7/30/2020 : Phillies Minor League History - Wisconsin Baseball
Time Period - 1940 to 1941 and 1946
Venues : see below
Cities : Wausau, WI & Green Bay, WI
Franchise Histories :
Wausau Timberjacks :
The Wausau Lumberjacks ( also known as the Timberjacks) were a minor league baseball team that existed on-and-off from 1905 to 1957. The Wausau franchise later became today's Kane County Cougars. ( Diamondbacks Affiliate in the Class A Midwest League). The Lumberjacks played in the Northern League when the Phillies had an affiliation for the 1940 and 1941 seasons. Four other organizations ( Reds, Tigers, Browns and Indians ) had affiliations with the club from 1936 to 1957.
Green Bay Blue Jays :
The Green Bay Blue Jays were a minor league team that played in the Wisconsin State League from 1940 to 1953 and later in the Illinois-Indiana-Iowa League from 1958 to 1959.
The earlier version of the Bluejays were affiliated with the Phillies in 1946 and the Cleveland Indians from 1947 to 1953.
The second version ( originally formed in early 1900’s ) of the Wisconsin State League began in 1940, shut down during World War II from 1943 through 1945, then operated from 1946 through 1953.
The Phillies also played in Appleton, WI from 1947 to 1949 in the league ... I wrote about that franchise previously in a separate article.
The Stadiums the Phillies teams played in :
Athletic Park - Wausau
Location: 324 E. Wausau Ave.
Capacity: 2,500 ( 1940 ) ... now 7,000
Dimensions (Left, Center, Right): 321-336-312
Athletic Park has been the home field of the Wisconsin Woodchucks baseball team of the summer collegiate Northwoods League since 1994. It hosted minor league baseball for 36 seasons between 1936-1990.
The park opened in 1936 and sits in a residential area, just north of downtown with a stone wall around the perimeter. The park’s last minor league game was played in 1990 after which the Wausau Timbers moved to Illinois and became the Kane County Cougars.
Joannes Stadium ( Bluejay Field ) - Green Bay
Location: 501 Kurtz Avenue, E. Walnut & S. Baird Streets.
Dimensions (Left, Center, Right): 340-390-330
Joannes Stadium is part of the Joannes Park complex which also includes an Aquatic Center. Beginning with the 2019 season it’s the current home of the De Pere Dodgers of the semi-pro Wisconsin State League.
The ballpark was built in 1929. It hosted minor league baseball from 1940 to 1953. It’s also served as the previous home to local amateur teams as well as the collegiate summer Northwoods League.
The Seasons :
1940 - Wausau :
Northern League ( D ) ... Manager : Wally Gilbert ... 64-56 , 4th place ... Attendance : ? Lost to Winnipeg Maroons 4 games to 0 in playoffs
26 year old third baseman Chet Cishosz led the league in hitting with a .403 batting average in 372 AB’s ... he played just one more season in a seven year minor league career
21 year old outfielder Austin Knickerbocker led the league in home runs ( 22 ) ... he would play in 21 major league games with the 1947 Philadelphia Athletics ... like many others he missed the 1943 to 1945 seasons due to WWII service but did return to play in 1946 and participated in 11 minor league seasons
1941 - Wausau :
Northern League ( C ) ... Manager : Wally Gilbert ... 71-40 , 1st place ...
Attendance : ? Lost to the Duluth Dukes 4 games to 1 in playoffs
23 year old RHP Hugh Orphan led the league in wins by going 21-8 in 31 games ( 220 IP ) ... he also missed the 1943 to 1945 seasons and returned to play again in 1946 ... all tolled he pitched in six minor league seasons
1946 - Green Bay :
Wisconsin State League ( D ) ... Manager : Harry Griswold ... 76-36 , 1st place ... Attendance : 75,657 League Champions
The pitching staff had three hurlers with 10 wins or more led by 21 year old LHP Maynard Park who led the loop with an 18-3 record in 23 games ( 171.2 IP ) in his first season of professional baseball ... Park pitched in seven minor league seasons before leaving baseball
The club had multiple players on the roster on loan from other organizations and won the league championship ... the eight team loop didn’t have a playoff round with the regular season leader crowned as the champion
Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️