6/9/2020 - Phillies Minor League History - The Auburn Phillies
Time Period - 1972 to 1977
Venue : Falcon Park
City : Auburn, NY
Franchise History :
In 1958 the Auburn Yankees were born as a member of the New York Penn League. The franchise affiliation lasted thru the 1961 season. From 1962 thru 1966 the New York Mets took over as the major league affiliation. The Minnesota Twins were the sponsoring affiliate from 1967 to 1971.
The Phillies were the major league affiliate from 1972 thru 1977. In 1978 the team name was changed to the Auburn Sunsets and became a co-op club with players furnished by the Phillies and Indians. Seven teams ( Tigers, Red Sox, Mets, Yankees, Mariners, Orioles & Indians ) furnished players to the newly named co-op Auburn Red Stars in 1979 although the team also had multiple unaffiliated players.
The 1980 season saw another team name change as the co-op team became the Auburn Americans and received players from the Indians and Dodgers. There was no team for the 1981 season however in 1982 the Houston Astros affiliated with Auburn and played as the Auburn Astros till 1996 when the team was renamed the Auburn Doubledays. The Astros continued their affiliation thru the 2000 season.
The Toronto Blue Jays became the major league affiliate from 2001 to 2010 followed by the Washington Nationals in 2011 ... Washington still remains as the major league affiliate.
The team name has been the Auburn Doubledays since 1996.
The Stadium the Phillies played in : Falcon Park
The initial stadium was built in 1927 and was constructed by a fraternal organization in Auburn called the Polish Falcons. They owned the stadium till 1959 when the minor league franchise purchased it. In 1981 the city of Auburn purchased both the franchise and the stadium.
Prior to the 1958 pro baseball season the stadium was used as a auto racing speedway for children featuring go karts on a one tenth mile track. In 1981 when the city had no team the stadium was used as a venue for concerts.
The original Falcon Park was a wooden grand stand stadium ( the Auburn Phillies played in the original stadium ). The outfield had a severe dip and it was noted that shorter outfielders were unable to see the batters ...
The stadium and field were demolished after the 1994 season and a new one was built on the same site. Field dimensions are 330 to left and right field and 400 to center field.
The address is 130 North Division Street. It’s now called Leo Pinckney Field at Falcon Park.
The Seasons :
New York Penn League ... Manager: Nolan Campbell ... 39-30, 4th place ... Attendance: 44,162.
21 year old infielder Kevin Bryant led the league in hitting with a .397 batting average in 141 AB’s, he was promoted that season to Spartanburg after playing in 36 games. Bryant advanced to AA Reading in 1974 but was out of pro baseball the following season.
19 year old LHP David Fanning led the league in wins with a 9-3 record and the second best ERA in thr league at 1.71 in 95 IP ... he won 14 games the following season in Spartanburg but was out of pro baseball following the 1974 season in Rocky Mount finishing his career with a 29-18 record and a 2.97 ERA in 324 IP with 20 complete games.
New York Penn League ... Manager: Harry Lloyd ...1st place ... Attendance: 53,044.
The team was crowned league champions and was led offensively by 19 year old outfielder Rick Bosetti who hit .333 in 282 AB’s and led the league in stolen bases with 27, he was second in hits with 94 ... Bosetti went on to play in seven big league seasons beginning in 1976 with the Phillies, he also played for the Cardinals, Blue Jays and Athletics.
18 year old LHP Randy Lerch made his pro debut and posted a 9-2 record with a 2.91 ERA in 96 IP ... he would go on to pitch 11 seasons in the majors with the Phillies, Brewers, Expos and Giants. 20 year old RHP Dan Boitano posted a 2.08 ERA in 104 IP and an 8-3 record ... he would eventually play in the majors for five seasons beginning in 1975 with the Phillies, Brewers, Mets and Rangers.
New York Penn League ... Manager: Larry Rojas ... 34-32, 2nd place ... Attendance: 46,157.
18 year old outfielder Lonnie “Skates” Smith made his pro debut playing in 61 games and hitting .296 in 210 AB’s ... Lonnie went on to have a very successful 17 season big league career playing for the Phillies, Cardinals, Royals, Braves, Pirates and Orioles winning multiple World Series rings.
New York Penn League ... Manager: June Raines ... 31-37, 4th place ... Attendance: 43,765.
18 year old RHP Dickie Noles made his pro debut pitching in 9 games as a starter and posting a 3.60 ERA in 50 IP ... Dickie would go on to play 11 big league seasons beginning in 1979 with the Phillies, Cubs, Rangers, Indians, Tigers and Orioles.
New York Penn League ... Manager: Mike Compton ... 24-45, 5th place ... Attendance: 35,352.
17 year old infielder Luis Aguayo made his pro debut appearing in 51 games before being promoted to Spartanburg to finish the season ... Luis played in 10 big league seasons beginning in 1980 with the Phillies,Yankees and Indians.
19 year old Catcher Ozzie Virgil also made his pro debut appearing in 39 games ... Ozzie would go on to play in 11 big league seasons beginning in 1980 as a September call up with the Phillies, he later played for the Braves and Blue Jays.
New York Penn League ... Manager: Ruben Amaro Sr ... 17-53, 5th place - East Division ... Attendance: 38,293.
21 year old outfielder George Vukovich played his first pro game ... his only one as an Auburn Phillie ... he went on to play parts of six seasons in the big leagues beginning in 1980 with the Phillies and Indians before finishing up his career with two seasons in Japan playing for the Seibu Lions in 1986 and 1987.
Happy Day, Happy Baseball