Dunn Field II

Elmira New York

Home of the
Elmira Pioneers

Former Home of the
- Elmira Royals
- Elmira Red Sox
-Elmira Suns
Pioneer/Red Sox
As Elmira forged ahead into the 1950’s, it would be with a return to an old friend… the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Dodgers would sign a solid 6 year Player Development Contract with Elmira and Dunn Field and finally… it seemed like home again. It would take a bit of time however for the team to settle in. The 1950 Pioneers weren’t any better than the St. Louis Browns’ offerings. 33 players came to the team in a revolving door, each offering very little. The 1950 team finished with a very forgettable 58-81 record and featured no future stars. By 1951 however, they began to turn it around. The slugger on the team was a man who, in his entire life… never earned a single days pay from anything other than baseball… not even as a paperboy. Nor would he have to, as he would spend 6 decades in professional baseball. He was the 6th future All-Star to come to Elmira and his name was Don Zimmer. Zimmer would knock in 28 2Bs, 9 HRs and bat .273. Bill Pincknard would join Zimmer, hitting .276 with 9 HRs. Future Dodgers' Bob Wilson also contributed with 26 2B, 8 HR and a .313. On the mound, Ed Roebuck (14-11, 2.47) and Herbert Banton helped lead the charge as the Pioneers finished with a 74-64 record and were finally back in the post season. They would go all the way to the finals before losing the Championship to the Scranton Red Sox. Future Chicago Cubs’ Gale Wade (25 2B, 10 HR, .288) would be the top hitter in 1952. Charlie Neal would also also stop in to hit .246 with 16 2B and 6 3B, becoming the 7th future All-Star to come to Dunn Field II. Neal’s best season would come for the Dodgers in 1959 when he hit 30 2B, a National League leading 11 3Bs and 19 HR while batting .287. On the mound, Walter Jasinski was outstanding putting up a 16-2 record with a 2.87 ERA as the Pioneers finished 4 games above .500. They would fall however to 10 games under in 1953 as the entire team seemed to have an "off year". despite a stellar performance by future Cubs’ Gabe Gabler who slammed 22 2B, 8 3B and 22 HRs, (.241) tying the all time record for power at this ballpark with Ken Wood. Edward Moore also contributed 18 2Bs, 13 HRs and a .258. By 1954 the Dodgers were back in the playoffs with a 77-63 team that featured future Mets catcher Joe Pignatano (10 2B, .248) and fantastic performances from Jonathan Parris (40 2B, 11 3B, 11 HR, .313) and Thomas Puehl 13-5, 2.82, which led the Pioneers to the first round of the post-season where they were quickly eliminated.