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Wichita Braves

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The Wichita Braves played in the 1887 Western League, going 7-32 before folding on September 5. In one game, they lost 46-7 and allowed 50 hits to the Topeka Golden Giants.

Another Wichita, KS team would go on to far more success using the name in the American Association in the 1950s. Affiliated with the Milwaukee Braves, the club played its games in Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. Managed by George Selkirk in their first year in 1956, they finished seventh in the AA at 65-87. Earl Hersh hit .307 with 27 homers as the top performer. In 1957 Ben Geraghty became the manager and Wichita won the title with a 93-61 record before falling in the playoffs. Carl Willey (21-6, 3.24) led the league in wins and Joey Jay (17-10, 3.31) was second in strikeouts (199) and led with 18 complete games. The offense was led by OF Ray Shearer (.316/~.406/.570), who was second in the league in slugging and homers (29) and third in average and approximated OBP. Hersh added another 26 homers. Geraghty was named Manager of the Year.

The club fell to second (83-71) in Geraghty's second season at the reigns. Willey (3-3, 2.70) threw a no-hitter but Milwaukee soon brought him to the big leagues. Hersh hit just .237 but knocked another 17 out and drove in a league-high 98 runs. Shearer hit 18 homers. Red Murff (11-5, 1.80) was the clear top pitcher. Due to poor attendance, the team left the AA the next year and the Braves name has not been used since - the last revival took 69 years, though, so we're not due until 2027.

Sources: The Western League by W.C. Madden and Patrick Stewart, The American Association by Bill O'Neal


[edit] Year-by-Year Record

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1887 7-24 -- George Mold / John Griffin Team entered league July 26, disbanded September 5
1956 65-88 7th George Selkirk
1957 93-61 1st Ben Geraghty Lost in 1st round
1958 83-71 2nd Ben Geraghty Lost in 1st round
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