Photographs courtesy © Gary Jarvis www.minorleagueballparks.com
The great pitching of 1944 was nothing compared to 1945 as former 20 game winner George Patte went 18-4 with a 2.14 ERA and last season’s 14 game winner Louis Palmisiano went 16-3 and took over the ERA crown with an amazing 1.40. Floyd Dooley was 15-6, 3.31, Earle Ledwig was 11-3, 3.43 and George Riebesell was 10-3, 2.76. Future St. Louis Browns’ slugger Dick Kokos batted .321 and Louis Urcho batted .343 with a Batavia record 35 doubles… that was until Stephen Kromko trumped him in the same season by hitting 39 doubles with 11 HRs and a .329 batting average. With all this talent, not surprisingly Batavia finished easily in 1st place with a 84-40 (.677) record and beat Bradford who was back in the league 3 games to 1. In the finale, Lockport was not going to hand over the title without a fight and by game 6 it was all tied at 3-3. Batavia had the pitching however and they would hold out to take their first ever PONY League Championship title in front of a 1945 crowd of 44,500.