ST. MARY'S BASEBALL--THE RISE AND FALL OF THE PHOENIX -- Base ball at St. Mary's began during the later part of the 19th century and the teams were originally known as the St. Mary's Base Ball Club, nicknamed the Phoenix, before changing their name to the Gaels during the 1940s. The significance of St. Mary's baseball lies in her heritage. Her greatest teams and stars were from her initial beginnings when Brother Agnon McCann was in charge of baseball operations and preached that baseball was a part of St. Mary's educational mission with aims to turn undisciplined young boys into responsible citizens. The Phoenix played their first game in 1872 and the 1st Phoenix player to reach the major leagues was 3rd baseman Jeremiah Eldridge, aka Jerry Denny. Denny attended St. Marys from 1877-'79 before hitting .260 over the course of 13 years in the National League. During a span of four years, 1881-1884, seven Phoenix ballplayers had begun major league careers, six of which were St. Mary's pitchers, and by 1910, fourteen St. Mary's players had reached the major leagues. Only Notre Dame, Holy Cross, Georgetown, and Brown had sent more players to the Big Leagues. In 1892, St. Mary's won her 1st championship, the Pacific Amateur League, and a  year later, the Phoenix won the California Collegiate title. In 1894, they won the Midwinter Collegiate championship.

     Nineteen-year-old Fred Carroll of Sacramento, California, left St. Mary's College and joined the Columbus Buckeyes of the American Association in 1884. The catcher/1st baseman/outfielder hit .284 over the course of eight years in the major leagues. In 1891 he led his Pittsburgh Alleghenys, later the Pirates of the National League, in batting with his .330 average. In 1889, his .486 on-base percentage led the National League. Carroll was the first Pittsburgh player to hit for the cycle when he homered, tripled, doubled, and singled in 1887. He set a major league record when he collected nine hits in an 1886 doubleheader.

     Hank O'Day pitched for St. Mary's from 1881-'83. In 1884, O'Day became the 771st player to appear in the Major Leagues when he went 9-28 with a 3.75 ERA for the Toledo Blue Stockings of the American Association. O'Day spent seven years in the majors with five different teams before embarking upon a 30-year career as a major league umpire. He also managed two seasons in the majors. He skippered the Cincinnati Reds in 1912 and the Chicago Cubs in 1914. O'Day was inducted into Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame as an umpire in 2013.


      In 1892, Joe Corbett pitched for St. Mary's when the Phoenix won the Pacific Amateur baseball title. A few years later, Corbett was in the Major leagues with the Washington Nationals, and in 1897, he won 24 games while losing eight with a 3.11 earned run average for the 2nd-place Baltimore Orioles. Corbett was 32-18 with a 3.42 career ERA during his four years in the majors. In 1903, he was a member of the fabled Los Angeles Angels pitching staff that won the Pacific Coast League by 27.5 games and led by Doc Newton's 34 victories. Corbett was the younger brother of heavyweight boxing champion "Gentleman" Jim Corbett.

     St. Mary's dominated college baseball in the West during the first part of the 20th century by winning 12 straight California-Nevada Baseball League titles between 1901 and 1913. The 1915 World Series featured four former Phoenix players, three of which played deciding roles in the series' outcome--Harry Hooper, Duffy Lewis, and Dutch Leonard of the world champion 101-50 Boston Red Sox. Former St. Mary's catcher Ed Burns was a member of the opposing Philadelphia Phillies. Dutch Leonard bested future Hall of Famer Grover Cleveland Alexander with a 3-hit, 2-1 victory in game three of the series. Duffy Lewis drove in Harry Hooper with a single in the bottom of the 9th for the victory. Dutch Leonard spent 11 years in the majors, 1913-1925, posting a 139-114 record with a sparkling 2.76 earned run average. His best season came in 1914 at age 22 when he notched a 14-4 record with a 0.96 ERA for the 2nd place, 91-62 Boston Red Sox. In the fifth and final game of the 1915 World Series, Hooper hit two home runs and Lewis added another in Boston's clinching 5-4 victory. Hooper's two homers were one-bouncers over a shortened center field fence, then considered home runs. The 2nd was the game-winner in the 9th inning. The Red Sox outfield of Hooper, Lewis, and Hall of Famer Tris Speaker is considered one of the best defensive outfields of all-time. Lewis spent 10 years in the major leagues where he hit .284 for his career. Twenty-year-old pitcher Babe Ruth was also a member of the 1915 Red Sox. He hit .315 in 92 at-bats, 2nd only to Speaker's .322 average. Ruth's four home runs and .576 slugging percentage led the team.

