Big State League

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Not to be confused with Big States League.

The Big State League was a mid-level, Class B circuit in American minor league baseball that played for 11 seasons, from 1947 through 1957. Its member clubs were exclusively based in Texas. It saw a lot of transition in its 11-year lifetime, with no team serving as a member in every single season. Waco came the closest, serving from 1947-1956. The league was known as an offense-oriented circuit.

The league debuted at the height of the short-lived postwar minor league baseball boom, in 1947, with eight clubs, all unaffiliated with Major League Baseball farm systems. Two clubs, Texarkana and Greenville, won more than 100 games, and four league members exceeded 100,000 in attendance. But beginning in 1953, the Big State League's teams struggled to reach six figures in that category. Only Corpus Christi drew over the 100,000 mark during the league's final five seasons, doing so on two occasions. The league was further weakened when a traditionally strong member, Austin, moved up to the AA Texas League in 1956.

The league began the 1957 campaign with only six clubs, and its ranks were reduced to four when Wichita Falls disbanded in May, while the Port Arthur team moved to Temple that same month before folding in August. Of the surviving teams, Victoria, a Brooklyn Dodgers farm team, outlasted Corpus Christi, Beaumont and Abilene to win the league's last pennant and playoff championship.

J. Walter Morris served as League President from 1947 through 1950, Howard Green, took over from 1951 through 1955 and Hal Sayles was in charge the final two years, 1956-57.

Cities Represented[edit]

References[edit]

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