Photographs courtesy © Gary Jarvis www.minorleagueballparks.com
Unlike the last time that Batavia went co-op and wound up with Cito Gaston, there would be no special players going co-op this time around, as the Trojans finished with an awful 20-49 record. Things were really starting to look bad in Batavia. In the last 10 years, they had hosted 4 different affiliates and had had to go co-op twice out of desperation. Batavia needed a small miracle… something to stabilize the franchise. Amazingly enough, 1976 brought that very thing as their old friends came home again. The Cleveland Indians came back to town for the 3rd time and this time they would sign up for a 12 year PDC… the longest in Batavia history so far. It would take the team well into the next decade and provide Batavia with a chance to feel good about their team again. It wouldn’t happen right away though… the 1976 team was still pretty bad going 30-40 on the season and they would not produce any memorable players. Luckily, change was on the horizon. 1977 would be the return of the bat with 3 monster sluggers coming to town… each of which would have taken the all time Short Season home run record at Batavia. The first was Venson Davis who gould bat .286 with 16 HRs… blowing away the old home run record of 11 set by Randy Trapp. Unfortunately for Venson, his 16 HRs were blown away by Sal Rende who hit 17 2Bs and 17 HRs, all while batting an amazing .356. Actually what was really amazing was both of them would be left in the dust by Tim Glass, who hit a whopping 21 Home Runs in only 209 at Bats. Over the course of a full season, at that rate… Glass would have wound up with 55 HRs. As luck would have it of course… none of the 3 sluggers would ever make the big leagues.