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Southern Association

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Founded in 1901, the Southern Association was a second-tier minor league (what is now called AA) for most of its lifespan. It collapsed after the 1961 season; some attribute this to the league's resistance to integration (Nat Peeples was the only black player in SA history and only lasted two games before being forced out). Over the years the Association was home to up-and-coming stars like Eddie Mathews and Luis Aparicio as well as one-armed Pete Gray, who won the league MVP award in 1944. Birmingham and Nashville competed for the full 61 year run of the league. Also, Atlanta and Memphis missed only one year, New Orleans missed only two, and Chattanooga and Little Rock were involved for over 50 years. Mobile was the eighth team for 41 years, making for an incredibly stable lineup.

From 1885-1886, and again from 1892-1896, the Southern League operated as a forerunner to the SA, with many of the same cities as the Southern Association.


Contents

[edit] Citites Represented

[edit] 1901 - 1961

[edit] Teams and Statistics

[edit] 1952 - 1953

1952 Final Team Standings
Team W L Pct% GB AB Hits Bat% HR RBI Runs Err Fld%
Chattanooga Lookouts 86 66 .566 0 5159 1431 .277 66 686 758 219 .962
Atlanta Crackers 82 72 .533 5 5270 1518 .288 91 727 803 164 .972
Mobile Bears 80 73 .523 6- 5224 1499 .287 95 709 775 177 .969
Memphis Chicks 81 74 .523 6- 5134 1373 .267 94 687 757 227 .962
New Orleans Pelicans 80 75 .516 7- 5110 1316 .258 115 658 741 220 .962
Nashville Vols 73 79 .480 13 5240 1510 .288 132 730 895 196 .967
Little Rock Travelers 68 85 .444 18- 5023 1294 .258 61 542 586 166 .970
Birmingham Barons 64 90 .416 23 5156 1369 .266 87 637 706 200 .966


1952 Teams, Managers and Attendance
Team Managers Attendance
Chattanooga Lookouts Cal Ermer 252,703
Atlanta Crackers Dixie Walker 232,994
Mobile Bears Ed Head 158,989
Memphis Chicks Luke Appling 174,830
New Orleans Pelicans Danny Murtaugh 232,043
Nashville Vols Hugh Poland 113,193
Little Rock Travelers Willis Hudlin 121,482
Birmingham Barons Al Vincent, Red Mathis 177,898
Total Attendance 1,464,132


1952 Individual Pitching, Hitting Leaders
Player & Team, Pitching W L ERA Player & Team, Hitting AB Hits Avr
Wade Browning, Mobile Bears 14 14 2.90 Rance Pless, Nashville Vols 538 196 .364
Jim Pearce, Chattanooga Lookouts 12 5 2.98 Junior Wooten, Atlanta Crackers 496 172 .347
Mel Himes, Mobile Bears 11 6 3.04 Chuck Tanner, Atlanta Crackers 449 121 .269

Frank Thomas was voted the league's MVP.

In other important categories, Frank Thomas, New Orleans Pelicans hammered 35 home runs, had 131 RBI and scored 112 runs. Don Nicholas of the Memphis Chicks had 84 stolen bases to his credit. Al Sima pitching for the Chattanooga Lookouts chalked up 24 wins to lead the league in that category. Al Worthington, Nashville Vols led in striking out batters, with 152 in his pocket.

The Memphis Chicks walked off with the playoff title beating up on the Chattanooga Lookouts 4 games to 0, while the Mobile Bears were whipping the Atlanta Crackers 4 games to 2. The hard playing Memphis Chicks took out the Mobile Bears 4 wins to 2 to take home the playoff crown.

