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Baseball in Dayton

Before the Dragons

In April of 2000, professional baseball returned to Dayton after a lapse of nearly a half-century. Before this gap, Dayton had a long, and generally successful, involvement in the minors. This note celebrates that history.

Most often, they were the Veterans (with an Old Soldiers variant). When Ducky Holmes owned them, they were usually the Ducks. At the end, they called themselves after their big league affiliate.

Dayton's managerial turnover is quite remarkable. Nonetheless, Bill Armour and Howard "Ducky" Holmes had long tenures as managers in Dayton, and several managers were around for two or three years. Many, however, lasted but a few games.

Noteworthy: Clarence Wright was unhittable in September of 1901. Literally.



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Dayton, Ohio
Overview
Roster
Details
Highlights
Tidbits
History
Ballpark
MWL Fan's Guide

Seasonal Summaries

Year  Lg   Cl Nickname     W  L   Pct Pl(Tm) Manager
1884* OSA     Gem Citys    55 21 .724  1(6)  Ben Shade

1889  TriS    Reds         48 54 .471  4(6)  3 managers
1890  TriS    Reds         17 19 .472        Timothy Donovan
               team disbanded on July 8

1891  NWn     ??           15 12 .556        Henry Tisher
               team disbanded on July 17

1897  IntS    Old Soldiers 74 51 .592  2(8)  2 managers
1898* IntS    Old Soldiers 85 66 .564  1(8)  Bill Armour
1899  IntS    Veterans     55 85 .393  7(8)  Bill Armour
1900  IntS    Veterans     90 43 .677  1(8)  Bill Armour

1901  WA      Old Soldiers 84 55 .604  2(8)  Bill Armour

1903  CL    B Veterans     61 76 .445  6(8)  4 managers
1904  CL    B Veterans     67 70 .489  5(8)  3 managers
1905  CL    B Veterans     72 64 .529  4(8)  Hub Knoll
1906  CL    B Veterans     78 71 .523  4(8)  5 managers
1907  CL    B Veterans     66 71 .482  5(8)  3 managers
1908  CL    B Veterans     77 63 .550  3(8)  Bade Myers
1909  CL    B Veterans     56 77 .421  8(8)  Bade Myers
1910  CL    B Veterans     74 63 .540  3(8)  Punch Knoll
1911* CL    B Veterans     86 51 .628  1(8)  Punch Knoll
1912  CL    B Veterans     73 56 .565  5(12) Punch Knoll
1913  CL    B Veterans     62 77 .446  4(6)  John Nee
1914* CL    B Veterans     85 49 .643  1(6)  John Nee
1915  CL    B Veterans     43 79 .352  8(8)  Harry Compton
1916* CL    B Veterans     73 57 .562  2(8)  John Nee
1917  CL    B Veterans     44 68 .393  7(8)  John Nee

1928  CL    B Aviators     76 59 .563 1T(6)  Everett Booe
1929  CL    B Aviators     68 69 .496  3(6)  Merito Acosta
1930  CL    B Aviators     56 81 .409  6(6)  Nick Cullop

1932* CL    B Ducks        77 64 .546  3(6)  2 managers
1933  MidA  C Ducks        71 63 .530  3(8)  Ducky Holmes
1934  MidA  C Ducks        71 54 .568  2(8)  Ducky Holmes
1935  MidA  C Ducks        69 55 .556  2(8)  2 managers
1936  MidA  C Ducks        70 59 .543  3(8)  Ducky Holmes
1937  MidA  C Ducks        61 65 .484  5(8)  Ducky Holmes
1938  MidA  C Ducks        58 72 .446  6(8)  3 managers
1939  MidA  C Wings        60 69 .465  6(8)  2 managers
1940  MidA  C Wings        60 65 .480  4(6)  Andy Cohen
1941  MidA  C Ducks        50 75 .400  6(8)  2 managers
1942  MidA  C Ducks        74 53 .583  2(6)  2 managers

1946  OSL   D Indians      58 79 .423  7(8)  2 managers
1947  OSL   D Indians      62 73 .459  6(8)  Ival Goodman

1948* CL    A Indians      84 55 .604  2(6)  Joe Vosmik
1949  CL    A Indians      80 57 .584  1(6)  Oscar Melillo
1950  CL    A Indians      69 63 .523  3(6)  Dolph Camilli
1951* CL    A Indians      87 50 .635  1(6)  James Crandall

*Championship seasons

Key to Leagues

OSA  = Ohio State Association
TriS = Tri-State League
NWn  = Northwestern League
IntS = Interstate League
WA   = Western Association
CL   = Central League
MidA = Middle Atlantic League
OSL  = Ohio State League

Overall Record

  • Overall Won/Lost Record: 2901/2678, .520

Affiliation History

  • Brooklyn Dodgers, 1934-35
  • Chicago White Sox, 1937
  • Brooklyn Dodgers, 1938-42
  • Cleveland Indians, 1946-50
  • St. Louis Browns, 1951

Miscellaneous Information

Best Big League Career by a Dayton Minor Leaguer

Three Dayton Natives Worth Mentioning

Two in the Hall of Fame; one on the way.

