Charleston Senators

From BR Bullpen

The first professional baseball team from Charleston, WV were the Charleston Senators. They played in the 1910 Virginia Valley League. When that league became the Mountain States League the next season, the Senators went along. In 1913, after the MSL folded, the Senators were one of two teams from that circuit who found refuge in the Ohio State League - but that league was gone after another four seasons. There would be no minor league team in Charleston for 14 years after that.

In 1931, the Middle Atlantic League expanded to 12 teams to become the largest minor league and the Senators were one of the new teams. They won two pennants, in 1932 and 1942 and featured batting champ and .400 hitter Barney McCosky in 1936.

World War II ended minor league ball in Charleston in 1943 and the Senators returned in 1949 in the Central League. Joe Nuxhall appeared for the team in two of their three Central League seasons and Wally Post briefly made an appearance.

The Central folded after '51. When the Toledo Mud Hens were struggling to get crowds in 1952, the team moved to Charleston on June 23 and took the Senators name. This marked the only mid-season franchise move in American Association history.

The team lost 107 of their 153 games in '52, setting a post-1927 AA record. They finished last each of the three years to follow. Luke Easter hit 30 home runs for the club in 1955 and in 1956 Jim Bunning went 9-11.

In 1958 the Senators finished first for the only time in the American Association. The team got excellent pitching from Jerry Davie (17-5, 2.45), Don Lee (14-7, 2.95), George Spencer (9-4, 2.01) and Herb Moford (6-0, 0.95) while Larry Osborne hit 19 homers and drove in 97 and Wayne Terwilliger led the AA in steals. The team drew the second-most fans in the league, though they lost to the Denver Bears in the playoffs.

Despite several returning players and the addition of strikeout king Bob Bruce (11-13, 177 K, 3.57) plus 20 homers from Charley Lau, the team slipped to 77-84, 7th place in the 10-team AA.

The Senators left the AA after 1960 - in 9 seasons there they had finished 6th or lower all but that magical '58 campaign. They were replaced in the city in 1961 by the orphaned San Juan Marlins.

Source: "The American Association" by Bill O'Neal

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1910 62-53 2nd John Benny none
1911 57-58 5th George Bigbee none
1912 18-22 -- Charles Stockton none Team disbanded July 1
1913 84-50 2nd Henry "Buzz" Wetzel none
1914 79-62 2nd Henry "Buzz" Wetzel / Charles "Biddy" Beers none League Champs
1915 58-63 4th Biddy Beers
1916 24-34 (29-35 overall) -- Watt Powell League disbanded July 19 Team moved to Chillicothe July 13
1931 82-44 1st Dick Hoblitzel Lost League Finals
1932 70-54 1st (t) Dan Boone League Champs
1933 67-67 5th (t) Dan Boone / Watt Powell
1934 55-67 7th Charlie Niebergall
1935 49-65 7th Russ Young / Val Picinich
1936 71-58 2nd Ignatius Walters
1937 60-66 6th Ignatius Walters
1938 59-67 5th Paul O'Malley
1939 70-60 2nd Edward Hall Lost in 1st round
1940 64-62 2nd Ed Hall Lost in 1st round
1941 58-59 5th Ed Hall
1942 75-51 1st Jack Knight Lost in 1st round
1949 67-68 4th Joe Beggs Lost League Finals
1950 58-73 5th Joe Beggs
1951 69-70 4th Ernie White none
1952 46-107 overall 8th Rollie Hemsley Toledo moved to Charleston June 23
1953 60-94 8th Joe Becker
1954 59-94 8th Joe Becker
1955 50-104 8th Danny Murtaugh (31-64) / Vern Rapp (19-40)
1956 74-79 6th Charlie Metro (5-17) / Frank Skaff (69-62)
1957 67-87 7th Frank Skaff (34-46) / Don Griffin (1-2)/ Bill Norman (32-39)
1958 89-62 1st Bill Norman (33-21) / Bill Adair (56-41) Lost in 1st round
1959 77-84 7th Bill Adair
1960 65-88 6th Del Wilber