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Decatur Baseball: | Overview | Roster | Seasonal Details | Highlights | Tidbits | History | Ballpark |

Baseball in Decatur, Illinois

Overview

The record of the Midwest League franchise in Decatur, Illinois.

For over two decades, Decatur was the most stable league franchise. The team always had the same nickname, and had only a handful of affiliation changes.

Decatur's best teams were independents competing against affiliated farm teams. These early-50s teams had a high proportion of Hispanic player surnames; there is a story (pdf). Most of the later years had an obvious star player, but the teams were usually bad.

This team won the best pitching performance this league has seen: Robert Sprout's August 18, 1960 no hitter.


Decatur hosted the Mississippi-Ohio Valley League All-Star Game in 1953.



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New
12mar00
(11sep99)
Changed
31aug10
Major Change
20nov09


Decatur, Illinois
Overview
Roster
Details
Highlights
Tidbits
History
Ballpark
MWL Fan's Guide
Season
1974
1973
1972
1971
1970
1969
1968
1967
1966
1965
1964
1963
1962
1961
1960
1959
1958
1957
1956
1955
1954
1953
1952

Summary

  • Midwest League seasons: 23
  • Won/Lost overall: 1386/1442, .490
  • Best season: 76/51, .598 (1957)
  • Championship Playoffs Won: 3
    • Championship Series Won/Lost: 17/11, .607
  • Best MWL Won/Lost Record: 3 seasons

Decatur joined the MWL predecessor Mississippi-Ohio Valley League as an expansion franchise in 1952. The franchise moved to Wausau after the 1974 season. This team is the most important ancestor of the current Geneva (Kane County) franchise.

Seasonal Results
Other Leagues


Team Names

  • Decatur Commodores, 1952-1974
    • they were often called the Commies

Affiliations

Officers, Managers, & Coaches


Ballpark

  • Fan's Field (built 1924; still in use as a softball park)

Attendance record

  • 96,337 (1953)

Ballparks & Attendance


Best Seasons

  • Hitter: James Freeman (1953) .286, 10 HR, 106 RBI
  • Pitcher: Joel McDaniel (1959) 22-9, 2.33, 212 strikeouts

Best Big League Career

Awards

  • 1959
    • Joel McDaniel (Player of the Year)
    • Stubby Overmire (Manager of the Year)
  • 1960
    • Bob Sprout (Rookie of the Year)

Decatur Highlights


Team Records

Hitters

  • Batting: John Lucadello (1954) .362
  • Home Runs: Roe Skidmore (1968) 27
  • Runs Batted In: James Freeman (1953) 106

Seasonal Hitting Leaders

Pitchers

  • Wins: John Bumgarner (1954) 22
  • Won/Lost (10 decisions): Michael Wysocki (1967) 10-2, .833
  • Earned Run Average: Nick DeMatteis (1963) 1.95
  • Strikeouts: Bob Sprout (1960) 264

Seasonal Pitching Leaders


Notes

Both "Best Season" selections are debatable, but for different reasons. No hitter ever had a truly outstanding season for Decatur, though many had very good seasons. On the pitching side, there were several incredible seasons; Joel McDaniel's competition includes Bob Sprout (1960), John Bumgarner (1954), Nick DeMatteis (1963), and Bob DeLong (1967). Must have been fun to watch these guys.

This summary originated as the September 11, 1999, Midwest League Tidbit on the Midwest League Mailing List.


Sources

These pages draw heavily on several sources:

  • Lloyd Johnson & Miles Wolff, eds, The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball (Durham: Baseball America, 1997)
  • Midwest League Media Guide and Record Book (Beloit: Midwest League, various years; title varies)
  • Kevin Saldana, Today in Minor League Baseball History (???: SalFam Books, 1999)
  • Baseball America's Almanac (Durham: Baseball America, various years)
  • News sources.


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Appleton
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Beloit
Burlington
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Cedar Rapids
Centralia
Clinton
Danville
Davenport
Dayton
Decatur
Dubuque
Fort Wayne
Geneva
Grand Rapids
Hannibal
Kenosha
Keokuk
Kokomo
Lafayette
Lansing
Madison
Marion
Mattoon
Michigan City
Midland
Mount Vernon
Paducah
Paris
Peoria
Quincy
Rockford
South Bend
Springfield
Vincennes
Waterloo
Wausau
West Frankfort
Wisconsin Rapids


The Midwest League plays Single-A, professional baseball in America's agricultural and industrial heartland. 16 teams play a 140 game schedule which begins in early April and ends Labor Day weekend.

Disclaimers:
This website is a private project and has no official relation with or sanction from the Midwest League or Minor League Baseball.
The opinions expressed on this page are mine, and are worth about that.


Copyright © 1996-2010 Joel Dinda
Some Rights Reserved.