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The Texas-based Big State League had one of the longer lifespans for a circuit formed after World War II. Getting its start in 1947, it ran through 1957 as a class B league. It did see a lot of transition in its 11-year lifetime, with no team serving as a member in every single season. Waco came the closest, serving from 1947-1956. The league was known as an offense-oriented circuit,

J. Walter Morris served as League President from 1947 through 1950, Howard Green, took over from 1951 through 1955 and Hal Sayles was in charge the final two years, 1956-57.


Contents

[edit] Cities Represented

[edit] Teams and Statistics

[edit] 1947-1952

1947 Season

Team Standings Won Lost Pct GB Attend Managers
Texarkana Bears 101 53 .655 0 140,333 Vern Washington
Greenville Majors 100 54 .649 1 154,356 Harry Davis, Jr.
Wichita Falls Spudders 92 61 .601 8- 92,553 Bobby Goff
Paris Red Peppers 80 74 .519 21 112,449 Lloyd Rigby
Sherman-Denison Twins 69 85 .448 32 81,550 Guy Sturdy
Gainesville Owls 65 87 .428 35 60,971 Leroy Gilchrist
Austin Pioneers 55 99 .357 46 106,099 Beau Bell
Waco Dons 52 101 .340 48- 52,577 Red Barkley
Total Attendance 800,888

Season Highlights

Vern Washington of the Texarkana Bears led all hitters with a .404 batting average. Buck Frierson of the Sherman-Denison Twins led the league in four categories: 188 runs scored, 248 hits, 197 RBI and 58 home runs. Vallie Eaves, Texarkana Bears pitched his team to 25 wins and Nathaniel Love of the Greenville Majors struck out 192 opposing batters. Jim Walkup of the Paris Red Peppers led the league with a 3.72 ERA.

In the league playoffs: Texarkana Bears beat the Paris Red Peppers 4 games to 0.
Wichita Falls Spudders over the Greenville Majors 4 to 2.
Texarkana Bears win 4 games to 2 over the Wichita Falls Spudders for the championship.


1948 Season

Team Standings Won Lost Pct. GB Attend Managers
Sherman-Denison Twins 94 51 .648 0 117,046 Jose Rodriquez
Wichita Falls Spudders 84 62 .575 10- 130,138 Marcus Carrola
Waco Pirates 82 64 .562 12- 82,762 Buster Chatham
Austin Pioneers 79 67 .541 15- 163,666 Prince Oana
Gainesville Owls 69 77 .473 25- 80,479 Babe Peebles/Jackie Reid
Paris Panthers 62 85 .422 33 72,636 Homer Peel
Texarkana Bears 60 83 .420 33 70,508 Ed Borom
Greenville Majors 52 93 .359 42 67,334 Buddy Hancken / Nat Love
Total Attendance 784,569

Season Highlights
Vern Washington of the Texarkana Bears again led the league in hitting, this time with a .384 average. Donald Cena of the Waco Pirates scored 142 runs to lead that stat. The trio from Wichita Falls of Paul Brotherton with 218 hits, Jack Bradsher with 152 RBI and Albert McCarty with 32 HR, led those departments. Thomas Finger of Wichita Falls garnered 21 wins to lead all pitchers and Glenn Blackwood who split time with the Greenville Majors and the Wichita Falls Spudders led the league with 176 strikeouts. Rafael Rivas of the Sherman-Denison Twins had a 2.33 ERA.

League Playoffs:
Sherman-Denison Twins 4 wins Austin Pioneers 1 win.
Wichita Falls Spudders 4 wins Waco Pirates 0 wins.
Sherman-Denison Twins 4 wins Wichita Falls Spudders 3 wins.


1949 Season

Team Standings Won Lost Pct GB Attend Managers
Wichita Falls Spudders 90 58 .608 0 128,400 Jack Bradsher
Texarkana Bears 86 61 .585 3- 96,522 George Archie
Austin Pioneers 86 62 .562 4 188,193 Prince Oana
Waco Pirates 76 72 .514 14 95,825 Buddy Hancken
Sherman-Denison Twins 70 78 .473 20 77,474 Lloyd Brown,Pete Appleton
Greenville Majors 66 82 .446 24 58,500 Red Davis
Gainesville Owls 59 89 .399 31 66,544 Ray Taylor, Lon Goldstein
Temple Eagles 58 89 .395 31- 72,624 Barney White, Homer Peel
Total Attendance 784,082

Season Highlights

Frank Saucier of the Wichita Falls Spudders led the league in hitting with an unbelieveable average of .446 and his team mate Al McCarty scored 132 runs. Frank Carswell of the Texarkana Bears had the most hits with 229 and also led in RBI with 145. Conklyn Meriwether of the Greenville Majors had 27 HR. 3 pitchers had an even 20 wins, Elwood Moore and George Estock of the Austin Pioneers and also Sidney Peterson of Wichita Falls Spudders. William Pierro of the Waco Pirates struck out 275 would be hitters and John Whitehead of the Sherman-Denison Twins led with an 2.73 ERA.

