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Western League (1900–1958)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Western League
SportMinor League Baseball
Inaugural season1885
Ceased1958
PresidentRoy Carter 1937-1941
Edwin C. Johnson 1947-1955
O'Neal M. Hobbs 1956-1958
CountryUnited States of America
ClassificationClass A
Class B
Class D

The Western League was the name of several leagues in American minor league baseball. First, its earliest progenitor, which existed from 1885 to 1899, was the predecessor of the American League. Later, during the 20th century, there were four incarnations of the Western League, including a Class D loop that played from 1939–41 and an independent loop (outside of "organized baseball") that began play in 1995. This article, however, concentrates on the two Class A leagues that played from 1900–37 and from 1947–58.

History

Minor League baseball went unclassified through 1901. From 1902 until 1911, Class A was the highest level in the minor leagues. In 1912, a new top tier, Class AA, was created; in 1936, a second tier, Class A1, came into being. In 1939, the Nebraska State League adopted the name for three seasons, before disbanding. Then, in 1946, the Class AA leagues were renamed AAA, and the A1 loops were renamed AA. Thus the Western League – whose clubs were actually located in the Great Plains, Rocky Mountain States, the Upper Midwest and the Upper Southwest – was a top-level minor league until 1911, then two levels below Major League Baseball through 1935, and three steps removed in 1936–37 and when it was revived in 1947 during the post-war minor league baseball boom. For several years in the 1910s, the Western League champion played a postseason series against the champion of the American Association for supremacy of the central states.

Its longest-serving franchise was located in Des Moines, Iowa, which joined the WL in 1900 and played continuously through 1937, when the league shut down during the Great Depression. Des Moines then rejoined the reborn Western circuit when Colorado Senator Edwin C. Johnson founded it in 1947; this team, a Chicago Cubs affiliate called the Des Moines Bruins, then played for the final 12 years of the league's existence.

The Post-World War II League (1947-1958)

The Western League reformed in 1947 with six teams: Denver Bears, Des Moines Bruins, Lincoln A's, Omaha Cardinals, Pueblo Dodgers and Sioux City Soos.[1] All six clubs were affiliated with major league farm systems. The WL expanded to eight teams in 1950, adding the Colorado Springs Sky Sox and Wichita Indians,[2] but the encroachment of televised baseball and major league franchise shifts into former AAA cities hit the league hard. In 1955, the Western League's two strongest franchises, the Denver Bears and the Omaha Cardinals, were admitted to the AAA American Association.

The WL continued for four more seasons before folding in the autumn of 1958. Its last champion, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, attracted only 61,000 fans for the season. In addition to the founding clubs and the Sky Sox, the postwar WL had teams in Albuquerque, Amarillo, Topeka, and Wichita.

List of teams

1900-1936 Year by Year

1900

The new Western League formed as a Class B league in 1900. Charter teams were the: Denver Grizzlies, Des Moines Hawkeyes, Omaha Omahogs, Pueblo Indians, Sioux City Cornhuskers and St. Joseph Saints.[3]

Team Name Record
Denver Grizzlies 61–44
Des Moines Hawkeyes 54–45
Sioux City Cornhuskers 49–48
Omaha Omahogs 51–53
St. Joseph Saints 51–58
Pueblo Indians 41–64

1901

The teams in Pueblo and Sioux City folded. New teams in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and St. Paul, Minnesota, formed and joined the League. Teams from Kansas City, Missouri, and Minneapolis, Minnesota moved from the American League.

Team Name Record
Kansas City Blues 79–44
St. Paul Saints 69–54
St. Joseph Saints 69–58
Denver Grizzlies 60–59
Omaha Omahogs 61–62
Minneapolis Millers 56–62
Des Moines Hawkeyes 48–75
Colorado Springs Millionaires 45–73

1902

The Minneapolis and St. Paul teams joined the American Association. New teams in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Peoria, Illinois, formed and joined the League.

Team Name Record
Kansas City Blue Stockings 82–54
Omaha Indians 84–56
Milwaukee Creams 80–54
Denver Grizzlies 81–57
St. Joseph Saints 71–68
Colorado Springs Millionairess 63–75
Des Moines Midgets 54–83
Peoria Distillers 35–103

1903

Team Name Record
Milwaukee Creams 83–43
Colorado Springs Millionaires 76–52
Kansas City Blue Stockings 65–61
St. Joseph Saints 62–59
Denver Grizzlies 61–70
Peoria Distillers 57–69
Des Moines Undertakers 55–76
Omaha Indians 49–78

1904

The teams in Milwaukee, Kansas City, and Peoria folded. the Sioux City, Iowa team from the Iowa–South Dakota League joined the League.

Team Name Record
Omaha Packers 90–60
Colorado Springs Millionaires 85–58
Denver Grizzlies 87–61
Des Moines Prohibitionists 76–69
St. Joseph Saints 53–93
Sioux City Soos 45–98

1905

The Colorado Springs team, with a record of 22–48, moved to Pueblo, Colorado on July 15, where they had a record of 30–44.

