Hartford would be Lou Gehrig‘s first taste of professional baseball, however, as any fan moderately well-versed in Major League Baseball history should know, it was far from his last.Â Playing in more consecutive games than any player of his time, Gehrig endeared himself to fans nationwide, despite playing for the largely hated New York Yankees.Â Gehrig first made his major league debut for the Yanks in mid-June of 1923, though the boys in pinstripes were fairly acquainted with his thunderous bat long before his first game.Â Batting practice saw Gehrig show off for his new teammates blasting deep fly balls into Yankee Stadium territory only Ruth could reach.Â Though the promise was there right off the bat, literally, the young Gehrig still needed a little more seasoning before taking his game to New York full time.Â He spent a lot of time with the Senators throughout the 1923 and 1924 seasons, tightening up on his fundamentals while wowing minor league crowds with his paramount power. Read the rest of this entry »
The Senators are a vintage baseball team in Hartford, Connecticut. Vintage means that the team plays by the rules and in the uniforms of the 19th century. They are preserving the roots of the great tradition that is baseball.
The Senators in Hartford had a dormant period from 1934 until 2001. Looking back, the Senators came to town in 1902 and called Hartford home until the end of the 1934 season. James H. Clarkin bought the franchise in 1904 and sold it in 1928.During the 1902 to 1934 period, the Senators were part of four different East Coast minor league baseball teams. In 1909, 1913, 1923, and 1931 they won their league championships. Three well-known athletes who wore a Senators uniform were Lou Gehrig, Jim Thorpe, and Leo Durocher.
The 21st Century and Beyond
In 2001 the team and the name were resurrected as a vintage baseball team. In 2007 the Senators won the World Series of Vintage Baseball by defeating the best vintage teams from other parts of the country. The modern-day Senators call Colt Park in Hartford, Connecticut their home field.
Residents of Hartford, Connecticut, cheered for the Senators minor league baseball team from 1902 through 1932. The team’s most celebrated player was Lou Gehrig, who donned the Senators uniform before being drafted as a first baseman for the Yankees. The Senators took league championships four times, in 1931, 1923, 1913 and 1909.
The team was re-established in 2001 to promote, perpetuate and play vintage baseball. World series pitcher Jim Bouton used funds from the Mass Mutual Financial Group to create the Vintage Base Ball Federation, and the revived Hartford Senators became one of their top teams.
The team Read the rest of this entry »
The Hartford Senators were first established as a minor league baseball team in the year 1902 and continued to be a presence in several eastern-based minor leagues until 1934. In 1932, the Hartford Senators were affiliated with a major league team called the Brooklyn Dodgers. The team won four league championships between the years of 1909 and 1931.
Two distinguished players and members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Lou Gehrig and Hank Greenberg, are among past members of the Hartford Senators. Lou Gehrig played Read the rest of this entry »
Though professional baseball is gone from Hartford, the Senator name lived on much later in amateur circles courtesy of the Vintage Base Ball Federation. The VBBF pitted clubs against one another in a celebration of baseball as it used to be known, decked out in the baggy attire of yesteryear, many playing under the banners of squads forgotten by modern day baseball. In order to further enhance the old timey feel, contests featured fat-handled bats, lemon peel stitched balls and gloves with only a modest pocket between 5 sausage fingers. Aesthetically, the game adhered to as strict of authenticity as possible, a visual trip backward to the turn of the century.Teams consisted of 15 to 20 amateur players with a maximum of 3 former minor league players on the roster. Individual teams are formed in multiple ways, whether by holding an open tryout or simply converting an existing amateur baseball group into a vintage team. The standard cost for fielding a vintage baseball team was 6,500, covering uniforms and equipment, though this money in many cases was contributed by members of the community would fancy vintage baseball games as a novelty and/or tourist attraction.The VBBF culminated with an annual 6 team Vintage Base Ball World Series Tournament, determining the champion of the 225 vintage baseball clubs across 32 states. The Hartford Senators were been among the most successful names in vintage baseball, even taking home to the VBBF World Series crown in 2007, when Hall of Fame broadcaster Vern Scully referred to that year’s team as the “greatest vintage baseball team that ever played,” in a game broadcast on ESPN. The last full VBBF season on record occurred in 2008, with the Federation opting to cancel 2009 games due to unfavorable economic conditions. Read the rest of this entry »
