By L. M. Sutter
They emerged from the mines, shook off the coal dirt, and stepped onto the diamond. From the early 1900s to the Fifties, baseball video games among mine employees have been a small-town phenomenon, every one group attracting avid and extremely dependable enthusiasts. gifted part-time athletes competed on the novice, semi-pro degrees. both aggressive have been the coal corporation officers, who usually introduced in ringers, or gamers of remarkable skill, giving them more uncomplicated jobs above floor or a padded pay packet. in keeping with interviews with surviving gamers, households of deceased avid gamers, and modern resources, this thoroughgoing heritage covers not just groups and leagues yet their functionality in the mining groups of Virginia, Kentucky and West Virginia. The e-book includes a unique part on African-American mining groups, a coalfield map and plenty of photos.
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Extra info for Ball, Bat and Bitumen (Contributions to Southern Appalachian Studies)
In 1933, the exuberance surrounding the local Mountain Empire Series championship in Kentucky was aptly described by a reporter who, days later, still sounded slightly pixilated. To Corbin on the special was wild and woozy for many of the fans while many took it more quietly than they did last year when on the Pineville trip, the ten coach train to the doubleheader baseball game was crowded plenty with about three times the number that the Lonesome Pine special carried to Pineville last year. The St.
But West Virginia was surely The Bishop State Liners of the late 1940s. One of the most formidable teams of the coalﬁelds, they were frequent competitors of the legendary Raleigh Clippers. Note the mix of races among attending fans. Back row, left to right: Nathaniel “Eagle” Wooley, unidentiﬁed, Curtis “Sonny Jim” Mott, John Mallory, Willie Lee, George Burl. Middle: Sherl Owens. Front row: unidentiﬁed, Herman Simmons, Wade Spikes, Wayne “Dump” Spikes (batboy), George “Sug” Montgomery, John Hawkins, William Bennett (courtesy Frank and Ethel Bennett).
The ﬁrst issue addressed must necessarily be the psychological differences between the agricultural, Old South gentility of Pennington Gap and the hectic, hardscrabble mentality of the coal town, St. Charles. “There was always a roughness to St. Charles. And they felt the difference,” says Larry. “But part of it was that they enjoyed being different. ” Born into blue-collar St. Charles in 1906 was the man who would spend his life trying to keep baseball fans in Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee whipped into an absolute competitive frenzy.