Wednesday, May 23, 2012


March 22, 1937- a new working agreement was signed between the Chiefs and the Cincinnati Reds of the National League. Jersey City had replaced Albany and Bernard "Mike" Kelly was named as new pilot of the tribe in 1937.

The Chiefs opened the International League season on April 23 dropping a 6-1 verdict to the Buffalo Bisons. Thie lineup comprised many new faces, Al Grosscup (2b), Eddie Jost (3b), Lee Gamble (cf), Dick Porter (rf), Wally Cazen (lf) Bill Campbell (c), John Reder (1b) , Ed Miller (ss) and Ralph Kolp on the mound.

The most important addition to the club was that of hard hitting first baseman Frank McCormick. McCormick had been promoted from Durham (5/16) solidified the infield while leading the club with a .322 average. With McCormick's addition the Chiefs won six of their next eight contests. In another player transaction catcher "Doc" Legett was traded to Nashville, and Dee Moore arrived from Cincinnati.
The Boston Red Sox arrived on June 14 for their yearly exhibition. Little fan excitement was generated as only 2.000 attended a 3-2 Chiefs victory. This would be the last time Syracuse would see the Red Sox and the likes of  future "Hall of Famers " Jimmy Foxx, Joe Cronin & Bobby Doerr.

A week later the Chiefs had climbed into third place. Johnny Vander Veer arrived from Cincinnati when Jake Moody was recalled and the Reds arrived in town for their first ever exhibition game. July 12th the Syracuse Newspapers report rumors that Cincinnati team officials want Ki Ki Cuyler as new Chiefs manager. The Reds roster sported former Syracuse player's, Chick Hafey, "Wild Bill" Halahan & Joe Cascarella along with Ernie Lombardi and Cuyler. Former Central High School pitching ace Johnny Gee was on the mound that day and downs Cincinnati 4-2.

With the Chiefs setting in third place, Earl Harrist pitches a 1-0 no-hit game vs Jersey City on July 25. Five days later the tribe slipped into fifth place with a 50-50 mark, but rebounded on Lloyd Moore's one-hitter July 30 against Buffalo and Johhny Gee's two-hitter vs Toronto. Before the season ended the St Louis Brown's visited Municipal Stadium topping the home team 8-2. The brave 3,500 fans viewed a Brown's lineup of Jim Bottomley, Joe Vosmik, Billy Knickerbocker and Sam West.

The Newark Bears (109-43) captured the league title with the Chiefs placing third at 78-74. Dick Porter was voted "Most Popular Chief" and Whitey Moore was honored as the International League Strikeout King. Moore had set a new All-Time Chiefs record with 16 strikeouts in a single nine inning game. That record still stands today.

The Governors Cup Playoffs opened at Newark, as Earl Cook lost a Game #1 heartbreaker to Joe Beggs 2-1. A game the Chiefs lead 1-0 in the fifth on Harry Craft's long homer to left field. With the Chiefs still leading 1-0 and two out in the bottom of the ninth Newarks' Joe Gordon homered to left to deadlock the score 1-1. The next batter Jim Gleeason followed with another long homer to left and the Bears came away with a 2-1 victory.

Game 2, Newark hammered Johnny Vandere Veer 7-2 to take a two games to none lead in the best of seven series.

Game 3,  the series returned to Syracuse as Newark continued their assault on Whitey Moore to the tune of 8-0 before 6,500 tribe fans.

Game 4,  Newark closed the door on the Chiefs on a cold damp evening before only 1.500 brave souls. Earl Cook had another good outing the the Chiefs nemesic, Joe Gordon hit another homer, this time an inside the park variety when the ball rolled to the deep right field scoreboard. The Chiefs scored in the seventh on Frank McCormick's double and two sac flies. It was the first runs the Chiefs had scored in 22 innings. Newark scored an insurance run in the nith, but the game was over a 3-1 Newark Bears win. The tribe managed just five hits off Newark rookier starter Marius Russo.

The season ended for the Chiefs losting four straight games. But Newark continued on defeating Baltimore to win the Governors Cup and then down Columbus to win the Little World Series.

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