     In 1907, the Phoenix finished the season undefeated competing mostly against the best teams in the West, both collegiate and professional. Victories included conquests over Stanford University, the University of California Bears, a team made up of Pacific Coast League players, and a spring training game against the Chicago White Sox. During this era, St. Mary's chief rival was Santa Clara College with competition dating back as early as 1883. The Phoenix won the initial contest and dominated the rivalry during the late 19th and early 20th centuries while Santa Clara has held the upper hand during baseball's postwar era beginning in 1946.


CALIFORNIA Collegiate Baseball

     The 1977 Gails were managed by Atlanta, Georgia native Miles McAfee who attended Tuskegee University. At age 23, McAfee was a member of the independent, non-affiliated Salem Rebels of the 1955 level-D Appalachian League. He got into two games with five at-bats and did not record a hit. In 1973, at age 42, McAfee became head baseball coach at St. Marys where he became the winningest coach in modern-day Gael history with a .533 winning percentage (215-188-7) during his eight-year tenure (1973-1980). McAfee and his successor Tom Wheeler (.528 win %), are the only two coaches at SMU to record career winning percentages since school records have been recorded, beginning in 1968.

     The 1977 St. Mary's record-setting team was led by the pitching of Tom Candiotti and DeVallon Harper and the hitting of the 'Tower of Power'. Candiotti, "The Candy Man," or just "Candy" holds several modern-day Gail's pitching records (1968-2015). His 13 victories and 1.53 earned run average set during the '77 season stand to this day along with his .834 winning % set a year earlier in 1976. His 128 innings pitched led the team and remains 2nd-most all-time. Candiotti also holds several career marks (1975-'79)--Total victories (37), Winning % (.740), Innings pitched (413+), ERA (2.51), and career shutouts (8). His four shutouts in 1976, stands as a school record and his 1.61 ERA set in 1976 remains 2nd best in the modern era while his 92 strikeouts recorded in 1977 ranks fifth. DeVallon Harper won nine games for the '77 Gaels with a 2.46 ERA. His 103 strikeouts remains 3rd-best all-time at St. Marys.

     Curt Cannedy led the team in hitting in 1977 with his .365 average. He also led the team in hits (69), Doubles (12), and RBI's (41). His career .583 slugging % ranks 2nd as Gael's modern-day record and his career 21 HRs ranks 8th best. Albert Richmond led the '77 team with his 13 home runs, 8th best since 1968. His 25 career homers rank 6th best. Outfielder Von Hayes set school records a year later that still stands when he hit 11 triples and amassed a .609 slugging %. His 27 career triples (1977-'79) also rates as a modern-day record. In 1979, Hayes led the Gaels in hitting (.328), Home Runs (8), RBI's (31), and Runs Scored (33).

     Four members of the '77 St. Marys' team went on to play professional baseball while three advanced to the major leagues. Curt Cannedy was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 16th round of the 1978 June Amateur Draft and got into 20 games for the Walla Walla Padres of the A- Northwest League where he hit .171 with one home run. First baseman Broderick Perkins from Pittsburg, Ca., first attended Diablo Valley Community College before combining to hit .345 (6th best, modern era) during his career at St. Marys ('75-'78). He led the Gaels in hitting with his .359 average in 1975 and was named Northern California Baseball Association MVP in '76. He was drafted in the 15th round of MLB's annual June Draft before spending seven years in the majors with the San Diego Padres and Cleveland Indians. In 1255 career at-bats, Perkins accumulated a .271 batting average with eight home runs as an outfielder and 1st baseman. He hit .370 for the 1980 Padres as a utility player but did not qualify for any awards as he only got into 43 games with 100 at-bats.

     Left-handed hitting outfielder Von Hayes from Stockton, California was drafted in the 7th round of the 1979 Amateur June Draft. He spent 12 years in the major leagues ('81-'92) with the Indians, Phillies, and Angels. Over the course of his major league career, Hayes accumulated a .267 batting average with 143 home runs and 696 rbi's. In 1985, Hayes became the 1st player in MLB history to hit two home runs in the 1st inning, one of which was a grand slam. His best season was 1986 when he hit .305 with 19 homers and 98 rbi's. Hayes finished 8th in the NL MVP voting in '86 when he led the NL in runs (107), doubles (42), and extra-base hits (67). He was a National League All-Star in 1989 while with Philadelphia. Hayes became a minor league manager for several years after a pitch thrown by Tom Browning broke his arm, all but ending Hayes' days as a player.

