Baseball on the Prairie: How Seven Small-Town Teams Shaped Texas League History

Baseball on the Prairie: How Seven Small-Town Teams Shaped Texas League History


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At the close of the nineteenth century, railroad expansion in Texas at once shrank the state and expanded opportunities, including that of Texas League Baseball. Previously, the major cities monopolized Texas minor-league ball, but with the rails came small-town teams without which the league may have floundered. Sherman, Denison, Paris, Corsicana, Cleburne, Greenville and Temple teams produced some of the Texas League's greatest players and provided unprecedented statewide interest. The 1902 Corsicana Oil Citys was one of the most successful teams of the time, claiming the second-best winning percentage and baseball's most lopsided victory, 51-3 over Texarkana's Casketmakers. In its only year in the league, Cleburne won the league championship and team owner Doak Roberts discovered the great Tris Speaker. Kris Rutherford pieces together the Texas League's early days and the people and towns that made this centuries-old institution possible.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609499358
Publisher: History Press, The
Publication date: 04/01/2014
Series: Sports
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 1,199,154
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Kris Rutherford is a part-time Lamar County, Texas resident who has been researching the early Texas League for nearly a decade. He is the author of Homeseekers, Parasites and the Texas Midland: The Texas League in Paris, 1896-1904, " as well as the middle-grade sports novels "Batting Ninth" and "Nothin' But Net."Scott Hanzelka is a baseball historian and expert on the Texas League."

Table of Contents

Foreword Scott Hanzelka 7

Acknowledgements 9

Prologue 11

1 Texas: No Leisure on the New Frontier 19

2 The Civil War, Reconstruction and Baseball: Division and Diversion 23

3 Professional Baseball: Faith and Failure in Texas 33

4 Sherman, Denison and the Fenceless Frontier 39

5 1895: The Texas League's First Foray into a Second-Tier City 47

6 1896: A Rivalry Cut Short 59

7 Paris: Stepping up to Save the Circuit 71

8 1897: The Increasing Railroad Influence 81

9 1902: The Interurban and a Team for the Ages 93

10 1903: Competitive Balance 113

11 1904: Small Cities Sandwich the League 119

12 1905: A Shorter Jump 125

13 1906: New Cities, New Legends 135

14 1907: The Small Market's Last Stand 157

Afterword 165

Bibliography 183

Index 187

About the Author 192

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