The Arizona State League was a minor league baseball league that existed from 1907 to 1930. The league start was in 1907 but teams and format are not known until the 1923 playing season. After the 1927 season, the league made application to the National Association of Professional Baseball Clubs and were approved to begin play in 1928 as a Class D-level league, and consisted of teams based in Arizona and Texas, evolving into the Arizona–Texas League in 1931.

Arizona State League
ClassificationClass D (1928–1930)
SportMinor League Baseball
First season1928
Ceased1930
Replaced byArizona–Texas League
PresidentPaul Davis (1928)
Fred Joyce (1929)
Wilford S. Sullinger (1930)
No. of teams7
CountryUnited States of America
Most titles1
Phoenix Senators (1928)
Miami Miners (1929)
Bisbee Bees (1930)

History

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Previous to the formation of the minor league, the "Arizona State League" operated as a semi–professional league beginning in 1920.[1]

The Arizona State League began play as a four–team Class D level minor league in the 1928 season, with all four charter franchises based in Arizona. The first Arizona State League President was Paul Davis. The league charter members were the Bisbee Bees of Bisbee, Arizona, Miami Miners of Miami, Arizona, Phoenix Senators of Phoenix, Arizona, and Tucson Cowboys of Tucson, Arizona. The same four franchises played for the duration of the Arizona State League. The league was formed in February 1927, with Dr. John E. Bacon as their first president,[2] with the four franchises and a team salary cap of $2,400. Major League baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis was involved in awarding Bisbee its first professional minor league team, gaining his support after earlier Bisbee semi–pro teams had refused to sign players involved in the 1919 Black Sox Scandal.[1][3][4][5]

In their first season of play in 1928, the Arizona State League played a regular season without playoffs. The Phoenix Senators were the 1928 Arizona State League Champions finishing with a 39–29 record, 2.0 games ahead of the 2nd place Bisbee Bees (37–31). They were followed by the Miami Miners (30–38) and Tucson Cowboys (30–38).[6][7][8][9]

The 1929 Arizona State League, with Fred Joyce becoming league president, became a six–team league adding the Globe Bears and Mesa Jewels as expansion franchises. The Mesa franchise withdrew from the league on July 24, 1929 and Mesa's remaining opponents were given 3 wins and 1 loss, as the remaining five teams finished the season. The Miami Miners won the first half title and Bisbee won the second half, as the league began playing a split season schedule in 1929, with two champions meeting in the Finals. The Bisbee Bees (60–30) had the best overall record. The Miami Miners (50–40), Globe Bears (48–42), Tucson Cowboys (43–47), Phoenix Senators (40–49), and Mesa Jewels (28–61) rounded out the 1929 final standings. The Mesa Jewels had actually folded on July 24, 1929, with an 18–25 record on that date. For the remainder of the season, Mesa's scheduled opponents were given a record 3 wins and 1 loss for each scheduled series with the disbanded team. In the 1929 Finals, the Miami Miners defeated the Bisbee Bees 4 games to 3 to win the championship.[10][11][12][9]

Miami was declared the winner of the seventh game of the 1929 Finals after a league meeting. The seventh game ended in the darkness with Bisbee ahead 14–13 in the 9th inning as thousands of Miami fans were on the field and throwing cushions. The game was stopped at that point and declared a “no contest” by league president Fred Joyce. Both teams appealed Joyce’s decision. At a league meeting on October 27, 1929, Miami was awarded the title in a 2-to-1 vote by the other three teams.[1]

In 1930, their final season of play, Wilford S. Sullinger became the Arizona State League president. The El Paso Texans of El Paso, Texas, joined the six–team league, replacing the Mesa Jewels. At a league meeting on February 2, 1930, following a presentation, El Paso was awarded a franchise (over the Arizona cities of Mesa, Jerome, Clarksdale, Nogales and Douglas), even though the nearest team was Bisbee at 284 miles and Phoenix was 430 miles. The 1930 Arizona State League was split into two half-seasons. Phoenix and Globe tied for the 1st half title and Bisbee won the second half title. The overall standings were led by Bisbee (60–45), followed by the El Paso Texans (58–47), Phoenix Senators (58–47), Globe Bears (56–49), Tucson Cowboys (45–60) and Miami Miners (38–67). In a Playoff, Globe defeated Phoenix 3 games to 0 for the first half title. In the 1930 Arizona State League Finals, Bisbee and Globe were tied at 3 games each when Bisbee won on a forfeit after Globe refused to play in Bisbee on September 17, 1930.[13][14][15][1][9]

In the 1930 Finals, with the teams tied 3 games each, controversy ensued. After Globe and Bisbee could not agree on a location for the seventh game, league president Wilfred Sullinger ruled the game would be played in Bisbee. In response, Globe president Al Floyd, citing finances in traveling to Bisbee, offered to play the game at a neutral site or to have the location decided by a coin flip. Sullinger reinforced that the seventh game was to be played in Bisbee and that Bisbee would be the league champion should Globe not play the game. Bisbee president C.T. Knapp noted the series had total revenues over $4,000 and Bisbee offered to pay half of the Globe travel expenses to Bisbee. Floyd and Globe ultimately refused to travel to play in Bisbee and the Bisbee Bees were declared the champions by forfeit.[1]

After the 1930 season, the Arizona State League, with the continued addition of the El Paso franchise, changed their name and evolved into the 1931 Class D level Arizona–Texas League, with Wilford S. Sullinger remaining as president of the newly named league.[9] The Bisbee Bees, El Paso Texans, Globe Bears, Phoenix Senators and Tucson Missions continued play in 1931, joined by the Nogales Internationals.[16]