1953

1953 Final Team Standings
Team W L Pct% GB AB Hits Bat% HR RBI Runs Err Fld%
Memphis Chicks 87 67 .565 0 5183 1409 .272 156 771 833 191 .968
Nashville Vols 85 69 .552 2 5183 1494 .288 142 734 787 189 .967
Atlanta Crackers 84 70 .546 3 5039 1365 .271 122 712 770 182 .968
Birmingham Barons 78 76 .507 9 5305 1446 .273 106 697 757 198 .966
New Orleans Pelicans 76 78 .494 11 5261 1429 .272 93 704 775 183 .969
Chattanooga Lookouts 73 81 .474 14 5156 1399 .271 52 619 670 168 .970
Mobile Bears 66 87 .431 20- 5220 1395 .267 73 583 645 177 .970
Little Rock Travelers 66 87 .431 20- 5085 1307 .257 89 584 643 155 .972


1953 Teams, Managers and Attendance
Team Managers Attendance
Memphis Chicks Luke Appling 202,577
Nashville Vols Hugh Poland 149,578
Atlanta Crackers Gene Mauch 290,510
Birmingham Barons Mayo Smith 207,612
New Orleans Pelicans Danny Murtaugh 123,905
Chattanooga Lookouts Cal Ermer 172,042
Mobile Bears Ed Head 77,261
Little Rock Travelers Paul Campbell 104,181
Total Attendance 1,327,926


1953 Individual Pitching, Hitting Leaders
Player & Team, Pitching W L ERA Player & Team, Hitting AB Hits Avr
Art Fowler, Atlanta Crackers 18 10 3.03 Bill Taylor, Nashville Vols 406 142 .350
Dick Strahs, Memphis Chicks 16 8 3.15 Dick Sinovic, Atlanta Crackers 587 201 .342
Tom Hurd, Memphis Chicks 10 7 2.65 Ed White, Memphis Chicks 488 161 .330

Jack Harshman was voted the league's MVP.

Bill Wilson of the Memphis Chicks pounded 34 home runs to top the league while Dick Sinovic, Atlanta Crackers knocked in 126. Robert Boring of the Nashville Vols scored 108 runs. Winingest pitcher was Jack Harshman of the Nashville Vols, with 23 to his credit. Jim Constable, of the Nashville Vols fanned 183 would be hitters.

The playoffs were won by the Nashville Vols who beat the Birmingham Barons in the final round 4 games to 1. In the first round the Birmingham Barons took out the Memphis Chicks 4 games to 1 and the Nashville Vols beat the Atlanta Crackers 4 games to 2.

[edit] 1954 - 1955

1954 Final Team Standings'
Team W L Pct% GB AB Hits Bat% HR RBI Runs Err Fld%
Atlanta Crackers 94 60 .610 0 5230 1491 .285 165 777 841 165 .971
New Orleans Pelicans 92 62 .597 2 5165 1426 .276 137 795 860 183 .968
Birmingham Barons 81 70 .536 11- 5184 1511 .291 115 790 851 175 .969
Memphis Chicks 80 74 .520 14 5295 1477 .279 122 771 822 203 .966
Chattanooga Lookouts 75 76 .498 17- 4969 1339 .269 52 610 670 163 .971
Little Rock Travelers 64 90 .416 30 5188 1349 .260 115 679 730 164 .971
Nashville Vols 64 90 .416 30 5289 1468 .278 184 785 837 209 .964
Mobile Bears 63 91 .409 31 5092 1349 .265 111 637 702 181 .968


1954 Teams, Managers and Attendance
Team Managers Attendance
Atlanta Crackers Whit Wyatt 312,259
New Orleans Pelicans Danny Murtaugh 206,305
Birmingham Barons Mayo Smith 186,310
Memphis Chicks Don Gutteridge 108,898
Chattanooga Lookouts Cal Ermer 149,453
Little Rock Travelers Bill Norman, Stubby Overmire, Pat Mullin 74,449
Nashville Vols Hugh Poland 89,470
Mobile Bears Stan Wasiak,Greg Mulleavy 87,191
Total Attendance 1,214,335


1954 Individual Pitching, Hitting Leaders
Player & Team, Pitching W L ERA player & Team, Hitting AB Hits Avr
Nellie King,New Orleans Pelicans 16 5 2.25 Bob Lennon, Nashville Vols 609 210 .345
Dick Donovan, Atlanta Crackers 18 8 2.79 Eric Rodin, Nashville Vols 473 159 .336
Jerry Lane,Chattanooga Lookouts 13 8 2.97 Russ Sullivan,Little Rock Travelers 457 152 .333

Bob Lennon was voted the league's MVP.