Team Name Record
Des Moines Underwriters 95–54
Denver Grizzlies 92–58
Omaha Rourkes 87–62
Sioux City Packers 80–68
Colorado Springs Millionaires/Pueblo Indians 52–92
St. Joseph Saints 37–109

1906

The St. Joseph team moved to the Western Association. A new team in Lincoln, Nebraska, formed and joined the League.

Team Name Record
Des Moines Champions 97–50
Lincoln Ducklings 75–74
Omaha Rourkes 73–74
Sioux City Packers 69–81
Denver Grizzlies 68–81
Pueblo Indians 63–85

1907

Team Name Record
Omaha Rourkes 84–63
Lincoln Treeplanters 79–63
Des Moines Champs 76–63
Denver Grizzlies 67–75
Pueblo Indians 65–73
Sioux City Packers 56–90

1908

Team Name Record
Sioux City Soos 88–57
Omaha Rourkes 86–59
Lincoln Greenbackers 74–73
Denver Grizzlies 71–75
Pueblo Indians 63–78
Des Moines Boosters 54–94

1909

Teams from Topeka, Kansas, and Wichita, Kansas, joined from the Western Association.

Team Name Record
Des Moines Boosters 93–59
Sioux City Soos 94–60
Omaha Rourkes 84–68
Topeka Jayhawks 76–73
Wichita Jobbers 71-82
Denver Grizzlies 69–82
Lincoln Greenbackers 61–89
Pueblo Indians 58–93

1910

The Pueblo team folded. A new team in St. Joseph, Missouri, formed and joined the League.

Team Name Record
Sioux City Packers 108–60
Denver Grizzlies 102–65
Lincoln Railsplitters 95–71
Wichita Jobbers 89–78
Omaha Rourkes 84–82
St. Joseph Drummers 76–91
Des Moines Boosters 72–96
Topeka Jayhawks 42–125

1911

The Wichita team, with a record of 15–9, moved to Pueblo, Colorado on May 22, Their record there was 77–66.

Team Name Record
Denver Grizzlies 111–54
St. Joseph Drummers 93–72
Wichita Jobbers/Pueblo Indians 92–75
Omaha Rourkes 85–80
Sioux City Packers 85–80
Lincoln Railsplitters 84–81
Topeka Kaws 60–104
Des Moines Boosters 49–113

1912

The Pueblo team moved back to Wichita, Kansas.

Team Name Record
Denver Grizzlies 99–63
St. Joseph Drummers 94–72
Omaha Rourkes 92–71
Des Moines Boosters 82–80
Lincoln Railsplitters 83–81
Sioux City Packers 74–85
Wichita Jobbers 75–89
Topeka Jayhawks 51–109

Denver defeated the Minneapolis team of the American Association 4 games to 1.

1913

Team Name Record
Denver Bears 104–62
Des Moines Boosters 93–72
St. Joseph Drummers 89–78
Lincoln Greenbackers 87–80
Omaha Rourkes 79–86
Sioux City Packers 73–92
Topeka Jayhawks 73–92
Wichita Jobbers 65–101

Milwaukee of the American Association defeated Denver 4 games to 2.

1914

Wichita Jobbers renamed Wichita Wolves.

Team Name Record
Sioux City Indians 105–60
Denver Bears 96–72
St. Joseph Drummers 89–75
Des Moines Boosters 82–81
Lincoln Tigers 81–87
Omaha Rourkes 77–87
Topeka Jayhawks 68–97
Wichita Wolves 63–102

Indianapolis of the American Association defeated Denver 4 games to 2.

1915

Team Name Record
Des Moines Boosters 87–53
Denver Bears 82–55
Topeka Jayhawks 75–63
Omaha Rourkes 71–69
Lincoln Tigers 70–69
Sioux City Packers 66–68
Wichita Wolves 57–80
St. Joseph Drummers 43–94

1916

The Wichita team, with a record of 58–84, moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado on September 10. Their record there was 2–10.

Team Name Record
Omaha Rourkes 92–57
Lincoln Tigers 87–63
Sioux City Indians 79–71
Denver Bears 78–75
Des Moines Boosters 75–75
Topeka Savages 67–86
Wichita Wolves/Colorado Springs Millionaires 57–94

Louisville of the American Association defeated Omaha 4 games to 1.

1917

The Topeka team folded. A new team in Joplin, Missouri formed and joined the League. Colorado Springs moved back to Wichita. St. Joseph, with a record of 34–56, moved to Hutchinson, where their record was 32–24, on July 24. Sioux City moved to St. Joseph on August 5.

Team Name Record
Des Moines Boosters 84–62 (1st half winner)
Lincoln Links 83–64
Sioux City Indians/St. Joseph Drummers 80–66
Joplin Miners 79–68
Omaha Rourkes 73–75
St. Joseph Drummers/Hutchinson Wheatshockers 66–80
Denver Bears 62–86
Wichita Wolves 61–87

Hutchinson defeated Joplin 3 games to none for the second half title. Des Moines defeated Hutchinson 4 games to 2 for the championship.

