The Portsmouth A's were a minor league baseball team based in Portsmouth, Ohio. From 1948 to 1950, the A's played as exclusively as members of the Class D level Ohio-Indiana League and were a minor league affiliate of the Philadelphia Athletics. The Portsmouth A's hosted minor league home games at Riverside Park, known today as Branch Rickey Park. The A's won the 1949 league pennant.

Portsmouth A's
Minor league affiliations
ClassClass D (1948–1950)
LeagueOhio-Indiana League (1948–1950)
Major league affiliations
TeamPhiladelphia Athletics (1948–1950)
Minor league titles
League titles (0)None
Conference titles (1)1949
Wild card berths (1)
  • 1948
Team data
NamePortsmouth A's (1948–1950)
BallparkRiverside Park/Branch Rickey Park (1948–1950)

History edit

The Portsmouth A's were immediately preceded by the Portsmouth Red Birds, who played as members of the Middle Atlantic League from 1937 to 1940 as an affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.[1]

In 1948, the Portsmouth A's were formed, serving as a minor league affiliate of the Philadelphia Athletics. Portsmouth became members of the eight–team Class D level Ohio–Indiana League.[2] Portsmouth joined the Lima Terriers, Marion Cubs, Muncie Reds, Newark Yankees, Richmond Braves, Springfield Giants and Zanesville Dodgers in beginning league play on May 15, 1948.[3]

In their first season of play, Portsmouth A's placed second in the Ohio–Indiana League regular season standings. The A's ended the 1948 season with a record of 82–58, as George Staller served as manager.[4] Portsmouth finished a mere 0.5 game behind the first place Zanesville Dodgers in the final standings.[5] In the playoffs, the Muncie Packers swept Portsmouth 4 games to 0.[6][7]

The 1949 Portsmouth A's won the Ohio–Indiana League pennant before losing in the playoffs. Playing under manager Homer Cox, Portsmouth placed first in the regular season standings with a 81–58 record.[8] Portsmouth finished 4.5 games ahead of the second place Springfield Giants.[9] In the first round of playoffs, the Marion Red Sox defeated the A's 3 games to 1.[10][7]

In their final season, the Portsmouth A's did not qualify for the 1950 playoffs to defend their championship. The Portsmouth A's ended their final Ohio–Indiana League season with a 46–89 record to place seventh. Walter Van Grofski served as manager, as Portsmouth finished 42.5 games behind the first place Marion Red Sox.[11][12] The A's scored 568 total runs, last in the league.[13][7]

In 1951, the Portsmouth A's did not return to play, as the Ohio–Indiana League reduced from eight teams to six teams.[14] Portsmouth was without minor league baseball until the 1993 Portsmouth Explorers began a three–season tenure as members of the Frontier League.[15][16]

The ballpark edit

The Portsmouth A's hosted minor league home games at Riverside Park. The ballpark was renamed "Branch Rickey Park" in 1950.[17] The ballpark was constructed in 1935 and is still in use today, as home to the Shawnee State Bears collegiate team.[18] The location is 25 Mary Ann Street.[19]

Timeline edit

Year(s) # Yrs. Team Level League Affiliate Ballpark
1948–1950 3 Portsmouth A's Class D Ohio-Indiana League Philadelphia Athletics Riverside Park

Year–by–year records edit

Year Record Finish Manager Attend Playoffs
1948 82–58 2nd George Staller 73,533 Lost 1st round
1949 81–48 1st Homer Cox 61,106 Won league pennant
Lost 1st round
1950 46–89 7th Walter Van Grofski 21,685 Did not qualify


Notable alumni edit

See also edit

Portsmouth A's players

References edit

  1. ^ "1940 Portsmouth Red Birds minor league baseball Roster on".
  2. ^ "1948 Portsmouth A's Statistics".
  3. ^ "1948 Ohio-Indiana League (OOL) Minor League Baseball on".
  4. ^ "1948 Portsmouth A's minor league baseball Statistics on".
  5. ^ "1948 Ohio-Indiana League (OOL) Minor League Baseball Standings on".
  6. ^ a b "1948 Portsmouth A's minor league baseball Roster on".
  7. ^ a b c Johnson, Lloyd; Wolff, Miles, eds. (2007). The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (Third ed.). Baseball America. ISBN 978-1932391176.
  8. ^ "1949 Portsmouth A's Statistics".
  9. ^ "1949 Ohio-Indiana League".
  10. ^ a b "1949 Portsmouth A's minor league baseball Roster on".
  11. ^ "1950 Portsmouth A's Statistics".
  12. ^ "1950 Ohio-Indiana League".
  13. ^ a b "1950 Portsmouth A's minor league baseball Roster on".
  14. ^ "1951 Ohio-Indiana League".
  15. ^ "Portsmouth Explorers minor league baseball Statistics and Roster on".
  16. ^ "Portsmouth, Ohio Encyclopedia".
  17. ^ "Branch Rickey Park in Portsmouth, OH minor league baseball history and teams on".
  18. ^ "Shawnee State University".
  19. ^ "Shawnee State University".

External links edit