Nashville Vols Bob Lennon led the league in just about every hitting category there is. He busted the ball for 64 homers, knocked in 161 and also managed to score 139 times...all this to go with a league batting title. Leo Cristante, Atlanta Crackers led the league in wins with 24 while Joe Margoneri of The Nashville Vols struck out 184 big swingers.

The Atlanta Crackers made it a clean sweep by winning not only the league title but the playoffs along with it, beating the Memphis Chicks in the first round 4 games to 2. Then taking the last set against the New Orleans Pelicans, 4 games to 1.

1955

1955 Final Team Standings
Team W L Pct% GB AB Hits Bat% HR RBI Runs Err Fld%
Memphis Chicks 90 63 .588 0 5096 1368 .268 105 689 754 206 .965
Birmingham Barons 88 65 .575 2 5198 1459 .281 80 711 784 182 .968
Chattanooga Lookouts 80 74 .520 10- 5212 1401 .269 76 698 769 200 .966
Mobile Bears 79 75 .513 11- 4981 1290 .259 121 636 702 230 .960
Nashville Vols 77 74 .510 12 5109 1448 .283 123 748 820 182 .968
New Orleans Pelicans 76 75 .503 13 4957 1311 .264 105 705 783 202 .965
Atlanta Crackers 70 84 .455 20- 5195 1325 .255 124 613 689 225 .963
Little Rock Travelers 52 102 .338 38- 5045 1279 .254 66 521 556 192 .967


1955 Teams, Managers and Attendance
Team Managers Attendance
Memphis Chicks Jack Cassini, Ted Lyons 134,823
Birmingham Barons Phil Page 201,570
Chattanooga Lookouts Cal Ermer 160,009
Mobile Bears Clay Bryant 94,214
Nashville Vols Joe Schultz 116,952
New Orleans Pelicans Andy Cohen 128,993
Atlanta Crackers George McQuinn,Marv Rackley,Clyde King 239,037
Little Rock Travelers Bob Mavis, Steve Souchock 51,514
Total Attendance 1,127,112


1955 Individual Pitching, Hitting Leaders
Player & Team, Pitching W L ERA player & Team, Hitting AB Hits Avr
Ralph Mauriello,Mobile Bears 18 8 2.76 Charlie Williams,Nashville Vols 573 211 .368
Al Sima,Chattanooga Lookouts 12 11 3.04 Ed White,Memphis Chicks 558 191 .342
John Wingo,Birmingham Barons 15 10 3.06 Ben Downs,Nashville Vols 526 179 .340

Jerry Dahlke was voted the league's MVP

Bob Hazle of the Nashville Vols led the SA in home runs with 29 to his credit, also scoring 114 runs. Jim Lemon of the Chattanooga Lookouts and Jim Gentile of the Mobile Bears tied for the RBI lead with 109 each. Jerry Dahlke had the most victories with 19 pitching wins to his credit. Gene Host of the Little Rock Travelers fanned 184 swingers.

In the playoffs, the Mobile Bears whipped the Memphis Chicks 4 games to 3, and in the other first round match-up, the Birmingham Barons got to the Chattanooga Lookouts 4 to 2. The Mobile Bears then stopped the Birmingham Barons, also 4 games to 2.

[edit] 1956 - 1957

1956 Final Team Standings'
Team W L Pct% GB AB Hits Bat% HR RBI Runs Err Fld%
Atlanta Crackers 89 65 .578 0 5214 1359 .261 183 741 827 180 .970
Memphis Chicks 82 72 .533 7 5078 1298 .256 115 628 692 166 .971
Mobile Bears 82 73 .529 7- 5136 1341 .261 105 634 715 198 .966
Birmingham Barons 81 74 .523 8- 5292 1429 .270 106 696 752 188 .968
New Orleans Pelicans 79 75 .513 10 5095 1390 .273 136 748 817 165 .971
Chattanooga Lookouts 76 78 .494 13 5197 1476 .284 76 669 741 226 .960
Nashville Vols 75 79 .487 14 5156 1418 .275 94 690 757 182 .967
Little Rock Travelers 53 101 .344 36 4943 1206 .244 100 640 690 192 .967


