Photograph © Steven L.J. Russo
Auburn featured a new superstar… at least a Minor League superstar. His name was Bobby Dill and at 27 years old, he would reek havoc on the rest of the Border League. When all was said and done, he would own a batting title with a monstrous .397 batting average, beating William Holman’s former record by 8 points. He would also tie Charles Harig with 20 HRs and tack on 31 doubles as well. Ralph Atkins would tie Harig and Holman with 33 2Bs along with 15 HRs and a very impressive .374 batting average. Virl Minnis hit .346 with a record 10 triples and a .346 average while Leonard Zanke hit .370. On the mound, Emil Battalino was he ace of staff going 14-5 tying Thomas Bebey for the wins record while posting an adequate 4.02 ERA. Bob Vetter was right behind him going 13-7 with a new record ERA of 3.66. George Uhle (9-2, 3.88), and Don Liddle (6-3, 6.61) also contributed. Don Liddle it would turn out would be the first player from Falcon Park ever to reach the Major Leagues starting for the Giants and pitching to a 28-18 record over 4 seasons. The new Auburn Cayugas were a fine team going 72-44 (.621) and believe it or not… capturing first place and taking home the first ever title for Falcon Park as the Cayugas had won the Border League Championship. An impressive 48,600 came through the gates. Auburn was suddenly a very exciting place in Minor League ball. The 1947 team would attempt to repeat the 1946 team but the hitting wasn’t nearly as sharp. Phillip Hearn was the league’s best hitting 17 HRs and batting .361 but the rest of the team was just average. They did sport two excellent pitchers however as Roger Blinn went 14-11, 4.09 and Edward Flanagan took over the wins and ERA title going 15-10, 3.65. The Cayugas would finish 66-60, good enough for 3rd and good enough for the post season where the were quickly swept by the Ottawa Nationals. A very impressive 59k came through the gates.