Big State League
The Texas-based Big State League had one of the longer lifespans for a circuit formed after World War II. Getting its start in 1947, it ran through 1957 as a class B league. It did see a lot of transition in its 11-year lifetime, with no team serving as a member in every single season. Waco came the closest, serving from 1947-1956. The league was known as an offense-oriented circuit,
J. Walter Morris served as League President from 1947 through 1950, Howard Green, took over from 1951 through 1955 and Hal Sayles was in charge the final two years, 1956-57.
- Abilene, TX Abilene Blue Sox 1956-1957, moved from West Texas-New Mexico League 1946-1955
- Austin, TX Austin Pioneers 1947-1955
- Beaumont, TX Beaumont Exporters 1956; Beaumont Pirates 1957
- Bryan, TX Bryan Majors 1953; Bryan Indians 1954
- Corpus Christi, TX Corpus Christi Clippers 1954-1957
- Del Rio, TX Del Rio Indians 1954
- Gainesville, TX Gainesville Owls 1947-1951
- Galveston, TX Galveston White Caps 1954-1955, moved from Gulf Coast League 1950-1953
- Greenville, TX Greenville Majors 1947-1950, moved from East Texas League 1946; Greenville Majors 1953
- Harlingen, TX Harlingen Capitals 1954-1955, moved from Gulf Coast League 1951-1953 and Rio Grande Valley League 1950
- Longview, TX Longview Cherokees 1952; Longview Pirates 1953
- Lubbock, TX Lubbock Hubbers 1956, moved from West Texas-New Mexico League 1938-1942, 1946-1955
- Paris, TX Paris Red Peppers 1947, moved from East Texas League 1946; Paris Rockets 1948; Paris Indians 1952-1953
- Port Arthur, TX Port Arthur Sea Hawks1955, moved from Evangeline League 1954 and Gulf Coast League 1950-1953; Port Arthur Chieftans 1956; Port Arthur Redlegs 1957
- Sherman, TX and Denison, TX Sherman-Denison Twins 1947-1951
- Temple, TX Temple Eagles1949-1954; Temple Redlegs 1957
- Texarkana, TX Texarkana Bears 1947-1953, moved from East Texas League 1946
- Texas City, TX Texas City Texans 1955; Texas City Texans 1956
- Tyler, TX Tyler East Texans 1951-1953; Tyler Tigers 1954-1955
- Victoria, TX Victoria Eagles 1956; Victoria Rosebuds 1957, moved to Texas League 1958-1961
- Waco, TX Waco Dons 1947; Waco Pirates 1948-1953, 1954-1956
- Wichita Falls, TX Wichita Falls Spudders 1947-1953, moved to Longhorn League 1954; Wichita Falls Spudders 1956-1957
Teams and Statistics
1947 Season - schedule
|Texarkana Bears||101||53||.655||0||140,333||Vern Washington|
|Greenville Majors||100||54||.649||1||154,356||Harry Davis, Jr.|
|Wichita Falls Spudders||92||61||.601||8-||92,553||Bobby Goff|
|Paris Red Peppers||80||74||.519||21||112,449||Lloyd Rigby|
|Sherman-Denison Twins||69||85||.448||32||81,550||Guy Sturdy|
|Gainesville Owls||65||87||.428||35||60,971||Leroy Gilchrist|
|Austin Pioneers||55||99||.357||46||106,099||Beau Bell|
|Waco Dons||52||101||.340||48-||52,577||Red Barkley|
Vern Washington of the Texarkana Bears led all hitters with a .404 batting average. Buck Frierson of the Sherman-Denison Twins led the league in four categories: 188 runs scored, 248 hits, 197 RBI and 58 home runs. Vallie Eaves, Texarkana Bears pitched his team to 25 wins and Nathaniel Love of the Greenville Majors struck out 192 opposing batters. Jim Walkup of the Paris Red Peppers led the league with a 3.72 ERA.
In the league playoffs: Texarkana Bears beat the Paris Red Peppers 4 games to 0.
