Festus “Festy” Higgins Scranton pitcher, Minooka Blues

Photos from the Scranton Republican.

Festus Higgins was born in Scranton, Pa on December 27, 1891.  He died in Scranton on October 4, 1924 just shy of his 33rd birthday. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. P.J. Higgins. His dad was the Chief Deputy Recorder of Deeds for Lackawanna County.

He started his pitching career started in the amateur leagues in Minooka, Pa. Minooka is now part of Scranton but at the time it was a separate town. Festus pitched for the Minooka Blues, an amateur team that had 5 of its players reach the Majors, including Finners Quinlan, Steve O’Neil, Chick Shorten, “Minooka ” Mike McNally and Jimmy O’Neil.  Festus  was a right-handed pitcher and batter. Festus pitched for Saint Joseph’s in the Old Catholic Temperance League. He was quite successful. In 1908, he had an accident playing baseball. He was struck in the side of the head with a pitched ball during a game against Carbondale. He was revived during the game but collapsed after the game and slipped into an unconscious state. Dr. Harper attended to him and thought he was improving and would recover. (July 21, 1908 p. 5 Scranton Republican) This would affect his pitching and his health the rest of his life. Festus suffered from “weak spells” and had to retire from baseball and pitching a few times but he always came back to it.

In 1911, Festus’s brother Peter was killed in an auto accident.  Peter loss was felt by the community. Festy went to college in 1911 at Eastern College in Manassas, Virgina. ( The Washington Post April 28, 1910  p 8) He stayed long enough to pitch Eastern to a 2-1 win over Catholic Univesity. (Eastern College was only a college from 1902-1920) By the summer of 1911, Festy was pitching for the Adrian Yeggs and the Saginaw Crazy Cats of the South Michigan League. This was a Class C league. He won 15 games between the 2 teams.

The Scranton Miners of the New York State League secured Festy for the 1912 season. The Miners were managed by former MLB home run champ Buck Freeman. Festus pitched and would often play first base on his days off. He hit .205. Festy pitched in 25 games and won 8 games while losing 9.

In 1913, Festy bought his release from the Scranton Miners. He had asked for a raise and it was not given ( Scranton Tribune-Republican April 24,1913 p 8). This decision brought Festus bad press in the local papers.   He is listed on the roster of the Utica Utes of the New York State League. They were managed by Minooka’s own Mike O’Neil. He played with several players from his hometown including Mike McNally, Mike O’Neil and Avoca’s Jim Mullen. He was given his release by manager Mike O’Neil on July 30th. He had won only 5 of his 15 starts. (Scranton Truth July 30, 1913 p 8)

Higgins was a member of the Binghamton Bingos managed by Jack Calhoun. On May1, 1914 Festus Higgins pitched a no-hitter as a member of the Binghamton Bingos against Utica. He would have had a perfect game if not for his own error. His counterpart, Frank Oberlin threw a one hitter but lost the game on a walk, a sacrifice by Festus, a throwing error and then a sacrifice fly. This all occurred in the bottom of the ninth inning.  On July 20, 1914, Festus limited the local Scranton team to 3 hits in a 4-0 defeat. He also had a triple in the game. (Scranton Republican July 21, 1914 p 8).

In 1915, Festy was again on the Scranton Miners. He won 15 games and lost 11.  He also played first base in 46 games, he batted .263 . He also pitched in a later September exhibition against the New York Yankee. Former Scranton Miner Wally Pipp played for the Yankees  as well as former Miner pitcher, Ensign Cotrell. The Yankees were managed by “Wild Bill” Donovan and won the game 1-0.

In January of 1916, Festus had an operation that he hoped would alleviate some of the pressure from his accident years prior. The operation was on his skull and was performed by Dr. Kane of Minooka and Dr. Gilpin of Philadelphia. He retired during the season due to “weak” spells.  He pitched sporadically in 1916 and 1917 for the Scranton franchise. In 1916 he won 5 games and lost 8, in 1917 he won only 1 game and lost 6.