1956 Teams, Managers and Attendance
Team Managers Attendance
Atlanta Crackers Clyde King, 265,578
Memphis Chicks Jack Cassini, Don Griffin 163,832
Mobile Bears Jo-Jo White 81,727
Birmingham Barons Phil Page 194,997
New Orleans Pelicans Andy Cohen 96,753
Chattanooga Lookouts Cal Ermer 99,091
Nashville Vols Ernie White 115,049
Little Rock Travelers Steve Souchock 71,104
Total Attendance 1,088,131


1956 Individual Pitching, Hitting Leaders
Player & Team, Pitching W L ERA player & Team, Hitting AB Hits Avr
Bill Dailey,Mobile Bears 15 8 3.18 Stanley Roseboro,Chattanooga Lookouts 473 161 .340
Don RudolphMemphis Chicks 11 10 3.19 Al GrunwaldNew Orleans Pelicans 464 154 .332
Bill DuFour,Memphis Chicks 10 10 3.21 Lyle LuttrellChattanooga Lookouts 460 149 .324

Al Papai was voted the league's MVP

Johnny Powers of the New Orleans Pelicans led the league with 39 homers while also scoring 131 runs. Milt Graff, Birmingham Barons led the league in hits with 207 while Gordy Coleman of the Mobile Bears led with 118 RBI.

Al Papai with the Memphis Chicks won the most games for a pitcher, with 20 under his belt. Bob Kelly of the Nashville Vols led the pack with 180 strikeouts.

In the playoffs ,the Atlanta Crackers whipped the Birmingham Barons, 4 games to 0 and in the other first round match-up, the Memphis Chicks got to the Mobile Bears 4 to 3. The Atlanta Crackers then stopped the Memphis Chicks, in a real fight, 4 games to 3. This gave the Atlanta Crackers the league and playoff titles for 1956.


1957


1957 Final Team Standings'
Team W L Pct% GB AB Hits Bat% HR RBI Runs Err Fld%
Atlanta Crackers 87 67 .565 0 5162 1340 .260 127 730 776 155 .973
Memphis Chicks 86 67 .562 - 5014 1309 .261 108 656 704 180 .969
Nashville Vols 83 69 .546 3 5131 1462 .285 108 816 882 135 .977
Chattanooga Lookouts 83 70 .543 3- 5103 1400 .274 89 687 742 180 .969
Mobile Bears 75 78 .490 11- 5071 1274 .251 87 565 630 172 .970
Birmingham Barons 74 79 .484 12- 5095 1270 .249 108 568 718 153 .974
Little Rock Travelers 64 88 .421 22 5004 1277 .255 77 562 610 159 .971
New Orleans Pelicans 60 94 .390 27 5035 1267 .252 64 614 685 195 .966


1957 Teams, Managers and Attendance
Team Managers Attendance
Atlanta Crackers Bud Bates, 256,876
Memphis Chicks Lou Klein, 125,085
Nashville Vols Dick Sisler 152,203
Chattanooga Lookouts Cal Ermer 130,417
Mobile Bears Don Heffner 71,522
Birmingham Barons Johnny Pesky 133,913
Little Rock Travelers Al Evans 75,181
New Orleans Pelicans Peanuts Lowrey 67,287
Total Attendance 1,012,484


1957 Individual Pitching, Hitting Leaders
Player & Team Pitching W L ERA Avr.
Hy Cohen, Memphis Chicks 15 7 2.72 .682
James Atkins, Birmingham Barons 14 5 2.86 .737
Don Minnick, Chattanooga Lookouts 17 6 3.09 .739
Player & Team Hitting Ab Hits Runs Avr.
Stan Palys, Nashville Vols 493 177 116 .359
Vern Morgan, Chattanooga Lookouts 544 182 107 .335
Bob Coates, Memphis Chicks 563 184 87 .327

Hy Cohen was voted the league's MVP.