League Playoffs:
Waco Pirates over the Wichita Falls Spudders 4 games to 2.
Texarkana Bears over the Austin Pioneers 4 games to 1.
Waco Pirates 4 games to 1 over the Texarkana Bears.


1950 Season

Team Standings Won Lost Pct GB Attend Managers
Texarkana Bears 93 51 .646 0 83,604 George Archie
Gainesville Owls 82 63 .566 11- 56,890 James Adair
Wichita Falls Spudders 80 66 .548 14 103,439 Hack Miller
Temple Eagles 74 70 .514 19 105,081 Lou Finney
Greenville Majors 75 71 .514 19 50,511 Bill Gann
Waco Pirates 72 76 .486 23 85,173 Buddy Hancken
Sherman-Denison Twins 54 91 .372 39- 48,762 Homer Peel
Austin Pioneers 52 94 .356 42 116,941 Prince Oana, David Sarver
Total Attendance 650,401

Season Highlights:
Frank Carswell of the Texarkana Bears was the leading hitter with an even .400 average. His teammate Lou Fitzgerald scored 138 runs and their teammate Milan Vacelich had 144 RBI. The Waco Pirates slugger John Powers busted 39 four baggers. Junior Bunch had 19 wins for the Temple Eagles. The strikeout leader, Jodie Phipps of the Texarkana Bears struck out 173 batters. Carmen Ferullo of the Wichita Falls Spudders came up with a 2.89 ERA.
The Playoffs:
Texarkana Bears over Temple Eagles 4 to 2.
Greenville Majors over Wichita Falls Spudders 4 to 2.
Finals: Texarkana Bears over Greenville Majors 4 to 2.


1951 Season

Team Standings Won Lost Pct GB Attend Managers
Gainesville Owls 89 58 .605 0 50,771 Hal Van Pelt
Temple Eagles 88 60 .595 1- 112,022 Bill Herring,Jack Bradsher
Sherman-Denison Twins 79 68 .537 10 60,059 Bill Capps
Austin Pioneers 75 72 .510 14 147,161 Thomas Jordan
Waco Pirates 75 73 .507 14- 61,371 Walt Tauscher
Texarkana Bears 71 77 .480 18- 57,640 Prince Oana,Joe Phipps,Gabby Lusk
Wichita Falls Spudders 66 82 .446 23- 73,415 Bruce Ogrodowski, Cecil McClung
Tyler East Texans 47 100 .320 42 41,541 Hal Epps, Joe Kracher, Gale Pringle
Total Attendance 604,100

Season Highlights:
Les Goldstein of the Temple Eagles led all hitters with a .376 average and his teammate Frederick Bell had 216 hits. Bobby Phillips of the Wichita Falls Spudders scored 128 runs and Dean Stafford of the Sherman-Denison Twins led the league in both RBI, with 151 and home runs with 32. Lee Roy Jones of the Austin Pioneers and George O'Donnell of the Waco Pirates had 22 wins each, to their credit and Robert Upton of the Gainesville Owls led in strikeouts with 209 and also had an ERA of 2.54.
Playoff Results:
Gainesville Owls 4 games, Austin Pioneers 2.
Sherman-Denison Twins 4 games, Temple Eagles 1.
Finals: Gainesville Owls 4 games, Sherman-Denison Twins 1.


1952 Season

Team Standings Won Lost Pct GB Attend Managers
Temple Eagles 85 62 .578 0 101,906 Salty Parker
Tyler East Texans 84 63 .571 1 73,337 Bill Capps
Texarkana Bears 82 65 .559 3 79,275 Tony York
Austin Pioneers 81 66 .551 4 149,601 Thomas Jordan
Paris Indians 79 68 .537 6 77,761 Red Davis
Wichita Falls Spudders 77 70 .524 8 95,240 Frank Mancuso
Longview Cherokees 71 76 .483 14 59,913 Clem Hausmann, Lou Fitzgerald
Waco Pirates 29 118 .197 56 32,966 Tedd Gullic
Total Attendance 669,999

Season Highlights:
Bob Van Enman of the Wichita Falls Spudders led in hitting wit a .387 avr. His team mate Billy Queen scored 157 runs while Buck Frierson of the Paris Indians had 222 base hits. Roy Sanner of the Texarkana Bears had 165 RBI and Dean Stafford of the Paris Indians /Tyler East Texans busted 47 home runs. John Andre of the Austin Pioneers led the league with 25 wins and Gale Pringle of the Tyler East Texans had 164 strikeouts and added a 2.93 ERA to go with them.
Playoffs:
Austin Pioneers 4 games, Temple Eagles 1.
Tyler East Texans 4 games, Texarkana Bears 2.
Finals: Tyler East Texans 4 games, Austin Pioneers 0.