In 1918 and 1919 , Festy would pitch for the Binghamton Bingoes of the International League.  He was a very successful pitcher in 1918 winning 15 games while losing only 4 games. In 1919, he won 16 games while losing 9 games. (Baseball reference.com)

On October 18, 1919 The All Professionals beat the All Inter-County 9, 2-0 Babe Ruth played for the Inter-County team.  The All-Professional team included Chick Shorten, Mike McNally, Steve O’Neil, Jimmy O’Neil and Festus Higgins played RF.  The game was played for the Jewish relief fund. Ruth was traveling to New York the next day.

On October 19,1919 Festy pitched in a benefit game for former teammate, Thomas “Finners” Quinlan.  Quinlan had lost an eye and a leg in France during the war, The game matched the Minooka Blues against the Scranton Pros. Playing for the Blues were Steve O’Neil, Jimmy O’Neil, Mike McNally, Chick Shorten, Tom Walsh and Jimmy Walsh.  Honest Ed Murphy  of the Chicago White Sox was the star for the pros.  “Smoky” Joe Wood former star pitcher for the Red Sox played OF for the pros. The Minooka Blues won the game 7-6 before 5,000 fans.

Thomas “Finners” Quinlan

In 1920, Festy pitched briefly with the Akron Buckeyes of the International League. He won 2 games and lost 1. He was a teammate of Jim Thorpe this season.  baseballreference.com)

On October 21,1921 Festus was on the mound as a team from Scranton took on the “outlaw” Babe Ruth all-stars featuring several players from the World Champion New York Yankees. Festy won the game 8-6, struck out 10 batters and also blasted a triple to deep center field and a double.(Scranton Republican October 22, 1921 p 20) This was the last game on Babe Ruth’s barnstorming tour. Judge Landis, commissioner of baseball, had a famous standoff with Ruth over post season Barnstorming tours.

Festy pitched most of 1922 for the Scranton Inter-County team managed by Jack Connors. This was a semi-pro club and was not affiliated with any minor league.  On September 6th, 1922 , Festus  pitched for the Scranton team against the Chicago Cubs. Two thousand fans attended the game and Festus was never better. He walked none and struck out 4, only 2 of the runs against him were earned.  He also had 2 hits and scored 2 runs. Cub first baseman Ray Grimes has to leave the game after he is spiked in the third inning by Higgins. The Scranton team won the game 6-5.

Festus played CF for the Scranton team against the Philadelphia A’s. The A’s won the game 4-3, Festus went 1-4. (Scranton Republican October 13, 1921 p 13)

Festy also played in many of the Scranton teams other games in 1922.  Festy played first base against the Brooklyn Royal Giants (Negro team), an excellent traveling team, on August  23, 1922.  He played 1b and doubled in a 2-1 victory by Scranton.  He also played CF against the Harrisburg Colored Giants, an eastern independent barnstorming team,  in August. Scranton won 4-3.

In 1923, Festus was the ” property” of the Newark Franchise. He was secured by Scranton on a 15 day trial and hurt his wrist. He never effective and was released in June of 1923.  (Scranton Republican June 18, 1923 p 12).

In 1924, Festus pitched for Avoca in the Pittston Suburban League.

Festy died in Scranton on October 4, 1924 just shy of his 33rd birthday. The paper said he was a good friend of Bucky Harris. Listed as honorary Pallbearers were Charlies Shorten, Mike McNally, and Steve O’Neil. All were former teammates of Festy and in 1924 all were in the big leagues. Festy is buried in St. Joseph’s cemetery in Minooka. (Scranton Republican October 8, 1924 p 19) A scholarship was established in his name at St.Thomas College (currently the University of Scranton) .




