Photograph courtesy of Chris Hunter of the Schenectady Museum and Science Center from the G.E. Collection of Photographs (special thanks to Stephen LJ Russo)
From July 23, 1931 until the Southern League re-opened its doors 5 years later, brand new Jennings Stadium would go dark to professional baseball, succumbing to the great depression. Finally in 1936, the South Atlantic (Southern) League, re-organized itself and re-opened. The Augusta Tigers returned to pro-ball… this time as the official affiliates of the Detroit Tigers, Jennings Stadium’s first affiliation. That Tigers umbrella didn’t help much in the standings as the Tigers brought the worst record thus far to Jennings Stadium… 56-94. By 1937, Detroit was gone and the New York Yankees took over the franchise. The Yankees influx of talent was a certainty but it wasn’t immediate. The Tigers took the field in 1937 with a sub-par team. Future St. Louis Cardinals' Red Jones (31 2B, 10 3B, 6 HR, .333) was the best hitter on the team, but the pitching was suspect and the rest of the lineup was nothing special. The 1937 Tigers under the new Yankees regime finished a better 62-78 (compared to 94 losses) but it was still not very noteworthy. That would begin to change in 1938 as the Yankees influence took hold of this franchise.