The most home runs ever hit by an Indianapolis Indian before Bush Stadium opened in 1931, was 17, reached 5 times by 3 people since 1905. Needless to say that when Len Koenecke hit 23 2B, 19 3B, 24 HR and batted .353, it made headlines. It was a bang of a start from a starting lineup that included Tom Angley who hit 16 2B, another record breaking 18 HR had it not been for Koenekce, and a massive .375 batting avg. in 363 non- qualifying at bats.
The usual culprit to Indianapolis was pitching and the Indians didn't have much to speak of. ERA's well into the 4.00's and 5.00's, kept this excellent team in 3rd place, just 6 games over .500. Orel Hildebrand's 11-8, 5.18 however, belied his future talents. When the future Cleveland Indian was promoted to the Major Leagues, he would become the first All-Star ever to come out of Bush Stadium. By 1932, that same 86-80 record as the previous season, sunk the team even lower… to 5th place. The 1933 Indians however would see a sharp turn upwards thanks to Frank Sigafoos who put up perhaps, some of the best numbers by any player in the history of Indianapolis. Sigafoos would hit 53 doubles with 11 triples, 7 homers and bat a fantastic .370… the best of any player in Indianapolis, in either ballpark thus far. On the mound, Jim Turner put up some pretty good numbers, going 17-9 on his way to becoming an All-Star with the Boston Braves. Finishing 10 games above .500 in a shorter season, the Indians finished at 82-72 on the year coming in 3rd place. There were more significant accomplishments over the next few years as 1934 saw George Washington (not sure if he had wooden teeth), put up a fantastic season though none of which were record breaking, with 40 doubles, 13 triples, 16 HRs and a .367… the 2nd highest average ever reached by an Indianapolis Indian. Bob Logan meanwhile became the first Indianapolis Indian to win 20 games at Bush Stadium going 20-14, 3.66 on the season. After finishing up that season 2 games above .500, the Indians came back very strong in 1935 thanks to Mickey Heath blasting 20 HR (with 32 2B, 7 3B, .301)… only the 2nd person to break the 20 HR barrier in the history of Indianapolis. Johnny Cooney meanwhile put up 37 2B and batted .371 in 603 AB, beating Frank Sigafoos all time Indianapolis record by 1 point to become the new all-time batting champion of this city. If the pitching had been just a little bit better, they probably could have gone all the way. Instead, the Indians had to settle for 2nd place and a fine record of 85-67.