Wichita Falls Spudders over the Greenville Majors 4 to 2.
Texarkana Bears win 4 games to 2 over the Wichita Falls Spudders for the championship.
1948 Season - schedule
|Sherman-Denison Twins||94||51||.648||0||117,046||Jose Rodriquez|
|Wichita Falls Spudders||84||62||.575||10-||130,138||Marcus Carrola|
|Waco Pirates||82||64||.562||12-||82,762||Buster Chatham|
|Austin Pioneers||79||67||.541||15-||163,666||Prince Oana|
|Gainesville Owls||69||77||.473||25-||80,479||Babe Peebles/Jackie Reid|
|Paris Panthers||62||85||.422||33||72,636||Homer Peel|
|Texarkana Bears||60||83||.420||33||70,508||Ed Borom|
|Greenville Majors||52||93||.359||42||67,334||Buddy Hancken / Nat Love|
Vern Washington of the Texarkana Bears again led the league in hitting, this time with a .384 average. Donald Cena of the Waco Pirates scored 142 runs to lead that stat. The trio from Wichita Falls of Paul Brotherton with 218 hits, Jack Bradsher with 152 RBI and Albert McCarty with 32 HR, led those departments. Thomas Finger of Wichita Falls garnered 21 wins to lead all pitchers and Glenn Blackwood who split time with the Greenville Majors and the Wichita Falls Spudders led the league with 176 strikeouts. Rafael Rivas of the Sherman-Denison Twins had a 2.33 ERA.
1949 Season - schedule
|Wichita Falls Spudders||90||58||.608||0||128,400||Jack Bradsher|
|Texarkana Bears||86||61||.585||3-||96,522||George Archie|
|Austin Pioneers||86||62||.562||4||188,193||Prince Oana|
|Waco Pirates||76||72||.514||14||95,825||Buddy Hancken|
|Sherman-Denison Twins||70||78||.473||20||77,474||Lloyd Brown,Pete Appleton|
|Greenville Majors||66||82||.446||24||58,500||Red Davis|
|Gainesville Owls||59||89||.399||31||66,544||Ray Taylor, Lon Goldstein|
|Temple Eagles||58||89||.395||31-||72,624||Barney White, Homer Peel|
Frank Saucier of the Wichita Falls Spudders led the league in hitting with an unbelieveable average of .446 and his team mate Al McCarty scored 132 runs. Frank Carswell of the Texarkana Bears had the most hits with 229 and also led in RBI with 145. Conklyn Meriwether of the Greenville Majors had 27 HR. 3 pitchers had an even 20 wins, Elwood Moore and George Estock of the Austin Pioneers and also Sidney Peterson of Wichita Falls Spudders. William Pierro of the Waco Pirates struck out 275 would be hitters and John Whitehead of the Sherman-Denison Twins led with an 2.73 ERA.
|Texarkana Bears||93||51||.646||0||83,604||George Archie|
|Gainesville Owls||82||63||.566||11-||56,890||James Adair|
|Wichita Falls Spudders||80||66||.548||14||103,439||Hack Miller|
|Temple Eagles||74||70||.514||19||105,081||Lou Finney|
|Greenville Majors||75||71||.514||19||50,511||Bill Gann|
|Waco Pirates||72||76||.486||23||85,173||Buddy Hancken|
|Sherman-Denison Twins||54||91||.372||39-||48,762||Homer Peel|
|Austin Pioneers||52||94||.356||42||116,941||Prince Oana, David Sarver|
Frank Carswell of the Texarkana Bears was the leading hitter with an even .400 average. His teammate Lou Fitzgerald scored 138 runs and their teammate Milan Vacelich had 144 RBI. The Waco Pirates slugger John Powers busted 39 four baggers. Junior Bunch had 19 wins for the Temple Eagles. The strikeout leader, Jodie Phipps of the Texarkana Bears struck out 173 batters. Carmen Ferullo of the Wichita Falls Spudders came up with a 2.89 ERA.
