Venetian Gardens (Pat Thomas Park)

Leesburg Florida

Leesburg Lightning
Former  Gondoliers / Anglers / Packers
Pirates / Braves
A's / Dodgers
Jake Bunch was right there ready to do his part and was again terrific going 20-8 for his 3rd straight 20+ win season while boasting an era of 1.99. Unfortunately the rest of the rotation wasn’t so good. The hitting did get better however as the 1939 Anglers featured Stephen Risk who took over his own batting title by hitting .326 with a club record 31 2Bs. Future Brooklyn Dodger Frank Drews was right behind him batting .325 with 30 2Bs and 12 3Bs. The Anglers finished with a 72-65 record to take 3rd and would again lose in the 1st round. Despite the anti-climactic finishes, Venetian Gardens had at least made it to the playoffs in all 3 of its seasons. By 1940 all of the construction to this new ballpark were completed. The grandstand’s architecture as you see here hasn't changed since construction completed in 1940. Unfortunately at the end of 1939, Jake Bunch had been promoted to Double-A Hartford and was no longer with Leesburg. He would be replaced in the rotation by Pete Kalosh who somehow was able to pick up exactly where Bunch had left off by posting a 23-13, 3.05 record. Unfortunately, the rest of the rotation was miserable, with records well below .500 (Jake Price would go 11-17 for instance). Leslie Voshell hit 23 2B, 12 3B, .325 and Robert Thomas, hit to a .328 average (with 20 2Bs) which would take over Stephen Risks batting title. Stephen Risk however was so good… batting a whopping .476 to start the season, that he was promoted to Double-A Jacksonville after only 42 At-Bats. Future Washington Senators’ Ray Goolsby meanwhile would knock in 19 3Bs to go along with his .294, 18 2Bs and 6 HRs. Unfortunately none of it would make up for the terrible pitching, in the 2-5 slots in the rotation. The Anglers fell to 62-77 in 6th place and were out of the playoffs for the first time ever at the Gardens.