chicago in 1990.

The Sox won the New York-Penn League title during the club’s first season in the summer of 1982.

Owner George Wenz paid less than $10,000 for the ball club prior to the 1982 season.  After the 1985 season, he sold the team for a reported $250,000 and the franchise relocated to Ontario where it became the St. Catharine’s Blue Jays.

 

Niagara Falls White Sox Memorabilia

 

Downloads

1985 Niagara Falls White Sox vs. Batavia Trojans Roster Insert

 

Links

New York-Penn League Media Guides

New York-Penn League Programs

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Written by AC

February 5th, 2013 at 2:54 am

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