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Lynn Red Sox

The Lynn Red Sox, based in Lynn, Massachusetts, were a Class B farm system affiliate of the Boston Red Sox from 1946–1948 in American minor league baseball. The club played at Fraser Field and was a member of the New England League.

The Lynn Red Sox finished in first place during the regular seasons of 1946–47–48, but each year faltered during the playoffs, as the Nashua Dodgers won the NEL playoff championship for three consecutive seasons. Nashua was the first NEL team to break the baseball color line and, in 1946, ugly confrontations were reported between the Nashua and Lynn clubs. Future Brooklyn Dodger star starting pitcher Don Newcombe integrated the NEL in 1946, along with eventual Hall of Fame catcher Roy Campanella.

“I remember one game against the Lynn Red Sox," Newcombe recalled in 2007. "Their manager, [Thomas] ‘Pep’ Kennedy, was all over us, yelling all kinds of [racial] things at us, and Mr. [Buzzie] Bavasi [the Nashua general manager and future Dodger executive] got him into the office and said, ‘They can’t fight you, but I can. If you have any guts, you’ll say to me what you said to them.’ Of course, he didn’t say a word."[1]

In 1947, Lynn received an upgraded management team when future Bosox general manager Dick O'Connell took over the front office, and former Major League pitcher Mike Ryba became manager. After one season, Ryba was succeeded as pilot by Eddie Popowski in 1948.

But the Red Sox pulled out of Lynn after a 1948 season in which only 49,000 fans turned out at Fraser Field — despite another first-place ballclub. The Essex County city fielded a Detroit Tigers farm club — the Lynn Tigers, initially managed by Kennedy — for the first three months of 1949 but withdrew from the league July 19. The NEL itself shut down at the end of the season.

Year Record Finish Attendance Playoffs
1946 82–40 1st n/a Lost to Nashua in finals
1947 86–38 1st 60,458 Lost to Manchester in first round
1948 85–40 1st 49,088 Lost to Nashua in finals

Notable alumni

References

  1. The Nashua Telegraph, Sept. 2, 2007