The Tupelo Tornado, located in Booneville, MS or Tupelo, MS (sources vary), went 19-11 in the first half of their first year in the Big South League in 1997, then went 21-7 in the second half. Their overall record was the best in the league but they just missed the title in both halves and thus were left out of the playoffs. Managed by Steve Dillard, they led the Big South in attendance (32,762). Stars included Jerome Williams (.371, leading the league in average and also with 49 runs and 11 homers), Wayne Cupit (1-2, 2.08, a league-high 13 saves) and Les Lancaster (8-2, 2.90). The team joined the Heartland League in 1998 but Dillard's club was 4-10 when it folded, having drawn just 1,507 fans.
Source: 1997-98 Baseball Almanacs