Photographs courtesy of
Halls Nostalgia
The Red Hats were back as a co-op in 1941 and featured two star players... Earl Pugh batted .377 in 183 At Bats while putting up a 14-6, 2.75 record. Eddie Harper meanwhile, who had won 21 games in 1937 for DeLand won another 21 going 21-9 with a 3.06 ERA. With no one losing over 20 games to counteract Eddie Harper's fine work, the Red Hats finished the season at 78-47 making it to the 2nd round of the playoffs finally before losing to the Leesburg Anglers. With World War II in full swing after the season ended, most leagues suspended operations including the Florida State League. The Florida East Coast League however was scheduled to continue play in 1942. The league which featured teams mostly from southeastern Florida (Cocoa, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Miami Beach, West Palm Beach, Ft. Pierce), signed up both the Orlando Nationals and the DeLand Red Hats for the 1942 season. It was also during this time that Conrad Park welcomed Major League Spring Training Baseball. The St. Louis Browns came to town for Spring Training and spent all of March gearing up for the 1942 season at Conrad Park. As for the Florida East Coast League, the Red Hats were at an even .500 at 13-13 when the war intruded on the Florida East Coast League's plans and forced the league to suspend operations on May 13th. The Florida East Coast League did not resume operations after the war, but the Florida International League ate up much of the league's teams and ballparks. DeLand however, went back to their original home, the Florida State League. The had played as a co-op while with the Florida East Coast League.