Albany New York
Former home of the Albany Senators
All photographs in this series appear courtesy of
Chris Hunter of the
Schenectady Museum and
from the G.E. Collection of Historic Photographs
(special thanks to Stephen L.J. Russo)
The revolving door had spun even faster in 1936 as 65 players came to Albany that season. One of which was soon to be named "Hall of Famer", Hack Wilson who played his final professional games, batting .263 before retiring from pro ball for good at the end of the season. Things would get better in 1936 as a trio of players… future Philadelphia Phillies’ Ed Boland (28 2Bs, 20 HRs, .301), future Philadelphia Athletics’ Bobby Estalella (22 2Bs, 14 HRs, .331) and the most potent bat the team had seen in years… future White Sox’ Smead Jolley (52 2B, 9 3B, 18 HR, record tying .373) combined to lead the Albany Senators to 2 games under 100 loses. (What were you expecting? This is a Washington Senators franchise). The Senators did feature one future All-Star as Tigers 2 time nominee Al Benton went 3-11, 4.97 in an underwhelming performance. Future Philadelphia A’s Harry Matuzak was impressive enough going 18-10 4.44, but all his work was negated thanks to former Washington Senators’ Leon Pettit who took over the worst record ever at 9-22, 4.92. With that, the Washington Senators pulled their Triple-A operations out of Albany after 2 seasons. Albany was replaced by the Jersey City Giants on the International League roster. Hawkins Stadium was now vacant and the Allentown Brooks franchise was looking to make a move. Hawkins Stadium would not go dark for even a day, as the Brooks would become the new Senators, and make Hawkins Stadium their home for the 1937 season. The Brooks however, weren’t a Triple-A franchise. They were instead, part of what would become in 1938, the new "Eastern League" (which still exists today as one of the three Double-A Leagues in affiliated professional baseball). The Senators would spend the rest of their existence in this newly named Eastern League, though they would lose Allentown’s Brooklyn Dodgers affiliation on the move. Instead, they would spend the 1937 season as a co-op. While there wasn’t much to speak of in terms of talent, Joe Vitelli was stellar on the mound with a 17-10 record and a new team ERA lead of 2.66 taking over for Earl Johnson and Bob Weiland (2.74) as the Senators finished at 54-80.