Friday, April 11, 2014

Mr. Williams comes to Knoxville

In the spring of 1947 the major league teams were breaking camp at spring training and headed back to their cities in the north.  Along the way they would play exhibition games, probably to get a few more swings in and to give the locals a chance to see some real big leaguers.  The Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red Sox came to Knoxville and played a game on Tuesday, April 8, 1947.

Greensboro Record - April 8, 1947

They met at Caswell Park, with the left field wall being just 339 feet and the right field wall being at 331 feet.  Ted says in the following article, "Boy, oh, boy, will I be glad to see those babies!"

Knoxville News Sentinel - April 8, 1947
The story after the game shows that Ted and Company didn't come through as expected.

Knoxville News Sentinel - April 8, 1947

Former Knoxville Smoky Eddie Lukon was playing for the Reds.  This was the last year for "Mongoose" in the majors.  He moved out to California to play for the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League in 1948.  Eddie played with the Smokies in the Southern Association, batting .315 and hitting 35 Home Runs over two seasons (1941-42).  He roamed the outfield for the Reds for a few seasons (1941, 45-47).

Knoxville News Sentinel - April 8, 1947
Ted, despite having breakfast at the Andrew Johnson Hotel in Knoxville, wasn't able to put the ball out of the park.
Knoxville News Sentinel - April 8, 1947

For those of you that like to see a box score, here you go.
The Boston Herald - April 9, 1947

The Sporting News was a weekly so they've recapped some of the games on the trip north.

The Sporting News - April 16, 1947

Because this was just such a great shot I had to isolate it.  Drink up, kids.  Make sure it is orange juice.

Knoxville News Sentinel - April 8, 1947
I'd like to thank fellow SABR member Brad Ridenour for finding the Knoxville News Sentinel articles and sharing them with me.  The Boston Herald and Greensboro Record articles came from  The Sporting News article came from through SABR.

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