Texarkana Bears over Temple Eagles 4 to 2.
Greenville Majors over Wichita Falls Spudders 4 to 2.
Finals: Texarkana Bears over Greenville Majors 4 to 2.
1951 Season - schedule
|Gainesville Owls||89||58||.605||0||50,771||Hal Van Pelt|
|Temple Eagles||88||60||.595||1-||112,022||Bill Herring,Jack Bradsher|
|Sherman-Denison Twins||79||68||.537||10||60,059||Bill Capps|
|Austin Pioneers||75||72||.510||14||147,161||Thomas Jordan|
|Waco Pirates||75||73||.507||14-||61,371||Walt Tauscher|
|Texarkana Bears||71||77||.480||18-||57,640||Prince Oana,Joe Phipps,Gabby Lusk|
|Wichita Falls Spudders||66||82||.446||23-||73,415||Bruce Ogrodowski, Cecil McClung|
|Tyler East Texans||47||100||.320||42||41,541||Hal Epps, Joe Kracher, Gale Pringle|
Les Goldstein of the Temple Eagles led all hitters with a .376 average and his teammate Frederick Bell had 216 hits. Bobby Phillips of the Wichita Falls Spudders scored 128 runs and Dean Stafford of the Sherman-Denison Twins led the league in both RBI, with 151 and home runs with 32. Lee Roy Jones of the Austin Pioneers and George O'Donnell of the Waco Pirates had 22 wins each, to their credit and Robert Upton of the Gainesville Owls led in strikeouts with 209 and also had an ERA of 2.54.
Gainesville Owls 4 games, Austin Pioneers 2.
Sherman-Denison Twins 4 games, Temple Eagles 1.
Finals: Gainesville Owls 4 games, Sherman-Denison Twins 1.
1952 Season - schedule
|Temple Eagles||85||62||.578||0||101,906||Salty Parker|
|Tyler East Texans||84||63||.571||1||73,337||Bill Capps|
|Texarkana Bears||82||65||.559||3||79,275||Tony York|
|Austin Pioneers||81||66||.551||4||149,601||Thomas Jordan|
|Paris Indians||79||68||.537||6||77,761||Red Davis|
|Wichita Falls Spudders||77||70||.524||8||95,240||Frank Mancuso|
|Longview Cherokees||71||76||.483||14||59,913||Clem Hausmann, Lou Fitzgerald|
|Waco Pirates||29||118||.197||56||32,966||Tedd Gullic|
Bob Van Enman of the Wichita Falls Spudders led in hitting wit a .387 avr. His team mate Billy Queen scored 157 runs while Buck Frierson of the Paris Indians had 222 base hits. Roy Sanner of the Texarkana Bears had 165 RBI and Dean Stafford of the Paris Indians /Tyler East Texans busted 47 home runs. John Andre of the Austin Pioneers led the league with 25 wins and Gale Pringle of the Tyler East Texans had 164 strikeouts and added a 2.93 ERA to go with them.
Austin Pioneers 4 games, Temple Eagles 1.
Tyler East Texans 4 games, Texarkana Bears 2.
Finals: Tyler East Texans 4 games, Austin Pioneers 0.
1953 Season - schedule
|Wichita Falls Spudders||85||58||.594||0||71,247||Whitey Wietelmann|
|Tyler East Texans||81||63||.563||4-||50,273||Bill Capps|
|Texarkana Bears||78||68||.534||8-||89,604||Chuck Hawley|
|Temple Eagles||72||73||.497||14||66,341||Salty Parker, Len Goldstein|
|Greenville Majors/Bryan Majors||70||77||.476||17||30,051||Jim Adair,Clyde McDowell|
|Austin Pioneers||69||77||.473||17-||73,229||Al Unser|
|Paris Indians||48||96||.333||47-||40,658||Red Davis|
Waco moved to Longview, May 22
Greenville moved to Bryan, June25
Albert Neil of the Wichita Falls Spudders led five different categories in the offensive department, .356 BA, 185 hits, 126 runs, 137 RBI and 39 home runs. Pat Scantlebury of the Texarkana Bears won 24 games and struck out 177 swingers. Jodie Phipps of the Bryan Majors came in with a solid 2.19 ERA.
