Current Weather

You are here

MARY’S MEANDERINGS: July 17 — Baseball games go on forever in my mind

<p>Jenny Lind Baseball Team. I would appreciate help identifying the team. Mary Ann Gamble, 2623 Gate 9 Rd., Greenwood, AR, 72936, (479) 996-2227.</p>

Jenny Lind Baseball Team. I would appreciate help identifying the team. Mary Ann Gamble, 2623 Gate 9 Rd., Greenwood, AR, 72936, (479) 996-2227.

When the coal mines were in operation in Jenny Lind, Hartford, Hackett and other small communities, every coal camp had a good baseball team.

Baseball was the major sports entertainment for the coal miners and other residents and their families.

My family lived directly across the road where we could sit on our front porch (like a grandstand seat) and watch the games. The ball diamond was only yards away. Years and growth of saplings and cedar trees have taken over the ball diamond. I don’t remember who tore our old house down (for the lumber), but they promised to leave memories, and they “made good” their promise…for me.

Many summer games were played and enjoyed by families on Sunday afternoon on the ball diamond in Old Town, located next to the Old Jenny Lind cemetery and our community building…where the Bradley family and their porch and yard full of friends and their neighbors could do the same. Not only were many games played there by the “miner” leagues, but it was also a favorite field for our own Jenny Lind popular coach, Cephas Peters, who later entertained us with his coaching skills, winning game after game with the young players and his knowledge of the game of baseball.

In the Howard Hill community (Sixteen) the ball diamond located across the road from residents Dutch and Ruth McGehee’s home was also a favorite place to play on Sunday evenings.

From time to time, a pie supper would be held in the Howard Hill school, a fund raiser to purchase baseball equipment and perhaps the team’s “first” new baseball uniforms as shown in the photograph?

My uncle, Dewey (Spoke) Price was manager of this baseball team who enjoyed writing stories and poetry about the players, the “team he loved.”

Most of the players dressed up and went to church or mass on Sunday morning and looked forward to playing a game that evening. Sometimes there would be a squabble or two, but on Monday morning, dressed in blackened and stiff mining clothes, swinging their dinner buckets and talking about yesterday’s game, they entered the entrance of the mine for another day of back-breaking work while the other players went about their everyday jobs…all anticipating the big game coming up the next Sunday.

Baseball…the game that everyone knows a little bit about. A subject that just seems to pop up now and then in conversation this time of year.