• Steve Potter

7/6/2020 : Phillies Minor League History - The Dover Orioles/Phillies


Time Period - 1940 & 1946 to 1948


Venue : Dover Baseball Park


City : Dover, DE


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Franchise History :


The Dover Phillies were a team that played in the Eastern Shore League. The team began as the Dover Senators (or Dobbins) from 1923–1926 and then returned as the Dover Orioles - an affiliate of the then Minor League AAA level Baltimore Orioles from 1937–1939 and then with the Phillies for the 1940 season. After World War II they continued as a Phillies affiliate ( 1946 to 1948 ) when the Eastern Shore League reorganized.


The Eastern Shore Baseball League was a class D minor league that operated on the Delmarva Peninsula for parts of three different decades, ( 1922 to mid 1928, 1937 to 1941 and 1946 to 1949 ), ... the league had teams from Maryland, Delaware and Virginia ... it disbanded due to lack of attendance revenue.


Dover was the first franchise to rejoin the league in 1937 and again in 1946 when the league reformed after the war. The league was a primary testing ground for players and even umpires who may not have been given chances other wise ... I found a funny story in my research about a game held in Rehoboth Beach - a batter whiffed with two outs and the bases loaded on a apparent game ending strikeout ... however the catcher dropped the ball as the runner on third was attempting to steal home ... thinking that it didn’t matter the Rehoboth team left the field as four runs scored for the opposition ... on a strikeout 🤦‍♂️

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The Stadium the Phillies teams played in :


Oriole Park :


Also Known As: Dover Baseball Park 1941-1948

Location: Court Street.


Capacity: 2,500 (1937); 2,200 (1941); 1,800 (1948)

Dimensions (Left, Center, Right): 318 -LF, 340 - CF, 318 - RF


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The Seasons :


1940 - Dover Orioles


Eastern League (D ) ... Manager : Cap Clark ... 72-48 , 1st place ... Attendance: ?

Lost in playoffs to the Milford Giants 3 games to 2


33 year old Catcher-Manager Cap Clark was fourth in the league in hitting with a .350 batting average in 331 AB’s ... his last season in pro baseball ... he had played in 52 major league games for the 1938 Phillies after spending the previous six seasons as a minor leaguer


1946 - Dover Phillies


Eastern League (D ) ... Manager : John Lehman ... 68-57 , 3rd place ... Attendance: ?

Lost in playoffs to Centreville Orioles 4 games to 3


22 year old pro rookie center fielder Bill Higdon led the league in batting average ( .374 ), OBP ( .525 ), OPS ( 1.115 ) and was second in slugging percentage ( .590 ) in 38 games ( 185 PA ) before being promoted to Utica to finish the season ... he got a “cup of coffee” in the big leagues with the 1949 Chicago White Sox appearing in 11 games ( went 7 for 23 (.304 ) with 3 doubles ... he played seven years in the minor leagues reaching the AAA level in 1952 and hit .307 in 3,111 career MILB AB’s


1947 - Dover Phillies


Eastern League (D ) ... Manager : Dick Carter ... 68-56 , 3rd place ... Attendance: 33,676.

Lost in playoffs to Cambridge Dodgers 4 games to 3


No player on the roster reached the major leagues however 19 year old LHP Bill George went 15-5 with a 3.56 ERA in 25 games ( 182 IP ) ... he would pitch in 14 Minor League seasons including 9 at the AA & AAA levels ... pitched in 490 minor league games accumulating 1,787 IP and a 99-95 W/L record


1948 - Dover Phillies


Eastern League (D ) ... Managers : Guy Glaser & Grover Wearshing ... 26-100 , 8th place ... Attendance: 10,079.


The team posted one of the worst records in baseball history and finished 65 1/2 games behind first place Salisbury 😳


No pitcher on the team had an ERA under 5.22 and no regular position player hit .300 ... highest mark was .287 ...


Two players on the roster eventually made it to the majors - 19 year old RHP Jack Sanford and 19 year old shortstop Mickey Micelotta


Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️


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