Monday, March 30, 2015

Knoxville's first two no hitters

Fellow SABR member Chuck McGill has been collecting info on minor league no-hitters.  He's added over 500 no-nos to those already known about and published in the Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball.  Last week The Sporting News published a nice story about his work.

He's made his spreadsheet available to others.  I grabbed it and extracted the games that Knoxville / Tennessee was involved with.  I'll look at the first two known no hitters.

On August 22, 1912, Finis Wilson threw one against the Johnson City Soldiers.  This was Fin's second season playing for the Knoxville Reds of the young Appalachian League.

Tulsa World - August 23, 1912

Richmond Times Dispatch - August 23, 1912

The article in the New Orleans Item has the game scores reversed but does share that Fin Wilson pitched both ends of that double header.
New Orleans Item - August 23, 1912
Just a few years later Fin would be pitching for the Brooklyn Tip-Tops of the Federal League.  He went 1-9 with a 4.03 ERA.

The shortstop Morley was Bill Morley.  The 1913 season he played two games for the Washington Senators of the American League.

It was almost a full ten years before another no hitter was tossed by Knoxville.  By this time the team had changed its name from the Reds to the Pioneers.

According to McGill's spreadsheet the second no hitter was tossed by "Red" Stoner on July 7, 1923 against the Kingsport Indians.    McGill's spreadsheet has the score listed as ?-0. 

The SABR Minor League Committee newsletter for the Spring of 2007 was seeking the info.

Beating the Bushes (SABR Minor League Committee newsletter) - Spring, 2007
I have not yet been able to locate a description of the game, but I did find a score for it.

Macon Telegraph - July 8, 1923

Not much is known about Mr. Stoner, except that he went 17-6 for the Pioneers that season.

And that he was sold to the New York Giants in August.

Trenton Evening Times - August 23, 1923

Times-Picayune - September 13, 1923

Apparently the big baseball news coming out of Knoxville at the time of Stoner's no hitter was that Frank Kane was released from the team.
Richmond Times Dispatch - July 8, 1923
Less is known about Frank Kane than is known about "Red" Stoner.  As usual, more research is needed.

Newspaper article images from

Friday, March 13, 2015

1927 Townsend "Lumberjacks"

Another one of my SABR colleagues and friends, Brad Ridenour, shared this find with me.

Knoxville News-Sentinel - September 11, 1927