Schenectady Blue Jays
|Schenectady Blue Jays
Schenectady, New York
|Minor league affiliations|
|Major league affiliations|
|Previous||Philadelphia Phillies (1946–1957)|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles||1947; 1956|
The Schenectady Blue Jays baseball club was an American minor league baseball franchise based in Schenectady, New York, for 12 consecutive seasons, 1946–57. It was a member of the Class C Canadian–American League through 1950, and the Class A Eastern League from 1951–57. The Blue Jays were affiliated with Major League Baseball's Philadelphia Phillies and played at McNearney Stadium from the middle of 1946 through their final season.
The Blue Jays were founded at the beginning of the post-World War II boom in minor league baseball. Schenectady had previously been represented by a team in the Negro Leagues, the 1929 Mohawk Giants, and by teams in the New York State League (1895–1904) and the Eastern Association (1909).
The Phillies, purchased during the war by the R. R. M. Carpenter family, began to build out their farm system in 1946 and added Schenectady to their roster of affiliates. The nickname Blue Jays had been the Phillies' alternate identity during the war and was common to at least two other Philadelphia farm teams. While the 1946 Blue Jays finished seventh in the eight-team Can-Am League, the 1947 edition, managed by Leon Riley, father of NBA executive and former coach Pat Riley, won the league pennant by 13 games and the playoff championship; it drew over 146,000 fans, almost 60,000 more than the second-most-popular Can-Am League team.
After the 1950 season, the Phillies replaced their Eastern League affiliate, the Utica Blue Sox, with the Schenectady Blue Jays, who moved up two levels to Class A, which was then one of the three highest-rated minor leagues. Schenectady won the Eastern League championship in 1956 and finished a strong second in 1957, but attendance had fallen to below 60,000 and the Phillies transferred their affiliation to the Williamsport Grays for 1958, thus ending the Blue Jays' 12-year lifespan.
- Q&A with Baseball Historian on Schenectady Blue Jays, The Daily Gazette, Schenectady, New York
- Baseball Reference
- Finding Aid to Frank Keetz Professional Baseball Collection (includes material on Schenectady Blue Jays), Schenectady County Historical Society.