• Steve Potter

8/3/2020 : Phillies Minor League History - The Olean Oilers


Time Period - 1956 to 1958


Venue : Bradner Stadium


Cities : Olean, NY


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Franchise History :


The New York–Penn League ( NYPL ) was founded in 1939 with the name Pennsylvania – Ontario – New York League ( PONY ) . In 1957 the league was renamed since no Canadian based teams played that season. The Phillies had a long standing affiliation with the Bradford, PA franchise in the league from 1944 to 1955 before moving their player development contract to Olean for three seasons.


The Olean professional baseball team operated from 1939 to 1962 primarily as the “Oilers”. The current version of the Olean Oilers, which relaunched in 2012, is a collegiate summer team that plays in the New York Collegiate Baseball League.


Olean’s professional baseball teams played exclusively in the PONY/NYPL leagues. They were affiliated with the Dodgers ( 1939-1948 ), Browns ( 1949 ), Yankees ( 1951-1952 ), Giants ( 1954 ), Phillies ( 1956 to 1958 ), Athletics ( 1959 ) and Red Sox ( 1961 to 1962 ).


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The Stadium the Phillies teams played in :


Bradner Stadium


Location: E. State & Front Streets, adjacent to War Veterans Park.

Capacity: 6,500

Dimensions (Left, Center, Right): 425-500-280


Bradner Stadium was built in 1926 and was substantially renovated in 2013. It now holds 4,000 people and primarily serves as a home stadium for the NYCBL Olean Oilers collegiate baseball team as well as the Olean High School and Archbishop Walsh football teams in the fall. It accommodates several community events as well.


The stadium name is attributed to a local department store which had purchased naming rights. The store is no longer in business.


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The Seasons :


1956 :


PA-Ontario- NY League ( D ) ... Manager : Paul Owens ... 65-58 , 3rd place ... Attendance : 27,281. Defeated Corning Red Sox 2 games to 1 in Playoffs ... Lost to the Wellsville Braves 3 games to 2 in Championship Series


Player Manager Paul Owens led the league in hitting ( .368 batting average in 399 AB’s ) ... it was the 32 year old’s first season in the Phillies organization ... he later became the legendary “Pope” ... the architect of the club in various leadership roles.


20 year old LHP Bob Milo went 20-9 with a 3.46 ERA in 31 games ( 226 IP ) ... he played eight minor league seasons and one year in Mexico but never reached the major leagues.


1957 :


New York Penn League ( D ) ... Manager : Paul Owens ... 52-65 , 5th place ... Attendance : 28,045.


No player on the roster reached the major leagues ... Player Manager Paul Owens hit .407 in 369 AB’s ( 107 games ) which was again the best in the league ... he also led the loop in slugging percentage ( .604 ).

1958 :


New York Penn League ( D ) ... Manager : Benny Zientara ... 67-57 , 3rd place ... Attendance : 22,973. Lost to the Geneva Redlegs 2 games to 0 in Playoffs


21 year old corner infielder Paul Price led the league in OBP ( .451 ) and posted a .333 batting average in 400 AB’s with 30 doubles, 15 home runs and 81 RBIs. He would play two more seasons before leaving pro baseball.


Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️

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