Wichita Falls Spudders 4 games, Longview Cherokees 0.
Tyler East Texans 4 games, Texarkana Bears 1.
Wichita Falls Spudders 4 games, Tyler East Texans 3.
1954 Season - schedule
|Waco Pirates||105||42||.714||0||79,201||Jack Paepke|
|Tyler Tigers||92||55||.626||13||56,361||Salty Parker|
|Corpus Christi Clippers||87||60||.592||18||97,255||Bill Capps|
|Austin Pioneers||79||67||.541||25-||85,119||George Hausmann|
|Galveston White Caps||73||73||.500||31-||34,205||Chase Riddle, Henry Robinson|
|Bryan/Del Rio Indians||53||93||.363||51-||34,217||Ray Taylor/Al LaMacchia/Chuck Hawley|
|Harlingen Capitals||53||94||.361||52||47,825||Earl Caldwell,Sam Harshaney|
|Temple Eagles||44||102||.301||60-||31,673||Fred Martin/Campbell/Moyer|
Bryan moved to Del Rio, July 28
Dean Stafford of the Galveston White Caps and the Corpus Christi Clippers led the league in hitting with a .362 avr., hits with 212, had 171 RBI to go with 38 home runs. John Wilkinson of the Temple Eagles and Corpus Christi Clippers scored 151 runs. James Vitter of the Corpus Christi Clippers had 23 wins on the mound, while Gayle Pringle of the Tyler Tigers fanned 212 batters on the way to a 2.58 ERA.
Waco Pirates 4 games, Austin Pioneers 2.
Corpus Christi Clippers 4 games, Tyler Tigers 1.
Waco Pirates 4 games, Corpus Christi Clippers 3.
1955 Season - schedule
|Corpus Christi Clippers||93||48||.660||0||102,788||Connie Ryan|
|Waco Pirates||74||69||.517||20||53,961||Stan Wentzel|
|Texas City Texans||71||67||.514||20-||35,402||Bones Sanders|
|Port Arthur Sea Hawks||64||74||.464||27-||71,063||Fitzgerald,Earl Perry,Jack Bumgarner|
|Harlingen Capitals||65||79||.451||29-||55,418||Ford Garrison,|
|Austin Pioneers||58||85||.406||36||50,536||George Hausmann|
|Tyler Tigers||36||37||.493||NA||26,443||Jodie Phipps|
|Galveston White Caps||28||30||.483||NA||19,600||Jodie Beeler|
Galveston withdrew June 12.
Tyler withdrew July 1.
Lynn Vandehey of the Texas City Texans led the league with a batting average of .377 and also led in base hits with 195.The Corpus Christi Clippers trio of Ed Charles with 135 runs scored, Dean Stafford had 159 RBI and Keith Little belted 47 home runs to lead those stats. Rene Vega also of the Corpus Christi Clippers had 28 wins and an 2.69 ERA. Don Rowe of the Waco Pirates had 226 strike-outs to his credit.
Corpus Christi Clippers 4 games, Harlingen Capitals 1.
Waco Pirates 4 games, Texas City Texans 3.
Finals: Corpus Christi Clippers 4 games, Waco Pirates 0.
1956 Season - schedule
|Corpus Christi Clippers||83||57||.593||0||112,625||Sibby Sisti|
|Port Arthur Chieftans||78||62||.557||5||57,117||Lloyd Gearhart,Al Barillari|
|Waco Pirates||78||62||.557||5||39,096||Monty Basgall|
|Wichita Falls Spudders||76||64||.543||7||60,891||Danny Ozark|
|Abilene Blue Sox||73||67||.521||10||83,700||Alfred Evans,|
|Lubbock Hubbers/Texas City||59||81||.421||24||53,900||Bill Krueger (minors),Jay Haney|
|Beaumont Exporters||57||83||.407||26||35,000||Ford Garrison|
Lubbock transferred to Texas City July 8.
