Photo courtesy of Steven L.J. Russo and Chris Hunter and the Schenectady Museum & Science Center's GE Archives
1939 was the beginning of a new era here in Gloversville. Major League baseball would descend on this Class C league and Gloversville was bestowed a Player Development Contract from the Brooklyn Dodgers. That PDC brought John Lehman to the team, who would easily become their best hitter over the next two seasons, batting .320 with 16 doubles and a league leading 22 HR in 1939 and a league leading .353 with 27 2B, 10 3B and 10 HR in 1940. Lehman couldn't help the team much in 1939 because the pitching wasn't very good. William Hutchinson lost a record 20 games going 11-20, 4.27 as the G-J Glovers wound up 2nd from the bottom. A quick PDC change to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1940 brought better pitching with Bethel Rhem leading the league with his 19-7, 3.24 and Stephen Wilski's 16-7, 3.06 and Harry Shuman's 11-7, 3.74 fortifying the rotation. Phillip Hearn's 169 hits led the league as well (18 2B, 7 HR, .334). Gloversville-Johnstown was back in the playoffs and made it back to the finals, only to have those arch-rival Amsterdam Rugmakers again take them down 3 games to 2. By the following season the magic was over (as the Glovers again fell to 5th place) and so was their PDC with the Pirates.