They are not amateurs, yet they are not quite pros. They are semi-pros.
I've been doing a lot of research lately on mid-20th century semi-pro teams in New England. I can find very little resources out there to support my research, so I thought I'd turn some of the questions over to the community.
I put the thread in "The Minor Leagues" because the semi-pro circuits were certainly quite minor leagues for the most part. Then again, some of them were great drawing cards for the local towns. In the case of the New England League, they were an official Minor League, then a minor league, then an official Minor League again, and then part of another Minor League.
Anyway, if someone thinks this belongs in a better place, feel free to move it. Or maybe a Semi-Pro forum could be started.
Some of the teams I've been researching are in no particular order:
- George Lane's Weymouth Pal's (Mass.)- The Pals were obviously based in Weymouth, Mass. and were one of the strongest semi-pro teams of the 30's.
- The Plymouth Cordage team (Mass.)- This was the company team for the Plymouth Cordage rope making company in Plymouth Mass. They were also a very strong team at times.
- Pittsburgh Hobos (Mass.) - I've found these Hobos before WWII. They're hard to figure out because they all used well known millionaires' names as aliases. They were a novelty team "made up of former minor league stars and several vaudeville performers".
- The New England Hobos (Mass.) - These Hobos were a gag team made up of many former pros who dressed as hobos when playing local college, Town or minor league clubs. They were based out of Boston in the 40's and 50's and were a yearly featue at Fenway Park's Mayor's Field Day.
- Georgia Chain Gang (Mass.) - Like the Hobos, this was another gag team which featured mostly the same players as the New England Hobos. They dressed in jail attire and were chased to their positions by the team captain dressed as a cop.
- Casassa Club (Mass.) - This was an entry in a Revere baseball League in the 20's and 30's sponsored by Revere Mayor Andrew A. Casassa. Casassa made a push to build a ball park for the Braves and Red Sox in Revere when Sunday baseball was being denied the Hub teams.
- Arthur Fisher Shoe Company Team - Fisher's team was not only a company team, but also an aggregate of local all-stars who played a yearly charity game against the Boston Braves in the 1930's. In 1936, they played the St. Louis Cardinals instead.
- McElwain Shoes (NH) - This was a company team based in Manchester. They played against many of the teams listed here.
- Plus teams from the following leagues: New England League (WWII years) River Valley League, Boston Park League, Blackstone Valley League among others.
- Then there are teams who frequently toured New England, playing against the above teams: House of David, City of David, Philadelphia Giants, Royal Giants, Quaker Clowns and many more.
I've got info on all of the above, but I'm looking for a lot more. If you have any questions or answers, please feel free to post.