Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Nomadic Appalachian Canners of 1940

While doing some research on the standings of the Appalachian League in 1940 a clipping caught my eye.  Maryville, Tennessee, was on the radar to get its first professional ball team.  The earliest that I've found base ball being played in Maryville is 1876 when the Reckless Club of Maryville College played other local teams.

This narrative is so twisty I've decided to let the articles speak for themselves in chronological order, with little commentary.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel - May 24, 1940

So, at the end of May, 1940, the league directors approve the move from Newport to Maryville.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel - May 25, 1940

Maryville's home field was to the Fairgrounds.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel - May 27, 1940

"Thursday of this week" would be May 30, 1940.  But it was not to be.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel - May 29, 1940

Conflicting reports abound.  The following article is from The Sporting News out of St. Louis.  Maybe the word didn't reach them in time for the presses to stop.

The Sporting News - May 30, 1940

A week later The Sporting News ran the story.

The Sporting News - June 6, 1940

The Greensboro Daily News was even slower to get the news.

Greensboro Daily News - June 9, 1940

Over a month later there was still talk of Maryville getting a club.  This time it wasn't the Newport Canners moving, but the Erwin Mountaineers.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel - July 17, 1940

Two weeks later it is being reported that Maryville is considering taking over the Newport franchise.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel - July 31, 1940

Apparently the club transferred and some in Blount county didn't want them playing on Sunday.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel - August 6, 1940

The standings and the scores show that Maryville had taken over the Newport team.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel - August 6, 1940

The league directors approved the transfer.  Again.

The Sporting News - August 8, 1940

Apparently the move to Maryville did the team some good as they climbed out of the cellar and were winning on a semi-regular basis.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel - August 10, 1940

In the Appy League it seems that the fans have more pull than the directors.

The Sporting News - August 22, 1940

The Newport/Maryville Canners finished the season with a 56-63 record, just 29 games out of first place.

Maryville would finally get a permanent team in 1953.  They had to share the honors with Alcoa, as the Maryville-Alcoa Twins.  They started the 1954 season as the Maryville-Alcoa Twins, but then the team was transferred to Morristown.

Maybe Maryville wasn't cut out to be a minor league city.

The question that I have is: "Should Maryville officially be considered as having a franchise for a portion of the 1940 Appalachian League season?"

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