Blue Ridge League

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The Blue Ridge League (BRL) was the name of two minor league baseball organizations that operated in the first half of the twentieth century in the United States.

First League[edit]

Blue Ridge League
Sport Baseball
Founded 1915
Inaugural season 1915
No. of teams 6 (1915-1917) (1920-1929)
4 (1918, 1930)
Country United States United States
Ceased 9 February 1931
Last champion(s) Chambersburg Young Yanks
Most titles Hagerstown (5)
Official website blueridgeleague.org

The first league operated for the better part of sixteen years, from 1915 through 1918, and 1920 to 1930. It was a Class D league in the old classification system that ran from Class D up to Class Double-A, and had teams from Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

The league was founded by Charles W. Boyer in 1915, as part of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues. Boyer, former president of the original South Atlantic League, served as the league president in the BRL inaugural season. Due to internal problems, Boyer resigned as president the first week of the 1916 season, being replaced by James Vincent Jamison, Jr. Jamison was at the forefront of the league until it ceased its operations shortly before the beginning of the 1931 season.[1]

The BRL play officially began in 1915 with six teams from Chambersburg, Frederick, Gettysburg, Hagerstown, Hanover and Martinsburg. The team to win the most games during the regular season was declared the pennant winner. Through the 1917 midseason, Chambersburg replaced Cumberland when this team refused to pay its annual forfeit fee. The league shrank from six teams to four in 1918, with teams representing Cumberland, Hagerstown, Martinsburg and Piedmont. In 1919, the league disbanded after three weeks of play due to the lack of players during World War I.

The BRL resumed operations in 1920, with Chambersburg, Frederick, Hagerstown, Hanover and Martinsburg rejoining the action, as well as the addition of the Waynesboro franchise to bring again the six-team format. Since 1928, the two teams with the best records compited in a series of play-off games to determine the League Champion. Gradually, six Major League Baseball franchises started their affiliation with the league, among others Cleveland Indians (Frederick), Detroit Tigers (Hanover), New York Yankees (Chambersburg), St. Louis Cardinals (Waynesboro) and Philadelphia Athletics (Martinsburg), Washington Senators (Hagenstown). But after the Wall Street Crash of 1929, Detroit and St. Louis dropped their affiliations due to heavy financial losses. Only the teams of Chambersburg, Frederick, Hagerstown and Waynesboro returned in 1930, the BRL's last ever season.

Cities/Teams/Years[edit]

Cities represented Teams Year(s)
Chambersburg, Pennsylvania Chambersburg Maroons 1915-1917, 1920-1928
Chambersburg Young Yanks 1929-1930
Cumberland, Maryland Cumberland Colts 1917-1918
Frederick, Maryland Frederick Hustlers 1915, 1917; 1920-1928
Frederick Champs 1916
Frederick Warriors 1929-1930
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania Gettysburg Patriots
Gettysburg Ponies
1915
1916-1917
Hagerstown, Maryland Hagerstown Blues 1915
Hagerstown Terriers 1916-1918, 1922-1923
Hagerstown Champs 1920-1921
Hagerstown Hubs 1924-1930
Hanover, Pennsylvania Hanover Hornets 1915
Hanover Raiders 1916-1917, 1920-1929
Martinsburg, West Virginia Martinsburg Champs 1915
Martinsburg Blue Sox 1916-1917, 1922-1929
Martinsburg Mountaineers 1920-1921
Piedmont, West Virginia
Westernport, Maryland
Piedmont-Westernport Drybugs 1918
Waynesboro, Pennsylvania Waynesboro Red Birds 1920, 1928-1930
Waynesboro Villagers 1921-1927

Championship teams[edit]

  • 1915 Frederick Hustlers
  • 1916 Chambersburg Maroons
  • 1917 Hagerstown Terriers
  • 1918 Cumberland Colts
  • 1919 Season suspended
  • 1920 Hagerstown Champs
  • 1921 Frederick Hustlers
  • 1922 Martinsburg Blue Sox
  • 1923 Martinsburg Blue Sox
  • 1924 Martinsburg Blue Sox
  • 1925 Hagerstown Hubs
  • 1926 Hagerstown Hubs
  • 1927 Chambersburg Maroons
  • 1928 Hanover Raiders
  • 1929 Hagerstown Hubs
  • 1930 Chambersburg Young Yanks

Hall of Fame Alumni[edit]

Other players[edit]

Best Individual Season Records[edit]

Hitting[edit]

