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Virginia Ore Diggers

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The Virginia Ore Diggers are the only professional team to have played in the iron-mining community of Virginia, MN, playing in the Northern League from 1913 to 1916.

The team's main claim to fame are that they were the last team Hall of Famer Rube Waddell played for, in 1916; he went 1-8 in 14 games, although some sources conflate his time played earlier that year with the Minneapolis Bronchos and give a record of 3-9. Waddell chose the remote team because it was located in a region with abundant hunting and fishing, his two favorite pastimes. Other major leaguers who played for the team include Tony Faeth.

In July 1916, the Fort William team folded, leaving the league with an unwieldy 5 teams; league owners asked Virginia to bow out as well on July 10th, even though the team's owners wanted to continue, and the team was enjoying its best season.

[edit] Year-by-Year Record

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1913 30-87 8th Bill Shannon / Bobby Roth / Edward Stewart
1914 55-68 5th John Taylor / John Sundheim / Frank McGee (minors)
1915 53-69 6th John Sundheim
1916 28-32 NA Lefty Davis Team disbanded July 10


[edit] Further Reading

  • Rich Arpie: "Rube and His Bears: A Short History of the Virginia Ore Diggers and the Team's Time in the Northern League", in Daniel R. Levitt, ed.: Short but Wondrous Summers: Baseball in the North Star State, The National Pastime, Volume 42 (2012), pp. 19-24.
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