Thursday, May 17, 2012


Chiefs owner Jack Corbett and Boston Red Sox GM Eddie Collins then looked for new talent to upgrade their seventh place finish. First former Syracuse Star and St. Louis Cardinals infielder, George "Specs" Toporcer was signed and named team captain. In March, the right field bleachers were added bring the seating capacity to 12,000. Dick Porter was then traded to Newark for "Doc" Farrell, who was sent on to the Boston Red Sox for shortstop Al Niemiec. But the most important addition was that of pitcher Reggie Grabowski. Grabowski (brother of Al) the Syracuse native was obtained from the Philadelphia Phillies just a week before the season opened. Reggie would win 16 games and join Joe Cascarella, Hal Vanderburg, Joe Milligan, Bobby Coombs and Flint Rehm as the key members of the tribe pitching staff that year.

Many new faces dotted the April 18 opening day lineup- Dom Dallessandro (rf), Specs Toporcer (2b), Art Graham (lf), Julian Wera (3b), John Watwood (cf), Jim Sellin (1b) Al Niemiec (ss), George Salvino (c), and Bobby Coombs on the mound. Three days later another key eliminate was added that of third baseman John Kroner. Following his trade from Baltimore, Kroner would become an International League All-Star while a member of the Chiefs hitting a blazing .323.

The Boston Red Sox made their yearly visit on May 16 downing the Chiefs 10-6. The Red Sox featured Joe Cronin, Babe Dahlgren, Moe Berg, Bing Miller and George Pipgras. Pitcher Hy Vandenburg was sent to Boston for three pitchers, one being Jor Cascarella on option from the Philadelphia Athletics. Cascarella managed to win 11 games and was promoted to the Red Sox. The early part of June the Chiefs purchased Oscar Roettger and moved into fifth place. With many players going back and fourth between Syracuse and Boston, soon rumors quickly spread of the club being sold. Syracuse newspaper headliners of June 28 read, "Chiefs Sold to Tom Yawkey", the rumor was untrue.

Al; Niemiec recorded the first triple play in Chiefs history on July2 in a 5-4 victory over Albany. July 21, Robert John, a Native American from the Onondaga Nation was named the Chiefs first official mascot. July 29- the team had won nine straight games moving into second place. During that stretch Reggie Grabowski pitched a sparkling two-hitter vs Baltimore.

August 12, the Chiefs moved into first place, two days later back to second and three days after slipped into third. Reggie Grabowski pitched another two-hitter (8/23), this time against Albany. With doubleheader victories against Albany (8/25) the Chiefs tied for second, a spot they held at seasons end. Montreal Royals captured the top spot at 92-62, the tribe close behind posting a 87-67 mark.It was now on for the first time to the Governors Cup Playoffs vs the powerful Newark Bears.

The playoff batting order looked as follows: Dom Dallessandro (lf), "Specs" Toporcer (2b), John Kroner (3b), Ollie Tucker (rf), Doc Leggett (c), Harry Taylor (1b), Prince Oana (cf) and Al Niemiec (ss). The Chiefs a colorful club had the big guns, Kroner, Leggett, Oana and Dallessandro all season 300 hitters followed by Tucker and Savino all over .290. The club's team batting average that season was recorded at .268, but of those seeing playoff action it jumped to .279

Governors Cup Playoffs- Series 1-Game #1
Joe Cascarella defeated Steve Sundra 3-2. Both pitchers looked magnificent. But Sundra's control failed in the fourth, when two Chiefs walked and eventually scored. Chiefs started Cascarella had pin point control and was the difference in that contest.

Governors Cup Playoffs- Series  1- Game #2
Hal Vanderburg bested Ted Kleinhans 6-3 before 7,000 delighted home town fans. After 6 1/2 innings the score was tied 2-2. In the bottom of the seventh Newark manager Bob Shawkey sent Kleinhans to the showers, replacing him with Frank Makoskey to face John Kroner. Kroner wasted no time as he blasted one over the left-field wall for a grand slam.

Governors Cup Playoffs- Series 1- Game 3
The series now shifted to  Newark's Ruppert Stadium. Reggie Grabowski scattered only four hits over nine innings. This was the third exciting pitchers dual as Reggie downed Jack Larocca 3-1. The Chiefs led the best of  seven series three games to none.

Governors Cup Playoffs- Series 1 - Game 4
Also played in Newark. The Chiefs made it a clean sweep of the Bears as Dom Dallessandro was a perfect 5 for 5 including two home runs, a double and three RBI.  Joe Milligan was on the mound for that 5-2 win. The Chiefs had won the first round of the playoff and now must face the Montreal Royals for the $5,000 prize offered to the victors.

Govenors Cup Championship- Game 1
At Montreal. The pitching combination of Joe Cascarella, George Hickette & Flint Rhem held on for a first game victory 7-6. The Chiefs  exploded in the fifth with 4 runs starting with Price Oana's triple, ending with John Kroner's two run homer to right center. The tribe scored two more in the eighth to seal the victory

Governors Cup Championship - Game 2
At Montreal. A 2-2 tie quickly ended in the eighth as the Chiefs erupted for 7 runs. Meanwhile Hal Vanderburg hurled a masterful game and only three Royals runs in the bottom of the ninth made the 10-5 contest close.

Governors Cup Championship - Game 3-5
The next three games returned to Syracuse seeing the tribe lose three straight games before crowds of 9,000, 7,000 and 8,000. Montreal now led the series three games to two.

Governors Cup Championship- Game 6
 The Montreal fans were ready. Game 6 a crowd estimated at 21,000 looked on Chiefs shortstop Al Niemiec became the game hero. Niemiec knocked in the winning run in the top of the tenth innings in a 3-2 Chiefs series tying win. Joe Cascarella went the route despite an injured leg and hurled a brilliant game...

Governors Cup Playoff - Championship Game -7
The Governors Cup final in Montreal saw George Hockette pitch a five hitter to capture the Chiefs first Governors Cup Championship 2-1. The Chiefs scoring came as Harry Taylor homered in the fifth to tie the score at 1-1. Then Toporcer doubled off the scoreboard scoring another, but it was his great catch in back of second to double-off Bob Seeds in the bottom of the ninth that sealed our first Cup. An interesting note: no team won a contest at home during the final seven game series.

The Governors Cup is a perpetual trophy originally sponsored by the Governors of the States of New York, New Jersey and Maryland along with the Lieutenant Governors of the Providences of Quebec and Ontario, Canada. The trophy is awarded to the International League play-off champion, to be held by the winning team for a period of one year.

Leibold's team was red hot in the playoffs and probably would have won the Little World Series if one had been held  in 1935. The Chiefs divided the $5,000 cash prize by cutting it into 27 slices. Manager Leibold, Mike Kelly (coach), Jim Corcoran (trainer) and groundskeeper Ed Goettel and 23 players will share the prize money. In arriving at the division played weighed the funds in two phases. The first $2,500 for qualifying for the playoffs, and the second $2,500 for emerging in the finals.

1935-Year two in Chiefs history was one to remember

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