Hardball history: 1941 Buckeyes were Warren’s most recent team
Warren’s most recent minor league baseball team took the field in 1941.
The Warren Buckeyes played in the Class D (rookie league) Pennsylvania State Association.
Though the 1940 Warren squad was affiliated with the Cleveland Indians, the 1941 squad was on its own.
We don’t know the team’s record but we do know that Raymond Scott hit .354 with 166 hits at the age of 21 to lead the team in both categories.
Stats show that Scott played in Washington in 1942 and didn’t play again until 1946, peaking with 11 games for the Pirates AA New Orleans affiliate in 1948.
As with many players of this area, World War II is the most likely cause of that interruption.
The same could likely be said for switch-hitter Donald Kreitz, also 21, who hit .311 with 125 hits but never played again and John Naponic, who at 18 years of age slugged a team-high 18 home runs.
Jack Reynolds pitched 204 innings (for a rookie level league!) in 29 games with a 4.99 ERA.
The Warren Buckeyes featured two major league connections.
Earl Henry, a lefty nicknamed “Hook” per his Wiki bio, pitched in two games for the Cleveland Indians in 1944 and 15 more in 1945. His career totals include 39.1 innings pitched and a 5.03 ERA.
For the Buckeyes, the 22-year-old Henry hit .208 in 53 at-bats and also went 7-8 with a 4.81 ERA in 129 innings pitched.
The other MLB connection was Alex McColl.
In addition to managing the club, the then 47-year-old was the club’s ace – pitching to a 12-6 record and a 3.22 ERA in 137 innings. He also chipped in with a .264 batting average over 53 at bats.
If it seems odd for a 47-year-old to be playing rookie ball, you’d be right. For example, he was 25 years older than the average age of a player in the Pennsylvania State Association.
But McColl seemed to do everything in his career later than the norm.
Per Wiki, “Red” McColl made his MLB debut at the age of 39 with the 1933 Washington Senators, one of just eight in the history of the game to debut at age 39 or older. In his fifth game, he pitched two perfect innings in the 1933 World Series.
He also played in his age 40 season with the 1934 Washington Senators.
For his career, he went 4-4 with a 3.70 ERA and 34 strikeouts.