  • Games: 118, Richard Zorman, Hanover (1929)
    118, Dan Tapson, Hanover (1929)
  • Batting Average: .404, Roger "Doc" Cramer, Martinsburg (1929)
  • At Bats: 466, Babe Phelps, Hagerstown (1930)
  • Runs: 104, George Rawlings, Martinsburg (1923)
  • Hits: 175, Babe Phelps, Hagerstown (1930)
  • Doubles: 41, Holmes Diehl, Hagerstown (1925)
  • Triples: 24, Joe Vosmik, Frederick (1929)
  • Home Runs: 30, Hack Wilson, Martinsburg (1922)
  • Extra Base Hits: 62, Babe Phelps, Hagerstown (1930)
    62, John Vosmik, Frederick (1929)
  • Total Bases: 300, Babe Phelps, Hagerstown (1930)
  • Sacrifices: 39, John Boyle, Hagerstown, (1925)
  • Stolen Bases: 47, Walter Kimmick, Waynesboro (1921)
  • Walks: 100, George Scheiminant, Hagerstown (1925)
  • Struck Out: 77, Louis Allen, Hanover (1928)

Pitching[edit]

  • Games: 39, Frank Fraley, Frederick (1929)
  • Complete Games: 22, Frank Ulrich, Waynesboro (1923)
  • Wins: 25, Earl Howard, Hagerstown (1917)
    25, Alan Clarke, Waynesboro (1921)
  • Losses: 17, Stephen Woodgie, Chambersburg (1922)
  • Best Percentage: .889 (16-2), Lester Shatzer, Chambersburg (1927)
  • Innings Pitched: 274, Alan Clarke, Waynesboro (1921)
  • Win Streak: 8, Abe Welcher, Hagerstown (1915)
  • Strikeouts: 258, Alan Clarke, Waynesboro (1921)
  • Hit Batsmen: 29, Alan Clarke, Waynesboro (1921)
  • Bases on Balls: 163, Joe Zubris, Hagerstown (1925)

No-Hitters[edit]

Year Date Pitcher Team Opposition Score
1915 August 3 Edward Stricker Chambersburg Gettysburg 1-0
1916 June 28 Wick Winslow Hagerstown Chambersburg 4-0
1916 August 25 Earl Howard Hagerstown Gettysburg 4-0
1924 July 5 Walt Halas Hanover Chambersburg 5-1
1926 August 3 Chuck Warden Waynesboro Hagerstown 3-0

Second League[edit]

Another Blue Ridge League operated between 1946 and 1950. It was located in North Carolina and Virginia and was rated as a D-level league. The Presidents in the history of the league were Joe Ryan (1946), Stanley F. Radke (1947-'48), Judge E. C. Bivins (1948-'49) and John B. Spiers (1950). In 1946, the team with the best winning record was declared the pennant winner. From 1947 through 1950, the two teams with the best records faced in a series of play-off games to determine the League Champion.

Cities/Teams/Years[edit]

Cities represented Teams Year(s)
Abingdon, Virginia Abingdon Triplets 1948
Bassett, Virginia Bassett Statesmen 1950
Elkin, North Carolina Elkin Blanketeers 1949-1950
Galax, Virginia Galax Leafs 1946-1950
Leaksville, Draper, Spray, NC Leaksville-Draper-Spray Triplets 1948
Lenoir, North Carolina Lenoir Red Sox 1946-1947
Mount Airy, North Carolina Mount Airy Graniteers 1946-1950
North Wilkesboro, North Carolina North Wilkesboro Flashers 1948-1950
Radford, Virginia Radford Rockets 1946-1950
Salem, Virginia Salem Friends 1946
Wytheville, Virginia Wytheville Pioneers 1948
Wytheville Statesmen 1949-1950

Championship teams[edit]

  • 1946 Salem Friends/Lenoir Red Sox #
  • 1947 Galax Leafs
  • 1948 Galax Leafs
  • 1949 Mount Airy Graniteers
  • 1950 Elkin Blanketeers
  1. Salem moved to Lenoir in the midseason

Major League Baseball alumni[edit]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Minor League Baseball Standings: All North American Leagues, through 1999 – Benjamin Barrett Sumner. Publisher: McFarland & Company, 2000. Format: Hardcover, 726pp. Language: English. ISBN 0-7864-0781-6
  • Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball: The Official Record of Minor League Baseball – Lloyd Johnson, Miles Wolff, Steve McDonald. Publisher: Baseball America, 1997. Format: Paperback, 672pp. Language: English. ISBN 0-9637189-7-5
  • The Blue Ridge League: Images of Baseball - Robert B. Savitt. Publisher: Arcadia Publishing, 2011. Format: Softcover, 127pp. Language: English. ISBN 978-0-7385-8239-9

External links[edit]