By 1929, Wally Shaner was gone but he would be replaced in the lineup by two 10 HR hitters in John Chapman (20 2B, 11 3B, 10 HR. .295) and Moose Clabaugh (37 2B, 8 3B, 10 HR, .316). Pete Susko (30 2B, 11, 3B, .320) and Tom Winsett (301 AB, .346) also had fine seasons at the plate. Before you go believing that this was an improvement… Marty Griffin came to the mound and led the team in futility with a 10-19, 4.89 record. Right behind him was George Bell (9-17, 4.14) and Merle Settlemire (3-10, 4.47) along with Guy Morton's 7-12 and John Singleton's 7-13.
. Needless to say, the lineup could hit as many doubles and homers as they wanted to but with this pitching staff, the Mobile Bears were destined to lose 95 games. While 95 losses for a Minor League team may sound debilitating, that was actually quite a good season for the Bears in comparison to what lay ahead. By 1930, this team would ring in the new decade with perhaps, the worst team in Southern Association history. Again, it wasn't the bat that was at fault. Former White Sox 20 game winner Reb Russell came to this team at the age of 41, not to pitch but to hit… slamming 16 HR and batting .300 in only 320 At Bats to easily take over the power lead of Hartwell Field. While that was helpful, looking at the starting rotation… he should have come to pitch. Former Philadelphia Athletics' John Chapman meanwhile would take over every other team lead batting a fantastic .371 with 37 2B (tying Moose Clabaugh for the Hartwell record), 12 3B and 14 HR. So how could a team with this much fire power lose an unbelievable 112 ballgames?! This pitching staff was so terrible that it is almost unfathomable to believe that it featured the first true All-Star to ever be produced by Hartwell Field. 4 time Washington Senators All-Star Dutch Leonard came to the team at the age of 21 and was simply awful putting up a 5-16, 6.60 record. He was however one of the better pitchers in this rotation. Certainly better than Fred Pipgras who was monumentally awful… with a 2-18 record behind an 8.51 ERA! Pipgras gave up 300 hits in 200 innings and walked 160 batters. (Why he was allowed to pitch that badly for 200 innings is beyond our imagination). Alex Lindstrom (4-15, 7.29), Thad Campbell's 3-12, 7.20 and Herb Bradley's 2-11, 6.77 may provide the answer. They were all bad. Alex McColl managed to put up a 17-14, 5.85 which was nearly half of its 40-112 record. Still… this was as miserable of a team as the Southern Association would ever find. Almost as an attempt to put it all behind them, the team changed its name to the Mobile Marines for 1931. The fact that this team was even allowed to play in this league again after this awful performance wasn't a matter of choice. Smithston Stadium in Knoxville was not yet constructed. By mid-season however… those finishing touches were completed on the new ballpark. With that, the Mobile franchise moved on July 22nd to Tennessee to become the Knoxville Smokies. The banishment from the Southern Association would last 14 years.... it wasn't until 1944 that the Knoxville franchise would come back to Mobile's Hartwell Field.