Harmon Killebrew, Chattanooga Lookouts, busted 29 four-baggers to lead the pack and his teammate, Jesse Levan had 114 RBI.

Bob Kelly of the Nashville Vols was the winningest pitcher with 24 victories to his credit. George Brunet, Little Rock Travelers pitcher, had 235 strikeouts on his tally.

The Atlanta Crackers were again winners in the play-offs, beating the Chattanooga Lookouts 4 wins against 2 in the first round and buried The Nashville Vols 4 games to none to win the big one. The Nashville Vols squad had beaten the Memphis Chicks 4 - 2, to make the final round.


[edit] 1958 - 1959

1958 Final Team Standings'
Team W L Pct% GB AB Hits Bat% HR RBI Runs Err Fld%
Birmingham Barons 91 62 .595 0 5194 1381 .266 138 699 765 141 .975
Mobile Bears 84 68 .552 6- 4951 1283 .259 99 614 677 167 .970
Atlanta Crackers 84 70 .545 7- 5180 1371 .265 123 686 740 168 .971
Chattanooga Lookouts 77 76 .503 14 5105 1416 .277 89 650 731 186 .967
Nashville Vols 76 78 .493 15- 5101 1341 .263 120 705 777 175 .970
Little Rock Travelers 74 80 .480 17- 5070 1236 .244 128 616 673 197 .966
Memphis Chicks 69 84 .451 22 4943 1211 .245 97 564 606 156 .972
New Orleans Pelicans 57 94 .377 33 5026 1371 .273 180 703 776 210 .964


1958 Teams, Managers and Attendance
Team Managers Attendance
Birmingham Barons Cal Ermer 184,682
Mobile Bears Mel McGaha 81,593
Atlanta Crackers Bud Bates 178,791
Chattanooga Lookouts Red Marion 86,328
Nashville Vols Dick Sisler 92,199
Little Rock Travelers Les Peden 67,810
Memphis Chicks Sheriff Robinson 62,403
New Orleans Pelicans Charlie Silvera/Ray Yochim 50,369
Total Attendance 804,175


1958 Individual Pitching, Hitting Leaders
Player & Team, Pitching W L ERA player & Team, Hitting AB Hits Avr
Bob Davis,Little Rock Travelers 11 8 2.17 Jim Fridley,Nashville Vols 515 179 .348
Jim O'Toole,Nashville Vols 20 8 2.44 Les Peden,Little Rock Travelers 458 153 .334
Dick Stigman,Mobile Bears 15 7 2.44 Bob Thorpe,Birmingham Barons 481 156 .324

Bill Harrington was voted the league's MVP

Kent Hadley of the Little Rock Travelers led the pack with 34 home runs and Chuck Coles of the Nashville Vols came up with 107 RBI. Jack Reed of the New Orleans Pelicans had 198 base hits to go along with scoring 120 runs.

Bill Harrington (Birmingham Barons), Bob Hartman (Atlanta Crackers) and Jim O'Toole (Nashville Vols) all chalked up 20 wins to their teams' credit. Joe Grzenda (Birmingham Barons) and Jim O'Toole of the Nashville Vols both garnered 189 strike-outs for their teams.

The Birmingham Barons not only walked off with the league title, but they captured the play-off crown also, beating the Chattanooga Lookouts 4 games to 1 and then taking the Mobile Bears to the woodshed by the same count. The Mobile Bears had beaten the Atlanta Crackers 4 zip to make the final round.

