Rochester Hustlers

From BR Bullpen


In 1912 the Rochester Bronchos of the International League changed their name to the Rochester Hustlers (some sources list the change as taking place a couple years earlier or list the 1901 team as Hustlers). The 1912 Rochester, NY-based club went 86-67 under managaer John Ganzel, second-best in the IL. Third baseman Cozy Dolan hit .354 with 15 triples, 99 runs and a league-best 78 steals and outfielder Jack Lelivelt hit .351 and slugged .498; he stole 23 bases. Kaiser Wilhelm (16-10) and Salida Tom Hughes (17-10) led the staff.

The Hustlers again fell just short in 1913, going 92-62, 4 games behind the Newark Indians. Second baseman Hack Simmons led the IL in average (.339), hits (185) and doubles (28) and scored 99 runs, while outfielder-third baseman Del Paddock (.270) swatted 8 homers, the most in the circuit. 1B Butch Schmidt helped out with a .321 mark. On the mound, Wilhelm was 18-7, Hughes 15-13, Bobby Keefe 21-12 and Jack Quinn 19-13.

Rochester's run of close finishes continued in 1914 as they went 91-63. They finished third, 4 games behind the Providence Grays. Ganzel's club was led offensively by first baseman Wally Pipp (.312/~.391/.526, 26 SB, 98 R, 27 triples, a league-high 15 homers, league leader in slugging) and third baseman Joe Schultz Sr. (.316/~.371/.413, 95 runs, a league-high 33 doubles). The top pitchers were Hughes (17-9, a league-high 182 strikeouts), Keefe (17-10) and Bill Upham (21-12).

In 1915 Rochester slipped to 69-69 and fourth place and Ganzel was replaced as manager by catcher Bob Williams. Outfielder Bob Clemens (.272/~.338/.362, 35 SB, 81 R) was perhaps the team's top offensive player. Emilio Palmero (19-16) and Eric Erickson (14-8, 173 K) were the top pitchers.

Tommy Leach became manager in 1916 and the club continued their freefall, going 60-78 and finishing 7th in the circuit. Leach hit just .244/~.353/.358 while 1B Walter Holke batted .344/~.392/.411 and stole 24 bases. Mickey Doolan became player-manager in 1917 and Rochester improved to 5th place at 72-82. Utility man Ross Youngs was the star, hitting .356 with 34 steals. Al Schacht (12-21, 4.00) led the IL in losses.

Getting their fifth manager in four years, Rochester was guided by Arthur Irwin in 1918 and went 60-61, repeating in fifth place. Catcher-first baseman Earl Smith (.358) was the big star and led the league with 14 triples. Dazzy Vance (4-5, 3.88) was the team's worst pitcher, while Harry Heitmann (17-6, 1.32) led the league in ERA, allowed just 137 hits in 204 innings and completed 20 of 21 starts. Godfrey Brogan (16-18, 2.10) led the IL in losses, walks (123) and strikeouts (157).

Irwin's Hustlers posted a 67-83 record in 1919. One player again stood out - 1B George Kelly, who hit .356 with a league-high 15 homers. Heitmann (7-11, 3.29) and Brogan (11-20, 3.94, a league-high 131 walks with just 75 Ks) both declined while Jose Acosta (17-14, 3.19), John Clifford (15-16, 2.39) and Jack Ogden (10-13, 2.37) were the top pitchers.

The team slipped all the way to 45-106 in 1920, 7th in the IL, 63 and a half games behind the Baltimore Orioles. Shortstop Al White (.262) led the IL with 17 triples, while no one lost more games than Virgil Barnes (12-23, 4.28, who also led the IL with 371 hits allowed and 142 strikeouts). Clifford (7-21, 4.10) lost nearly as many while Acosta (11-9, 4.28) managed a winning record. The club was renamed the Rochester Colts in 1921 and, with George Stallings taking over as manager improved dramatically.

Source: "The International League: Year-by-Year Statistics" by Marshall Wright


Year-by-Year Record[edit]

Year Record Finish Manager Playoffs
1912 86-67 2nd John Ganzel none
1913 92-62 2nd John Ganzel none
1914 91-63 3rd John Ganzel none
1915 69-69 4th John Ganzel (44-55) / Robert Williams (25-14) none
1916 60-78 7th Thomas Leach none
1917 72-82 5th Mickey Doolan none
1918 60-61 5th Arthur Irwin none
1919 67-83 6th Arthur Irwin none
1920 45-106 7th Arthur Irwin none

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