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Sooner State League

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The class D Sooner State League was established in 1947 and continued through 1957. It was based in Oklahoma and had a high percentage of teams affiliated with the majors for a class D league of the time period. Ardmore, OK and Lawton, OK made it through the whole 11 year run of the league. The league was represented by sixteen cities, eleven from Oklahoma and five from Texas.

The Ardmore, OK team won three of the league's titles, those coming in 1951, 1953 and 1956. In the eleven-year run of the league only one title was claimed by a Texas team. Paris, TX won the league crown in 1957, the league's last year. The league's initial year, 1947 was the only time there were less than eight cities fielding a team. Six teams were on tap in the first year.

Some 3,000,000 fans visited the parks over the eleven-year period. 1949 was the best year, with 366,000 paying their way through the gates. However, 1957 saw only a count of 190,000 paid and the dwindling attendance proved to be the death knell of the league.


Contents

[edit] Cities Represented

[edit] Teams & Statistics

[edit] 1947 '48 '49

1947 Sooner State League
President: Jack Mealey

Team Standings W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Lawton Giants 98 42 .700 - 24,248 Louis Brower
Ada Herefords 86 51 .628 10.5 41,872 Uke Clanton
McAlester Rockets 73 67 .521 25 43,657 William Nebroak
Ardmore Indians 72 67 .518 25.5 27,943 Dutch Prather
Seminole Oilers 48 90 .348 49 30,003 John Taber/Hugh Willingham
Duncan Cementers 39 99 .283 58 8,220 Otto Utt

Playoffs: Ardmore 3 games, Lawton 2; McAlester 3 games, Ada 2.
Finals: McAlester 4 games, Ardmore 1.

Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Russell Hawley McAlester BA .382 Forrest Smith Ada W 23
Robert Andrlik Ardmore Runs 158 William Donaghey Ada SO 244
A.B. Everett McAlester Hits 188 Forest Smith Ada ERA 2.00
Paul Richardville Ada RBI 111 Joseph Galioto Lawton PCT .800 20-5
Howard Weeks Lawton HR 11
Paul Richardville Ada HR 11


1948 Sooner State League
President: Jack Mealey

Team Standings W L PCT GB Attend Managers
McAlester Rockets 91 47 .659 - 63,060 Vern Hoscheit
Lawton Giants 77 59 .566 13 33,861 Louis Brower
Seminole Oilers 75 62 .547 15.5 40,053 Hugh Willingham
Chickasha Chiefs 73 63 .537 17 35,640 Ray Honeycutt
Ada Herefords 63 76 .453 28.5 27,050 Uke Clanton
Ardmore Indians 60 78 .435 31 37,944 Donald Smith / Jim Cooke
Pauls Valley Raiders 56 81 .409 34.5 27,071 Dutch Prather / Jennings Poindexter
Duncan Cementers 54 83 .394 36.5 27,066 Jess Welch / Otto Utt

Playoffs: McAlester 3 games, Chickasha 1; Seminole 3 games, Lawton 2.
Finals: Seminole 4 games, McAlester 2.

Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Cromer Smotherman McAlester BA .347 Bob Giddings Lawton W 25
Bob Hyatt Pauls Valley Runs 122 Tom Kruta Ardmore SO 186
Al Billingsley McAlester Hits 190 Buddy Yount McAlester ERA 2.11
Howard Martin McAlester RBI 122 Buddy Yount McAlester PCT .944; 17-1
Howard Martin McAlester HR 19


1949 Sooner State League
President: Jack Mealey

Team Standings W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Pauls Valley Raiders 88 52 .629 - 61,085 Red Phillips
Lawton Giants 87 52 .626 .5 45,501 Louis Brower
Chickasha Chiefs 78 61 .561 9.5 59,306 Ray Honeycutt
Ada Herefords 69 70 .497 18.5 33,525 Bill Krueger (minors)
Duncan Uttmen 65 74 .468 22.5 36,678 Edward Marleau / Skidgel / Pfeiffer
McAlester Rockets 58 82 .414 30 56,733 Vern Hoscheit
Ardmore Indians 57 81 .413 30 43,348 Dutch Prather / James Skidgel
Seminole Oilers 54 84 .391 33 33,258 Hugh Willingham / Paul Schoendienst

Playoffs: Pauls Valley 3 games, Ada 2; Lawton 3 games, Chickasha 0.
Finals: Lawton 4 games, Pauls Valley 1.

Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Pete Runnels Chickasha BA .372 Jim Melton Pauls Valley W 23
Kelly Wingo Chickasha Runs 123 Joseph Micciche Lawton SO 297
Pete Runnels Chickasha Hits 188 James Spencer Lawton ERA 1.96
A.B. Pearson Pauls Valley RBI 123 Joseph Micciche Lawton PCT .769; 20-6
Daryl Spencer Pauls Valley HR 23
Bill Milligan Ada HR 23

[edit] 1950 '51 '52

1950 Sooner State League
President: Jack Mealey

Team Standings W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Ada Herefords 96 41 .701 - 31,981 Bill Krueger (minors)
McAlester Rockets 92 48 .657 5.5 58,048 Vern Hoscheit
Chickasha Chiefs 80 59 .575 17 43,759 Ray Honeycutt
Ardmore Indians 75 65 .536 22.5 44,454 Bennie Warren
Pauls Valley Raiders 68 72 .486 29.5 25,848 Red Phillips / Joseph Jacobs
Seminole Ironmen 55 83 .399 41.5 21,366 Kelly Wingo / Lloyd Giger / Dennis Rackley
Duncan# / Shawnee 51 85 .375 44.5 15,950 Hosea Pfeiffer / Prather / Wingo
Lawton Giants 37 101 .268 59.5 31,817 Louis Brower

# Duncan moved to Shawnee August 18.
Playoffs: Ardmore 3 games, Ada 2; McAlester 3 games, Chickasha 0.
Finals: McAlester 4 games, Ardmore 2.

Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Clinton Weaver McAlester BA .378 William Donaghey Ada W 26
Ron Jackson Ada Runs 154 Jack Urban McAlester SO 279
Jack Taylor McAlester Hits 212 Jack Urban McAlester ERA 2.15
Stephen Molinari Ada RBI 162 Bill Starr Ada PCT .917; 11-1
Stephen Molinari Ada HR 39


1951 Sooner State League
President: Jack Mealey

Team Standings W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Ardmore Indians 99 40 .712 - 40,742 Bennie Warren
Shawnee Hawks 96 44 .686 3.5 44,428 Lou Fitzgerald
McAlester Rockets 91 48 .655 8 42,028 Vern Hoscheit
Pauls Valley Raiders 90 50 .643 9.5 27,580 Louis Brower
Ada Herefords 54 86 .386 45.5 12,779 Stan Galle
Chickasha Chiefs 46 94 .329 53.5 21,107 Wingo / Jackson / Bryan / Reyes
Lawton Giants 46 94 .329 53.5 17,252 Ray Baker
Seminole Ironmen 37 103 .264 62.5 16,915 James "Ripper" Collins / Dutch Prather

Playoffs: Ardmore 3 games, Pauls Valley 0; McAlester 3 games, Shawnee 0.
Finals: McAlester 4 games, Ardmore 2.

Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Lou Fitzgerald Shawnee BA .379 Dee Sanders McAlester W 27
Joe Nodar Ardmore Runs 179 Ken Hemphill Pauls Valley W 27
Dan Toma Pauls Valley Hits 195 Armin Somonte Ardmore SO 341
Manuel Temes Ardmore Hits 195 Dee Sanders McAlester ERA 1.67
Glenn Snyder Ardmore RBI 155 Dee Sanders McAlester PCT .871; 27-4
Manuel Temes Ardmore RBI 155
Dan Demby Pauls Valley HR 30
Don Williamson Pauls Valley HR 30


1952 Sooner State League
President: Uke Clanton

Team Standings W L PCT GB Attend Managers
McAlester Rockets 87 53 .621 - 52,395 William Cope
Pauls Valley Raiders 80 59 .576 6.5 34,500 Louis Brower
Chickasha Chiefs 78 62 .557 9 27,494 Ray Taylor
Shawnee Hawks 73 67 .521 14 44,680 Lou Fitzgerald / James Jolly
Sherman Twins 72 68 .514 15 19,815 Bennie Warren
Lawton Reds 63 77 .450 24 52,807 Tuck McWilliams
Ada Herefords 57 82 .410 29.5 38,387 Bill Enos / Virl Loman / Jim England
Ardmore Indians 49 91 .350 38 24,362 Sullivan / Mills / Willingham / Baldwin / Morgan

Playoffs: McAlester 3 games, Shawnee 1; Pauls Valley 3 games, Chickasha 1.
Finals: McAlester 4 games, Pauls Valley 3.

Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Ray Taylor Chickasha BA .365 Charles Seymour McAlester W 25
Vincent Downs Lawton Runs 142 Charles Seymour McAlester SO 292
Jim England Ada Hits 198 Charles Seymour McAlester ERA 1.91
Don Williamson Pauls Valley RBI 148 Charles Seymour McAlester PCT .806; 25-6
Bob Hertel McAlester HR 22
Don Williamson Pauls Valley HR 22

[edit] 1953 '54 '55

1953 Sooner State League
President: Uke Clanton

Team Standings W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Ardmore Cardinals 91 46 .664 - 43,000 Bennie Warren
Shawnee Hawks 86 53 .619 6 39,441 Boyd Bartley
Ada Herefords 84 54 .609 7.5 36,128 Louis Brower
McAlester Rockets 83 56 .597 9 40,485 William Cope
Pauls Valley Raiders 63 74 .460 28 18,453 Richard Klaus
Sherman-Denison Twins 61 77 .442 30.5 18,784 Red McCarty
Lawton Reds 47 89 .346 43.5 18,029 Tuck McWilliams
Gainesville Owls 36 102 .261 55.5 20,523 Grigg / Shadid / Landrum

Playoffs: McAlester 3 games, Ardmore 1; Ada 3 games, Shawnee 1.
Finals: McAlester 4 games, Ada 1.

Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Russ Snyder McAlester BA .432 J.L. Rhodes Ada W 21
Al Viotta Ardmore Runs 159 Don Huffman Shawnee SO 250
Russ Snyder McAlester Hits 240 James Peterson Shawnee ERA 1.94
Al Viotta Ardmore RBI 161 Robert Shipman McAlester PCT .813; 13-3
Ron Slawski Ada HR 31
Bob Norden Ada HR 31


1954 Sooner State League
President: Uke Clanton

Team Standings W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Shawnee Hawks 92 48 .657 - 42,189 Jack Banta
Lawton Braves 81 58 .583 10.5 47,431 Travis Jackson
McAlester Rockets 76 64 .543 16 53,410 Bunny Mick
Ardmore Cardinals 72 67 .518 19.5 31,090 Bennie Warren / Frank Mancuso
Gainesville Owls 72 68 .514 20 14,385 Richard Rigazio
Ada Herefords / Ada Cementers 64 76 .457 28 28,482 Louis Brower / John Densmore
Seminole Oilers 61 79 .436 31 16,840 Tom Warren / Ray Taylor
Pauls Valley Raiders 41 99 .293 51 29,468 Lloyd Pearson / Bennie Warren

Playoffs: Ardmore 3 games, Shawnee 2; Lawton 3 games, McAlester 2.
Finals: Lawton 4 games, Ardmore 0.

Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Ray Mitchell Shawnee BA .371 Wendell Doss Lawton W 24
Bill Fox Shawnee Runs 139 Joe Roberson Shawnee SO 225
Bill Fox Shawnee Hits 193 Joe Roberson Shawnee ERA 2.52
Jim Humbert Shawnee RBI 136 Tom Warren Seminole PCT .909 10-1
Gene Green Ardmore HR 34


1955 Sooner State League
President: Uke Clanton

Team Standings W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Lawton Braves 95 44 .683 - 45,554 Travis Jackson
Shawnee Hawks 77 61 .558 17.5 37,817 Jack Banta
Muskogee Giants 74 66 .529 21.5 47,485 Richard Klaus
Paris Orioles 68 69 .496 26 44,805 Jimmy Adair
Ardmore Cardinals 65 75 .464 30.5 33,731 Frank Mancuso
McAlester Rockets 65 75 .464 30.5 47,295 Marvin Crater
Gainesville #Ponca City 56 83 .403 39 26,169 Eddie Carnett
Seminole Oilers 56 83 .403 39 26,775 Charles Hopkins / Al Evans

# Gainesville moved to Ponca City May 19.
Playoffs: Lawton 3 games, Paris 1; Muskogee 3 games, Shawnee 2.
Finals: Lawton 4 games, Muskogee 2.

Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Hal Gordon Seminole BA .345 Bob Dudley Lawton W 23
William Caye Muskogee Runs 117 Dale Hendrickson Lawton SO 256
Walt Massefski Paris Hits 178 Dale Hendrickson Lawton ERA 1.26
Walt Massefski Paris RBI 107 Mike Kirmer Lawton PCT .813 13-3
James Brown Ardmore HR 21


[edit] 1956 '57

1956 Sooner State League
President: George Barr

Team Standings W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Ardmore Cardinals 83 56 .597 - 47,110 J.C. Dunn
Lawton Braves 80 60 .571 3.5 30,550 Travis Jackson
Seminole Oilers 74 66 .529 9.5 31,249 Burl Storie
Paris Orioles 72 67 .518 11 37,764 Jimmy Adair/Barney Lutz
Ponca City Cubs 70 70 .500 13.5 20,674 Don Biebel
Muskogee Giants 63 76 .453 20 37,983 Richard Klaus
McAlester Rockets 60 79 .432 23 32,302 Marvin Crater
Shawnee Hawks 56 84 .400 27.5 24,872 Jack Banta

Playoffs: Ardmore 3 games, Paris 2; Seminole 3 games, Lawton 1.
Finals: Seminole 4 games, Ardmore 3.

Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Russell Gragg Ponca City BA .352 John Bartek Ardmore W 21
Robert Stangel Ardmore Runs 132 Vincent Kilpela Ardmore SO 276
Russell Gragg Ponca City Hits 183 Mike Mazzamorra Seminole ERA 2.28
J.C. Dunn Ardmore RBI 134 John Bartek Ardmore PCT .778 21-6
Gene Oliver Ardmore HR 39 Mike Mazzamorra Seminole PCT .778 21-6


1957 Sooner State League
President: George Barr

Team Standings W L PCT GB Attend Managers
Paris Orioles 74 51 .592 - 33,953 Barney Lutz / Bill Capps
Ardmore Cardinals 74 52 .587 .5 36,201 J.C. Dunn / Mike Ryba
Muskogee Giants 71 55 .563 3.5 21,253 Andy Gilbert
Shawnee Hawks 64 62 .508 10.5 22,301 Ed Serrano
Greenville Majors 62 63 .496 12 23,066 Tom Gott
Lawton Braves 59 66 .472 15 15,065 Travis Jackson
Ponca City Cubs 52 74 .413 22.5 21,253 Don Biebel
Seminole Oilers 46 79 .368 28 17,379 Lee Anthony

Playoffs: Paris 3 games, Shawnee 1; Ardmore 3 games, Muskogee 0.
Finals: Ardmore 4 games, Paris 0.

Player Statistics
Player Team Stat Tot Player Team Stat Tot
Jim McKnight Ardmore BA .340 Jack Curtis Ponca City W 18
Dick Simpson Paris Runs 116 Jack Curtis Ponca City SO 219
Dick Simpson Paris Hits 163 John Jeanes Paris ERA 2.41
Jim McKnight Ardmore RBI 112 Rudy Stoehr Greenville PCT .750 12-4
Bob Beattie Paris HR 25

[edit] League Records 1947-1957

Batting
Player Team Stat Tot Yr Player Team Stat Tot Yr
Don Leppert McAlester GA 143 49 Russ Snyder McAlester BA .432 53
Jim England Ada AB 612 52 Joe Nodar Ardmore Runs 179 51
Russ Snyder McAlester Hits 240 53 Stephen Molinari Ada Rbi 162 50
Glen Snyder Ardmore 2B 58 51 Charles Buck McAlester 3B 25 48
Stephen Molinari Ada HR 39 50 Gene Oliver Ardmore HR 39 56
Al Viotta Ardmore TB 356 53 William Kruger Ada GS 4 50
Rod Kanehl McAlester HS 33 54 Marty Dooley Pauls Valley Sac 33 51
A.B. Everett McAlester SB 86 47 Bunny Mick McAlester BB 183 54
Joe Dembrosky Lawton HBP 32 53 Doug Davidson Lawton SO 173 53


Pitching
Player Team Stat Tot Yr Player Team Stat Tot Yr
Vic Stryska Chickasha GA 59 48 Andy Pane Pauls Valley CG 31 51
Dee Sanders McAlester W 27 51 Kenny Hemphill Pauls Valley W 27 51
Bill Winters Pauls Valley L 19 54 Buddy Yount(17-1) McAlester Pct .944 48
Dee Sanders McAlester ERA 1.67 51 Andy Pane Pauls Valley IP 302 51
Buddy Yount McAlester WS 17 48 Charles Seymour McAlester ShO 6 52
Armin Somonte Ardmore SO 341 51 Andy Pane Pauls Valley BB 235 50
Dodson Stokes Duncan HB 21 46 Jim Farmer Ardmore HB 21 53
Gene Fedak Lawson WP 25 53 John Francis Seminole BKS 15 50

[edit] Hall of Fame Alumni

[edit] Source

[edit] Further Reading

  • Peter G. Pierce: Baseball in the Cross Timbers, Oklahoma Heritage Association, Oklahoma City, OK, 2009.
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