Scranton Apollos 1976-1977 EBA Champions

72scrapp-pavers1976-77 EBA                        W   L  Pct.             GB       Games played

Allentown Jets                    21   5  .808  ..                         26

Scranton Apollos                  20   6  .769                1         26

Lancaster Red Roses               12  10  .545            7          22

Brooklyn Pros/Wilkes-Barre Barons  8  10  .444   9            18

Hartford Downtowners               5  19  .208                15      24

Hazleton Bullets/Shore Bullets     3  18  .143               15.5    21

Syracuse Centennials*              8   9  .471  ..                             17

*Syracuse disbanded during the season

Brooklyn finished the season in Wilkes-Barre


Allentown 124, Scranton 123

Scranton 139, Allentown 128

Scranton 127, Allentown 123

Scranton 102, Allentown 101

The Eastern basketball association started the 1976-77 season with 7 teams.  Syracuse dropped out after 17 games. The majority of the teams were from Pennsylvania. The Brooklyn team relocated to Wilkes-Barre, Pa. during the season. The Allentown and Scranton franchises appear to be the only teams that completed all their games. They also were the best teams in the EBA ands faced each other in the final series.

An article in The Post Standard of Syracuse said the EBA was trying to shed it is run and gun ball and wild image of the past. The teams were also associated with NBA franchises. The Scranton franchise’s affiliations were with the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trailblazers and the Golden State Warriors.
Scranton finished the 1976-1977 season as Champions of the EBA.The defeated the Allentown 3 games to 1, with 2 games being decided by a point. Their coach, Stan Novak was coach of the year. Charlie Criss was the MVP of the EBA and a member of the first team all-stars. He was the EBA leader in scoring. He scored 841 for a 34.4 average per game. Teammate Richie Cornwall was named a member of the EBA’s 2nd team all stars.

This would be Charlie’s last season in the EBA. Scranton did not have a team the following season. Charlie was invited to try out for the Atlanta Hawks by Hubie Brown.  Charlie enjoyed an 8 year career in the NBA, mostly with the Hawks.  He was a 29 year old rookie, and averaged 11.4 points and 3.8 assists for the Hawks.

Scranton Football, Miners and Minor League

Big Joe Williams was to coach a team in Scranton according to an article in the Easton Free Press on Spetmber 6, 1922. The article mentioned several leading citizens being behind the project including the owner of the State League Baseball park, John O’Connor. The team would play home games at the Baseball Park. Two games would be played weekly, Saturdays on the road and Sundays at home. Several players were mentioned in the article as having signed up to play and included: Elwood of Notre Dame, Neylon of Pennsylvania, Green of Darthmouth, Walsh of Fordham, Dunn of Yale, Gardner of Nebraska, Mulchahey of Holy Cross, and Wolbert, Williams, Lehecka and Bedner all of Lafayette. The team was known as the Scranton All-Americans.

According to an article in the November 11th, 1922 edition of the Pittsburgh Press, The Scranton All-Americans would cease operations. Mayor Durkan had instituted a ban on Sunday football. Baseball players feared they were next. Pennsylvania’s infamous “blue” laws prohibiting sports on Sundays.

In 1938, according to the Pro Football Archives, the Scranton Miners completed a season in the EFL with 1 win, 1 tie and 3 loses.

An April 2nd, 1946 article from United Press stated that the Scranton Miners football team had an agreement to be the “farm” team of the Pittsburgh Steelers. The team was to be coached by Ben Wolfson, former Lafayette football coach and would ” pattern its system of play on that of Dr. John B. (Jock) Sutherland” (Steelers’ head coach). The Miners were to compete in the American Football League, an affilate of the National Football League. The league would include several Pennsylvania teams as well as Ohio. On Friday August 23, 1946 The Steelers defeated Scranton Miners 47- 0. A Crowd of 7487 fans watched the game at Memorial Stadium. The Pittsburgh Press has a write up on the game. At the end of the article it mentions Chuck Cherundolo, the stellar center for the Steelers’ was presented with a camera and bond by “Old Forge” friends and neighbors.