1918

The Denver and Lincoln teams folded. New teams in Sioux City, Iowa, and Topeka, Kansas, formed and joined the League. Hutchinson, with a record of 14–19, moved to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on June 2, where they compiled a record of 19–18. Topeka, with a record of 19–13, moved to Hutchinson, Kansas, where they compiled a record of 18–18, on June 2. The League suspended operations on July 7 due to World War I.

Team Name Record
Wichita Jobbers 41–24
Topeka Kaw-nees/Hutchinson Salt Packers 37–31
Des Moines Boosters 36–31
Joplin Miners 34–31
Omaha Rourkes 33–32
Hutchinson Salt Packers/Oklahoma City Oklahomans
St. Joseph Saints 30–38
Sioux City Indians 22–42

1919

The Hutchinson team folded. A new team was formed in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and joined the League.

Team Name Record
St. Joseph Saints 78–57
Tulsa Oilers 77–63
Wichita Jobbers 75–65
Des Moines Boosters 71–67
Oklahoma City Indians 69–69
Sioux City Indians 68–72
Joplin Miners 57–78
Omaha Rourkes 56–80

Tulsa lead St. Joseph 3 games to 1 in the championship series when the series was cancelled due to bad weather.

Wichita's Joe Wilhoit had a 69-game hitting streak, which remains the professional baseball record.

1920

Team Name Record
Tulsa Oilers 92–61
Wichita Jobbers 92–62
Oklahoma City Indians 82–68
Omaha Rourkes 76–77
St. Joseph Saints 74–80
Joplin Miners 73–81
Sioux City Packers 63–88
Des Moines Boosters 58–93

1921

Team Name Record
Wichita Witches 106–61
Omaha Buffaloes 95–73
Oklahoma City Indians 93–75
Sioux City Packers 81–83
St. Joseph Saints 79–88
Joplin Miners 76–91
Des Moines Boosters 71–92
Tulsa Oilers 65–103

1922

Joplin moved to the Western Association. A new team formed in Denver, Colorado, and joined the League.

Team Name Record
Tulsa Oilers 103–64
St. Joseph Saints 98–70
Wichita Wolves 94–73
Omaha Buffaloes 91–77
Sioux City Packers 86–79
Oklahoma City Indians 73–94
Denver Bears 63–105
Des Moines Boosters 61–107

Tulsa beat Mobile of the Southern Association 4 games to 1, with 1 tie

1923

Team Name Record
Oklahoma City Indians 102–64
Tulsa Oilers 101–67
Wichita Izzies 100–68
Omaha Buffaloes 92–74
Des Moines Boosters 87–79
St. Joseph Saints 65–101
Sioux City Packers 59–105
Denver Bears 59–107

1924

Sioux City moved to the Tri-State League. Lincoln joined from the Nebraska State League.

Team Name Record
Omaha Buffaloes 103–61
Denver Bears 100–67
Tulsa Oilers 98–69
St. Joseph Saints 86–79
Oklahoma City Indians 82–86
Wichita Izzies 79–88
Des Moines Boosters 59–106
Lincoln Links 57–108

1925

Team Name Record
Des Moines Demons 98–70
Denver Bears 97–71
Oklahoma City Indians 88–76
Wichita Izzies 80–84
St. Joseph Saints 77–87
Omaha Buffaloes 74–89
Tulsa Oilers 75–91
Lincoln Links 70–91

1926

Team Name Record
Des Moines Demons 99–64
Oklahoma City Indians 100–66
St. Joseph Saints 89–75
Tulsa Oilers 86–78
Denver Bears 88–80
Omaha Buffaloes 77–89
Lincoln Links 64–101
Wichita Izzies 58–108

Springfield of the Three-I League led Des Moines 3 games to 1 when the series was cancelled due to bad weather.

1927

St. Joseph moved to the Western Association. A new team in Amarillo, Texas formed and joined.

Team Name Record
Tulsa Oilers 101–53
Wichita Larks 91–63
Des Moines Demons 82–72
Denver Bears 77–75
Oklahoma City Indians 68–86
Amarillo Texans 66–87
Omaha Buffaloes 66–88
Lincoln Links 63–90

Waco of the Texas League beat Tulsa 3 games to 2, with 1 tie.

1928

Lincoln moved to the Nebraska State League. A new team in Pueblo, Colorado, formed and joined the League.

Team Name Record
Oklahoma City Indians 95–67 (1st half winner)
Tulsa Oilers 96–69 (2nd half winner)
Wichita Larks 94–70
Pueblo Steelworkers 85–78
Denver Bears 81–84
Omaha Crickets 71-86
Amarillo Texans 60–93
Des Moines Demons 63–98

Tulsa beat Oklahoma City 4 games to 1, with 1 tie, for the championship.

1929

Amarillo folded. The Topeka, Kansas team from the Western Association joined.

