Richmond Colts

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Richmond Colts
Founded in 1894
Richmond, Virginia
Class-level
Current B (1932-53)
Minor league affiliations
Previous leagues
Major league affiliations
Current
Minor league titles
League titles 1908, 1923-26, 1935, 1952
Team data
Nickname Colts
Ballpark Mooers Field (1942? – 1953)
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
  • Eddie Mooers (1931–1954)
  • Percy Dawson (1920s)

The Richmond Colts were a minor league baseball team based in Richmond, Virginia that existed on-and-off from 1894 to 1953.[1] They played in the Virginia League in 1894, and in another Virginia League in 1900, and another Virginia League from 1906–1914 and from 1918–1928. In 1932, they played in the Eastern League and from 1933 to 1953, they played in the Piedmont League.[2]

They were affiliated with the Philadelphia Athletics from 1935 to 1936, and the New York Giants from 1937 to 1938, in 1940, and from 1944 to 1950. As was more common during that time period, the Colts occasionally played exhibition games against major league teams.[3]

One of their home ballparks was Mooers Field, from the early 1940s until 1953, named after Eddie Mooers, who purchased the team in 1931.[4][5][6] Prior to Mooers Field, the team played at Tate Field on Mayo Island in the James River, but that facility was destroyed in a fire in May 1941.[4][7]

In 1953, the team signed Whit Graves as its first black player.[8][9]

When Richmond obtained a Class AAA franchise in 1954, Mooers moved the Colts to Colonial Heights' Shepherd Stadium.[6][10] Harry Seibold purchased the team and renamed it the Virginians.[11][12] Mooers Field was turned into a racing track, and then torn down in 1958.[6][13]

League championships[edit]

Under manager Perry Lipe in 1908, the Colts won their first league championship. They were co-league champions in 1923 under manager Dave Robertson, and from 1924 to 1926 they won the league championship every year.[4][7] In 1924, they were managed by Jack Onslow; in 1925, Percy Dawson and in 1926, Troy Agnew, Guy Lacy and Rube Oldring. They won a league championship again in 1935, under manager Eddie Rommel. In 1952, they won their final league championship, under manager Tom O'Connell.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hyland, Mike (Apr 16, 1987). "Golden Times 1937 Richmond Colts Were Team To Watch". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved Oct 13, 2009. 
  2. ^ Richmond, Virginia BR page
  3. ^ Dawson, James P. (Apr 14, 1934). "Yanks Overwhelm Richmond, 20-12". The New York Times. Retrieved Oct 13, 2009.  (story on exhibition game in Richmond against New York Yankees, including a home run by Lou Gehrig that landed in the James River)
  4. ^ a b c W. Harrison Daniel & Scott P. Mayer, Baseball and Richmond: a history of the professional game, 1884–2000, Ch 6 (McFarland & Co. 2003)(ISBN 978-0786414895)
  5. ^ "Eddie Mooers Expected To Become Next Owner Of Richmond's Baseball Club". The Hartford Courant. Dec 31, 1931. Retrieved Oct 13, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c Rolfe, Shelley (Dec 29, 1988). "Mooers Field Had One Benefit Over Park It Replaced". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved Oct 13, 2009. 
  7. ^ a b "Ex-Richmond Colt Draws On Memories". The Richmond News Leader. Feb 2, 1982. Retrieved Oct 21, 2009.  (notes that team won Virginia League pennant in 1925)
  8. ^ Johnson, Ophelia (Nov 19, 1996). "Between the Lines: Museum Exhibit on Negro Leagues Tells Two Stories of Baseball Glory". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved Oct 13, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Richmond Signs Graves; Negro Pitcher Will Play With Colts in Piedmont League". The New York Times. Apr 20, 1953. Retrieved Oct 13, 2009.  (noting that the Colts became the fourth team in the Piedmont League to sign a black player; the league had no black players for its first 34 years)
  10. ^ "Graveside Rite Held for Ex-Team Owner". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Nov 15, 1989. Retrieved Oct 13, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Richmond Owner of Baseball, Grid Teams Is Dead". The Free Lance–Star. Jan 4, 1960. Retrieved Oct 13, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Richmond is Closer to League Franchise". The New York Times. Nov 23, 1953. Retrieved Oct 13, 2009. 
  13. ^ Redmon, Jeremy (May 12, 2004). "At the Plate Again: City Has Had Its Share of Baseball Teams and Ballparks". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved Oct 13, 2009.