In 1966, the Scranton Miners of the Atlantic Coast League had a one year working agreement with NY Giants.Steve Bowman, the leading rusher for the Alabama Crimson Tide an the SEC played for the Miners. He earned a extra $50 a game playing for the Miners.

An October 11, 1974 from the UPI article states that Scranton had a franchise in the Seaboard Coast League, along with Bridgeport, Hartford, Wilkes-Barre, Philadelphia, Chambersburg, Pa, Boston and Rochester. The article states the league may play “spring” football and the NFL may be interested in drafting players.

A July 3, 1978 article state that a minor league team called the Scranton Stars played the Pittsburgh Wolf Pack and Joe Gilliam starred for the Wolf Pack. the Wolf Pack beat the Scranton stars, the defending League Champs 36-8. The teams participated in the Atlantic Football Conference.

Scranton-Wilkes Barre Red Barons 2005: Shane Victorino , MVP

Shane Victorino, International League MVP 2005

2005 International League MVP

2005 International League MVP

Shane Victorino is now an established Professional. He has been an all-star, gold glove winner and World Series Champion. He is currently with the Boston Red Sox. He signed with them after spending the later part of the 2012 season with the LA Dodgers.

Shane was drafted out of high school by LA. Selected by the Padres in the Rule 5 draft in 2002, he failed ot stay in the Bigs and was returned to the Dodgers. The Phillies selected Victorino from the Dodgers in the Rule 5 draft in 2004. He failed to stay on the Phillies roster and was offered back to the Dodgers. The Dodgers did not want him back and he spent the 2005 in Moosic, Pa. playing for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons on the “Astro-turf” of the “mini” vet. He had a great year. He .310 , 18 HRs and 70 rbi. He won the International League MVP becoming the first (and only) Red Baron to do so. His play earned Shane a September call-up and he hit his fist homerun on September 22nd off of Tim Hudson of the Atlanta Braves. Shane has been one of the best defensive Centerfielders in the game as well as being a solid hitter.

The photo above is from a July afternoon game. In the background is Garrett Jones of the Pirates. He was playing for the Rochester Red Wings, the Twins AAA franchise.

The 2005 Red Barons did not do well . It is surprising. They had the International League Batting Champion in Danny Sandoval, who hit .331, Victorino, and Gavin Floyd was an up and coming pitcher. They were managed by Gene Lamont and finsihed 69-75, good for 5th place in the North Division of the International League. Future Phillies’ catcher, Carlos Ruiz also played for the 2005 Red Barons. Ruiz batted an even .300 in 2005. Ruiz split time with Chris Coste. Chris Coste played parts of seasons with the Phillies and finshed his career with the Houston Astros. He hit .328 with the Phillies in 2006 playing in 65 games. In 2005 with Scranton, Chris hit 20 homers and batted .292 .

Ryan Howard played in 61 games and hit 16 HRs for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He was called up to Philadelphia in the summer and never returned. He hit 22 HRs in Philadelphia and won the Rookie of the year award in 2005. He also won MVP honors in 2006, a season where he smashed 58 hrs.

Babe Ruth hits a LONG HR in Wilkes Barre 1926, Nearly gets crushed by a mob of kids in Scranton 1923

When Major League baseball was still in its infancy, players made appearances and promoted the game..and their wallets. Barnstorming across the country was a source of income before million dollar salaries and television. For some, this would be their only shot to see a baseball star in person.

In Ocotber 25, 1923, Babe Ruth came to Scranton to play in an exhibition at Brooks Athletic Field. The Babe Ruth all-stars defeated the local Scranton team 2-1. Thousands of youngster waited to get a up close view of their hero and came onto the field. It was reported that Babe in an attempt not to “spike” any of the youngsters fell. Some youngsters piled on the Babe and had to be removed by local law enforcement to prevent injuring Ruth. Babe was ushered out of the stadium by officials to a waiting car.

