Pensacola Dons

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The Pensacola Dons are a defunct minor league baseball team that competed in the Class-D Alabama-Florida League from 1957-1959. The Dons were an affliate of the Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball in 1958 and 1959. The league operated from 1936-1939, and then from 1951-1962 typically from April through August. The Dons fit into Pensacola's professional baseball heritage with the Pensacola Pilots, Pensacola Fliers, Pensacola Angels, Pensacola Senators and currently the Pensacola Pelicans.

The Dons home field was Admiral Mason Park, a 2,000 seat stadium located on 9th Avenue at the edge of Pensacola Bay (what is now the corner of 9th and Bayfront Parkway). The stadium was actually a miserable place to watch baseball. A sewage treatment plant was located directly across the street which meant a westerly breeze could choke even the most loyal fan. The lone parking lot was small and the dusky, humid summer evenings mixed with a large body of water brought mosquitoes. Admiral Mason Park was nicknamed "Stinko Stadium."

The General Manager was Doc McCormick. The players usually were paid $200-$250 a month and most lived in the Manhattan Hotel on Garden Street. The Dons would later be renamed the Angels (1960) and Senators (1961-1962).


In the six-team season, Pensacola took fifth place with a 56-64 (.467) record, 12 games behind leader Montgomery. The Dons started the season with manager Rex Ford but was replaced by Lew Fitzgerald. The team would miss the playoffs. Panama City and Graceville were declared Co-Champions. The Dons led the league in attendance with 43,882 fans.


The league boasts eight teams: Pensacola, Columbus, Dothan, Montgomery, Graceville, Ft. Walton Beach, Panana City and Selma. The Dons, managed by Lew Fitzgerald, would be in the race for first-place all season, but finished in third with 67-55 record, five games behind league leading Selma (71-49). In the playoffs, Selma topped Pensacola three games to two. The league championship would be won by fourth place Dothan.


The Dons, again led by manager Lew Fitzgerald, took fourth place with a 59-66 record, 25 games out of first place. The squad did qualify as the fourth seed for the playoffs and then lost to Selma, the eventual champion, three games to none. The league is comprised of six teams.

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