Friday, May 25, 2012


Camden, South Carolina became the new spring training home of the Chiefs in 1939. Manager Dick Porter's team played fourteen games in the south including Jake Moody's/Pete Angel's 3-0 win over the House Of David. Johnny Gee won the April 20 International League opener vs Toronto. Gee was well on his way to a 20 win season that culminated with his contract being sold to the Pittsburgh Pirates for a reported $20,000 and four players. The bonus to the Chiefs was John didn't have to report to the Pirates till spring training 1940.

The strength of the 1939 ball club was in it's pitching staff. Led by Johnny Gee and nineteen game winner Ted Kleinhans (19-12) plus Jack Tising, Mike Meola and Jake Mooty combined for 75 of the team 81 victories.

Following a May 28 doubleheader victory over the Newark Bears, the Chiefs Enterprises Inc. owned by Jack Corbett was sold to Syracusans Clarence Schindler and Alex Mengarelli for a reported $200,000. The first $50,000 was to be paid now and the balance over a period of years. It was later learned that the selling price was must less around $130,000 of which $25,00 went directly into the club's treasury. The rest to be paid to Mr. Corbett rated about $10,000 a year to pay off the balance. Mengarelli a 30 year old stock and bond broker in turn interested Clarence Schindler the manager of the Cobwell Garbage Reduction Company. They both ventured into professional baseball for the first time.

By late July the Chiefs climbed into third place and a week later into second. As the 1939 International League season wound down they found themselves dropping to fifth. Bit it was the seasons' last day September 10 with a split doubleheader against Jersey City that the Chiefs ended the year in a tie for the final playoff spot with the Newark Bears. A one game playoff was held the next day to break the deadlock. But 20 game winner Johnny Gee couldn't stop the mighty Newark Bears, who came away with a 9-6 win.

The Chiefs finished fifth with a respectable 81-74 mark in a year they had made such a great comeback. In November, Chiefs new officers, President Clarence Schindler and Secretary Harold Roettger signed a new working agreement with the Pittsburgh Pirates. with the provision that the Chiefs get first pick of 1940 Prates rookie players.Former team secretary was in the news again as he sued his former boss Jack Corbett for $9,000 in loss commissions. Reilly was not only without a job but without any financial benefit from the sale, which he said was part of the sale agreement with Schindler and Mengarelli. Alex Mengarelli resigned on November 14 and Clarence Schindler assumed total control of the ball club.

No comments:

Post a Comment