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Minor League Baseball in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre (PA)

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  • Minor League Baseball in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre (PA)

    A couple of years ago I compiled a list of all the teams to ever play in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. That summer on one of my trips back home I purchased a book that briefly examined Scranton's past baseball teams. It scratched the surface of each team's history but didn't cove a whole lot in 60 or so pages. While I have no aspirations become a writer, I have always been interested in the history of the past Minor League teams of Scranton and Wilkes-Barre and this summer I intend to do some research and attempt to at least compile some comprehensive lists, rosters, stats, etc. This is my research from over the past two years:

    Scranton Teams:
    Scranton Indians (International Association)- 1887
    Scranton Miners (Central League)- 1888
    Scranton Miners (Pennsylvania State League)- 1892-1893
    Scranton Indians (Pennsylvania State League)- 1894 Athletic Park/Brooks Field
    Scranton Washer Women (Eastern League)- 1894 Athletic Park/Brooks Field
    Scranton Coal Heavers (Eastern League)- 1895, Athletic Park/Brooks Field
    Scranton Miners (Eastern League)- 1896-1897, Athletic Park/Brooks Field
    Scranton Miners (Atlantic League)- 1899-1900, Athletic Park/Brooks Field
    Scranton Miners (New York State League)- 1904-1917, Athletic Park/Brooks Field
    Scranton Miners (New York-Penn League)- 1923-1937, Athletic Park/Brooks Field
    Scranton Red Sox (Eastern League)- 1939-1952, Brooks Field and Scranton Stadium
    Scranton Miners (Eastern League)- 1953, Scranton Stadium
    Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons- 1989-2006, Lackawanna County Stadium
    Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees- 2007-Present, PNC Field
    Last edited by Coal Cracker; 05-29-2007, 06:27 PM.

  • #2
    Wilkes-Barre Teams:
    Wilkes-Barre Barons (Central League)- 1888
    Wilkes-Barre Coal Barons (Atlantic Association)- 1889
    Wilkes-Barre Coal Barons (Pennsylvania State League)- 1892
    Wilkes-Barre Coal Barons (Atlantic League)- 1899-1900
    Wilkes-Barre Barons (New York State League)- 1905-1917
    Wilkes-Barre Barons (New York-Penn League/Eastern League)- 1923-1947, Artillery Park
    Wilkes-Barre Indians (Eastern League)- 1948-1951, Artillery Park
    Wilkes-Barre Barons (Eastern League)- 1953-1955, Artillery Park
    Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons (International League)- 1989-2006, Lackawanna County Stadium
    Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (International League)- 2007-Present, PNC Field
    Last edited by Coal Cracker; 05-29-2007, 06:28 PM.

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    • #3
      Jack Koniszewski- Ex-Scranton Red Sox player is area's #17 all time athlete

      From the Scranton Times-Tribune

      Before leaving for World War II, Jack Koniszewski played baseball for the Scranton Red Sox. During the war, he played basketball with the Marines. After the war, he was a two-way tackle for the Washington Redskins.

      Koniszewski was a three-sport athlete at Dickson City High School and George Washington University in the 1930s and '40s. All-Southern Conference in basketball and honorable mention all-America in football, he was drafted by the Eagles but went to war before the season. He earned a Purple Heart with the Marines and returned to play for the Redskins from 1945-49.

      Out of professional athletics, Koniszewski remained an avid hunter and fisherman and in 1965 won the club championship and member-guest at Elkview. He was a PIAA official for 25 years and is enshrined in the University of Scranton Wall of Fame as a football, baseball and basketball coach. Koniszewski died in December 2003 after battling Parkinson's disease.

      By the numbers:

      2

      College Halls of Fame that include Koniszewski: George Washington as a player and the University of Scranton as a coach

      3

      Three-sport athletes in the George Washington Hall of Fame out of 111 members

      Buses that carried local fans to the Polo Grounds for a Redskins-Giants game in 1948 on what the area called "Jackie Koniszewski Day"

      "I should have been born 10 years later since I just missed getting into pro ball at the time when television began to make it a million-dollar game for a lot of guys. We played for peanuts compared to what some of the pros are making today. We had little pressures, however, but we had a lot of comradeship and good times. Now, with a million dollar price tag on your shoulder, a player has to keep the pressure on and produce."

