Memphis Chicks

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Memphis Chicks
19011997
(1901-60 and 1978-97)
Memphis, Tennessee
Class-level
  • AA (1946-60 and 1978-97)
  • B (1901)
    A (1902-45)
Minor league affiliations
Major league affiliations
Name
  • Memphis Egyptians (1901-08)
    Memphis Turtles (1909-11)
    Memphis Chickasaws (1912-60)
Ballpark
Minor league titles
Dixie Series titles 1952
League titles 1930, 1932, 1952, 1956

The Memphis Chicks (originally short for Chickasaws) were an American minor league baseball team based in Memphis, Tennessee. The Chicks were charter members of the Southern Association (Class B, 1901; Class A, 1902–35; Class A1, 1936–45; Class AA, 1946–61) from 1901 until November 18, 1960, when the club folded and was transferred to Macon, Georgia, for 1961.

The Chicks suffered a major blow in the spring of 1960 when their venerable ballpark, Russwood Park, was destroyed by fire after a Chicago White Sox-Cleveland Indians exhibition game on Easter Sunday, April 17. The team had opened the season in Nashville and was scheduled to play their home opener in two days. The team played in temporary facilities, including a high school football stadium, for the rest of the season but drew only 48,000 fans for the entire season.

After the 1961 season, the entire Southern Association shut down. Memphis was without baseball until 1968, when a AA Texas League team, the Memphis Blues, came to town as a farm team of the New York Mets. The new team played in a converted American Legion stadium that was renamed Blues Stadium.

After six seasons, the Blues moved up to the AAA International League from 1974–76, but were inactive in 1977. In 1978, two AA Eastern League franchises were transferred to the AA Southern League and placed in Memphis and Nashville. The Memphis franchise was renamed the Chicks, Nashville's team was named the Sounds. Blues Stadium was renamed Tim McCarver Stadium in honor of native son and major league ballplayer and later broadcaster Tim McCarver.[1]

The reborn Chicks were highly successful affiliates of the Montreal Expos, Kansas City Royals, San Diego Padres, and Seattle Mariners for the next 20 years. In 1998, the Chicks moved to Jackson, Tenn., and became the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, AA affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. This left Memphis without a baseball team only for a few months, as Memphis, with the promise of a yet another new stadium, AutoZone Park, was awarded a AAA franchise, which became the Memphis Redbirds, AAA affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Notable alumni[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Stadium Named For McCarver". Gettysburg Times (Gettysburg, PA: Times and News Publishing Company). Associated Press. October 21, 1977. p. 14. Retrieved May 9, 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Oklahoma City Indians
Boston Red Sox
AA affiliate

1958
Succeeded by
Reading Red Sox
(1963)