Photographs courtesy © Gary Jarvis www.minorleagueballparks.com
The Batavia franchise was dubbed the Batavia Clippers and they would serve as a co-op team for the first 3 years of their existence… the only team in the league without a Major League affiliation. 3000 people came out on opening day to see the new Clippers play… still an all time Batavia record. The inaugural team featured several future MLB players including future 10 year MLB veteran and Philadelphia Athletic, Dick Fowler (9-11, 4.39). Future Cubs/Browns’ Whitey Platt was the power hitter slamming 18 2Bs and 9 HRs, while Anthony Janis was the team’s best hitter at .294. Raymond Hoemke went 11-6, 3.31 and was the team’s best pitcher. They finished the season at 48-54 in 4th place. The Clippers would make the playoffs in 1939 but lose in the first round. Their 1940 offering however had far more talent. Finishing the season in 2nd place at 58-48, the Clippers made it to the final round of the playoffs after beating newcomer London in the 1st round, but lost the finals to Olean 4 games to 2. The reason for the success was due to two players… future Washington Senators' Walt Chipple who had a potent bat slamming 26 2Bs, 7 3Bs and 18 HRs with a .305 batting average, while future Philadelphia A’s’ Don Richmond batted .330 with 23 2Bs, 12 3Bs and 6 HRs. Foster Smith also hit .377 in limited playing time (146 AB, 16 2Bs, 9 HRs) and John Castoldi was phenomenal on the mound going 18-7 with a 2.84 ERA.