Dorchester County Baseball War

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Coca-Cola Baseball Team, 1936, Courtesy of Donnie Davidson

At the end of the local baseball season in Cambridge, Maryland, there was an annual seven game series to determine the Cambridge city champion. No series was as memorable as the one in 1936 between the Phillips Delicious and Coca-Cola teams.

These two semi-pro, company-owned teams were considered the best in Cambridge. Colonel Albanus Phillips, the owner of Phillips Packing Company, sponsored the Phillips Delicious team, while Joe Fowler, the owner of the local Coca-Cola plant, sponsored the Coca-Cola team.

Because of the magnitude of this seven-game series, it was common for ringers to be brought in to play on the teams. In the third game of the 1936 series, Fowler brought in minor league players from the International League that led to a Coca-Cola win. In retaliation, Phillips recruited several past and present major league players. Fowler and Phillips had unknowingly started what local fans were calling the “Dorchester County Baseball War.”

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Major League Stars of the Phillips Delicious team, 1936, Courtesy of Donnie Davidson



By the fifth game of the series, the starting lineup of the Phillips Delicious team included nine professional baseball players: Jimmie Foxx, Billy Werber, Roger Cramer, Frankie Hayes, Max Bishop, Jimmie Deshong, Dick Porter, Oscar Roettger, and Henry Oana.

More than 3,000 fans packed the stands to watch the fifth game of the series and most of them were buzzing about one player: Jimmie Foxx. Foxx pleased his fans by hitting an unbelievable 450-foot home run over the left field fence in the second inning. The Phillips Delicious team won the series in front of a crowd of 4,000 – the largest to attend a baseball game in the history of Cambridge.

Legends & Lore of Delmarva Baseball
Dorchester County Baseball War