The Senators were crowned league champions 5 times throughout team history, though no team ever saw more success than their final Eastern League Championship team of 1931. Considered to be among the elite minor league seasons of all-time by baseball analysts who make it their business to follow such wide spanning considerations, the 1931 Senators finished the year atop the Eastern League standings by the monstrous margin of 18 games. The Senators won well over twice as often as they lost with a final record of 97-40, a winning percentage of .708. So dominant were the Senators, the club was one of only two teams with a winning record in the 8-team league for the 1931 year, joined by the second place Bridgeport Bears. Read the rest of this entry »
Hartford would be Lou Gehrig‘s first taste of professional baseball, however, as any fan moderately well-versed in Major League Baseball history should know, it was far from his last. Playing in more consecutive games than any player of his time, Gehrig endeared himself to fans nationwide, despite playing for the largely hated New York Yankees. Gehrig first made his major league debut for the Yanks in mid-June of 1923, though the boys in pinstripes were fairly acquainted with his thunderous bat long before his first game. Batting practice saw Gehrig show off for his new teammates blasting deep fly balls into Yankee Stadium territory only Ruth could reach. Though the promise was there right off the bat, literally, the young Gehrig still needed a little more seasoning before taking his game to New York full time. He spent a lot of time with the Senators throughout the 1923 and 1924 seasons, tightening up on his fundamentals while wowing minor league crowds with his paramount power. Read the rest of this entry »
Though perhaps he was not “the luckiest man on the face of the Earth” merely for his days in Hartford, Lou Gehrig‘s time spent manning first base for the Senators was arguably the most storied in franchise history. Prior to ascending to the Majors stage with the Bronx Bombers, Gehrig spent time in Hartford on three separate occasions, displaying the skills and mental fortitude that would one day make him a Hall of Fame baseball player and national hero.Gehrig made his first professional baseball appearance as a member of the Hartford Senators, while still enrolled in college at Columbia University. Of course, any official score sheets from the time would indicate a strikingly similar ball player by the name of “Lou Lewis” to be taking the field, as collegiate rules stipulate players must maintain their amateur status. Gehrig’s first tenure with the team would last merely two weeks, with Columbia quickly learning of their soon-to-be star player’s off season antics. As a result, Gehrig was declared ineligible for a full season at Columbia, though Gehrig would return to the minor league baseball ranks only one summer later without penalty. Read the rest of this entry »
Truly incomparable among athletes of his time, Jim Thorpe enjoyed professional careers as in basketball, football and baseball, in addition to gold medal performances at the 1912 Olympic Games. Even some Senators followers might not know, however, that arguably the most versatile sportsman in history actually spent time in the outfield for the Hartford ball club. Though just a minor pit stop on Thorpe’s resume and corresponding long list achievements, at the age of 35 Thorpe split time in the Class A Eastern League between the Senators and the Fitchburg/Worcester Boosters, in what would ultimately be his final year of professional baseball. Not surprisingly, Thorpe put up impressive numbers even at his advanced age, hitting .344 with 9 HRs in 96 games of class A ball. He would also play for the Double A Portland squad for 35 games in 1922, batting a respectable .308. While his numbers remained solid, Thorpe’s best baseball years were behind him, playing sporadically in the Majors from his debut with the New York Giants in 1913 through his final big league season in 1919. Appearing in 289 regular season games, Thorpe put together a .252 batting average, with 91 runs, 7 home runs, 82 RBI and 29 stolen bases in his MLB career. Read the rest of this entry »
The Senators may be the longest tenured nine-squad to call Hartford home, but don’t mistake the Sens as the only bunch of ball players to ever lace it up in Connecticut‘s capital. Hartford briefly boasted its own National League squad during the 1876 season, with the Hartford Dark Blues among the league’s 8 inaugural clubs. Playing at the Hartford Ball Club Grounds, the team actually spent 2 years in Hartford prior to the National League’s formation, competing as a member of the National Association of Professional Baseball Players. Morgan G. Bulkeley, the team’s owner, actually served as the first National League President. Anchored by dual aces Candy Cummings, a future Hall of Famer, and Tommy Bond, the team would run its record to 47-21 in 1876, leading the league in complete games and tied for fewest home runs allowed, on their way to a 3rd place finish. The Dark Blues would relocate to Brooklyn in 1877, though the unit still paid homage to their wayward hometown, playing under the banner of the Brooklyn Hartfords. The Brooklyn Hartfords would only see one seasons worth of baseball, matching their 3rd place standing from the previous year, before being disbanded during the following off season. Read the rest of this entry »