July 9, 2012 at 12:17 am (Society and Leisure)
Tags: baseball, Ray City Baseball
While the Ray City baseball team wasn’t up for league play, the Valdosta ”Otters” and other Wiregrass teams formed various associations. The Empire State League of 1913 included Brunswick, Waycross, Cordele, Thomasville, and Americus, GA.
1909 Rays Mill Diamondmen Sweltered in July Heat
Organized baseball was played in Berrien County, GA at least as early as the 1880s (see 1884 Memoriam to the Alapaha Boys of Summer). By the early 1900s practically every town in America sported a baseball team, and Ray City, GA was no exception.
“The local team was the public face of the town. A city with a professional baseball team was a city to be reckoned with; a city with a winning professional team was a winner.” – Society for American Baseball Research
Over the years, Ray City has produced a number of high school, college and minor league baseball players and coaches, and at least one player who made it to the major league. But from sporting news in the state newspapers, it appears that in the summer of 1909 the Ray City (then known as Rays Mill) team struggled against other local teams .
The July 1, 1909 edition of the Atlanta Georgian and News reported that the Rays Mill team gave up a series to Milltown, two games to one:
MILLTOWN WINS SERIES.
Milltown, Ga., July 1. – in a hotly contested bame [sic] of baseball Milltown won its second victory from Rays Mill by the score of 5 to 4. The game was played on Milltown’s new diamond. Schucker and Shaw did thebattery work for the home team, while Sellman and Shaw did the same duties for the visitors. Schucker, for the home team, only gave up three hits, struck out fifteen men and did on walk but one man. Sellman, of the visitors, gave up seven hits, walked two men and struck out nine men. Milltown has played three games with Rays Mill, winning the first , 16 to 2, and the second game went to Rays Mill by the score of 5 to 6 in ten innings. The milltown team was composed of all home players.
The Rays Mill team followed up with another loss to the Nashville team.
Atlanta Georgian and News, Jul. 6, 1909 — page 10
NASHVILLE 10, RAYS MILL 3.
Nashville, Ga., July 6. – The Nashville team met and defeated the Rays Mill team Monday by the score of 10 to 3. J. Hill, of Nashville, did not allow a single hit. He made four hits out of five times up.
NASHVILLE 8, BANNOCKBURN 4.
Nashville, Ga., July 6. – The Bannockburn ball club came over to Nashville Monday and was defeated by the Nashville second nine by the score of 8 to 4. Thompson pitched for the visitors, while E. Griner pitched for the home club.
Regardless of the home team wins or losses, the Ray City baseball team remained popular for decades. Soon, home games were being hosted on the diamond at Mayhaw Lake Resort . Later, the team played on an open field next to the tracks of the Georgia & Florida Railroad and Jones Street.
The Empire State League: South Georgia Baseball in 1913
March 16, 2011 at 10:41 pm (Historic Businesses, Knight Family, Society and Leisure)
Tags: Berrien County GA, Bruner Shaw, Bryant Swindle, Charlie Ruth Shaw, Charlie Shaw, Elias Moore Knight, Elmer Shaw, Glenn Johnson, Henry Swindle, Hollis Williams, J.H.Swindle, James Burton Shaw, Jessie Ziegler, Juanita Shaw, Lonnie Smith, Lonnie Swindle, Manson Johnson, Marshall Sirmans, Mayhaw Lake, Nannie Kate Moore, Paul Knight, Rachel Shaw, Rachel Shaw Moore, Ray City Baseball, Ray City GA, Ray's Mill, Rossie Swindle, Roy Carter, Shellie Ziegler, Thelma Moore, Tom Parrish, Viola Smith Davis
A previous post on this blog included the transcript of a 1914 advertisement for Mayhaw Lake amusement park and attractions operated by Elias Moore “Hun” Knight at Ray’s Mill, GA (now known as Ray City), and other posts have provided some backstory on the park’s significance in the community (1914 Box Ball Alley , Ray City Baseball).
