By L. M. Sutter
They emerged from the mines, shook off the coal airborne dirt and dust, and stepped onto the diamond. From the early 1900s to the Fifties, baseball video games among mine staff have been a small-town phenomenon, every one staff attracting avid and very dependable fanatics. gifted part-time athletes competed on the novice, semi-pro degrees. both aggressive have been the coal corporation officers, who usually introduced in ringers, or avid gamers of remarkable skill, giving them more straightforward jobs above flooring or a padded pay packet. according to interviews with surviving avid gamers, households of deceased avid gamers, and modern resources, this thoroughgoing background covers not just groups and leagues yet their functionality in the mining groups of Virginia, Kentucky and West Virginia. The publication encompasses a designated part on African-American mining groups, a coalfield map and lots of photos.
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Extra resources for Ball, Bat and Bitumen (Contributions to Southern Appalachian Studies)
One Virginia native remembers seeing a barnstorming black team come through the Stonega camp to take on the local black club for a weekend exhibition. On Saturday, the local nines had a great day of it, winning an embarrassingly easy victory over the visitors. That evening, it was suggested that the Sunday game be made a little more interesting. Bets were eagerly placed with few noticing that the visitors wagered heavily on themselves to win. Sunday’s bout was a slaughter, the local fans falling prey to one of the oldest short cons in the book.
And all the while, Virgil continued his colorful adventures in promotion. 38 It seemed that nothing much could rattle him—except, perhaps, for umpires. Virgil had long been plagued by his umpires. As early as 1949, he wrote an article for the Kingsport Times, in third person as he often did, explaining why he had ﬁred an umpire. Apparently, the gentleman had a fervent desire to break his contract and go home to New York; he wanted to see to his girlfriend and also wished to attend radio school.
No, it probably wasn’t the same quality of baseball that the fans were accustomed to; gone were the big bats, along with the merciless ﬁreballers. But what wartime baseball may have lacked in strength and talent, it made up for in heart. No team could prove that better than the 1942 St. Charles Miners. On Sunday, December 7, 1941, Edward Tyrus Harber was at the home of his ﬁancée, Edith. At twenty-nine, he had already been drafted and sent to Fort Riley to train with the horse cavalry but was released after training because of his age.