Whirty: Evangeline League was a league of its own

From Ryan Whirty at MyNewOrleans.com on June 5, 2013:

In what was undoubtedly a typically sultry southern Louisiana night, the Jeanerette Blues came to Rayne to play an Evangeline League baseball doubleheader against the Rice Birds.

It was July 16, 1939, and the two umpires manning the diamond that night, head ump Lynn Dowdy and his assistant, Leonard Montelbano, couldn’t have possibly anticipated that by the end of the evening, one of them would be whacked in the face by a flying pop bottle and the other would be conked from behind by a baseball bat.

But then again, this was the wild and woolly Evangeline League, where the fact that a group of irate Rice Birds fans would physically attack the officiating crew after their home team suffered a disputed 8-4 loss wasn’t really out of the ordinary.

Over the 24-year span in which the minor, minor league existed – in two versions, a pre-war Class D edition and a post-World War II Class D-turned-C one – life in the Evangeline was unpredictable, volatile, often surreal and sometimes even seemingly impossible. But it was also, quite simply, a huge bundle of fun.

Read the full article here: http://www.myneworleans.com/Acadiana-Profile/June-July-2013/A-League-of-Their-Own/

Originally published: June 5, 2013. Last Updated: June 5, 2013.