Beaumont Exporters

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The Beaumont Exporters were a franchise in American minor league baseball that played in the Texas League from 1920–1949 and 1953–1955. The city of Beaumont, Texas, was also represented in the Texas League from 1912–1917 and 1919 as the Oilers, from 1950–1952 as the Roughnecks, and from 1983–1986 as the Golden Gators. The Exporters played at Magnolia Ballpark through 1929 and at Stuart Stadium thereafter.

The Exporters languished near the bottom of the Texas circuit during the 1920s, but when the team became a farm system affiliate of the Detroit Tigers in the 1930s, its fortunes changed. The 1932 club, featuring future Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg, won 100 games and swept the Dallas Steers in the playoffs. Greenberg led the league with 39 home runs and 123 runs scored, while pitcher Schoolboy Rowe — a Texan who would star with Greenberg on the 19341935 Tiger pennant-winners — posted a league-best 2.34 earned run average. The Exporters won another championship in 1938, behind pitcher Dizzy Trout, the league's MVP. In 1942, the team won the regular-season pennant, but fell in seven games in the playoffs. Then the entire Texas League suspended operations (1943–1945) during World War II.

After the war ended, the New York Yankees replaced Detroit as the Exporters' parent club in 1946. A series of last-place teams was followed in 1950 with a championship club managed by Rogers Hornsby — but it was known as the Roughnecks that season.

The Exporters name was restored in 1953, but no more titles followed. As an affiliate of the Chicago Cubs (1954) and Milwaukee Braves (1955), it trailed the other seven TL teams in attendance. The Exporters then moved to Austin in 1956.

A club known as the Exporters then entered the Class B Big State League in 1956 as a St. Louis Cardinals' affiliate. It struggled on the field, finished last in the BSL in attendance, and briefly transferred to Texas City during July before returning to Beaumont. The following year, 1957, Beaumont remained in the Big State League, but it was a Pittsburgh Pirates' farm club and used its parent team's nickname. The BSL then folded its tent as an organized baseball circuit.

The Golden Gators of 1983–1986 were the transplanted Amarillo Gold Sox, a Texas League farm team of the San Diego Padres. They moved to Wichita, Kansas, as the Wichita Pilots in 1987.

Notable players[edit]

Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg

References[edit]

  • Johnson, Lloyd, ed., The Minor League Register. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 1994.
  • Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 1997 edition. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America.

External links[edit]