Negro League Team

The Dayton Marcos were a charter member of the Negro National League.

  • They left the league after one year (1920).
  • They rejoined briefly for part of 1925.

Cleveland Indians in Dayton

The Cleveland Indians played a home game in Dayton on June 8, 1902.

  • Sunday games were not permitted in Cleveland at the time.
  • Baltimore won, 6-2.

Exceptional Seasons

  • 1908
    • John Rowan (232 strikeouts)
  • 1911
    • Harry "Jack" Compton (22 wins)
  • 1916
    • Ray Spencer (.343, 84 runs scored)
    • Nick Lakaff (25 wins)
  • 1928
    • James Jordan (.362, 130 runs, 212 hits, 27 HR)
  • 1930
    • Clyde Hatter (217 strikeouts)
  • 1935
    • Riley Parker (.353)
  • 1936
    • Lloyd Sterner (.305, 99 RBI)
    • Riley Parker (.328, 93 RBI)
    • Woody Williams (.343)
  • 1937
    • Jack Kalafut (.333)
    • Nick Polly (.341)
  • 1938
    • George Staller (.368)
    • Woody Williams (.349)
  • 1939
    • Dykes Potter (2.68)
  • 1940
    • Dykes Potter (19 wins)
  • 1941
    • Tony Cotelle (.367)
  • 1942
    • Arnold Reichert (1.50 ERA)
    • Roland Marquart (2.10)
  • 1948
    • Herb Conyers (.354, 14 HR, 96 RBI)
    • Joe Morjoseph (.310, 31 home runs, 106 RBI)
  • 1949
    • Stu Locklin (.311, 98 RBI)
    • Charlie Sipple (2.79, 19 wins)
    • Jose Santiago (2.60, 233 strikeouts)
  • 1950
    • Joe Rowell (.344, 19 HR)
  • 1951
    • Ryne Duren (258 strikeouts)
    • George Kress (108 RBI)
    • Nick Sarnella (20 HR)

Notable Games

  • Unknown Date in 1899
    • Watkins (no hitter)
  • June 8, 1900
    • Earl Moore (no hitter; Mansfield, 1-0)
  • September 1, 1901
    • Clarence Wright (no hitter; Columbus, 9-0)
  • September 4, 1901
    • Clarence Wright (no hitter; Grand Rapids, 2-0)
      • second consecutive no hitter....
  • July 17, 1904
    • Frank Lange (no hitter; Peoria, 3-0)
  • June 22, 1905
    • Cy Alberts (no hitter; Ft. Wayne, 1-0)
  • August 1, 1909
    • South Bend 1, Dayton 0 (18 inning game)
  • August 11, 1910
    • Edward Asher (no hitter; Zanesville, 7-0)
  • July 7, 1932
    • Bill Gilvray (no hitter; Youngstown, 3-0 [7 innings])
  • July 9, 1932
    • Dayton 26, Fort Wayne 11
      • 5 Dayton home runs & 24 Dayton hits
  • August 31, 1948
    • Joe Payne (no hitter; Saginaw, 11-0)

Sources

  • Much of this is from the Wolff & Johnson Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball.
  • Some information is from the 1995 Midwest League Yearbook.
    • There are some disagreements; in all cases, I've listed the Wolff & Johnson info.
    • Experience says both books have errors....
  • Kevin Saldana's This Date in Minor League Baseball History is invaluable.
    • (Thanks, Kev.)
  • Pat Doyle's Professional Baseball Player Database is always helpful.
  • Jerry Jackson provided me some delightful notes about minor league teams in the midwest several years ago.
  • The Dragons have some Dayton history on their website.

Believe it or not, I left a lot of stuff out....


A Necessary Tribute

Old minor league information is still being reconstructed by dedicated researchers who spend hours in libraries, reading microfilmed newspapers. There are gaps; some of those gaps are enormous, while others are small. Much of the readily-available research is based on work done by Jerry Jackson; from time to time I remember, and like to give him due credit.


This summary originated as the April2, 2000, Midwest League Tidbit on the Midwest League Mailing List.




The Midwest League plays Single-A, professional baseball in America's agricultural and industrial heartland. 16 teams play a 140 game schedule which begins in early April and ends Labor Day weekend.

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The opinions expressed on this page are mine, and are worth about that.


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