Schenectady Blue Jays Manager Lee Riley to Tommy LaSorda

1941 to 1948

1941 – Future Schenectady Blue Jay manager, Lee Riley (father of Pat Riley) was playing minor league baseball for Rome, N.Y., and he led the Can-Am League with 32 homeruns;  Ralph Kiner was playing for the Albany Senators and batted .279 with 11 homeruns and 66 RBI’s. and Jimmy Barbieri who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Billy Connors who played for the New York Mets, were born in Schenectady.

1942 – The New York Yankees came to Amsterdam and played against the Rugmakers.  New York won 9-5 in ten innings.  The Mohawk Mills Park grandstand burned down about a week before they arrived, but was rebuilt.;  Satchel Paige came to Hawkins Stadium in Albany and told the media that he was skeptical about blacks playing on major league teams.  He thought it would cause friction.  Paige felt that an all-negro team should become a major league member, and the Albany Senators won the Eastern League pennant.  Ralph Kiner led the league with 14 homers and 75 RBI’s.

1947 – Pitcher Lew Burdette was 9-10 for the Amsterdam Rugmakers;  McNearney Stadium opened in Schenectady; Schenectady went 85-51 and won the Can-Am League pennant under manager Lee Riley,  and Johnny Evers died in Albany.

1948 – Schenectady Blue Jay Tommy LaSorda struck out 25 Rugmakers in 15 innings;  Branch Rickey spoke to the Schenectady Quartermasters Association at the Electric City’s Army Depot cafeteria, and the Albany Senators beat the Pittsburgh Pirates at Hawkins Stadium.




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