Providence Clamdiggers

From BR Bullpen

Every 19th Century team in Providence, RI was called either the Providence Grays or Providence Clamdiggers. In 1891, they joined the Eastern Association and finished last at 29-54 under the guidance of Bill McGunnigle. Mike Sullivan (11-17, 1.55) led the EA in losses. The next year, Walt Burnham became the manager and they moved up to 7th at 57-59, but only 6 and a half games out of first. They even won the first-half pennant, though they fell in the playoffs to the Binghamton Bingoes. Jim Sullivan (7-10, 0.81) led the league (now the Eastern League) in ERA while Mike Kilroy went 25-22 with a 1.73 ERA in 415 innings of workload. A balanced offense included 3B Bob Pettit (.288, 41 SB, 93 R) for speed and 1B Sid Farrar (.284, .391 slugging, 88 runs, 31 SB) as the top power threat (23 doubles, 8 triples, 2 homers).

Providence initially dropped out of the 1893 EL but returned to the fold by the start of the season and went 47-67, sixth place, in Burnham's second year. OF Pat Friel hit .320 and scored 88, while stealing 41 bases, and 1B Jim Rogers hit .339.

The Clamdiggers dominated in 1894, taking the EL flag by 16 and a half games over the Troy Trojans. The Providence club went 78-34 under Billy Murray. OF Joe Knight (.371) won the batting title while splitting time with the Wilkes-Barre Coal Barons, 3B Charley Bassett hit .368 with 125 runs, Murray stole 68 bases and OF Harry Lyons hit .335, slugged .483, scored 131 times and stole 37. Sullivan was the main pitcher. The club pilfered 365 bases, 171 more than any other team in the EL. They became Grays again in 1895.

Providence was home to Clamdiggers again in 1898 and Murray's team finished 5th in the EL at 58-60. SS John Cassidy hit .385 in 67 games while OF Henry Lynch (.267, 105 runs) stole a league-best 66 bases. Murray's club fell to 7th the next year at 54-62 though OF John Walters (.326) led the league in hits (160). In 1900, Murray's club won another pennant at 84-52, edging the Rochester Bronchos by five and half games. 1B Cassidy (.315, 33 SB, 96 R) and OF Al Davis hit .332, scored 108 and stole 70 bases.

Providence began the 20th Century with a 73-58, third place finish under Murray's lead. Walters hit .320 and scored 96 runs, while Cassidy hit .311, slugged .428 and stole 25. Davey Dunkle (26-13), the long-time head of the rotation, led the EL in wins.

After three prior years as the Grays, the Clamdiggers returned in 1905 under player-manager Jack Dunn and won another title, the fifth for Providence in the EL. 2B Dunn (.301) led the league with 157 hits, 1B Bert Conn (.271, .375 SLG, 75 R, 25 SB) led with 14 triples, C Ira Thomas (.311, .427 SLG) and Fred Jacklitsch (.314, .435 SLG) both topped .300 and OF Herm McFarland hit .319, stole 33, slugged .429 and led the EL with 91 runs. Jack Cronin (29-12) led the league in wins and innings (338) and Ed Poole (21-12) was a solid #2 hurler. The next year, they became the Grays for good.

Source: The International League: Year-by-Year Statistics by Marshall Wright

Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1891 29-54 NA Bill McGunnigle Team disbanded August 13
1892 57-59 5th Walt Burnham Lost in playoffs to Binghamton
1893 47-67 6th Walt Burnham