     Tom Candiotti was born in Walnut Creek, California and attended Queen of All Saints and Concord High School in the affluent town of Concord, Ca. There, he was known as Tommy No-No. Although he set and still holds more records than any other Gael, the "Candy Man" was never drafted by a major league organization. Candiotti wound up in British Columbia, Canada in 1979 where he won five of six games with a 2.44 ERA for the independent Victoria Mussels of the A- Northwest League before being sold to the Kansas City Royals in 1980. He never pitched for the Royals and was claimed in the Rule 5 Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers where he won his 1st four starts in 1983 including a complete game shutout. The knuckle-balling right-hander spent 16 years in the major leagues, winning 151 games while losing 164 with a career 3.73 earned run average, mostly with losing teams. One of his best seasons came with the Cleveland Indians where he posted a 14-8 record and 3.28 ERA with 137 strikeouts. In 1991, Candiotti split the season between the Indians and Toronto Blue Jays where he posted a combined 13-13 record with a 2.65 ERA, just three-hundredths of a point behind Roger Clemen's American League-leading 2.62 ERA.

     It's noted in K.P. Wee's Tom Candiotti: A Life of Knuckleballs that the "Candy Man" was overworked while at St. Marys. He often pitched the first game of a three-game series on a Friday and entered a game the next day as a reliever, pitching on no days rest. Against Nevada Reno, Candiotti pitched a complete game on a Friday and relieved in both games of a doubleheader the following day. He often pitched with a sore arm. After logging record-breaking seasons in '76 and '77, he was forced to sit out the 1978 season due to arm problems. His college career was never the same as his ERA ballooned during the '79 season. Far too often, although not uncommon, coaches and managers sacrifice the health and careers of young ballplayers for the sake of their own personal agendas. Today, pitch counts and the amount of rest between starts are monitored to prevent injuries. In 1981, Candiotti received ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction or Tommy John's surgery performed by Dr. Frank Jobe. The injury, known as "Dead Arm Injury," was the same injury that ended Sandy Koufax's career. During his college career at St Mary's, Candiotti relied on near pinpoint control and pitching savvy. Approximately two years after surgery, the "Candy Man" recovered and relied almost exclusively on his Knuckler.







THE 1977 ST. MARY'S GAELS--THE GALLOPING GAELS & 'TOWER OF POWER': Prior to 1977, St. Mary's competed in the West Coast Conference before entering the tough Northern California Baseball Association. The Gaels finished their initial NCBA season in 2nd place with a 24-12 league mark and 41-13 record overall, their best season since WWll (1946-2015). Other NCBA league members included the University of San Francisco Dons, University of Pacific Tigers, Santa Clara Broncos, San Jose State Spartans, Fresno State Bulldogs, the Waves of Pepperdine, and the Wolfpack from the University of Nevada Reno. The Gaels' 41 wins is an all-time record for a single season and included a perfect 5-0 record against Pacific-10 competition--6-1 over Oregon State, 12-9 and 4-1 victories against Stanford, and 7-6 and 6-5 conquests with the Bears of UC Berkeley. The team's .759 winning percentage ranks as St. Mary's best since becoming the Gaels in the early 1940s.




THE 1907 ST. MARY'S PHOENIX:The 1907 Phoenix rank as the most successful St. Mary's baseball team of all-time and considered the best collegiate team prior to WWll. The 21-0-1 Phoenix sent five players to the major leagues, one of which is in the Hall of Fame, while 14 members went on to play professional baseball. The pitching staff tossed eight shutouts, allowed only one run in eight other games, and allowed a mere 39 runs while the team scored 139. No team scored more than four runs against the '07 Phoenix. The Phoenix were managed by 24-year-old Hal Chase. "Prince Hal" as he was later called, was born in Los Gatos, attended Los Gatos High School, and then rival Santa Clara College before embarking upon a wild 15-year career in the major leagues. Chase's major-league career ended abruptly when he was banned for life by new Commissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis for his alleged role as "middleman" during the 1919 Black Sox scandal. In 1906, Chase's summer job was 1st baseman for the American League New York Highlanders, later becoming the New York Yankees. In 1906, Chase led the Highlanders in hitting with his .323 average, 3rd best in the American League, and placed 2nd in the league in both runs scored and rbi's. In the off-season, Chase played 1st base for the San Jose Prune Pickers of the California League and managed at St. Mary's as a side job.

