7/22/2020 : Phillies Minor League History - North of the Border - Provincial League
Time Period - 1952 to 1955
Venues : see below
Cities : Granby, QC & Trois-Rivieras, QC
Franchise Histories :
The Provincial League, sometimes known as the Quebec Provincial League, was a league based in the Canadian province of Quebec. It went through a number of incarnations as both an independent league and as a member of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues. It is notable as a successful independent league at a time when few existed, and was a haven for black and Indian players excluded from organized baseball. The Phillies had teams in the league during it’s run as a pro league from 1950 to 1955.
Granby Phillies :
In 1940 the Granby Red Socks formed as an unaffiliated member of the Quebec Provincial League. After the season came to an end the league folded. Granby wouldn't be a professional baseball team host again until after WWII. They had a team in the Border league for one season in 1946.
In 1948 professional baseball formed once more in Quebec as the Provincial League.
The new league included a new franchise iteration of the Granby Red Sox which played until 1951.... their name was not in reference to an affiliate as they continued to play throughout this period as a co-op franchise. In 1952 Granby was awarded their one and only MLB affiliation as from 1952-1953 the newly named "Granby Phillies" served as a Class C farm club for the Phillies. The team folded after the 1953 season and the Phillies moved to Trois-Rivière as their new league affiliate.
Trois-Rivieres Phillies :
The baseball team began as the Trois-Rivières Renards and played in the Quebec Provincial League and the Canadian American League from 1940–1942 when they were shut down due to World War II.
They returned in 1946 as the Trois-Rivières Royals, an affiliate of the Brooklyn Dodgers through 1950. In 1951, the club moved to the Provincial League as an independent team before becoming an affiliate of the NY Yankees ( 1952 ) and changing its name to the Trois-Rivières Yankees. From 1954–1955 they were a Phillies affiliate known as the Trois-Rivières Phillies. When the league folded in 1955, so did the team.
The Stadiums the Phillies teams played in :
Granby Stadium - Granby, QC :
Also Known As: Granby Municipal Stadium 1953
Location: 44 Court Street.
Capacity: 3,500 (1940)
Dimensions (Left, Center, Right): 305-353-306 (1940)
In 1936 Granby's new ballpark was impressive. The new facility had done what few others had ... build a stadium that was made primarily and specifically for baseball.
The old wooden Stade de Baseball de Grandy is now long gone and baseball in Granby is served todayby a fully renovated Stade Napoléon-Fontaine in Parc Napoléon-Fontaine.
Stade Fernand-Bedard - Trois Riviera, QC :
Also Known As: Municipal Stadium
Location: Parc de l'Exposition, off Can. Hwy 40.
Capacity: 5,322 (1940) ; 6,000 (1950); 4,500 (1971); 4,000 (2006)
Dimensions (Left, Center, Right): 317-342-372-342-317 (1940)
Built in 1938 by the Canadian WPA.
It is still used today as the home of the Trois-Rivieres Aigles of the Independent Frontier League. The stadium name changed to Stade Quillorama in December, 2019.
The Seasons :
1952 - Granby, QC :
Provincial League ( C ) ... Manager : Al Barillari ... 45-79, 6th place ... Attendance : 31,554.
Only two of the rostered players would play in the big leagues ( Walt Chippie & Frankie Pack ) but neither played a full season ... Pack actually only appeared in one game - with the 1949 St Louis Browns
1953 - Granby, QC :
Provincial League ( C ) ... Manager : Al Barillari ... 72-52, 2nd place ... Attendance : 46,935. Defeated Therford Mines Mineurs 4 games to 2 in playoffs ... Lost to Quebec Braves 4 games to 3 in Championship Series
23 year old RHP Angelo LiPetri went 15-2 with a 3.00 ERA in 26 games ( 138 IP ) ... he would later pitch in 10 big league games with the 1956 & 1958 Phillies ... he was the only player on the roster to reach the major leagues
1954 - Trois Rivieras :
Provincial League ( C ) ... Managers : Al Barillari & Snuffy Stirnweiss ... 73-57, 3rd place ... Attendance : 64,902. Lost in Playoffs to Quebec Braves 4 games to 3.
No player on the roster reached the major leagues however 23 year old RHP Paul Bletz went 18-5 with a 2.91 ERA in 33 games ( 195 IP ) ... he pitched just one more season before his pro baseball career ended
1955 - Trois Rivieras :
Provincial League ( C ) ... Manager : Al Barillari ... 62-68 , 4th place ... Attendance : 47,873. Lost in Playoffs to Quebec Braves 4 games to 2.
24 year old RHP Ray Semproch was the only player on the roster to eventually play in the major leagues ... he would pitch in four major league seasons ( 1958 to 1961 ) with the Phillies, Tigers and Angels appearing in 85 games and tossing 344 innings ... he was 13-11 in 30 starts for the 1958 Phillies
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️