Friday, July 29, 2016

On this day - 71 years ago

71 years ago today the Indianapolis Cardinals played host to the Knoxville Grays.  Both teams were members of the Negro Southern League.

Prior to the game Knoxville was ahead of Indianapolis in the standings.  This is for the second half of the season.  The New Orleans Black Pelicans dropped out of the NSL and the Indianapolis Cardinals stepped in.

Indianapolis Recorder - July 28, 1945

Indianapolis Recorder - July 28, 1945

A full page ad / scorecard in the paper.

Indianapolis Recorder - July 28, 1945

Indianapolis Recorder - July 28, 1945

A week later it was reported, in the next to last paragraph, that the Cardinals were victorious by a score of 10-3.

Indianapolis Recorder - August 4, 1945

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Tony LaRussa comes to Knoxville

Tony LaRussa was in town 50 years ago today, as a member of the Mobile A's of the Southern League.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel - July 22, 1966
Joining the future Hall of Famer was Sal Bando.  The each got three hits in the A's romp over the Smokies.

Tony LaRussa would later help guide the 1978 Knoxville team to a Southern League championship.

But was this Tony's first trip to Knoxville as a baseball player?  He played in 75 games for Birmingham in 1965, so it is possible that he played in our fair city that year.

Yep.  On August 25, 1965 he played for the Barons in a double header, first as an infielder and then as a pinch hitter.

The Knoxville News-Sentinel - August 26, 1965

He was liked much better in 1978.

images from the Knox County Public Library

Monday, July 4, 2016

Knoxville Giants play double header on July 4, 1933

July 4th. A time to celebrate Independence Day. A time to play baseball. In 1933, the Knoxville Giants, part of the Negro Southern League, played a double header against the Alcoa Aluminum Sluggers.

Knoxville News-Sentinel - July 4, 1933

The story in the next day's paper shows that the Giants won both of the games.

Knoxville News-Sentinel - July 5, 1933

So where was Leslie Street Park?  From Ronald Allen's book, Same Old Smokies:
The Knoxville Giants, a black Knoxville baseball team, played their games at the Leslie Street Park.  The field was located on Leslie Street, south of Western Avenue and north of University Avenue. The field was long a playing field for local African American teams, and also by neighborhood youngsters.

Google Maps locates it where the Knoxville New-Sentinel building is.  Some of the street names have changed over the years.