Team Name Record
Tulsa Oilers 95–66
Oklahoma City Indians 85–68
Omaha Crickets 81–75
Wichita Aviators 77–79
Denver Bears 73–81
Topeka Jayhawks 75–85
Des Moines Demons 72–86
Pueblo Steelworkers 69–90

1930

The Tulsa team folded. A new team formed in St. Joseph, Missouri and joined the League.

Team Name Record
Wichita Aviators 89–56
Omaha Packers 76–66
Oklahoma City Indians 79–71
Des Moines Demons 77–71
Pueblo Braves 75–75
Denver Bears 74–74
Topeka Senators 66–84
St. Joseph Saints 53–92

1931

Team Name Record
Des Moines Demons 94–51 (2nd half winner)
Wichita Aviators 92–58 (1st half winner)
St. Joseph Saints 79–64
Pueblo Braves 76–69
Oklahoma City Indians 70–80
Denver Bears 64–77
Topeka Senators 58–86
Omaha Packers 49–97

Des Moines Demons beat Wichita 4 games to 2 for the championship.

1932

Topeka moved to the Western Association. The Tulsa team joined.

Team Name Affiliation Record
Tulsa Oilers Pittsburgh Pirates 98–48 (1st half winner)
Denver Bears St. Louis Cardinals 83–64
Oklahoma City Indians 83–67 (2nd half winner)
Des Moines Demons 71–72
St. Joseph Saints 72–75
Wichita Aviators Chicago Cubs 63–86
Pueblo Braves 62–90
Omaha Packers 58–88

Oklahoma City beat Tulsa 2 games to 1 for the second half title. Tulsa beat Oklahoma City 4 games to none for the championship.

1933

Denver & Pueblo folded. Oklahoma City and Tulsa moved to the Texas League. The teams from Hutchinson, Kansas and Springfield, Missouri joined from the American Association. New teams in Joplin, Missouri, and Topeka, Kansas, formed and joined the League. Wichita, with a record of 6–13, moved to Muskogee on June 6, keeping the Oilers name, where they had a record of 20–82. Hutchinson, with a record of 25–32, moved on July 7 to Bartlesville, where they had a record of 26–38.

Team Name Affiliation Record
Des Moines Demons 81–47
St. Joseph Saints 77–47 (1st half winner)
Springfield Cardinals St. Louis Cardinals 73–50
Topeka Senators Cincinnati Reds 68–55 (2nd half winner)
Omaha Packers 63–61
Joplin Miners St. Louis Browns 55–69
Hutchinson Wheatshockers/Bartlesville Broncos Detroit Tigers 51–70
Wichita Oilers/Muskogee Oilers 26–95

St. Joseph beat Topeka 4 games to 1. St. Joseph lost to the Davenport Blue Sox from the Mississippi Valley League 4 games to 2.

1934

Bartlesville, Joplin, Muskogee, and Springfield moved to the Western Association. The teams from Davenport Blue Sox, and Rock Island Islanders joined from the Mississippi Valley League. New teams in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Sioux City, Iowa formed and joined the League.

Team Name Affiliation Record
Sioux City Cowboys 74–50 (1st half title tie)
Davenport Blue Sox 70–53 (2nd half winner)
Des Moines Demons 68–56 (1st half title tie)
St. Joseph Saints 65–56 (1st half title tie)
Topeka Senators Cincinnati Reds 59–64
Rock Island Islanders 58–65
Omaha Packers 49–73
Cedar Rapids Raiders 47–73

St. Joseph beat Sioux City 3 games to 1 in the first round of playoffs. Davenport beat Des Moines by the same number. In the championship, St. Joseph beat Davenport 4 games to 3.

1935

Topeka folded. A new team in Keokuk, Iowa formed and joined the League. Omaha, with a record of 22–15, moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa on June 25, where they had a record of 33–31. Rock Island folded July 17. Council Bluffs folded August 27.

Team Name Affiliation Record
Davenport Blue Sox 70–46
St. Joseph Saints 58–48
Des Moines Demons 58–55
Sioux City Cowboys 54–52
Cedar Rapids Raiders 53–57
Keokuk Indians 49–66
Omaha Packers/Council Bluffs Rails 55–46
Rock Island Islanders 19–46

Sioux City beat Davenport 3 games to none, and St. Joseph beat Des Moines 3 games to none, in the first round of the playoffs. St. Joseph beat Sioux City 4 games to 3 for the championship.

1936

Keokuk and St. Joseph folded. New teams formed in Omaha, Nebraska, and Waterloo, Iowa, and joined the League. Omaha moved to Rock Island on August 18.

Team Name Affiliation Record
Davenport Blue Sox Brooklyn Dodgers 74–52 (1st & 2nd half winner)
Cedar Rapids Raiders St. Louis Cardinals 70–58
Des Moines Raiders (Iowans) 64–64
Omaha Robin Hoods/Rock Island Rocks 62–64
Sioux City Cowboys 61–64
Waterloo Hawks 50–79

1937

Rock Island folded July 7.