In 1926, Babe Ruth came to Wilkes-Barre’s Artillery Park. The Babe played in an exhibition game between Hughestown and Larksville, playing for Hughestown. The game was played on October 26th, 1926. During the game Ruth challenged Larksville’s hurler Ernie Corkran to throw him his “best stuff”. Corkran did. It was not too good for Ruth. He smashed a home run. It landed in Kirby Park on the far side of a high school running track.

Ruth asked that his homer be measured. It was hit an estimated 650 feet, the longest home run in baseball’s storied history.

(source MILB.com)

A team with many names: Scranton Wilkes-Barre Railriders, Indians, Miners, Red Sox, Red Barons, Yankees…..

Lackawanna%20County%20Stadium2008 Lackawanna County Stadium 2004

scrantonstadium Scranton Stadium 1953

It is hard to believe that a contest to “rename” the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees would produce the nickname “Railriders” and a mascot of a Porcupine.  So many possibilities and this joins the long list of names for Scranton’s minor league baseball team. My suguestion of the “Breaker Boys” was not even a finalist. I suppose it would not lend itself to a mascot or marketing, given its connection to Child labor. Wikipedia also says that Scranton had a team called the “Coalheavers”.

The team has announced that the entire staff from last year will be retained which should be a good thing. Playing all of their games on the road, the “Empire State”  Yankees did what they normally do, they won their division of the International League with an 84-60 record. They then made a quick exit from the play-offs. The Scranton team had made the Play-offs 5 of the last 6 seasons. It has been the most success the Scranton team hsa had since the early years of red Sox, 1939-46.

According to the Baseball reference.com, the Scranton has had 8 different names since the first minor league franchise in 1887. That team was known as the Scranton Indians. They competed in the International League. There is no information on this team @ http://www.baseball-reference.com.

In 1888, the Scranton Miners first appeared. This team would compete in the following Leagues Central League 1888, Pennsylvania State League 1892-1893; Eastern League  1896-1897; Atlantic League  1899-1900; New York State League 1904-1917; New York-Penn League 1923-1937 and the  Eastern League1939- -1953. There was no team in 1938. According to Nick Petula’s A History of Scranton Professional Baseball 1865-1953, local poitical and business leaders organized “A Save Baseball Committee”. It was successful and the Scranton Red Sox were born in 1939 and stayed until 1951. The 1952 Scranton Miners were sponsored by the St. Louis Browns. 1953’s team was sponsored by the Washington Senators. It was the last year of professional baseball in Scranon until 1989.

In 1888, Scranton joined the Central League. The team was managed by second baseman Same Crane. Also on the roster for the Scranton franchise was Jesse Burkett. Burkett was listed as a pitcher and was a 19 year old wonder winning 27 games. He also played some outfield. According to the history of Scranton Professional Baseball the Miners finished the year at 55-51. The league consisted of the following teams : Allentown Peanuts, Binghamton Crickets, Easton, Elmira, Hazelton Pugilists, Jersey City Skeeters, Newark Trunkmakers, Scranton Miners and Wilkes Barre Barons. The Newark Trunkmakers won the league with a 83-23 record.

Sam Crane later became a sportswriter for the New York Evening Journal. He was barred from the Polo Grounds in 1895 after writing an article harshly criticizing the NY Giants owner Andrew Freeman. Sam was close friends with New York Giants manager John McGraw. Sam made the front page of the Sporting Life in 1889. He was jailed for larceny. Sam left town with a married woman, Mrs. Hattie E. Fraunfelter. He was arrested in New York City. The article appeared under the title Sam Crane’s Plight “The Eloping Secondbaseman behind bars”. The husband of Hattie said Sam had stole $1500. Mrs. Fraunfelter was charged with adultery, both were later acquitted.

