The 1946 Scranton Red Sox were voted the 90th best team in the history of the minor leagues by minorleaguebaseball.com. The closest team to the Red Sox in 1946’s Eastern League was the Albany Senators, a distant 18.5 games behind the Sox. The Scranton club dominated the Eastern League in the standings statistics and play-offs. Scranton swept Wilkes-Barre 4 games to none in the opening round of the playoffs. They then beat Hartford 4- 1 to win the Govenor’s Cup. Scranton was managed in 1946 by Elmer Yoter, a former third baseman who played briefly for Cleveland and the Cubs in the 1920s. He enjoyed a 40-year career in baseball, the last 20 as a manager and scout in the Boston Red Sox organization. In 1946, Yoter was named Manager of the Year.
The Scranton Red Sox of 1946 were built on pitching. Mel Parnell (1.30 )won the ERA title. Parnell’s mark is an Eastern League record that still stands, he bested Chet Covington’s of Scranton mark of 1.51 set in 1943. But the league MVP was Scranton pitcher Tom Fine, who was an incredible 23-3 in 1946.(Fine won only one game for the Boston Club in the majors). Mickey McDermott ended up the season with a 16-6 record with a 3.29 ERA and 136 strikeouts in 175 innings. On July 14, 1946, at the age of 17, McDermott threw a no-hitter against the Albany Senators, making him possibly the youngest pitcher to throw a no-hit game in the high minors. (McDermott threw three no-hitters in his minor league career.)
Scranton was led by outfielder Sam Mele who led the league in batting (.342) and triples (18), seond baseman Al Kozar, who batted .316 and first baseman Kensecke who hit .305. Part-time outfielder Al Signaigo contributed with a .313 average.
Five Red Sox players made the Eastern League All-Star team. Kensecke, Kozar, Mele and pitcher Fine were joined by catcher Tex Aulds on All-star squad.
The following players played in the major leagues from the Scranton team. They had various degrees of success:
Leslie “Tex” Aulds played in three games for the 1947 Boston Red Sox. He had a hit in four at-bats in three major-league games for a .250 average.
Sam Mele had a moderately sucessful major league career. During his playing days (1947-56), Mele saw duty with six major league clubs: the Boston Red Sox, Washington Senators, Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians, batting .267 with 80 home runs in 1,046 games. His best season was his first with Boston, Mele batted .302 in 123 games, hit 12 home runs and drove in 73 runs. He also had .992 fielding percentage that year.His managerial career was more sucessfull. Mele managed the Twins from 1961 – 1967, he was fired in the middle of the 1967 season. He won the pennant in 1965, winning 102 games. The Twins had Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew, Jim Kaat, Zoilo Versalles, Rod Carew and Bob Allison under Mele. Mele’s record as a manager was 524-436 (.546). He never managed again, but returned to the Red Sox as a scout for 25 years.
Mickey McDermott played 12 seasons, including time with the Red Sox, Senators, Yankees, Athletics, Tigers and Cardinals. He was 69-69. He was compared to Lefty Grove, but an elbow injury, coupled with a hard-living lifestyle, is reported to have put a damper on his career. One of his best seasons came in 1953 when he was 18-10 with a 3.01 ERA in 206.1 innings.
Mel Parnell was a stand-out left-hander at Boston’s Fenway park for many years. He was an all-star in 1949 and 1951, leading the American League in wins in 1949 with a 25-7 mark and a 2.77 era. Parnell was the winningest left-hander in Red Sox history. An injury cut his Red Sox career short. The 1949 Red Sox finished second to the Yankees.
Tommy Fine pitched for the Boston Red Sox in 1947 and the St. Louis Browns in 1950. He finished his career with a 1-3 mark, the one win coming for the Sox in 1947. Tommy did have 7 hits in 21 career at bats for a stellar .333 average.
Al Kozar never played in the majors with the Red Sox, he was traded to the Washington Senators in 1948 and played in 150 games hitting .250, his playing time diminished the next season and in 1950, he changed his Sox to White and played for Chicago.
Sam Dente played for 4 teams from 1947 to 1955, achieving some success. He played for the Red Sox, St. Louis Browns, Washington Senators and Chicago White Sox. He had a career .252 batting average.
1946 EASTERN LEAGUE STANDINGS
TEAM W L PCT GB
SCRANTON 96 43 .696
ALBANY 78 62 .557 18.5
WILKES-BARRE 76 62 .551 19.5
HARTFORD 71 67 .514 24.5
ELMIRA 65 72 .474 30.0
WILLIAMSPORT 59 80 .424 37.0
UTICA 59 80 .424 37.0
BINGHAMTON 51 89 .364 45.5