Beaumont moved to Texas City July 2, but returned, July 8.
James Kirby of the Port Arthur Sea Hawks was the league's leading contact hitter with a .358 average and also had 190 base hits. Joe Christian of the Corpus Christi Clippers scored 119 runs and also had 142 RBI. Danny Ozark of the Wichita Falls Spudders homered 32 times and tied with Rudolph Mayling of the Abilene Blue Sox in the home run battle. Leverette Spencer of the Port Arthur Sea Hawks had 21 pitching victories to go with his league best 2.37 ERA. Ramon Salgado with the Waco Pirates and Herman Greene of the Corpus Christi Clippers also had 21 pitching wins. Evans Killeen of the Abilene Blue Sox had 236 Strikeouts to lead the league in that area.
Corpus Christi Clippers 4 games, Wichita Falls Spudders 1.
Port Arthur Sea Hawks 4 games, Waco Pirates 3.
Finals:Port Arthur Sea Hawks 4 games, Corpus Christi Clippers 3.
1957 Season - schedule
|Victoria Rosebuds||75||49||.605||0||42,378||Lou Rochelli|
|Corpus Christi Clippers||69||58||.543||7-||56,871||Joe Just/Jack Wilkinson|
|Beaumont Pirates||61||63||.492||14||56,342||Monty Basgall|
|Abilene Blue Sox||61||66||.480||15-||29,995||Burl Storie|
|Port Arthur/Temple Redlegs||48||56||.461||NA||25,484||Al Barillari|
|Wichita Falls Spudders||4||26||.013||NA||2,558||Jack Wilkinson/Jodie Beeler|
Wichita Falls withdrew May 23.
Port Arthur (20-15) moved to Temple May 30. Temple withdrew August 20.
Tony Washington of the Beaumont Pirates led the last year of the league in hitting with a .356 average. He also led with 179 hits. Nate Peeples of the Corpus Christi Clippers scored 116 runs and had 99 RBI to lead those categories. Don Miles of the Victoria Rosebuds hit 28 home runs. In the pitching finalie Chris Niclosi of the Victoria Rosebuds had 21 wins and 208 strike-outs to his credit, but Dave Wickersham of the Beaumont Pirates had a solid 1.95 ERA to earn those honors.
Playoffs: In a shortened format, the Victoria Rosebuds beat the Corpus Christi Clippers 4 games to 1.
League Records 1947-1957
|Buck Frierson||Sherm/Denis||GA||156||47||Lloyd Rigby||Paris||GA||156||47|
|Frank Saucier||Wichita falls||BA||.446||49||Lloyd Rigby||Paris||AB||667||47|
|Buck Frierson||Sherm/Denis||RUNS||188||47||Buck Frierson||Sherm/Denis||HITS||248||47|
|Buck Frierson||Sherm/Denis||RBI||197||47||Lon Goldstein||Gainesville||2B||58||48|
|Nelson Daehn||Temple||3B||23||54||Buck Frierson||Sherm/Denis||HR||58||47|
|Buck Frierson||Sherm/Denis||EBH||100||47||Buck Frierson||Sherm/Denis||TB||470||47|
|Edwin Palmer||Greenville||SB||62||47||Lou Fitzgerald||Texarcana||BB||135||50|
|Eugene Hurych||Wichita Falls||SO||152||56|
|John Bumgarner||Texarcana||GA||61||53||John Andre||Austin||CG||29||52|
|Rene Vega||Corpus Christi||W||28||55||Marvin Hatcher||Temple||L||23||54|
|Bob Heinz||Sherm/Denis||PCT||.909||48||Dave Wickersham||Beaumont||ERA||1.95||57|
|Dean Franks||Austin||IP||301||53||James Vitter||Wichita Falls||ShO||7||53|
|Bill Pierro||Waco||SO||275||49||Orel Dryden||Longview||BB||162||52|
The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball: Second and Third Edition.