7/17/2020 : Phillies Minor League History - Tifton/Moultrie/Brunswick GA
Time Period - 1956 to 1958
Venues : Moultrie Stadium, Eve Park, Edo Miller Park & Edgar Holmes Park
City : Tifton, Moultrie & Brunswick, GA
Franchise Histories :
The second iteration of the Georgia-Florida League ( GFL - 1946-1958 ) saw three different Phillies affiliations from 1956 to 1958.
The Phillies signed a 1956 player development contract with the town of Tifton, GA which had joined the league in 1949 as an independent club named the Blue Sox. They affiliated with the Cleveland Indians in 1954 and the Phillies for one season in 1956.
The Phillies moved their GFL affiliation to Moultrie, GA to begin the 1957 season. Pro Baseball in Moultrie dates back to 1916 for two seasons of Dixie League play. The town fielded teams within the Georgia-Florida League from 1935 to 1963 ( the league folded and reorganized four times over that time frame.) They were affiliated with the Phillies from 1939 to 1940 and again for a few months in 1957. Seven other major league affiliations occurred with the last being the Houston Colt 45’s in 1962-1963 ... the last two seasons of pro baseball in Moultrie.
The Georgia-FLA League Phillies began 1957 in Moultrie but moved to Brunswick, GA on June 1st. The Pittsburgh Pirates had a player development contract with Brunswick from 1951 to 1956 before leaving the league. The Phillies played in Brunswick thru the 1958 season and would have seemingly continued but the league folded. The GA-FLA league reformed for two seasons from 1962 to 1963 and the St Louis Cardinals placed a franchise in Brunswick but the league discontinued once more ( the final time ) ending pro baseball activity in the town.
The Stadiums the Phillies teams played in :
Eve Park - Tifton
Capacity: 2,500 (1950); 3,000 (1956)
Edgar Holmes Park - Moultrie
Capacity: 2,500 (1957); 3,500 (1963)
Dimensions (Left, Center, Right): 325-400-325
The 1939/40 Phillies affiliate played at a field called Moultrie Stadium which held 2,000 fans and had extreme dimensions ... 450 to LF, 560 to CF and 345 to RF
In 1954, the City of Moultrie purchased land to build a new baseball park. In mid 1955, the Moultrie Minor League baseball team began playing at the new stadium named for Dr Edgar Holmes.
The ballpark was torn down in the 1960’s and Colquitt County High School was built on the site.
Edo Miller Park - Brunswick
Capacity: 2,240 (1953); 3,500 (1958)
Dimensions (Left, Center, Right): 334-370-340
Edo Miller Park remains in use today, the local school system took over the ballpark after pro baseball vacated and it continues as a scholastic baseball venue. The stadium was built in 1952 and named in honor of local baseball advocate Edo Miller a prominent funeral director in the town.
The Seasons :
1939 - Played as Moultrie Packers
Georgia-Florida League ( D ) ... Manager : Joe Holden ... 68-67 , 5th place ... Attendance : ?
19 year old RHP Johny Podgajny from Chester, PA was the youngest member of the team ... he went 15-10 in 31 games ( 194 IP ) with a 2.92 ERA in his first pro season. In 1940 he made his major league debut with the Phillies and would play in parts of five big league seasons from 1940 to 1946 with the Phillies, Pirates and Indians
1940 - Played as Moultrie Packers
Georgia-Florida League ( D ) ... Managers : Joe Holden & George Jacobs ... 47-91 , 8th place ... Attendance : ?
27 year old Catcher Joe Golden served part of the season as a player/manager. He appeared in 39 games ... Joe had previous big league experience playing in 17 games over three seasons ( 1934 to 1936 ) with the Phillies ... another PA product from St. Clair, PA
1956 - Tifton
Georgia-Florida League ( D ) ... Manager : Wes Griffin & Eddie Miller ... 70-66 , 3rd place ... Attendance : 20,794
Only one player ( Paul Penson ) on the 33 man roster reached the major leagues ... the then 24 year old Penson was a RHP ... he had pitched in 5 games for the 1954 Phillies
1957 - Moultrie ( till 6/1 ) & Brunswick
Georgia-Florida League ( D ) ... Manager : Benny Zientara ... 62-77 , 5th place ... Attendance : 28,987
22 year old OF/1B/3B Mickey Harrington made his pro debut and hit .348 in 39 games ( 173 Plate Appearances ) including 14 doubles and 9 home runs ... he played in just one game with the 1963 Phillies ... the extent of his big league career but did play in 9 minor league seasons
1958 - Brunswick
Georgia-Florida League ( D ) ... Manager : Cart Howerton ... 64-64 , 4th place ... Attendance : 45,157
19 year old Third Baseman John Simicich led the league in batting average ( .358 ) in 436 AB’s and hits ( 156 ) while hitting 15 home runs and knocking in 104 runs ... he would only play one more season of pro baseball in 1960 with the Des Moines Demons
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️