[edit] 1953-1957

1953 Season

Team Standings Won Lost Pct GB Attend Managers
Wichita Falls Spudders 85 58 .594 0 71,247 Whitey Wietelmann
Tyler East Texans 81 63 .563 4- 50,273 Bill Capps
Texarkana Bears 78 68 .534 8- 89,604 Chuck Hawley
Waco/Longview 77 68 .531 9 32,646 Buster Chatham
Temple Eagles 72 73 .497 14 66,341 Salty Parker, Len Goldstein
Greenville Majors/Bryan Majors 70 77 .476 17 30,051 Jim Adair,Clyde McDowell
Austin Pioneers 69 77 .473 17- 73,229 Al Unser
Paris Indians 48 96 .333 47- 40,658 Red Davis
Total Attendance 454,049

Season Highlights:
Waco moved to Longview, May 22
Greenville moved to Bryan, June25
Albert Neil of the Wichita Falls Spudders led five different categories in the offensive department, .356 BA, 185 hits, 126 runs, 137 RBI and 39 home runs. Pat Scantlebury of the Texarkana Bears won 24 games and struck out 177 swingers. Jodie Phipps of the Bryan Majors came in with a solid 2.19 ERA.
The Playoffs:
Wichita Falls Spudders 4 games, Longview Cherokees 0.
Tyler East Texans 4 games, Texarkana Bears 1.
Wichita Falls Spudders 4 games, Tyler East Texans 3.


1954 Season

Team Standings Won Lost Pct GB Attend Managers
Waco Pirates 105 42 .714 0 79,201 Jack Paepke
Tyler Tigers 92 55 .626 13 56,361 Salty Parker
Corpus Christi Clippers 87 60 .592 18 97,255 Bill Capps
Austin Pioneers 79 67 .541 25- 85,119 George Hausmann
Galveston White Caps 73 73 .500 31- 34,205 Chase Riddle, Henry Robinson
Bryan/Del Rio Indians 53 93 .363 51- 34,217 Ray Taylor/Al LaMacchia/Chuck Hawley
Harlingen Capitals 53 94 .361 52 47,825 Earl Caldwell,Sam Harshaney
Temple Eagles 44 102 .301 60- 31,673 Fred Martin/Campbell/Moyer
Total Attendance 465,856

Season Highlights:
Bryan moved to Del Rio, July 28
Dean Stafford of the Galveston White Caps and the Corpus Christi Clippers led the league in hitting with a .362 avr., hits with 212, had 171 RBI to go with 38 home runs. John Wilkinson of the Temple Eagles and Corpus Christi Clippers scored 151 runs. James Vitter of the Corpus Christi Clippers had 23 wins on the mound, while Gayle Pringle of the Tyler Tigers fanned 212 batters on the way to a 2.58 ERA.
The Playoffs:
Waco Pirates 4 games, Austin Pioneers 2.
Corpus Christi Clippers 4 games, Tyler Tigers 1.
Waco Pirates 4 games, Corpus Christi Clippers 3.


1955 Season

Team Standings Won Lost Pct GB Attend Managers
Corpus Christi Clippers 93 48 .660 0 102,788 Connie Ryan
Waco Pirates 74 69 .517 20 53,961 Stan Wentzel
Texas City Texans 71 67 .514 20- 35,402 Bones Sanders
Port Arthur Sea Hawks 64 74 .464 27- 71,063 Fitzgerald,Earl Perry,Jack Bumgarner
Harlingen Capitals 65 79 .451 29- 55,418 Ford Garrison,
Austin Pioneers 58 85 .406 36 50,536 George Hausmann
Tyler Tigers 36 37 .493 NA 26,443 Jodie Phipps
Galveston White Caps 28 30 .483 NA 19,600 Jodie Beeler
Total Attendance 415,211

Season Highlights:
Galveston withdrew June 12.
Tyler withdrew July 1.
Lynn Vandehey of the Texas City Texans led the league with a batting average of .377 and also led in base hits with 195.The Corpus Christi Clippers trio of Ed Charles with 135 runs scored, Dean Stafford had 159 RBI and Keith Little belted 47 home runs to lead those stats. Rene Vega also of the Corpus Christi Clippers had 28 wins and an 2.69 ERA. Don Rowe of the Waco Pirates had 226 strike-outs to his credit.
The Playoffs:
Corpus Christi Clippers 4 games, Harlingen Capitals 1.
Waco Pirates 4 games, Texas City Texans 3.
Finals: Corpus Christi Clippers 4 games, Waco Pirates 0.