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      • #4
        scranton miners

        If anyone reads this who has access to reprints from the Scarnton Tribune....my father was a pitcher for the Scranton Miners in the 30's.....he once pitched an exhibition game agains the Yankees and faces Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.....I would love to have a reprint of the article for the grandchildren. Can anyone help me out? I called the Tribune, but they sent all the records to the library, and they would not copy it for me. I would be willing to pay any costs incurred digging up this info. His name was John Sosnowski, and he pitched under the name Soski....I believe this was in 1931.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by soski
          If anyone reads this who has access to reprints from the Scarnton Tribune....my father was a pitcher for the Scranton Miners in the 30's.....he once pitched an exhibition game agains the Yankees and faces Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.....I would love to have a reprint of the article for the grandchildren. Can anyone help me out? I called the Tribune, but they sent all the records to the library, and they would not copy it for me. I would be willing to pay any costs incurred digging up this info. His name was John Sosnowski, and he pitched under the name Soski....I believe this was in 1931.
          Ask a local library or college library if they do Interlibrary Loan with other libraries. You already know the newspaper you want is the Scranton Tribune, and the year is 1931. Usually there is no cost to obtain the newspaper on microfilm and it only takes 1 to 2 weeks.

          Then use one of their microfilm machines and start in late March. The librarians will be happy to help you get started. Sports is generally on the same page of the paper every day so you can flip past the other pages. An exhibition game could be before the season, or after the season. As it is the Yankees they might have been in the WS. If you guessed wrong on the year you might have to get the 1930 and 1932 microfilm of the newspaper.

          While looking this one game up, try to get his career stats. Have you checked the Natl Baseball Hall of Fame to see what they have on him? There are players cards that would give you what seasons he played minor league ball, and who for. For all you know, he was in another league during 1931.

          Good Luck!
          "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
          "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

          Comment


          • #6
            Coal Cracker: Do you know who the left fielder was on the 1906 Scranton team that ran away with the NY State League pennant?

            Not only did he lead the league in hitting, but he was also a character in a famous baseball movie.
            "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
            "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by TonyK
              Coal Cracker: Do you know who the left fielder was on the 1906 Scranton team that ran away with the NY State League pennant?

              Not only did he lead the league in hitting, but he was also a character in a famous baseball movie.
              Yes, Archibald "Moonlight" Graham. After playing briefly with the New York Giants in 1905, his only stint in the Majors, he was sold to Scranton. He was later portrayed in the move "Field of Dreams."
              Last edited by Coal Cracker; 06-24-2006, 06:49 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Coal Cracker
                Yes, Archibald "Moonlight" Graham. After playing briefly with the New York Giants in 1905, his only stint in the Majors, he was sold to Scranton. He was later portrayed in the move "Field of Dreams."
                The Scranton newspapers called him Doc Graham since he was studying to be a doctor in the off seasons.
                "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
                "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Former Yankee Bob Shawkey managed Scranton in 1932. On August 12, 1932, Scranton beat the NY Yankees, 1-0. 6,500 fans at the game. Ruth and Gehrig played in the game.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Research Help

                    I really need help... I'm researching my great grandfather James Kell(e?)y, who played for the Scranton Miners during the 1910's up until the New York State League disbanded in 1917. I cannot find any resources on the team from this period. Everything I find seems to be either on the late 1890's-early 1900's team or the later 1920's and up teams. I'm going to give the library a call (I live in Portland, Oregon). Can anyone give me any tips on where to look or maybe even what I should be looking for? ANYTHING would be a great help. Thanks!

                    P.S. The (e?) in his last name is because my family changed the spelling of it from Kelly to Kelley (hey, an Irishman's gotta find a way to work somehow) sometime around then, so I'm not sure which he played under.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Michael-Sean
                      I really need help... I'm researching my great grandfather James Kell(e?)y, who played for the Scranton Miners during the 1910's up until the New York State League disbanded in 1917. I cannot find any resources on the team from this period. Everything I find seems to be either on the late 1890's-early 1900's team or the later 1920's and up teams. I'm going to give the library a call (I live in Portland, Oregon). Can anyone give me any tips on where to look or maybe even what I should be looking for? ANYTHING would be a great help. Thanks!