Team Name Affiliation Record
Cedar Rapids Raiders St. Louis Cardinals 78–38 (1st & 2nd half winner)
Waterloo Reds 61–55
Davenport Blue Sox Brooklyn Dodgers 57–59
Des Moines Iowans St. Louis Browns 57–62
Sioux City Cowboys Detroit Tigers 50–63
Rock Island Islanders 20–46

Cedar Rapids and Waterloo moved to the Three-I League. Sioux City moved to the Nebraska State League. Davenport, Des Moines, and the League itself folded.

1939-1941 Year by year

1939 Team Statistics

Team Name W L PCT GB Managers
Norfolk Elks 75 44 .630 - Doc Bennett
Sioux Falls Canaries 66 52 .559 8- Ralph Brandon
Sioux City Soos 63 52 .548 10 Pete Monahan
Lincoln Links 64 55 .538 11 Pug Griffin
Mitchell Kernels 49 69 .415 25- Red Davis (8/1) / Charles Moglia
Worthington Cardinals 36 81 .308 38 Joe McDermott

Playoffs: Sioux City 3 games, Norfolk 2; Lincoln 3 games, Sioux Falls 2
Finals: Sioux City 4 games, Lincoln 2.

Player Statistics

Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Howard Conners Sioux Falls BA .365 Ox Miller Lincoln W 21
Wendell Finders Norfolk Hits 167 Ox Miller Lincoln SO 208
Bob Dillinger Lincoln Runs 139 Lawrence Kempe Sioux Falls ERA 3.02
Ted Kakaloris Lincoln RBI 114 Leonard Bobeck Norfolk PCT .864 19-3
William Morgan Norfolk HR 17

1940 Team Statistics
League President: J. Roy Carter

Team Name W L PCT GB Managers
Norfolk Yankees 73 39 .652 - Doc Bennett
Sioux Falls Canaries 59 58 .504 16- Robert Fenner
Worthington Cardinals 50 59 .459 21- Ray Martin /George Payne
Sioux City Soos / Mitchell Kernels # 44 70 .386 30 Jimmy Zinn / Ed Grayston

# Sioux City moved to Mitchell July 24.
The league played four quarters. Norfolk won the first, second and fourth quarters, while Sioux Falls won the third quarter.
Playoff: Sioux Falls 4 games, Norfolk 2.

Player Statistics

Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Johnny Lucas Worthington BA .356 Frank Wagner Sioux Falls W 17
Leo Bohanan Sioux Falls Hits 158 Frank Wagner Sioux Falls SO 193
Robert Duby Norfolk Runs 112 Fred Whalen Norfolk ERA 1.36
Fred Schenk Norfolk RBI 97 Fred Whalen Norfolk PCT .786 11-3
Russell Burns Norfolk HR 17

1941 Team Statistics
League President: J. Roy Carter

Team Name W L PCT GB Managers
Norfolk Yankees 64 44 .593 - Ray Powell
Cheyenne Indians 59 44 .573 2- John Kerr
Sioux City Cowboys 54 56 .491 11 Richard Tichacek
Pueblo Rollers 52 54 .491 11 Pug Griffin
Sioux Falls Canaries 51 56 .477 12- Robert Fenner /Tony Koenig
Denver Bears 42 68 .382 23 Cobe Jones

Playoffs: Norfolk 3 games, Sioux City 2; Pueblo 3 games, Cheyenne 1
Finals: Pueblo 3 games, Norfolk 2.

Player Statistics

Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Bernard Steele Pueblo BA .383 George Milstead Cheyenne W 19
Bernard Steele Pueblo Hits 158 Robert Bergen Pueblo SO 183
Bernard Steele Pueblo Runs 88 Frank Wagner Sioux Falls ERA 2.15
Frank Bocek Norfolk RBI 92 George Milstead Cheyenne PCT .792 19-5
Mel Bergman Cheyenne HR 10

The League did not operate from 1942 - 1946. It returned in 1947 and regained its Class A Status.">[4]

1947-1958 Year by year

1947 Team Statistics
League President: Senator Edwin C. Johnson

Team Name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Sioux City Soos 81 49 .623 - 113,036 Joe Becker
Des Moines Bruins 72 52 .591 4- 152,027 Jim Keesey
Pueblo Dodgers 70 58 .547 10 80,163 Walter Alston
Omaha Cardinals 67 62 .519 13- 138,308 Ollie Vanek
Denver Bears 54 75 .419 26- 124,923 Marty McManus
Lincoln Athletics 38 89 .299 41- 43,464 Ham Schulte / Tom Oliver

Playoffs: Sioux City 3 games, Omaha 1; Pueblo 3 games, Des Moines 1
Finals: Pueblo 4 games, Sioux City 1.

