Friday, January 31, 2014

Buying Meridian

January 31st, 1943
On this date in Montgomery baseball history, team owner Ben Goltsman purchased the Meridian Eagles baseball team, adding their players to the Rebels to round out the roster. The Rebels had finished first the previous year, Meridian was last in the Southeastern league. Here is the story from the St.Petersburg Times....

Fascinating, eh?
The league is folding but the team owner is buying a whole 'nother team in order to move up to a higher class!

Yet Ben Goltsman would not get into the Sally League, and was forced to sell off two teams worth of players when Montgomery didn't gain entry into any league. However Montgomery would have baseball, on July 11th the Chattanooga Lookouts were purchased midseason and with them a spot in the Southern Association for the second half of 1943.
1943 Rebels Mgr Marv Olson

However it wouldn't last - there was a war on and the Rebels were in a tough spot as the second best team in town. The military team had some of the best talent Montgomery would ever put on the diamond (per post Best Pitching Rotation in Mgm history).

And so, in spite of stocking the team with a second roster, the Rebels would fold the tent until after VJ day, returning to action in the Southeastern League in 1946.

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