                      P.S. The (e?) in his last name is because my family changed the spelling of it from Kelly to Kelley (hey, an Irishman's gotta find a way to work somehow) sometime around then, so I'm not sure which he played under.
                      I will look him up and find out what years he played for Scranton and if I have any of his records. What was his position?

                      Call the National Baseball Hall of Fame Research Library in Cooperstown, NY and ask someone to look through the Spalding Guides for 1911 to 1918. There should be team photos for the NY State League teams with your grandfather included. They will photocopy them from the guides and mail them to you for a small fee. These will only be copies of small photos so don't expect anything more than to see your relatives face. The guides should also have league player averages and they can copy those pages too for you.

                      If you have the time to research him via interlibrary loan you will also learn what kind of player he was and what the newspapers thought of him. This was a Class B league or mid-level league and sent hundreds of players to the majors. Your library can explain how to do interlibrary loan near you and you can read Scranton newspapers from that era. You start reading the sports section from March until September. There shouldn't be any charge and you have the microfilm for 2 to 4 weeks.

                      You might also call or write the Scranton Area Historical Society and ask if they have photos of the team. They might copy one for you and charge you a fee. If he was good enough to play several seasons then he probably was quite a ballplayer. Good Luck!
                      "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
                      "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Michael-Sean
                        I really need help... I'm researching my great grandfather James Kell(e?)y, who played for the Scranton Miners during the 1910's up until the New York State League disbanded in 1917. I cannot find any resources on the team from this period. Everything I find seems to be either on the late 1890's-early 1900's team or the later 1920's and up teams. I'm going to give the library a call (I live in Portland, Oregon). Can anyone give me any tips on where to look or maybe even what I should be looking for? ANYTHING would be a great help. Thanks!

                        P.S. The (e?) in his last name is because my family changed the spelling of it from Kelly to Kelley (hey, an Irishman's gotta find a way to work somehow) sometime around then, so I'm not sure which he played under.
                        John KELLY...1913 Scranton OF 30-105-18-36 .343 4 sb
                        1914 Scranton/Syracuse OF 83-287-31-66 .230

                        There was a KELLY who played ML ball too that could be your grandfather. I have his first name at home and it might be James. I also found a KELLEY with the 1912 Binghamton Bingos team with no first name. I didn't look at pitchers yet.

                        Note: Many Irish players had two or three spellings of their last name used in the newspapers. It makes it interesting trying to sort out who was who with so many Kelly's/Kelley's playing pro ball.
                        "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
                        "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Michael-Sean
                          I really need help... I'm researching my great grandfather James Kell(e?)y, who played for the Scranton Miners during the 1910's up until the New York State League disbanded in 1917. I cannot find any resources on the team from this period. Everything I find seems to be either on the late 1890's-early 1900's team or the later 1920's and up teams. I'm going to give the library a call (I live in Portland, Oregon). Can anyone give me any tips on where to look or maybe even what I should be looking for? ANYTHING would be a great help. Thanks!

                          P.S. The (e?) in his last name is because my family changed the spelling of it from Kelly to Kelley (hey, an Irishman's gotta find a way to work somehow) sometime around then, so I'm not sure which he played under.
                          R. Jim Kelly played for Elmira, NY in 1913 as an OFer. He also played in the majors too.

                          ? Keeley pitched for Scranton in 1917 with a 3-6 record.

                          These are all I have from the NY State League. John Kelly seems more in line with your relative except for his first name. If you have more information that would help.
                          "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
                          "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm going to bump this to the top. Hard to believe I started this two years ago.

                            Anyway, I have a less busy summer this year so I'm going to try to post some interesting stuff here. I also encourage anyone who has any info regarding Scranton baseball to post it here or PM me. I'm interested in pretty much anything since the availability of information on internet about the old Scranton teams is very scarce.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Wilkes Barre East End Baseball Team in the Wyoming League

                              Hi. I wonder what you might know about the Wilkes-Barre East End Baseball Team who were the 1926 Wyoming League champions. My Grandfather, Patrick Carr, played for the team and his brother, Bernard Carr, was the manager. The Carr family was very much into baseball during that time.

                              I am researching the family history. I have some information, a photo and clippings but it is a little hard for me to put it all together. Any info would be helpful.

                              Kathleen Carr Halliday

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