Player Statistics

Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Edmund Lewinski Omaha BA .346 Red Webb Sioux City W 19-7
Michael Conroy Omaha Hits 190 Charlie Bishop Omaha SO 133
Preston Ward Pueblo Runs 120 Herb Chmiel Des Moines ERA 2.23
Preston Ward Pueblo RBI 121 Herb Chmiel Des Moines PCT .778 14-4
Tony Jaros Sioux City HR 24

1948 Team Statistics
League President: Senator Edwin C. Johnson

Team Name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Des Moines Bruins 76 64 .543 - 232,038 Stan Hack
Denver Bears 70 67 .511 4- 283,377 Mike Gazella
Lincoln Athletics 69 68 .504 5- 127,462 Jimmie DeShong
Sioux City Soos 69 68 .504 5- 112,381 Joe Becker
Pueblo Dodgers 69 70 .496 6- 116,304 John Fitzpatrick
Omaha Cardinals 62 78 .443 14 147,130 Ollie Vanek

Playoffs: Lincoln 3 games, Des Moines 2; Sioux City 3 games, Denver 2. Lincoln defeated Sioux City 6-0 for third place.
Finals: Sioux City 4 games, Lincoln 2.

Player Statistics

Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Red Treadway Des Moines BA .352 Bobby Shantz Lincoln W 18-7
George Genovese Denver Runs 119 Bobby Shantz Lincoln SO 212
Nellie Fox Lincoln Hits 179 Tony Jacobs Des Moines ERA 2.72
Tookie Gilbert Sioux City RBI 114 Turk Lown Pueblo PCT .739 17-6
Carl Sawatski Des Moines HR 29

1949 Team Statistics
League President: Senator Edwin C. Johnson

Team Name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Lincoln Athletics 74 64 .536 - 149,159 Jimmie DeShong
Denver Bears 71 68 .511 3- 463,039 Mike Gazella / Bill DeCarlo / Earle Browne
Pueblo Dodgers 71 68 .511 3- 138,726 Ray Hathaway
Des Moines Bruins 70 70 .500 5 210,204 Stan Hack
Omaha Cardinals 68 71 .489 6- 277,370 Cedric Durst
Sioux City Soos 63 76 .453 11- 125,356 Don Ramsay

Playoffs: Denver defeated Pueblo 5-3 for second place. Des Moines 3 games, Lincoln 1; Pueblo 3 games, Denver 1
Finals: Pueblo 4 games, Des Moines 3.

Player Statistics

Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Victor Marasco Pueblo BA .330 Earl Stabelfeld Des Moines W 17
Jim Williams Pueblo Runs 126 Lynn Lovenguth Des Moines W 17
Fred Richards Des Moines Hits 178 Walter Cox Sioux City W 17
Victor Marasco Pueblo RBI 121 Ken Lehman Pueblo SO 203
Lou Limmer Lincoln HR 29 George Uhle Denver ERA 2.25

1950 Team Statistics
League President: Senator Edwin C. Johnson

Team Name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Omaha Cardinals 96 58 .623 - 218,393 Al Hollingsworth
Sioux City Soos 89 65 .578 3- 463,039 Hugh Poland
Des Moines Bruins 84 70 .545 12 147,549 Charlie Root
Wichita Indians 77 77 .500 19 126,729 Joe Schultz
Denver Bears 75 79 .487 21 379,180 Earl Browne
Colorado Springs Sky Sox 72 82 .468 24 107,264 Buddy Hassett
Lincoln Athletics 69 85 .448 27 68,884 Jimmie DeShong
Pueblo Dodgers 54 100 .351 42 91,299 Ray Hathaway

Playoffs: Wichita 3 games, Omaha 0; Sioux City 3 games, Des Moines 2
Finals: Sioux City 3 games, Wichita 1.

Player Statistics

Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Bill Taylor Sioux City BA .346 Bob Mahoney Omaha W 20
Danny Holden Denver Runs 131 Bob Mahoney Omaha SO 162
Chuck Tanner Denver Hits 195 Vern Fear Des Moines ERA 2.83
Pete Whisenant Denver RBI 119 Vern Fear Des Moines PCT .750 15-5
Pat Seerey Colorado Springs HR 44

1951 Team Statistics
League President: Senator Edwin C. Johnson

Team Name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Omaha Cardinals 90 64 .584 - 162,247 George Kissell
Denver Bears 88 66 .571 2 424,065 Andy Cohen
Wichita Indians 84 68 .553 5 122,060 Joe Schultz
Sioux City Soos 77 71 .520 10 104,247 Frank Genovese
Des Moines Bruins 73 78 .483 15- 94,137 Al Todd
Pueblo Dodgers 74 80 .481 16 104,254 Jim Biven
Colorado Springs Sky Sox 64 87 .424 24- 107,320 Skeeter Webb / Otto Denning
Lincoln Athletics 57 93 .380 31 37,123 Frank Skaff

Playoffs: Sioux City 3 games, Omaha 1; Denver 3 games, Wichita 1
Finals: Sioux City 3 games, Denver 1.

