Photograph of Dudley Dome in mid-construction courtesy of El Paso Chihuahuas
Up until now, only 3 people had ever reached double-digits in HR and James Washburn had held the HR title with 12. That number would be obliterated ... 3 times in one season as 1949 brought in Bob Cummins whose 12 HR (.283) would tie that mark all time. Hector Lara meanwhile would bat .334 while slamming 30 2B, 11 3B and 16 HR to take that all time title over... or so one would think. James Bynon would end the discussion
with an all out assault on the Home Run title by blasting 28 2B, 16 3B and 23 HR while batting .318... nearly doubling the output of the most HR ever hit in a season since 1930. (Keep in mind that this was still the "dead ball era". If that wasn't exciting enough, another weapon was Ramon Mendoza who's 36 2B and .316 were just a small part of his arsenal as Mendoza swiped 71 bases to take the All-Time Arizona-Texas League record which would never be broken. With all this power, speed and Jose Melendez putting up an 18-5, 3.00 record, the 1949 Texans were hot. Not in the standings... but in the post-season. They squeaked their way to the playoffs with an awful record but once in the playoffs they destroyed Juarez 4 games to 2 to go to the finals against Phoenix. There, the Texans pulled off the greatest upset in AZ-Tex League history beating the 94 win Phoenix Senators in 6 games to take home their 4th Championship trophy to the Dudley Dome. The Texans came in 2nd in attendance as well, breaking the 100,000 mark with 107,778 through the gates (Phoenix drew 126k). They were the only two franchises to beat the 100k mark. The power got more intense as the 1950's came to the Dudley Dome. Hector Lara was an absolute monster batting .356 with a new record 44 doubles (beating Enrique Fernandez's 42), and a new Dudley Dome record of 28 home runs. Art Lilly meanwhile was right behind him breaking all sorts of records as well as he slammed 39 doubles, 19 triples, 18 home runs and took over Joe Brovia's batting title as he hit .386 on the season beating Joe's previous .383. Donald Mason would also break records with his 169 RBI's along with 35 2B, 17 3B and a .344. With an overwhelming lineup that bullied its way into 1st place, (so much so that Jose Peraza put up a 20-11 record despite a 5.35 ERA), the El Paso Texans not only broke 80 wins for the 1st time ever... but they broke 90 as well, finishing with a remarkable 92-58 record. The incumbent league champions took on Bisbee-Douglas in the 1st round and pulled off a 4 game to 2 victory to proceed to the finals where Phoenix was patiently waiting to exact some revenge.