History

Era 1 (1904)

From an article in the November 24th 1904 Boston Globe: It shows a team picture with 9 players and the manager and their names.
'Saxtons River Team Claims the Baseball Championship of Southern Vermont.'

The article states "the team played 13 games during the season, some of them with the strongest semi-professional clubs in Vermont and New Hampshire." Their biggest rival was Bellows Falls …they took the season series from B.F. 2 games to 1. They tied Vermont Academy 0-0. They had victories over Chester, Springfield, and Ludlow Vermont and were defeated by Marlboro, and Ashuelot, New Hampshire; and Brattleboro, Vermont.
The manager of the team was Brooks. Players were: Simonds, Severens, Hughes,Orton, Campbell, Walker, Struble, Davis and King.

Era 2 ( 1930's - Late 1940's) Saxtons River Indians

Although there was probably a team before 1930, there are no records to indicate this.

1930's and 1940's

The Saxtons River Pirates played in the West River Valley League. They retired the League trophy by winning the championship three years in a row. The trophy is on display in the Saxtons River Historical Society. However, by the 1940's the Saxtons River Indians disbanded. In the early 1950's town team baseball started on a sharp decline and mostly vanished. The reason for the decline for the most part was due to

  • Live Major League baseball brought into homes via television.
  • The advent of Little League baseball (the dads that were players were now using that time to coach or watch their kids play baseball)

Era 3 (1974 - 1996) Saxtons River Pirates

1974 - 1975 (Central Vermont League)

Dave Moore and a group of Vermont Academy faculty members started a baseball team. They played in the Central Vermont League for two years.

1976 (Independent Team)

The team played as an independent team and finished with a record of 10 -9. In the off season Frank Brown, from North Walpole, and Dave Moore recruited some players from the area and entered the team in the Twin State league (New York and Vermont) in 1977.

1977 (Twin State League)

When the same players returned from playing college baseball in the spring of 1977 the team started practice. Soon after they played in the Twin State League. Rutland refused to come to Saxtons River to play because they were not going to make the 50 mile trip. When the team went to Rutland to play them, they didn't show up for their own home game. Other than the problems with Rutland, the season went well and the team developed an outstanding rivalry with Fair Haven and West Rutland. The Pirates defeated West Rutland in the championship series in West Rutland to win the league title and finished with a record of 25 - 10.

1978 (Twin State League)

Saxtons River won the Twin State League again in 1978 along with an open tournament in Burlington, and finished the year with a record of 33 and 6. After that, the Pirates were not invited to the tournament.

In the winter of 1979 Joe Meagher, who had moved to town and loved baseball, joined the team and became the coach. Outstanding teams had formed in Bennington (the Generals) and Brattleboro, (the Maples) and in Burlington, (the A's and Expo's). Walpole N.H., and a few other towns were thinking about starting teams. Joe and Dave Moore and team leaders from the other teams had some winter meetings in Rutland. With Joe and Dave from Saxtons River, Dick Smullen from the Burlington Expo's, Tom Blanchard from the Burlington A's, and Bob Long and Bill Pember from the Bennigton Gererals, the Northern League was formed. Joe and Dick the credit for this league as they were the brainchild of this and the driving force to make it happen. The Brattleboro Maples were part of the league by 1979 and instantly became Saxtons River's rivals.

Here is little Saxtons River, a town of 600 competing in a league with the big towns of Vermont. Of course the team was only Saxtons River in name. The field was at Vermont Academy. By this time the Pirates were drawing players from a 50 mile radius and seemed to have an in with University of Maine pitchers as they had two pitch for the team. Pete Bushway, an outstanding catcher, outfielder and hitter from North Walpole who had also played in four College World Series while at Maine, also joined the team. The Pirates had the most successful franchise in the league. They drew the most fans and the area was really behind the team.

1979 - 1984 (Northern League)

1979 Northern League championship (38 - 11)

1980 Northern League championship (27 - 16).

1981 the team was 41 - 17 but lost the final championship game 3-1 to the Burlington A's.

1982 (27 - 19) during the regular season, but lost in the playoffs.

1983 the team turned a mediocre season around by winning our last 15 games in a row, culminated by defeating the Burlington Expo's in the championship series at Burlington. It was a huge upset as they had 6 ex-minor leaguers on their team. The sportswriters loved the Pirates and this victory was splashed all over the Rutland Herald. Tom Haley of the Eagle Times, Charlie Spencer of the Rutland Herald and other papers followed the team all year long, and even they had their doubts that the team could sweep the powerful Expo's at Centennial Field.

1984 (25-14) As happens in life, other commitments like family and work moved to center stage for some of our players. The team lost in the first round of the Northern League playoffs.

1985 By this time Barre, St. Johnsbury and Burlington (Queen City) had all joined the league None ever had the magic of the Saxtons River Pirates. After the season, Dave Moore, Skip Lisle,and Frank Brown, good friends and longtime players on the team, started talking about the future of the Pirates. After many conversations, they decided it might be in the best interest of the team to disband for one year. The players all went their separate ways and the magic was gone.

1986-1996

The team started again in 1986, but they no longer had their previous magic. Over the next three years the Pirates struggled along with a combined record of 14 wins and 64 losses. They had lost most of their fan base, although Vermont Academy continued to be one of the nicest places to watch a baseball game. The team disbanded after the 1996 season.

Era 4 (2009 … ) Saxtons River Pirates

Group.jpg

This 2009 team will mark the beginning of the 4th era of Saxtons River baseball.

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