1956 Season

Team Standings Won Lost Pct GB Attend Managers
Corpus Christi Clippers 83 57 .593 0 112,625 Sibby Sisti
Port Arthur Sea Hawks 78 62 .557 5 57,117 Lloyd Gearhart,Al Barillari
Waco Pirates 78 62 .557 5 39,096 Monty Basgall
Wichita Falls Spudders 76 64 .543 7 60,891 Danny Ozark
Abilene Blue Sox 73 67 .521 10 83,700 Alfred Evans,
Lubbock Hubbers/Texas City 59 81 .421 24 53,900 Bill Krueger (minors),Jay Haney
Beaumont Exporters 57 83 .407 26 35,000 Ford Garrison
Victoria Eagles 56 84 .400 27 35,639 J.Basso/Fitzgerald/H.Greer
Total Attendance 477,968

Season Highlights:
Lubbock transferred to Texas City July 8.
Beaumont moved to Texas City July 2, but returned, July 8.
James Kirby of the Port Arthur Sea Hawks was the league's leading contact hitter with a .358 average and also had 190 base hits. Joe Christian of the Corpus Christi Clippers scored 119 runs and also had 142 RBI. Danny Ozark of the Wichita Falls Spudders homered 32 times and tied with Rudolph Mayling of the Abilene Blue Sox in the home run battle. Leverette Spencer of the Port Arthur Sea Hawks had 21 pitching victories to go with his league best 2.37 ERA. Ramon Salgado with the Waco Pirates and Herman Greene of the Corpus Christi Clippers also had 21 pitching wins. Evans Killeen of the Abilene Blue Sox had 236 Strikeouts to lead the league in that area.
The Playoffs:
Corpus Christi Clippers 4 games, Wichita Falls Spudders 1.
Port Arthur Sea Hawks 4 games, Waco Pirates 3.
Finals:Port Arthur Sea Hawks 4 games, Corpus Christi Clippers 3.


1957 Season

Team Standings Won Lost Pct GB Attend Managers
Victoria Rosebuds 75 49 .605 0 42,378 Lou Rochelli
Corpus Christi Clippers 69 58 .543 7- 56,871 Joe Just/Jack Wilkinson
Beaumont Pirates 61 63 .492 14 56,342 Monty Basgall
Abilene Blue Sox 61 66 .480 15- 29,995 Burl Storie
Port Arthur/Temple Redlegs 48 56 .461 NA 25,484 Al Barillari
Wichita Falls Spudders 4 26 .013 NA 2,558 Jack Wilkinson/Jodie Beeler
Total Attendance 214,628

Season Highlights:
Wichita Falls withdrew May 23.
Port Arthur moved to Temple May 30. Temple withdrew August 20.
Tony Washington of the Beaumont Pirates led the last year of the league in hitting with a .356 average. He also led with 179 hits. Nate Peeples of the Corpus Christi Clippers scored 116 runs and had 99 RBI to lead those categories. Don Miles of the Victoria Rosebuds hit 28 home runs. In the pitching finalie Chris Niclosi of the Victoria Rosebuds had 21 wins and 208 strike-outs to his credit, but Dave Wickersham of the Beaumont Pirates had a solid 1.95 ERA to earn those honors.
Playoffs: In a shortened format, the Victoria Rosebuds beat the Corpus Christi Clippers 4 games to 1.

[edit] League Records 1947-1957

Batting
Player Team Stat Tot Yr Player Team Stat Tot Yr
Buck Frierson Sherm/Denis GA 156 47 Lloyd Rigby Paris GA 156 47
Frank Saucier Wichita falls BA .446 49 Lloyd Rigby Paris AB 667 47
Buck Frierson Sherm/Denis RUNS 188 47 Buck Frierson Sherm/Denis HITS 248 47
Buck Frierson Sherm/Denis RBI 197 47 Lon Goldstein Gainesville 2B 58 48
Nelson Daehn Temple 3B 23 54 Buck Frierson Sherm/Denis HR 58 47
Buck Frierson Sherm/Denis EBH 100 47 Buck Frierson Sherm/Denis TB 470 47
Edwin Palmer Greenville SB 62 47 Lou Fitzgerald Texarcana BB 135 50
Eugene Hurych Wichita Falls SO 152 56


Pitching
Player Team Stat Tot Yr Player Team Stat Tot Yr
John Bumgarner Texarcana GA 61 53 John Andre Austin CG 29 52
Rene Vega Corpus Christi W 28 55 Marvin Hatcher Temple L 23 54
Bob Heinz Sherm/Denis PCT .909 48 Dave Wickersham Beaumont ERA 1.95 57
Dean Franks Austin IP 301 53 James Vitter Wichita Falls ShO 7 53
Bill Pierro Waco SO 275 49 Orel Dryden Longview BB 162 52




[edit] Source

The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball: Second Edition.

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