Thursday, April 30, 2009

Buckwalter Stadium — Meridian

Former home of the former Meridian Millers baseball team.

Buckwalter Stadium was located in the old fairgrounds of Meridian Mississippi and was the home field of the Meridian Millers who were members of the Southeastern League and the Cotton States League. I don't remember vegetation growing between the slats of the grandstand. The ballpark that preceeded Buckwalter Stadium was named Fairgrounds Field.

The first team to play at the fairgrounds was the Southeastern League's Meridian Scrappers who used the ballpark from 1937-1939. During their first two seasons, they were members of the St. Louis Browns organization. In 1939, they became a co-op team and in 1940, they changed their name to the Meridian Bears. In 1941, they changed their name again, this time to the Meridian Eagles and returned to the St. Louis Browns' umbrella. By 1942 they again were a co-op team. The league ceased operations due to the war after the 1942 season.

In 1946, the Southeastern League returned with the Meridian "Peps", which were members of the Brooklyn Dodgers association. The Peps represented the Dodgers for only one season before switching affiliations to the Cleveland Indians, where they remained from 1947 until 1948. In 1949, the team again went co-op and changed their name for the 5th time. Now, they were known as the Meridian Millers. They remained in the Southeastern League until 1950, when the league finally folded.

With the Class B Southeastern League permanently defunct, the Meridian Millers found themselves without a league to play in, and sat out the 1951 season. In 1952, a spot opened in the Class C Cotton States League, when the Clarksdale Planters ceased operations. Meridian hadn't played in the Cotton States League since 1929. They kept the name Meridian Millers, and instead, changed the name of the stadium from Fairgrounds Field to Buckwalter Stadium. They remained in the Cotton States League as a co-op team until 1955 when they moved to Vicksburg.


Hattak said...

The Clarksdale baseball team was the Planters. Jack Cristal (voice of Miss. State sports) was broadcasting the Clarksdale Planters games via ticker tape when invited to do a Miss. State football game. He's been there ever since.

Hattak said...

The Clarksdale club was the Planters. Jack Cristal (Miss. State football announcer) was doing the Clarksdale ballgames when State invited him to try out as their game announcer. He's been the voice of the Bulldogs ever since.

David N. James said...

I made your correction. The article from which I got the information obviously contained a typo. Thanks for calling my attention to it. DNJ