The National Pastime

Journal from the 2010 Convention, featuring articles on Georgia baseball.

  • Who’s Going to Pitch? By Richard McBane

    While controversies related to baseball in the nineteenth century focused mainly on the playing of ball on Sundays, it was the noise, confusion, and occasional violence of unorganized pickup games of ball by troops of boys that frequently led to complaints and confrontations.

  • That Was Quick! By Wynn Montgomery

    The average time required to play a major-league baseball game continues to hover just under three hours; the average game in 2009 took two hours and 55.4 minutes. On one Saturday afternoon in 1910 at Ponce de Leon Park, the Atlanta Crackers and Mobile Sea Gulls demonstrated how quickly a baseball game can be played.

  • Memphis Bill in Newnan By Scott McClellan

    As the last National League player to bat .400 in a season, Bill Terry is best remembered for racking up hits for the New York Giants. But in 1915 in the Georgia-Alabama League, he showed he could also be good at preventing them, too.

  • The Empire State League: South Georgia Baseball in 1913 By William F. Ross III

    Under the punishing sun and swamp-like humidity in South Georgia, some got their only taste of professional ball for one summer.

  • Joe Reliford: The Inning of a Lifetime By Jerry Grillo

    One inning of Class D ball in 1952 made Joe Reliford a baseball immortal.

  • The 1954 Dixie Series By Kenneth R. Fenster

    In 1954, the Atlanta Crackers rallied from a 3 games to 1 deficit to defeat the Houston Buffaloes in a dramatic Dixie Series, the most popular and premier baseball event in the South.

  • Shootout at Hardscrabble Church By Richard McBane

    The affair of honor that began on Saturday, October 20, 1883, at a baseball game in Burke County, Georgia, continued the following afternoon at Hardscrabble Church near McBean. On that Monday, a coroner’s inquest was held at the church.

  • The Georgia Peach: Stumped by the Storyteller By William R. Cobb

    An investigation into the August 8, 1905, shooting of Ty Cobb's father by his mother reveals the incredible truth about artifacts from the baseball great's life.

  • Memories of a Minor-League Traveler By Norman L. Macht

    In 1951, the author was the 21-year-old business manager of the independent Valley Rebels of the Class D Georgia–Alabama League. This is the story of how he got there and what he did there.

  • Risqué Business By Richard McBane

    In the summer of 1886, a set of cigarette-advertising cards called the "Black Stocking Nine" — showing nine "handsome" female baseball players — caused a sensation around Atlanta and elsewhere.

  • Three Georgia-Born Former Dodgers Lead the Crackers to a Pennant By Lyle Spatz

    Picked to finish in the second division of the Southern Association, the 1950 Atlanta Crackers — led by new manager Dixie Walker and a scared 18-year-old infielder named Eddie Mathews — surprised everyone by posting the best record in the league.

  • All-Time Georgia-Born All-Star Team By Terry W. Sloope

    In anticipation of hosting SABR 40, the Magnolia Chapter has selected an All-Time Georgia-born All-Star team.

  • Ty Cobb, Actor By Rob Edelman

    During the first years of the twentieth century many of the most celebrated—and marketable— major leaguers supplemented their incomes by headlining in vaudeville or touring in legitimate plays during the off-season. As one of the biggest names in baseball, Ty Cobb was an immediate star on the stage.

  • Spring Training in Georgia: The Yannigans Are Coming! By William F. Ross III

    From the beginning of professional baseball in the nineteenth century and continuing through the first decades of the twentieth, Georgia was a popular site for major-league spring training. Between 1871 and 1953, more than 20 major-league baseball franchises from 14 cities held their spring training in the state.

  • Ty Cobb as Seen through the Eyes of a Batboy By Jimmy Lanier, as told to Millard Fisher

    A playmate of Ty Cobb's son was given the chance to take the adventure of a lifetime by the Detroit Tigers Hall of Famer.

  • Braves Alphabet By Wynn Montgomery

    The author takes a whimsical look at the Atlanta Braves, from A to Z.

  • The Red Clay of Waycross: Minor-League Spring Training in Georgia with the Milwaukee Braves By Daniel Papillon and Bill Young

    In 1953, the Boston Braves did something no club had managed to do in fifty years: They moved. Among the goods and chattels they brought along to their new home in Milwaukee was a newly acquired minor-league spring-training facility located beside the Okefenokee Swamp on the outskirts of Waycross, Georgia.

  • The All-Time Atlanta Braves All-Star Team By Terry W. Sloope

    In addition to an All-Time Georgia-born All-Star team, the Magnolia Chapter selected an All-Time Atlanta Braves All-Star t

  • Milo’s Memories: When the Braves Came to Atlanta By Milo Hamilton, as told to Dan Schlossberg

    Milo Hamilton served as the Atlanta Braves broadcaster from their inaugural season in 1966 through 1975.

  • Remembering Skip By Pete Van Wieren

    "Skip and Pete" — Caray and Van Wieren — broadcast Atlanta Braves games together for 33 years.

  • The Franchise Transfer That Fostered a Broadcasting Revolution By Francis Kinlaw

    Neither professional baseball nor sports broadcasting has been the same since Ted Turner obtained the right to televise Atlanta Braves baseball from his relatively obscure UHF station.

  • Ms. Eliza Gets a Seat By Richard McBane

    One Atlanta resident had to convince a judge that she had paid for her seat to the game — on top of her house.

  • Marvelous Murphy: Too Good to Ignore By Dan Schlossberg

    The yardstick for enshrinement in Cooperstown is generally determined by a player’s ability to dominate a decade. Dale Murphy more than met that standard.

  • Frank Anderson: The Dean of Southern College Baseball Coaches, 1916–1944 By Paul Hudson

    From 1916 to 1944, coach Frank Anderson developed a powerhouse baseball program at tiny Oglethorpe University in Atlanta; his best player, the legendary Luke Appling, later became one of the greatest Depression-era shortstops in a Hall of Fame career with the Chicago White Sox.

  • The Card in the Baseball Cap: “Braves Win! Braves Win! Braves Win! Braves Win! Braves Win!” By Jeffrey A. Portnoy

    The author shares his story of attending arguably the most memorable game in Braves history: Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS.

  • Red Moore: He Could Pick It! By James A. Riley

    James “Red” Moore earned a reputation as a fine-fielding first baseman playing in the Negro Leagues for more than a decade. Today, the Atlanta native remains active by talking with schoolchildren about his baseball career.

  • Working to Play, Playing to Work: The Northwest Georgia Textile League By Heather S. Shores

    Floyd County, Georgia, in the northwest corner of the state, once supported eight different textile mills, each with a baseball team composed of mill workers. These teams became the formally organized Northwest Georgia Textile League and flourished between the 1930s and 1950s, providing Floyd County with three decades of industrialized community recreation that has not been rivaled since.

  • Help in High Places By Richard McBane

    On May 3, 1897, the ministers of Atlanta announced their determination to stop Sunday baseball. They weren’t alone in their campaign: Protestant clerics all over the country were involved in a cultural war to protect the sanctity of the Sabbath not only from baseball but also from other secular threats as well.

  • The Atlanta Black Crackers By Leslie Heaphy

    The Braves dominated their division during the 1990s, but they are only a small part of Atlanta's long and storied baseball history. During the days of segregation, the Atlanta Black Crackers made it to the big time in the Negro Leagues between 1919 and 1949.

Individual Memberships start at just $45/year

Become A Member Today

When you join SABR you are making a statement of support for baseball history. You are joining a worldwide community of people who love to read about, talk about and write about baseball.