      St. Mary's outfielder Charlie Enwright from Sacramento got into three games with the St. Louis Browns in 1909 and shortstop Ed Hallinan spent two seasons as a backup, also with the Browns of the American League. Catcher Ed Burns from San Francisco hit .230 over the course of seven seasons in the majors, mostly with the Philadelphia Phillies.



     St. Mary's College of California was founded in 1863 by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese as a diocesan college for boys. The College was originally located in San Francisco and operated for several years under Archdiocesan direction. In 1868, the De La Salle Christian Brothers took control of the school and in 1889, the campus moved to a facility known as the “Brickpile”, located at the corner of 30th and Broadway in Oakland. In 1928, the college was moved to its current location in the foothills overlooking San Francisco's East Bay in Moraga, approximately 10 miles east of Oakland.





     Left-handed pitcher Harry Krause from San Francisco was the ace of the Phoenix pitching staff. Two years later, he led the Philadelphia Athletics, coached by Connie Mack, to a 2nd place finish (95-58) with his team-high 18 victories and led the American League with his 1.39 earned run average. Krause spent five years in the majors where he won 36 games while losing 26. He logged 525 innings for his career with a 2.50 ERA. Krause at 5'10" and Burns at 5'6" were known as the "Midget Battery".

     Outfielder Harry Bartholomew Hooper from Bell Station, California, was inducted into Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame in 1971. He was a member of all four World Series championships won by Boston in 1912, 1915, 1916, and 1918. He became the major's 1st player to lead off both games of a doubleheader with a home run, a feat unmatched for more than 80 years. Hooper began his collegiate career at St. Mary's as a pitcher on lesser teams before becoming the varsity's starting left fielder where he hit a league-leading .371 for the 1907 season. Hooper spent 17 years in the majors with a career .281 batting average. His best years came while wearing a Chicago White Sox uniform when he hit .327 with eight HR's in 1921 and .328 with 10 homers in 1924 at age 36. Hooper played his last game as a professional when he signed a one-game contract with the Marysville Giants of the Sacramento Valley League in 1929. He went 2-4 with a double at age 41.

     Prior to 1960, St. Mary's had sent 79 ballplayers to the major leagues and won more than 25 championships. Since then, in more than 55 years, the Gaels have sent 15 players to the majors with no championships.



1907                     20-0-1


1965                       2-9

1966                       ---

1967                       8-17-2

1968      2-18          8-23


1969      3-17          9-32


1970      3-17        11-30

1971    14-25-1     22-19-2


1972      7-17        21-22


1973      6-12        18-22

1974      5-13        21-29

1975      9-7          26-21-1

1976    10-7-1       33-15-1

1977    24-12        41-13

1978    16-19        28-27-1

1979    20-16        30-28


1980    14-21        18-33-4

1981    14-21        27-26-2

1982    18-17        25-24-1

1983    20-10        29-21-1

1984    14-15        28-31

1985    14-10        32-24


1986      8-17        18-37

1987    13-10        24-31

1988      8-15        24-35

1989      4-19        18-39


1990    15-19        30-28

1991    24-12        32-25

1992      9-18        15-36     

1993    12-18        19-34

1994    13-17        24-27

1995      2-26        13-39


1996      9-19        14-37

1997    12-16        21-34

1998      8-19        12-29


1999     14-16       22-32

2000     10-20       20-34

2001     10-20       18-36

2002     14-15       22-27

2003      8-21        18-37-1


2004      7-23        14-41

2005    12-18        20-30

2006      9-12        26-25

2007      3-18        21-29-1

2008      8-13        26-26-1

2009      9-12        28-27

2010      8-13        19-32-1

2011      9-12        27-28

2012      8-16        24-29


2013    11-13         21-34


2014      8-19         16-39

2015     10-17        28-27

2016     18-9          33-25

2017     18-9          37-20

2018     14-13        31-23


2019                        8-8

2021    no games (covid)