Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Which Biscuit Are You? Suns Sold, Bruce Park Mystery


Im always scouring the interwebs for Biscuit related material, hey, its what I do! One thing I ran across this week really cracked me up, not sure how it got past me but I HAVE to share it with everyone.
It surfaced last summer sometime, a quick quiz that tells you exactly as it sounds - simply tick the boxes and find out which Biscuit you are most like. Its fun, so have a go and enjoy!

Simply click here = WHICH BISCUIT ARE YOU?
I loved it, it might be my favorite Biscuit-related link this offseason!


PUBLIC SPEAKING

I was honored to be asked by the Biscuits Booster Club to come and speak at their next meeting on Montgomery and its baseball history. Its a topic I usually have no trouble filling 15 minutes with and I look forward to the chance to both share what I know and perhaps learn from them at the same time. I'm guessing I can bring some good facts to the talk, but I will miss the snarky visual aids I rely on for the blog posts!


SABR RATTLING

On the same day I also got an invite to be in attendance for the annual meeting of the baseball researcher group SABR at B'hams historic Rickwood Field in early March. I won't be speaking, for me its more of a spectator event as its my first time and I look forward to learning as much as I can sponge up.

It was humbling and rewarding to receive these invitations. I wrote some time ago that doing a blog can make one wonder who, if anyone, reads it. A robust "Thank you!" to all readers is in order, I am so thrilled to be reminded that it is a journey not made alone.


BACK TO WORK, KID
or
WHO PLAYED AT BRUCE PARK?

As I combed the Alabama State Archives Dept website, I found some great photos of Montgomery, including quite a few aerial images, taken decades apart, showing the downtown area. These are fabulous for research and show the location and details of the cities many ballparks.

Among them was a shot of a ballpark I had not seen before - here it is for reference, visible in the original image at lower left, at approx 7 o'clock.
 Located between Highland Avenue and Mt.Meigs road, this park is now a series of tennis courts. Here is a current google maps image showing the tennis courts at lower left, near the former railroad tracks.
1616 Reuben Street, Bruce Park has mysterious origins even locals never heard of!


However we can see from the images taken in 1955 that it was indeed designed for baseball and included a grandstand of considerable size.

But who played there?
These black and white photos were taken in 1955, when the Rebels were playing at the nearly-new Paterson Field.

Cramton Bowl was trucking along just fine, hosting mostly football after the Rebels moved across the street to Paterson Field.
1952 Cramton Bowl & Paterson Field

The negro league teams in Montgomery were known to play games either at the athletic field of Alabama State University or at the "south side grounds" located near where Holt street now meets the interstate.
1961 image of ASU athletic fields, including baseball diamond
At this point, I can only speculate who may have played there - my first guess is the local industrial league. Montgomery's industrial league was popular and in the mid-20th century often gave players more money than minor league ball. However I was under the impression that those games were played at Paterson Field when the Rebs were on the road.

One thing is for sure, the location is prime. Situated between Capitol Heights and Cloverdale within walking distance to Oak Park would have meant easy access for a majority of Montgomery residents. Even Paterson Field wasn't in such an auspicious place!

The address is 1616 Reuben St. and called the O'Connor Tennis Center, boasting 12 tennis courts. It borders the Highland Park Apartments. Its a topic I will be posting on again when I can learn more about the teams that utilized the facility.



JACKSONVILLE SUNS TO BE SOLD

An article in their local paper let it be known that the Suns will be sold by longtime owners the Bragan family. A local buyer was outbid by the owner of the Akron RubberDucks. Perhaps a bad sign, as the Akron owner changed the team name in spite of public outcry. The comments to the article make us aware that the Bragan family will be missed for their stewardship of the team in spite of low support.

The motivating force of the sale is the death of the elder Bragan in 2012, leaving his son in charge. No intent to move the team has been stated, but it must be known that the Suns have struggled at times to put butts in seats. The Bragan family has owned the team since 1984.

COACHES ANNOUNCED
IN BILOXI


It was announced that manager Carlos Subero will man the helm for the Biloxi Brewers/Shuckers in 2015. The field staff from Huntsville will remain the same in most respects as last season, including playing games at the Joe for an undetermined amount of time.


AND IN JACKSON TN

Manger Jim Horner and pitching coach Lance Painter will return to their duties for the Generals, along with Roy Howell as hitting coach. Howell was due to be hitting instructor for the Gens last year but a late shuffle sent him to skipper the Tacoma team.

Howell played 11 mlb seasons, from 1974 with the Rangers thru the Brewers and Blue Jays. Hes a big league AllStar and appeared in the 1982 World Series.



WHENS THE BISCUITS TURN?
That leaves the Biscuits and Barons of Bham as the last teams to announce it coaches!

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