1959

1959 Final Team Standings'
Team W L Pct% GB AB Hits Bat% HR RBI Runs Err Fld%
Birmingham Barons 92 61 .601 0 5107 1382 .271 108 682 735 145 .974
Mobile Bears 89 63 .586 2- 5133 1403 .273 92 623 699 175 .969
Nashville Vols 84 64 .568 5- 4868 1301 .267 120 661 654 143 .974
Memphis Chicks 76 77 .497 16 4956 1271 .256 87 594 657 150 .973
Shreveport Sports 75 79 .487 17- 5247 1462 .279 135 690 756 184 .969
New Orleans Pelicans 68 81 .456 22 4942 1271 .257 103 605 693 190 .966
Chattanooga Lookouts 67 86 .438 25 5250 1365 .260 94 561 619 164 .972
Atlanta Crackers 56 96 .368 35- 4970 1278 .257 101 565 605 218 .962


1959 Teams, Managers and Attendance
Team Managers Attendance
Birmingham Barons Skeeter Newsome 120,618
Mobile Bears Mel McGaha 64,309
Nashville Vols Dick Sisler 129,125
Memphis Chicks Luke Appling 49,682
Shreveport Sports Les Peden 47,636
New Orleans Pelicans Mel Parnell 71,577
Chattanooga Lookouts Red Marion 60,128
Atlanta Crackers Bud Bates/Bob Montag 71,139
Total Attendance 614,214


1959 Individual Pitching, Hitting Leaders
Player & Team, Pitching W L ERA player & Team, Hitting AB Hits Avr
Bill Dailey,Mobile Bears 11 5 2.41 Gordy Coleman,Mobile Bears 507 179 .353
Wynn Hawkins,Mobile Bears 14 9 2.55 Don Saner,Mobile Bears 484 156 .322
Wally Seward,Mobile Bears 9 4 2.88 Jay Hankins,Shreveport Sports 588 186 .316

Gordy Coleman was voted the league's MVP.

Gordy Coleman not only led the league in the batting average race, he busted 30 homers and had 110 RBI. The Shreveport Sports' Lou Klimchock had 192 hits and John Water of the Mobile Bears scored 103 runs. Don Brady, New Orleans Pelicans had 19 wins on the mound and Carl Mathis from the Mobile Bears struck out 183 would be hitters. It could be said that the Mobile Bears boys won every thing but the pennant, loosing that by just 2 1/2 games to the Birmingham Barons. Not to be outdone the runner-ups in the regular season whacked the first place finishers 4 games to 1, in what was to be the last play-off series ever played in the league. There was no all-star game or "Dixie Series" played in this season, either.


[edit] 1960 - 1961

1960 Final Team Standings'
Team W L Pct% GB AB Hits Bat% HR RBI Runs Err Fld%
Atlanta Crackers 87 67 .565 0 5133 1412 .275 120 757 840 182 .968
Shreveport Sports 86 67 .562 - 5140 1446 .281 147 779 831 210 .964
Little Rock Travelers 82 69 .543 3- 4912 1278 .260 61 681 739 166 .971
Birmingham Barons 83 70 .542 3- 5140 1340 .261 127 688 753 182 .969
Mobile Bears 79 72 .523 6- 5106 1389 .272 89 643 685 168 .971
Nashville Vols 71 82 .464 15- 5165 1366 .264 125 650 712 189 .968
Memphis Chicks 59 87 .404 24 4860 1272 .262 67 555 625 211 .960
Chattanooga Lookouts 60 93 .392 26- 5068 1319 .260 70 606 654 170 .970


1960 Teams, Managers and Attendance
Team Managers Attendance
Atlanta Crackers Rube Walker 154,143
Shreveport Sports Les Peden 53,498
Little Rock Travelers Fred Hatfield 179,471
Birmingham Barons Skeeter Newsome 119,140
Mobile Bears Al Hollingsworth/Johnny Lipon 67,846
Nashville Vols Jim Turner 99,721
Memphis Chicks Joe Schultz 48,487
Chattanooga Lookouts Spook Jacobs 58,010
Total Attendance 779,866


1960 Individual Pitching, Hitting Leaders
Player & Team, Pitching W L ERA player & Team, Hitting AB Hits Avr
Ron Nischwitz,Birmingham Barons 14 7 2.31 Stan Palys,Birmingham Barons 540 200 .370
Charles Ready,Little Rock Travelers 15 7 2.65 Jack Kubiszyn,Mobile Bears 449 151 .336
Dave WickershamShreveport Sports 10 7 2.65 Ernie Oravetz ,Mobile Bears 600 196 .327

Stan Palys was voted the league's MVP.