Player Statistics

Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
George Freese Pueblo BA .338 ElRoy Face Pueblo W 23
Ron Samford Sioux Runs 108 Willard Schmidt Omaha SO 202
George Freese Pueblo Hits 183 Willard Schmidt Omaha ERA 2.11
George Freese Pueblo RBI 106 Ray Peters Wichita PCT .800 12-3
Howie Boles Des Moines / Denver HR 32

1952 Team Statistics
League President: Senator Edwin C. Johnson

Team Name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Denver Bears 88 66 .571 - 461,419 Andy Cohen
Colorado Springs Sky Sox 87 67 .565 1 170,041 Don Gutteridge
Omaha Cardinals 86 68 .558 2 137,378 George Kissell
Sioux City Soos 83 71 .539 5 103,004 Ray Mueller
Pueblo Dodgers 81 73 .526 7 122,746 Bill McCahan
Wichita Indians 67 87 .435 21 116,703 Ralph Winegarner
Lincoln Athletics 67 87 .435 21 61,483 Les Bell
Des Moines Bruins 57 97 .370 31 62,597 Harry Strohm

Playoffs: Denver 3 games, Sioux City 1; Omaha 3 games, Colorado Springs 1
Finals': Denver 3 games, Omaha 0.

Player Statistics

Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Ed Phillips Omaha BA .320 Alberto Osorio Denver W 20
Ken Landenberger Colorado Springs Runs 112 Connie Johnson Colorado Springs SO 233
Ken Landenberger Colorado Springs Hits 183 Jim Singleton Sioux City ERA 2.73
Ken Landenberger Colorado Springs RBI 133 Lou Ciola Omaha PCT .938 15-1
Bill Pinckard Denver HR 35

1953 Team Statistics
League President: Senator Edwin C. Johnson

Team Name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Colorado Springs Sky Sox 95 69 .617 - 141,117 Don Gutteridge
Denver Bears 94 60 .610 1 322,128 Andy Cohen
Pueblo Dodgers 78 77 .503 17- 103,878 George Pfister
Des Moines Bruins 77 78 497 18- 98,972 Kemp Wicker /Bruce Edwards
Omaha Cardinals 74 80 .481 21 115,512 George Kissell
Lincoln Chiefs 71 83 .461 24 87,615 Lou Finney /Walt Linden
Sioux City Soos 70 84 .455 25 45,412 Ray Mueller
Wichita Indians 58 96 .377 37 68,683 George Hausmann / Mark Christman

Playoffs: Des Moines 3 games, Colorado Springs 1; Denver 3 games, Pueblo 0
Finals: Des Moines 3 games, Denver 1.

Player Statistics

Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Kent Pflasterer Pueblo BA .350 Norman Brown Lincoln W 21
Len Johnston Colorado Springs Runs 133 Karl Spooner Pueblo SO 198
Glen Gorbous Pueblo Hits 204 Walt Montgomery Omaha ERA 2.43
Jerry Crosby Colorado Springs RBI 115 Jake Thies Denver ERA 2.43
Jim Gentile Pueblo HR 34 Nellie King Denver PCT .833 15-3

1954 Team Statistics
League President: Senator Edwin C. Johnson

Team Name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Denver Bears 94 56 .627 - 232,686 Andy Cohen
Des Moines Bruins 88 66 .571 8 113,691 Les Peden
Omaha Cardinals 83 68 .550 11- 150,131 Ferrell Anderson
Pueblo Dodgers 79 74 .516 16- 80,768 Goldie Holt
Sioux City Soos 78 75 .510 17- 69,333 Dave Garcia
Wichita Indians 76 77 .497 19- 87,854 Herb Brett /Les Layton
Lincoln Chiefs 62 88 .413 32 80,660 Whitey Wietelmann / Glenn McQuillen
Colorado Springs 48 104 .316 47 59,606 Mickey Livingston / Bud Stewart / Al Jacinto

Playoffs: Denver 3 games, Pueblo 1; Des Moines 3 games, Omaha 1
Finals: Des Moines 3 games, Denver 1.

Player Statistics

Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Joe Kirrene Colorado Springs BA .343 Bob Clear Omaha W 20-11
Bobby Prescott Denver Runs 137 Bob Garber Denver SO 173
Reno DeBenedetti Denver Hits 183 Hy Cohen Des Moines ERA 1.88
Bill White Sioux City Hits 183 Clarence Churn Denver PCT .786 11-3
Rocco Ippolito Denver RBI 131
Bill White Sioux City HR 30
Bill White Sioux City SB 40

1955 Team Statistics
League President: Senator Edwin C. Johnson

Team Name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Colorado Springs Sky Sox 81 69 .540 - 87,527 Jack Conway
Pueblo Dodgers 79 71 .527 2 73,941 Goldie Holt
Wichita Indians 78 73 .517 3- 94,862 Bud Bates
Des Moines Bruins 77 74 .510 4- 88,181 Les Peden /Pepper Martin
Sioux City Soos 69 81 .460 12 62,902 John Davenport
Lincoln Chiefs 67 83 .447 14 90,024 Bill Burwell

Playoffs: Des Moines 3 games, Colorado Springs 1; Wichita 3 games, Pueblo 2. Wichita defeated Des Moines in a one-game playoff for third place.
Finals: Wichita 3 games, Des Moines 0.

