• Steve Potter

7/5/2020 : Phillies Minor League History - The Americus Phillies


Time Period - 1946 to 1950


Venue : Americus Ball Park


City : Americus, GA


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Franchise History :


Multiple pro baseball clubs called Americus, GA home from 1902 to 2002 with the Phillies five year affiliation being the longest tenure.


The Americus Pallbearers 😳 were a founding member of the original Georgia State League in 1906 however the league folded at the end of the season, and Americus was without a professional team till 1913.


The Americus Muckalees became members of the Empire State League in 1913 and continued playing till 1915 as the six-team Association was renamed the Georgia State League. The circuit started 1915 as the Georgia State League but was renamed the Florida-Alabama-Georgia League partway thru the season ... The Muckalees moved to Florida becoming the Gainesville Sharks.


Pro baseball in Americus was reborn 22 years later when the Americus Cardinals operated in the Georgia-Florida League from 1935 to 1938. In 1939 the Cardinals changed its name to the Americus Pioneers and continued to operate in the Georgia–Florida League until 1942.


In 1946 an Americus franchise returned to the Georgia–Florida League playing as the Americus Phillies, continuing there uninterrupted thru the 1950 season as a Phillies affiliated team.


 In 1951, the Phillies discontinued their affiliation and were replaced by the independent Americus Rebels, though the team lasted only one year. The franchise returned to the Georgia-Florida League in 1954, this time as the Americus-Cordele Orioles. They lasted just one season.


After a 49 year absence from pro baseball Americus was represented in the independent Southestern League during the 2002 season playing as the Americus Arrows however the team folded after playing just 27 games ...


Since then, no other team based in Americus has participated in professional baseball.


MLB affiliations over the years :


St Louis Cardinals - 1936

Brooklyn Dodgers - 1937 & 1939-1940

Washington Senators - 1938

Chicago Cubs - 1942

Philadelphia Phillies - 1946 to 1950

Baltimore Orioles - 1954


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The Stadium the Phillies teams played in :


Americus Ball Park :


Also Known As: Community Center

Location: 208 W. Lamar Street.

Capacity: 1,700 (1935); 3,500 (1939); 3,000 (1940)

Dimensions (Left, Center, Right): 335-410-335 (1935)


The stadium opened on July 14, 1938 and is one of the last remaining wooden ballparks as built by the WPA. It was known originally as the Community Center BB Park… later the Americus Baseball Park and finally Thomas L Bell Memorial Stadium, named after the mayor who worked so tirelessly to bring this quality park to this town before passing on in 1942. Today the stadium is owned by the Americus-Sumter High School and is actually located right on its grounds … the A-SHS Panthers are now the ballpark's main tenant.


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The Seasons :


1946


Georgia-Florida League (D ) ... Manager : Jack Sanford ... 87-37 , 1st place ... Attendance: 73,126. Defeated Waycross Bears 3 games to 2 in playoffs ... lost to Moultrie Packers 4 games to 3 in Championship Series


The pitching staff had two twenty games winners and another hurler who registered 17 wins 😳 ... 21 year old RHP John Asmer set a league record for wins going 24-6 with a 2.81 ERA in 35 games ( 240 IP ) while teammates William Murray ( RHP ) went 21-6 in 33 games ( 232 IP - 3.22 ERA and 21 year old Charles Dommer ( RHP ) went 17-6 in 33 games ( 224 IP - 2.15 ERA ) ... none of the three played in the big leagues and all were out of baseball following the 1949 season


1947


Georgia-Florida League (D ) ... Managers : Jack Sanford & Lew Krausse ... 65-74 , 6th place ... Attendance: 54,062.


No player on the roster reached the major leagues however 22 year old LHP Raymond Burnett had an outstanding season going 21-10 in 40 games ( 253 IP ) posting a 3.81 ERA ... he played thru the 1949 season and was out of baseball thereafter

1948


Georgia-Florida League (D ) ... Managers : LeGrant Scott & Ed Murphy ... 50-89 , 8th place ... Attendance: 34,333.


37 year old player/manager Legrand Scott (OF) played in 50 games and hit .327 in 113 AB’s ... it was his last season in professional baseball after playing 13 seasons ( 1 in the major leagues with the 1939 Phillies ) ... he finished with a career .316 batting average in 3,121 minor league AB’s across four levels


1949


Georgia-Florida League (D ) ... Manager : Ed Murphy ... 71-67 , 4th place ... Attendance: 46,906. Lost in playoffs to Albany Cardinals 3 games to 1


20 year RHP Jack Sanford went 15-9 in 30 games ( 207 IP ) posting a 4.39 ERA ... he would pitch in 12 major league seasons and went 24-7 with a 3.43 ERA in 39 games ( 265.1 IP ) for the 1962 San Francisco Giants ... he pitched for the Phillies, Giants, Angels and KC Athletics

1950


Georgia-Florida League (D ) ... Manager : Ed Murphy ... 70-67 , 4th place ... Attendance: 38,939. defeated Albany Cardinals 4 games to 1 in playoffs ... Lost to Tallahassee Pirates 4 games to 1 in Championship Series


21 year old RHP John Hushebeck went 21-8 with a 3.22 ERA in 35 games ( 222 IP ) ... he missed the next two seasons due to service time during the Korean War ... returning to play one more minor league season in 1953 before leaving baseball


Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️


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