Photograph Courtesy of Phoenix Public Library
While the Phoenix Senators well documented exploits at Phoenix Muni I had much to do with the sharp rise in attendance, the Class C team also had the New York Giants to thank. The Giants came to Phoenix Muni I for spring training in 1948 bringing superstars like Johnny Mize (40 HRs, 125 RBIs). For many fans, this just whetted their appetites for the national pastime and the Senators kept a strong fanbase after the Giants left for New York. The Senators did their best to hold the fans attention in 1950 through the hot desert summer with Len Noren (44 2Bs, 10 3Bs, 25 HRs, .357) and a returning Richard Steinhauer (41 2Bs, 18 HRs, .360) having terrific seasons… providing some power while always seeming to be on base. William Whitehorn (25 2Bs, 23 HRs, .304), Ernest Sites (39 2Bs, 18 HRs) and Gil Hawkins (20 2Bs, 17 HRs, .307) provided more than a balanced lineup, and Tony Ponce (18-11, 5.31) continued to be a workhorse despite an escalating ERA. Pitching wasn't the Senators' strong point and they finished in 3rd (82-68, .547) as a result of it. They led the league again in attendance however at 104,000 and managed to make the post-season where they immediately beat up on Juarez in the 1st round. In the finals however, El Paso lay in wait. The Texans had beaten Phoenix 4 games to 2 and ruined a terrific season in 1949 and they were looking at the Senators like another round of fresh meat. Indeed the Texas put their stirs into the Phoenix for yet another 4-2 beating.