Dunn Field II

Elmira New York

Home of the
Elmira Pioneers

Former Home of the
- Elmira Royals
- Elmira Red Sox
-Elmira Suns
-Elmira
Pioneer/Red Sox
The Pioneers had picked up the Brooklyn Dodgers’ PDC back in 1937 and the Dodgers remained with the team through the rebuilding process. Joining the team in the league was of course Williamsport‘s Bowman Field, Wilkes-Barre’s Artillery Field, Hartford’s Bulkeley Stadium, Springfield MA‘s League Park (Hampden Park II), Binghamton’s Johnson Field, Albany’s Hawkins Stadium and Scranton’s Athletic Park (moving to Scranton Dunmore Stadium in 1940). The Elmira Pioneers were coming off a Championship season in 1938 and were looking to repeat. They would put up one of the strongest teams ever thanks to a future MLB superstar by the name of Pete Reiser. "Pistol Pete" was just 2 years away from the 1st of his many Major League All-Star nominations, and he would play in 38 games for Elmira batting .301 with 7 2B, 5 3B and 3 HRs. The team’s best slugger was Bill McWilliams who hit 24 2B, 11 HRs and batted .265 on his way to the Philadelphia A’s. He would leave baseball soon afterwards and become a member of the NFL’s Detroit Lions. The best overall hitter on the team however was another future Philadelphia Athletic named George Staller who batted .336 with a tremendous 49 2Bs and 10 3Bs. On the mound, John Hvisdos’ 15-10, 3.86 record led the team in pitching while future Pittsburgh Pirates’ starter Xavier Rescigno went 11-4 with a very low 2.21 ERA. This inaugural Dunn Field II team was strong enough to finish in 2nd place and return to the playoffs. Their wish to bring home their 2nd straight Championship (and their 1st for Dunn Field II) would take a wrong turn however as they were eliminated in the 1st round. When the Pioneers returned to Dunn Field in 1940, it would mark the return of Pete Reiser. While the rest of the team played sub-par baseball, Pistol Pete was a monster. He would be on his way to setting all new records in Elmira, when by mid-season he was batting a whopping .378 with 15 2B, 12 3B and 7 HR. Those records however would never come to be as the Brooklyn Dodgers were so impressed by his performance, that they promoted him temporarily to Montreal to make room for him on the Brooklyn roster. Within a few days he made his Dodgers debut, batting .293 with 11 2B and 3 HR. By 1941 Reiser was a star, leading the league in hitting, doubles and triples, batting .343 with 39 2B, 17 3B and 14 HR. On the mound, future Dodgers’ Ed Head was the best of the lot, putting up an impressive 12-7 record with a 2.56 ERA. With Reiser gone by mid-season, and the rest of the team playing just mediocre baseball, the Pioneers fell 5 games under .500. When the season ended, the Brooklyn Dodgers announced that they would be pulling out of Elmira. They would be replaced in 1941 by the Detroit Tigers.