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 war years would be good years at Dunn Field II. The lack of talent out there with most kids going to the war, allowed the few remaining Philadelphia A’s prospects to shine. … And shine they did. The 1943 Dunn Field pitching mound featured a fabulous 1-2 punch of future St. Louis Browns’ starter Sam Zoldak (20-10, 2.73) and former Boston Red Sox’ Alex Mustaikis (20-12, 1.72) who took over the all time ERA title from Peter Kunis. In the 3 hole was another major part of the St. Louis Browns’ future starting rotation as Cliff Fannin went 8-1 with a 1.99 ERA. At the plate, the team lacked any power at all, but the hitting was still solid around future Philadelphia A’s Ed Busch (16 2B, 10 3B, .303), Walter Nowak (22 2B, 18 3B, .269) who set the new All-time triples record, Barney Lutz (35 2B, 10 3B, .304), future St. Louis Browns 13 year MLB veteran Les Moss (18 2B, .309) and Don Smith who came close to breaking George Staller’s batting title by hitting .332 with 18 2B and 9 3B. 20 game winner Alex Mustaikis also began playing the field when he wasn’t pitching as his .358 batting average and 20 doubles prompted the team to get him a few more At-Bats. Together this excellent collection of talented players took 2nd place with a best yet 79-60 record, capturing their 2nd Eastern League Championship for Dunn Field II! The Elmira Pioneers however were beginning to get into a bad habit of winning big, then coming back the following season as total flops, (then losing their PDC with that). Well 1944 was no different. They came back miserable with a 58-80 record, their worst yet (talk about extremes!). Future Philadelphia A’s’ Herman Fink was the only decent pitcher going 9-3 (3.64). Robert Doak meanwhile was just awful going 1-14 with a 4.97 ERA. Thomas Davis hit .296 with 24 2B, 12 3B and 2 HR. Those 2 HRs led the team and the entire lineup hit only 4 all season long combined! Joseph Bolla (11 2B, 8 3B, 1 HR, .325) had one of the only 2 other HRs. This, was not a strong team (perfect spot for an under-statement). Of course with this awfulness, came a change in PDC. The Pioneers switched their affiliation to the St. Louis Browns (who somehow filled up most of the previous season’s roster despite being a Philadelphia A’s franchise). Unlike the Dodgers, Tigers and Athletics who each offered post season teams… the St. Louis Browns had absolutely no talent. And… they would sign on for 5 years.