Also on the roster of the 1888 team was future MLB champ, Jesse Burkett. According to Wikpedia.com, Jesse Burkett won 27 in Scranton in 1888 at the age of 19. He played some outfield for Sam Crane’s team as well. Burkett was a pitcher who hurt his arm. Burkett would later find a permanent home in the outfield, playing 16 seasons (1890-1905) in the major leagues, winning three National League batting titles while hitting .400 twice (.409 in 1895 and .410 in 1896 with the Cleveland Spiders) and .376 with the Saint Louis Cardinals in 1901. Burkett is also a member of the Hall of Fame. Jesse still holds the major league record for inside the park home runs with 55. He also stole 389 bases in his career.

This was the last year of organized baseball until 1892.

During the 1892 Season the Harrisburg Ponies moved to Scranton during the season and became the Indians again. The team played in the Pennsylvania State League. The team played their games on the Island Grounds located in the flats section of South Scranton (Petula). The league in 1892 consisted of the Allentown-Bethlehem Colts, Altoona Mountainnerss, Danville, Harrisburg Ponies/Scranton Indians, Johnstown Pirates, Lebanon Pretzel Eaters, Reading Actives, Wilkes Barre Coal Barons/ Pittsburgh.

The 1893 Scranton Miners were a middle/lower end of the pack team. The Pennsylvania State League played a split league format. There was a first half and a second half champion. Scranton was 23-33, 10 games under .500 for the first half and exactly .500, 22-22 for the second half.

1900 Atlantic League Campions
Scranton Miners

New York State League Champions
Scranton Miners
Archbald “Moonlight” Graham is maybe the most famous former Scranton baseball player, thanks to field of Dreams and the book Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella. Graham played in Scranton from 1905-1908. In 1906, The Miners won 82 and lost 48, 12 games ahead of the nearest team. The movie doesn’t mention it but after Graham one brief appearance, he was sold back to the Scranton club. Minor League teams had loose agreements with the major league clubs. The system that is in place now did not exist.

New York State League Chanpions
The Scranton Miners had a full page in the season ending issue of the sporting life. The team played at Athletic Park in Scranton.

The Scranton Miners played from 1923-1937 in the NY-Penn League.
In 1923 the league consisted of the following teams: Binghamton Triplets,Elmira Red Jackets,Scranton Miners, Wilkes-Barre Barons, Williamsport Billies, York White Roses. The Miners had no affiliaiton with a major league club this year. It appears that at the time most minor leagues had loose agreements if any.

1936 New York Penn League Champions
In 1936, the Scranton Miners were the Class A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The NYP leagues consisted of Allentown Brooks (Brooklyn), Binghamton Triplets (NYY), Elmira Pioneers (BOS), Hazleton Mountaineers (Phil-Phillies), Scranton Miners (PIT), Wilkes-Barre Barons, Williamsport Grays (Phil-Athletics), York White Roses/Trenton Senators.

The team played at Athletic Park on Providence Road in Scranton, Pa. The classification for minor league ball in 1936 was AA (top teams) A, A1 B, C and D. THe Miners were localed owned and despite being the A designation, they were the top minor league team for the Pirates, the Pirates had no AA team. The league instituted a first half and second half champions format. The winner of the first half would play the winner of the second half in a 7 game play-off. The Miners won the first half with 42 wins and 27 loses. Elmira won the second half of the season. The Miners swept through Red Jackets and won the New York Penn League title. There was a 5-5 tie in game two, not sure how that happened. Elmer Yoder was the manager of the Miners. Joe Schaute was from Peckville, Pa. He was a standout pitcher on the team. He was left-handed and 36 years old. He won 20 games and lost 7. Joe pitched in the Big Leagues for Cleveland 1922-1930, Brooklyn 1931- 1933 and finally 1934 with Cincinatti. Joe won 20 games in 1924, his over-all record in the majors was 99-109 with a 4.09 ERA. *

*Stan Kovelski of Shamokin also pitched for the Indians in 1924. Stan would be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969. Famous for his spitball, Stan won over 200 games in the majors.

1946 Eastern League Champions
1946 Govenor’s Cup Champions

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.