Photographs courtesy of Harrisburg Senators
One incarnation of Island Park shows that the main grandstand was a long wooden bleacher just near the bridge. The Senators would try a repeat in 1913 and tied for 1st place. They would play a one game playoff game to take their 2nd Championship in a row. Then in 1914 behind the fantastic hitting of Brooke Crist (.340) and the incredible pitching performance by the unbeatable Joe Chabek (28-3… that’s not a typo), the Harrisburg Senators put up a .709 winning percentage going 78-32 on the season to win their 3rd straight Tri-State League Championship. Unfortunately, the league would cease operations most likely due to the war and Harrisburg was suddenly without a league to play in. Harrisburg’s vacancy at Island Park wouldn’t last very long however. The Triple-A (Class AA) Newark Indians of the International League announced on July 2nd that they were moving the franchise to Island Park. The team played 35-50 baseball down the stretch in Harrisburg and finished in 6th place. Former Brooklyn Dodgers’ Clarence Kraft was the best player on the team posting 25 2Bs, 24 3Bs and 11 HRs … all Island Park records to go along with his .307 batting average. The team also featured Jim Thorpe (.303)… the Olympian/pro football/pro baseball/pro basketball American Indian who would soon have a Pennsylvania town named after him. The Triple-A Newark team returned to Newark for the 1916 season leaving Harrisburg again without a franchise and again that vacancy would be filled by a mid-season move… this time by the NY State League's Troy Trojans who moved to Island Park on June 20th. The Troy team had played to a miserable 8-37 record but they would play 1 game above .500 after their move to Harrisburg behind the pitching of Jess Buckles (21-21) and Gus Helfrich (21-12). The team renamed themselves after the move, as the Harrisburg Islanders. The following season, the Islanders fell apart, putting up a horrid 11-44 record. They would leave the NY State League by Independence Day and that would be the end of professional baseball here at Island Park for many years. It was 5 long years until pro ball came back to Harrisburg and when it did … with the 1924-1925 Harrisburg Senators and the 1924-1927 Harrisburg Giants of the Eastern Colored League of Negro Leagues… they didn’t come back to Island Park. Instead, according to Gord Brown (SABR), the Harrisburg teams moved to the West End Grounds. It wasn’t until 1926… 9 years after the Harrisburg Islanders played here at Island Park, that City Island once again had professional baseball return to its friendly confines.