Photographs courtesy of Nicholas E. Petula "A History of Scranton Professional Baseball"
and the Lackawanna Historical Society
As the war came on, the Scranton Red Sox began losing all of their players to the draft. A whole new team came in to play baseball and surprisingly, they were very good. Frank Genovese hit 20 doubles, 19 triples and batted .327. Future Red Sox' Ben Steiner hit 19 doubles, 17 triples and batted .292. those two speedsters provided some excellent legs at the top of the lineup while Kenneth Champman (.323), future St. Louis Cardinals' Bill Howerton (25 2Bs, .303) and Jon Zipay (25 2Bs, .307) provided some extra lumber. The pitching meanwhile was magnificent. the team was led by future Philadelphia Philly Chet Covington (21-7, 1.51)... the team's first 20 game winner as well as Ollie Byers (19-7, 2.31) who nearly joined him. Future St. Louis Browns' Al Widmar (10-5, 2.22) also pitched well. The Scranton Red Sox put up their best record to date going 87-51, easily taking first place but losing the playoffs to the Elmira Pioneers. 1944 would bring some change to the clubhouse as the team switched their name back to their old Scranton Miners roots, but retained their affiliation with the Red Sox. The Eastern League was one of the few leagues that continued to play through the war effort and WWII continued to take players away from the Red Sox lineup. They finished the 1944 season with an abysmal 56-83 effort... their first losing season despite fine pitching efforts from John Krall (14-12, 4.60) and Dwight Simmonds (13-10, 2.35). Future Red Sox' Ty LaForest (37 2Bs, 7 3Bs, 5 HRs, .296) was the Miners' most consistant hitter.