Photographs courtesy © Gary Jarvis www.minorleagueballparks.com
In 1961, Batavia’s other old friend came calling… the Pittsburgh Pirates. Batavia would have it’s 4th affiliation in 20 years but they were always the same 2 teams. The new ballclub was dubbed the Batavia Pirates and they began play in 1961. Happy to be back on the ballfield again, the new Batavia Pirates were a decent ballclub, going 65-59 behind two monster power hitters who would go on to blow away all previous records set by any Batavia player before… and amazingly neither one of them would go on to play a single Major League ballgame. Arthur Blunt would slam 18 2Bs and blast 35 HRs to easily take over Eugene Links’ former record of 24.. had it not been for fellow teammate Roberto Sanchez coming from behind to steal the record away from Blunt by blasting 36 HRs while batting .308 in the same season. Former Chicago Cubs All-Star Gene Baker would come in for 155 At Bats and bat a whopping .387. Amazingly enough, Sanchez and Blunt weren’t the only ones to beat Links’ record of 24 homers. Gilbert Watts would knock in 26 bombs himself and had it not been for Sanchez and Blunt, he would have been the all time record holder. Like the other two power hitters, Watts never made it to the Majors. Steve Blass meanwhile was the monster on the mound, going 13-6 (3.32) on his way to an All-Star career with the Pirates, becoming only the 2nd All-Star ever produced by Dwyer Stadium. Gary Aldrich was right behind Blass going 12-6 with a 2.58 ERA.