Tobacco State League

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The Tobacco State League was a Class D American minor baseball league that played for five seasons (1946–1950) in Organized Baseball in the state of North Carolina. It was one of many low-level minor leagues that flourished immediately after World War II before disbanding in the 1950s. Founded as a six-team circuit in 1946, the league sported eight teams for the final four years of its existence, although one of its teams, the charter member Smithfield-Selma Leafs, was forced to drop out during the closing weeks of the TSL's final 1950 season. With the exceptions of Lumberton (Chicago Cubs) and Red Springs (Philadelphia Athletics), its members were unaffiliated with Major League Baseball farm systems.


Member teams

Teams and statistics

1946 Tobacco League Standings
Team StandingsWLPCTGBManagers
Sanford Spinners7148.597-Gaither Riley / Zeb Harrington
Clinton Blues7048.593.5Willie Duke / Van Lingle Mungo
Smithfield-Selma Leafs5862.48313.5Michael Balla
Angier-Fuquay Springs Bulls5762.47914Paul Dunlap / Gaither Riley
Wilmington Pirates5266.44118.5Stan Katkaveck / Gus Brittain
Dunn-Erwin Twins4870.40722.5James Guinn / Alton Stephenson / Dwight Law

Playoffs:Angier-Fuquay 4 games, Sanford 2; Clinton 4 games, Springfield 1.
Finals: Angier-Fuquay 4 games, Clinton 3.

1946 league leaders
Willie DukeClintonBA.393Robert KeaneClintonW23
Lonnie H. SmithClintonRuns117George BortzSanfordSO193
Leo NiezgodaSmith/SelmaHits173Robert KeaneClintonPCT.852; 23-4
Orville NesselrodeSanfordRBI150
Orville NesselrodeSanfordHR30
1947 Tobacco State League standings
Team StandingsWLPCTGBAttendManagers
Sanford Spinners8639.688-37,517Zeb Harrington
Lumberton Cubs7149.59212.550,758Red Lucas
Wilmington Pirates6857.5441863,219Nate Andrews
Dunn-Erwin Twins6262.50023.549,262Jack Bell / Bill Auerette
Warsaw Red Sox5964.4802636,865James Milner
Clinton Blues5667.4552936,778Robert Hall / Van Lingle Mungo / Survern Wright
Red Springs Red Robins4778.4803921,000Red Norris
Smithfield-Selma Leafs4679.3684028,847Michael Balla / Joe Eonta

Playoffs:Sanford 4 games, Wilmington 3; Lumberton 4 games, Dunn-Erwin 1.
Finals: Sanford 4 games, Lumberton 3.

1947 league leaders
Jimmy WilsonSanfordBA.385Lewis CheshireWilmingtonW19
Jimmy WilsonSanfordRuns133Carl JohnsonWarsawSO225
Jimmy WilsonSanfordHits205John McFaddenSanfordERA2.44
Orville NesselrodeSanfordRBI166John McFaddenSanfordPCT.750 15-5
Orville NesselrodeSanfordHR32
1948 Tobacco State League standings
Team StandingsWLPCTGBAttendManagers
Sanford Spinners8056.588-29,374Zeb Harrington
Wilmington Pirates7662.551577,842Jim Staton
Red Springs Red Robins7562.5475.528,410Red Norris
Smithfield-Selma Leafs7365.529836,552Sam Narron / Virgil Payne
Warsaw Red Sox7167.5141032,482Sam Gibson / Verne Blackwell
Clinton Blues7067.51110.539,498Marvin Lorenz
Lumberton Cubs5581.4042538,772Charlie Jamin
Dunn-Erwin Twins4989.3553226,475Carl McQuillen / Babe Bost / Gaither Riley

Playoffs: Sanford 4 games, Smithfield-Selma 1; Red Springs 4 games, Wilmington 3.
Finals: Red Springs 4 games, Sanford 1.

1948 league leaders
Hargrove DavisWilmingtonBA.366Aaron OsofskySmithfield-SelmaW24
Jimmy WilsonSanfordRuns145John CheshireWilmingtonSO258
Jimmy WilsonSanfordHits212John CheshireWilmingtonERA2.35
Orville NesselrodeSanfordRBI159Aaron OsofskySmithfield-SelmaPCT.828 24-5
Orville NesselrodeSanfordHR27
1949 Tobacco State League standings
Team StandingsWLPCTGBAttendManagers
Dunn-Erwin Twins8154.600-39,335Jim Staton
Red Springs Red Robins7659.563533,303Red Norris
Lumberton Auctioneers7561.5516.560,038Charles Lucas / James Guinn
Sanford Spinners7162.530936,046Zeb Harrington
Smithfield-Selma Leafs7065.5191141,618Virgil Payne/ Claude Weaver / Paul Kluk
Fayetteville Scotties6176.4452156,999Zip Payne / Joe Roseberry / Nicholas Rhabe / John Helms
Clinton Sampson Blues6078.43522.537,496Marvin Lorenz
Wilmington Pirates4988.3583349,009Ab Tiedemann / John Edens / Gus Brittain / Hargrove Davis

Playoffs: Dunn-Erwin 4 games, Lumberton 1; Red Springs 4 games, Sanford 2.
Finals: Red Springs 4 games, Dunn Erwin 1.

1949 league leaders
Joe RoseberryFayettevilleBA.409Clarence ConditDunn-ErwinW20
Granville DenningDunn-ErwinRuns118Clarence ConditDunn-ErwinSO264
Nicholas PerchiaClintonRuns118Leslie PriceClintonERA2.19
Granville DenningDunn-ErwinHits185John BennettSmithfield-SelmaPCT.769 10-3
Granville DenningDunn-ErvinRBI119
Joseph SternClin/LumbHR15
John HelmsFayettevilleHR15
1950 Tobacco State League standings
Team StandingsWLPCTGBAttendManagers
Lumberton Auctioneers9243.682-42,796John Streza
Sanford Spinners9044.6721.519,686Zeb Harrington
Red Springs Red Robins6861.5272126,198Ducky Detweiler
Rockingham Eagles6369.47727.531,806Jack Bell / Turkey Tyson]
Clinton Sampson Blues6172.4593029,060Alvin Kluttz / Nicholas Rhabe / Marvin Lorenz
Wilmington Pirates5675.4273435,950Bill Hamons / Red Teague / Steve Collins
Dunn-Erwin Twins/Whiteville Tobs3992.2985120,839Jim Staton
Smithfield-Selma Leafs4962.441NA19,369Marvin Lorenz

Playoffs: Rockingham 4 games, Lumberton 2; Stanford 4 games, Red Springs 0;
Finals: Rockingham 4 games, Stanford 3

1950 league leaders
Granville DenningWhitevilleBA.374Hoyt CleggSanfordW24
Granville DenningWhitevilleHits176Richard CauseySanfordSO148
Pierre EthierLumbertonRuns146Clayton AndrewsSanfordERA2.63
Mike MilosevichLumbertonRBI121John LaganLumbertonPCT.875 21-3
Mike MilosevichLumbertonHR14


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  1. "Tobacco State League - BR Bullpen".