Photographs courtesy of Harrisburg Senators
Baseball finally returned in April of 1926 to Island Park and featured the Harrisburg Senators of the relatively new, New York Penn League. Not to get you too confused, this would actually evolve into the Eastern League of today, so this league was the same Double-A based organization that the Senators still play for today. (Today’s Single-A NY-Penn League was at that time, called the PONY League). The ’26 Senators weren’t a very good team… in fact they were pretty terrible posting a 47-84 record, capturing last place without too much competition. That all changed in 1927 when the Senators featured 5 players in the lineup who hit the heck out of the ball. Glenn Killinger was the man behind the power slamming 34 2Bs, 14 3Bs and 11HRs all while batting .315. Mike Marineck meanwhile put up 34 2Bs of his own with 15 3Bs, 4 HRs while batting a whopping .366. Just below him was Dewey Steffan with 32 2Bs, 6 HRs and a .352 average. Future Boston Braves Gil Gallagher hit 26 2Bs 4 HRs and a .323 and Horace McBride hit 23 2Bs, 14 3Bs, 7 HRs and batted .306. With NY Giants’ Lou Polli (18-10, 2.25), Seymour Bailey (18-7, 2.60) and Jess Bream (16-8, 2.42) holding down a tough rotation, it was a matter of time before the Senators pushed through to take 1st place behind a fantastic 87-51 record and capture their 4th Championship for Island Park. They followed that up in 1928 with another 1st place win behind Ray Flood (18 2B, 13 3B, 11 HR, .277) and a returning Horace McBride (30 2B, 18 3B, .318). The lineup was bolstered by the superb pitching of future 15 year veteran of the Indians and White Sox’ Clint Brown (23-8, Island Park record 2.15 ERA) and the 21-8, 2.64 Chant Parkes. In the end, the 1928 Senators locked up their 2nd straight Eastern League and their 5th overall Island Park Championship title. Future St. Louis Browns’ Johnny Tillman became the next 20 game winner in 1929, putting up a 21-12, 3.73 record and two players would break the elusive 12 HR mark… four players had made it to 11, but 2 easily surpassed it in 1929… George Thomas who hit .314 with 21 2B, 12 3B and 13 HR and a returning Ray Flood who slammed 12 2B, 18 3B and 18 HR with .302 to become the new power king of Island Park. A 3rd straight championship wasn’t in the cards however for the Senators who finished 3rd with a 75-62 record.