Jim McManus of the Shreveport Sports had 32 home runs to lead the league in that category; his teammates Leo Posada (122 RBI) and Jay Hankins (116 runs) also led the league in key offensive stats. Pete Richert of the Atlanta Crackers had 19 wins and fanned 251 swingers. For the first time in years, there were no play-off or all-star games played and the "Dixie Series" looked like a thing of the past.


1961


1961 Final Team Standings'
Team W L Pct% GB AB Hits Bat% HR RBI Runs Err Fld%
Chattanooga Lookouts 90 62 .592 0 5123 1411 .275 95 657 753 178 .969
Birmingham Barons 89 63 .585 1 5241 1452 .277 90 778 854 172 .970
Little Rock Travelers 80 73 .523 10- 4973 1296 .261 95 637 711 207 .964
Atlanta Crackers 77 74 .510 12- 5021 1316 .262 94 661 728 153 .973
Macon Peaches 75 79 .487 16 5179 1332 .257 86 607 674 204 .966
Nashville Vols 69 83 .454 21 5035 1390 .276 105 702 764 164 .971
Shreveport Sports 69 84 .451 21- 5264 1419 .272 116 708 783 196 .965
Mobile Bears 61 92 .399 29- 5071 1214 .239 60 509 569 197 .966


1961 Teams, Managers and Attendance
Team Managers Attendance
Chattanooga Lookouts Frank Lucchesi 107,419
Birmingham Barons Frank Skaff 112,217
Little Rock Travelers Fred Hatfield 136,316
Atlanta Crackers Rube Walker 59,061
Macon Peaches Max Macon, Jerry Snyder 91,136
Nashville Vols Spencer Robbins 64,460
Shreveport Sports Les Peden 23,349
Mobile Bears Ernie White 48,843
Total Attendance 647,831


1961 Individual Pitching, Hitting Leaders
Player & Team, Pitching W L ERA player & Team, Hitting AB Hits Avr
Jack Smith,Atlanta Crackers 12 7 2.09 Don Saner,Little Rock Travelers 404 141 .349
Howie Koplitz,Birmingham Barons 23 3 2.11 Joe Christian,Nashville Vols 545 183 .336
Don EricksonChattanooga Lookouts 6 4 2.21 Stan Palys,Birmingham Barons 492 164 .333

Howie Koplitz was voted the league's MVP.

In other important categories, Gabe Gabler (Macon Peaches) hammered 30 home runs, Wayne Graham of the Chattanooga Lookouts had 199 hits and Legrant Scott of the Birmingham Barons scored 128 runs. Not to be outdone the famed "Bo Belinsky" of the Little Rock Travelers led the league by fanning 182 would-be hitters.

The final year. This indeed was the last go-around for the famed league and President Hal Totten formally announced after the seasons end that the league would not be formed for 1962. There was no playoffs or All-Star games again and the famed "Dixie Series", sometimes, called the "Minor League World Series" was gone with the rest.

Regardless of all the discussion on why baseball was changing, and there are a ton of reasons why, both pro and con, it changed. The Southern Association, a backbone of Minor League Baseball for 61 years, was finished. The league ended with the last game of the 1961 season...the league died with its spikes on and ready to play, but it was over, and the mother of them all..... was gone.

Many argue that the lack of integration by the SA led to its demise as the more progressive leagues all survived.

[edit] Sources

The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball and the Baseball Guide and Record Book.

[edit] Hall of Fame Alumni

[edit] Further Reading

  • Warren Corbett: "Why, They'll Bet on a Foul Ball: The Southern Association Scandal of 1959", in The National Pastime - A Review of Baseball History, Society for American Baseball Research, Cleveland, OH, number 26 (May, 2006), pp. 54-60.
  • Ken Fenster: "It's Not Fiction: The Race to Host the 1954 Southern Association All-Star Game", The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Vol. 39, Number 2 (Fall 2010), pp. 90-94.
  • Marshall D. Wright: The Southern Association in Baseball, 1885-1961, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2002.
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