Monday, January 23, 2012


Back in the fall of 118, owners of clubs in Brooklyn, Cincinnati, Louisville, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and St. Louis joined forces in what was to become the American Association. Before their enorgoal season, owners had shifted the Brooklyn franchise to Baltimore. The American Association would rival the popular National League between 1882 and 1891.

By the end of 1899, Brooklyn, Cincinnati, Baltimore and Kansas City had exited. The Association also called the "Beer and Whiskey League" (as it allowed the sale of alcoholic beverages at all games) was left with only four team's Philadelphia Athletics, St Louis Browns, Louisville Cardinals and Columbus Solons.

Syracuse newspapers reported in early January that the Rochester Hop Bitters, Toledo Maumees and Syracuse Stars had become new A-A members. The Stars were the first to bid for a A-A franchise following the news of Brooklyn and Cincinnati's defection, but were the last to produce the $10,000 bond foe entry. The league insisted that these new teams sell $5,000 in advanced ticket sales. Amidst the internal turmoil George Kasson Frazer secured an option on the Star Baseball Club for $1,500. This included the Stars Baseball Association's property, players and uniforms. Mr. Frazer was backed by the Peoples Street Car Company and Frank Haberle of the Haberle Brewery. The final position in the eight team league was gained by the Brooklyn Gladiators. However this franchise would be transferred to Baltimore before seasons end.

After a short search, Mr. Frazer decided to manage his own club. He then signed former Star "Cupid" Childs, John Keefe, Bern McLaughlin and Tom Lyons. He scoured the east coast for baseball talent, that brought Henry Simon, Dan Casey, Joe Battin, "Rasty" Wright, Mox McQuery, "Bones" Ely and Mike Dorgan.

At a March 14 meeting at Syracuse's at Syracuse's Leland Hotel, the A-A adopted the 1890 schedule and elected to play games on Sunday. Teams such as Philadelphia and Syracuse elected to alternate locations to avoid protesters of the games of the sabbath. The Stars moved from Star Park to a resort location as Three Rivers just north of Liverpool. George K. Frazer met with the presidents of Rome, Watertown & Ogdensburg Railroad lines to see it he could get enough rail cars to accommodate fans to Three Rivers Point to hold these Sunday contests.

Star Park- So. Salina was ready, a new open grandstand was added to the south side near left field. A new ticket booth built just north of the railroad tracks. New paint was applied to private boxes, reporters stand and grandstand. Also the left field fences were pushed back 100 feet. Philip S. Ryder was contacted one again to take team photos.

The Stars opened at Brooklyn on April 17 as Mike Dorgan led the Stars to a 3-2 victory. Five days later Philadelphia and Syracuse combined for a major league record 19 stolen bases in a 11-10 loss. The home opener was set for April 28. Some 3,360 fans were on hand at Star Park  and viewed great pitching only to see John Keefe take a 201 loss. In the first Sunday contest the Stars defeated St. Louis 11-9 as 3,500 fans broke the sabbath at Three Rivers Point. During the May 25 Sunday contest vs Louisville the grandstand collapsed in the 10th inning. Sixty people were injured, none seriously. The accident happened as fans stood when Auburn resident Tim Shinnick produced the hit that gave the Colonels the winning score. Many fans then rushed to catch the train that returned to the city. One person injured was George Kuntzsch, who would later be the Stars club owner. Lawsuits followed for damages to clothes. One enthusiast who wore a $15 suit asked for $66, he didn't get it.

As June began, Joe Battin was released and "Voiceless" Tim O'Rourke was signed. Mike Dorgan played his last game in a Stars uniform on June 9. The squad wore new uniforms, black tops and pants with a white "S" on the pocket. Wallace Fressenden replaced George K. Frazer as manager between July 21- Aug 3. Syracuse police hailed a Sunday contest at Star Park (July 27) so the game was switched to the Iron Pier at the south end of Onondaga Lake. Louisville failed to report thinking the contest was canceled with no league umpire (thought he would be arrested). The Stars hired a local umpire and won by forfeit. Mr. Frazer returned as manager August 4 to finish the year. On the mound was Dan Casey and John Keefe combined to win 34 of 79 games. While cater-outfielder Herman "Alabama" Pitz the Sing-Sing convict saw action in 29 games hitting a meek .221.

No team played the entire season schedule, the closest Columbus and St. Louis played 134 of 140 games. The Stars finished sixth (55-72), some 30 1/2 games behind league champion Louisville (88-34), In January 1891, Syracuse, Toledo, and Rochester surrendered their franchise.

Through a dismal season, one bright spot was the sparking play of second baseman Clarence "Cupid" Childs. Childs was one of the best second baseman ever identified with a Syracuse ball club. He was with the Stars when they were in I.L. in 1888 and 1889.  Sunday June 1, 1890, Childs in a nine inning game against Toledo handled 19 chances, accepting 18. "Cupid"  finished fifth in the league in hitting .345, second in slugging average .481, third in on base % .434, fourth in hits (170) & total bases 237, tenth in runs (109) and stolen bases (56). As his years in Syracuse ended, Childs went to Cleveland to team up with Ed McKein to became one of baseball's greatest defensive combinations.

Syracuse joined the Eastern Association in 1891. The league composed of Buffalo, Syracuse, New Haven, Albany, Providence, Troy Rochester and Lebanon. Providence and New Haven dropped out in early August and August 26 both Syracuse and Rochester called the season over. The four other clubs kept playing till August 30. Buffalo was the league champion followed by Albany, Troy and Lebanon. George K. Frazer kept the team until about three weeks from the close of the season, when George Freeman took control and ended a dismal year. Mr. Freeman's brief experience in baseball cost him $2,500. The Stars most successful lineup comprised of Faatz, Mc Laughlin, Doyle and Miller in the infield. Doyle was fired for drunkenness with Quinn filling his spot. Simon, West and Friel manned the outfield. Matt Kilroy, Coughlin and Ferson shared mound duties and Meyers was behind the plate.

The Eastern Association of 1892 organized the cities of Albany, Providence, New Haven, Rochester, Binghamton, Syracuse, Philadelphia (Athletics) Elmira, Troy and Buffalo. New Haven and Philadelphia were the first to exit. Ir was evident that the remaining eight wouldn't stick out the season. This was the first experience in baseball by new Stars owner George N. Kuntzsch. Mr. Kuntzsch a famed Syracuse Billiards impresario was in the rears over $3,500 and on July 11 the Stars were transferred to Utica after playing just 51 games.

The team was gone Syracuse went without professional  baseball in 1893, A year later George Kuntzsch purchased the Albany franchise in the Eastern League


  1. Minor typo. Secord paragraph starts"by the end of 1899,". It shouold read, "by the end of 1889". Your blog is excellend. I am researching ballparks use forbothminor league and major league baseball, focusing on players who homered in the same ballparks as minor leaguers and major leaguers. Star Park II was used for both minor league and major league ball, but it is unclear as to when it was no longer used for minor league ball.,

    1. Another typo. First paragraph should start: Back in the fall of 1881,