Arizona State League teams

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Team name(s) City represented Ballpark Year(s) active
Bisbee Bees Bisbee, Arizona Warren Park[17] 1928 to 1930
El Paso Texans El Paso, Texas Dudley Field[18] 1930
Globe Bears Globe, Arizona School Hill Park[19] 1929 to 1930
Mesa Jewels Mesa, Arizona Rendezvous Park 1929
Miami Miners Miami, Arizona O’Brien Park 1928 to 1930
Phoenix Senators Phoenix, Arizona Phoenix Municipal Stadium[20] 1928 to 1930
Tucson Cowboys Tucson, Arizona Hi Corbett Field[21] 1928 to 1930

Standings & statistics

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1928 Arizona State League

Team standings W L PCT GB Managers
Phoenix Senators 39 29 .574 Bert Whaling
Bisbee Bees 37 31 .544 2.0 Roy Johnson
Miami Miners 30 38 .441 9.0 Pete Compton
Tucson Cowboys/Waddies 30 38 .441 9.0 Rube Foster
Player statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
John Alloway Phoenix BA .381 Tom Vaughn Bisbee W 14
Lefty Colvard Miami Runs 58 Eddie Miller Bisbee Hits 104
Larmon Cox Phoenix HR 14

[9]

1929 Arizona State League

Team standings W L PCT GB Managers
Bisbee Bees 60 30 .667 Roy Johnson
Miami Miners 50 40 .556 10.0 Drap Hayes
Globe Bears 48 42 .533 12.0 Mickey Shader
Tucson Cowboys 43 47 .478 17.0 Tom Holley /
Cliff McCarl / Pug Cavet
Phoenix Senators 40 49 .449 19.5 Ross Lyall / Tom Burke /
Ross Gardner / Chet Thomas
Mesa Jewels 28 61 .315 31.5 Bill Whittaker
Ernie Lloyd / Lee Dempsey

Playoffs: Miami defeated Bisbee 4 games to 3.
Finals: Miami defeated the Bisbee Bees 4 games to 3. (Game 7 decided by league vote).

Player statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Arthur Parker Bisbee BA .390 Glenn Gabler Bisbee W 20
Arthur Parker Bisbee Runs 99 John Mitchell Phoenix SO 147
Prince Oana Globe Hits 127 John Mitchell Phoenix ERA 3.18
Leo Burns Bisbee HR 23

[9]

1930 Arizona State League

Team standings W L PCT GB Managers
Bisbee Bees 60 45 .571 Roy Johnson
El Paso Texans 58 47 .552 2.0 Royce Washburn
Phoenix Senators 58 47 .552 2.0 Lou Guisto
Globe Bears 56 49 .533 4.0 Mickey Shader
Tucson Cowboys 45 60 .429 15.0 Pug Cavet / Walter Rehg
Miami Miners 38 67 .362 22.0 Drap Hayes /
Bob Gillespie / George Cochrane

Globe and Phoenix tied for the 1st half title. Bisbee won the 2nd half title. Playoff: Globe defeated Phoenix 3 games to 0 for the first half title.
Finals: Bisbee 3 games, Globe 3 games. Bisbee won on a forfeit when Globe refused to play in Bisbee on September 17.

Player statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Tony Antista Bisbee BA .430 Charlie Biggs Globe W 20
Tony Antista Bisbee Runs 127 Charlie Biggs Globe SO 157
Tony Antista Bisbee Hits 191 Al McNeeley Bisbee Pct .875; 14–2
Bob Stevenson Phoenix RBI 101 George Steward Bisbee HR 22

[9]

References

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  1. ^ a b c d e "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2020-10-30. Retrieved 2020-10-27.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ "Dr. John E. Bacon Named President Of State League". The Arizona Republican. February 27, 1927. p. 12. Retrieved April 22, 2022 – via Newspapers.com.  
  3. ^ McLennan, Jim (April 8, 2019). "Some history of baseball in Arizona". AZ Snake Pit.
  4. ^ Odeven, Ed. "AZ-Mexico League could bring minor league ball to Flag". Arizona Daily Sun.
  5. ^ "BACK IN TIME: A TRIP TO HISTORIC WARREN BALLPARK". The National Pastime Museum. May 6, 2019.
  6. ^ "1928 Arizona State League". Baseball-Reference.com.
  7. ^ "1928 Arizona State League (ASL) Standings on StatsCrew.com". www.statscrew.com.
  8. ^ "1928 Arizona State League (ASL) on StatsCrew.com". www.statscrew.com.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Johnson, Lloyd; Wolff, Miles, eds. (2007). The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (Third ed.). Baseball America. ISBN 978-1932391176.
  10. ^ "1929 Arizona State League". Baseball-Reference.com.
  11. ^ "1929 Arizona State League (ASL) on StatsCrew.com". www.statscrew.com.
  12. ^ "1929 Arizona State League (ASL) Standings on StatsCrew.com". www.statscrew.com.
  13. ^ "1930 Arizona State League". Baseball-Reference.com.
  14. ^ "1930 Arizona State League (ASL) on StatsCrew.com". www.statscrew.com.
  15. ^ "1930 Arizona State League (ASL) Standings on StatsCrew.com". www.statscrew.com.
  16. ^ "1931 Arizona-Texas League (AAL) on StatsCrew.com". www.statscrew.com.
  17. ^ "Warren Park in Bisbee, AZ history and teams on StatsCrew.com". www.statscrew.com.
  18. ^ "Dudley Field in El Paso, TX history and teams on StatsCrew.com". www.statscrew.com.
  19. ^ "O'Brien Park in Globe, AZ history and teams on StatsCrew.com". www.statscrew.com.
  20. ^ "Unknown in Phoenix, AZ history and teams on StatsCrew.com". www.statscrew.com.
  21. ^ "Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, AZ history and teams on StatsCrew.com". www.statscrew.com.