Player Statistics

Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Sammy Hairston Colorado Springs BA .350 Joe Stanka Des Moines W 17
Willie Kirkland Sioux City Runs 117 Bob Harrison Wichita SO 270
Clarence Moore Pueblo Hits 194 Dick Hall Lincoln ERA 2.24
Ron Cooper Colorado Springs RBI 117 Dick Hall Lincoln PCT .706 12-5
Willie Kirkland Sioux City HR 40

1956 Team Statistics
League President: O'Neal M. Hobbs

Team Name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Amarillo Gold Sox 87 52 .626 - 77,628 Chuck Stevens
Lincoln Chiefs 84 54 .609 2- 92,554 Larry Shepard
Des Moines Bruins 72 67 .518 15 67,973 Lou Klein
Topeka Hawks 70 68 .507 16- 103,938 Bud Bates
Pueblo Dodgers 68 70 .493 18- 51,496 Ray Hathaway
Colorado Springs Sky Sox 66 72 .478 20- 59,282 Jack Conway
Albuquerque Dukes 59 81 .421 28- 94,176 Bob Swift
Sioux City Soos 49 91 .350 38- 40,734 Hal Olt / Bob Clear

Playoff: Lincoln 4 games, Amarillo 1.

Player Statistics

Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Art Cuitti Amarillo BA .364 Marshall Bridges Topeka W 18
Art Cuitti Amarillo Runs 132 Marshall Bridges Topeka SO 213
Lynn Van de Hey Albuquerque Hits 197 John O'Donnell (minors04) Topeka ERA 3.32
Dick Stuart Lincoln RBI 158 Bennie Daniels Lincoln PCT .833 15-3
Dick Stuart Lincoln HR 66

1957 Team Statistics
League President: O'Neal M. Hobbs

Team Name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Lincoln Chiefs 98 56 .636 - 100,190 Larry Shepard
Amarillo Gold Sox 97 57 .630 1 102,210 Eddie Bockman
Topeka Hawks 87 64 .576 9- 88, 014 Red Smith / Bill Dossey
Sioux City Soos 71 82 .464 26- 46,851 Ken Landenberger
Colorado Springs Sky Sox 68 86 .442 30 45,184 Ira Hutchinson
Albuquerque Dukes 66 88 .429 32 92,236 Nick Cullop / Hal Toso
Pueblo Dodgers 66 88 .429 32 40,887 Ray Hathaway
Des Moines Demons 60 92 .395 37 79,965 Lou Stringer / Hersh Martin

Playoff: No Playoffs.

Player Statistics

Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Sammy Miley Lincoln BA .374 John Stadnicki Topeka W 23
Ray Webster Amarillo Runs 136 Dave Stenhouse Des Moines SO 184
Chuck Coles Albuquerque Hits 208 Hugh Blanton Amarillo ERA 2.86
Al Pinkston Amarillo RBI 133 [[[John Stadnicki]] Topeka PCT .793 23-6
Leonard Williams Topeka HR 43

1958 Team Statistics
League President: O'Neal M. Hobbs

Team Name W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Colorado Springs Sky Sox 87 60 .592 - 61,091 Skeeter Scalzi
Amarillo Gold Sox 84 63 .571 3 85,931 Eddie Bockman / Gale Pringle
Lincoln Chiefs 75 71 .514 11- 67,604 Monty Basgall
Pueblo Dodgers 73 74 .497 14 39,179 Ray Mueller
Albuquerque Dukes 71 75 .486 15- 81,702 Jimmy Brown
Sioux City Soos 69 77 .473 17- 55,921 Rocky Tedesco / Ted Shandor
Topeka Hawks 65 82 .442 22 43,686 George McQuinn
Des Moines Bruins 61 83 .424 24- 35,039 Roy Hartsfield

Playoff: No Playoffs.

Player Statistics

Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Jim McAnany Colorado Springs BA .400 Hugh Blanton Amarillo W 20
Stan Johnson Colorado Springs Runs 120 Pedro Carrillo Albuquerque SO 177
Stan Johnson Colorado Springs Hits 204 Hal DeMars Topeka SO 177
Al Pinkston Amarillo Hits 204 Al Jackson Lincoln ERA 2.07
Al Pinkston Amarillo RBI 126 Gale Pringle Amarillo PCT .824 14-3
Daniel Lynk Sioux City HR 37

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Media

The Western League was the topic of the book The Western League: A Baseball History, 1885 through 1999 (2002, McFarland Publishing) by W.C. Madden & Patrick J. Stewart. The ISBN 0786410035.[6]

References

  • Lloyd Johnson and Miles Wolff, editors. The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 1997 edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America.
  • Sumner, Benjamin Barrett. Minor League Baseball Standings: All North American Leagues, Through 1999. Jefferson, N.C.:McFarland. ISBN 0-7864-0781-6

Notes

This page was last edited on 16 October 2020, at 04:22
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