1944 AAA Baseball League – Hoolulu Park
The predominant focus on wartime baseball in Hawaii centers on the significant action on and around the island of Oahu where the preponderance of the former major and minor leaguers were actively serving and playing baseball for their respective units. However, the islands of Maui, Kauai and the “Big Island” of Hawaii were also dotted with military installations and subsequently included organized service team baseball leagues. In 1944 as the leagues on Oahu arguably featured better talent than was seen on domestic major league diamonds, the AAA Baseball League talent on Hawaii was much more sedate.
The AAA Baseball League, a follow-on circuit after the winter Coconut League concluded, was very similar to the Honolulu and Hawaii Leagues on Oahu with its combined military and civilian teams. While most of the clubs’ rosters were filled with service members, the Hawaii’s roster was entirely civilian. The league opened play on Sunday, April 30 with five games played at diamonds one, two and three at Hoolulu Park. The Navy “Flyers” were the pre-season favorite to capture the league crown but were going to be facing stiff competition from the civilian Hawaii’s club.
- Sea Bees, managed by Lt. K. G. MacLeod
- Air Corps “Natives,” Lt. John Gordon
- Templeers, Pfc. M. Brustad
- Rens, Sgt. John Hand
- Scrap Irons, Capt. Carl Merrill
- Hawaiis, Sonny Henderson
- Banyon Marines, Louis Sillars
- Navy “Flyers,” Chief Bill Flowers
- Navy “Little Varsity,” Chief Daugherty
- Powderbugs, Sgt. Major White
With both the Powederbugs, an Army ordinance unit club, and Rens each dropping their first three contests, the teams combined forces and were renamed, Ren-Ords which was shortened to Renords.
By the end of the season, the local press’ prognosticators predictions played out as the Hawaii’s captured the first half of the season and the Flyers were atop the standings at the conclusion of the second half sending the two clubs into the post-season championship series. The Flyers emerged victorious.
Coinciding with the end of June, the first half of the season came to a close with the Hawaiis on top with a one game lead over the second place Flyers. During a weeklong break over the Independence Day celebrations, AAA League officials assembled and all-star squad to face the visiting 7th Army Air Force team that featured Joe DiMaggio, Ferris Fain, Bob Dillinger, Mike McCormick, Charlie Silvera and many more for a two game series. Played at Truck Park on July 3rd and 5th, the 7th defeated the AAA “Defenders” in both games, 5-2 and 5-0.
The second half of the AAA League season commenced the following weekend. On Sunday, July 9 at Hoolulu Park, the league’s top two clubs faced each other in the first game of the day. This prorgam and scorecard was printed for games between the Navy “Flyers and the Hawaiis for the first tilt and the second game pitting the Navy “Little Varsity” against the Renords. View the program in its entirety.
Printed in monochrome black on two types of paper, this six-page booklet includes four pages of scoring grids and line-ups, a page of ground rules, and the back cover reserved for eight local advertisements.
The condition of our program/scorecard is good showing signs of being folded, some moisture damage and oxidation. The scoring grids are partially completed showing that the original owner followed the game through the fourth inning.
The Navy won the day as the Flyers defeated the Hawaiis, 6-4 and the Navy “Little Varsity” downed the Renords, 4-2.
This scorecard/program was sourced from an online auction.