A Berrien County Historical Foundation newsletter features more information on Mayhaw Lake and other historic resorts of Berrien County, GA. The Foundation is a great resource for researching family history in Berrien County. Visit the website for newsletters, historical photos, and workshops: http://www.freewebs.com/berrienhistorical/
Among the Mayhaw Lake patrons mentioned in the article you will find Bruner and Charlie Ruth Shaw, Bryant and Henry Swindle, Jessie and Shellie Ziegler, Burton and Rachel Shaw, Marshal Sirmans, Manson Johnson, Lonnie Swindle, Tom Parrish, Viola Smith Davis, Elmer Shaw, Hollis Williams, Charlie Shaw, Nannie Kate Moore, Thelma Moore, Paul Knight, Lonnie Smith, J. H. Swindle, Glenn Johnson, Juanita Shaw, Roy Carter and Rossie Swindle.
Berrien Historical Foundation Newsletter front page depicting the swimming pool at Mayhaw Lake, Ray City, GA.
Baseball in the Wiregrass
1914 Box Ball Alley ~ Mayhaw Lake at Rays Mill, GA
Ray City Baseball
February 19, 2011 at 4:32 am (Clements Family, Education In the Wiregrass, Uncategorized)
Tags: J.I. Clements, J.I. Clements Jr, James Irwin Clements, Mason Clements, Norman Junior College, Norman Park Georgia, Ray City Baseball, Ray City GA
J.I. Clements, Jr. was born and raised in Ray City, Georgia, the son of James I. Clements and Annie May Carter. He attended Norman Junior College in Norman Park, GA, served in the Army during WWII, then completed his bachelor and masters degrees at Eastern Kentucky University.
After graduating, J.I. Clements joined the athletic department at Georgia Southern University as an assistant coach for the basketball team. At the time, his brother Mason Clements was playing third base for the Georgia Southern baseball team, and brother Keith Clements played center field. J.I. Clements was five years older than Mason and was named head coach of the baseball team in 1949, Mason’s last season.
J.I Clements was inducted into the Georgia Southern University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1990.
J.I. Clements Bio
Head Coach of Georgia Southern’s 1962 National Champion Baseball Team… Served as Coach, Athletic Business Manager and Athletic Director from 1948 until his death in 1984… Born November 26, 1920 in Ray City, Georgia; died October 25, 1984 in Atlanta… Received bachelor’s (1947) and master’s (1948) degrees from Easter Kentucky University… Was assistant basketball coach, 1948-62; athletic business manager, 1957-74, and athletic director 1967-74, but is best remembered as head baseball coach from 1949 through 1966 and again in 1968… Had career record of 320-205 and led Georgia Southern to four National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics District 25 championships… The 1962 squad’s national title was the first ever for a Georgia Southern team… Led GSC to second place finishes in 1960 and 1968, and a third place standing in 1964… Served as president of NAIA Baseball Coaches Association (1962-64) and was a member of the U.S. Olympic baseball Committee in 1964… Inducted into the U.S. Baseball Federation Hall of Fame and the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame… Was NAIA National ‘Coach of the Year’ in 1963… As administrator, led Georgia Southern from NAIA to NCAA Division II status in 1970 and to Division I level a year later… Eagle baseball, golf and tennis all represented school at NCAA I championship events during 1973-74 season… Named 1974 Georgia Sports ‘Administrator of the Year’ by Georgia Athletic Hall of Fame… Baseball Stadium was name in his honor in 1985.
February 17, 2011 at 12:50 am (Clements Family, Education In the Wiregrass, Uncategorized)
Tags: Annie Mae Carter, Clements Sawmill, Earl Swindle, J.I. Clements, J.I. Clements Jr, James Irwin Clements, Joseph S. Clements, Norman Junior College, Norman Park Georgia, Ray City Baseball, Ray City GA
James Irwin Clements, Jr. was born November 26, 1920 in Ray City, Georgia, the son of James I. Clements and Annie May Carter. His father and uncle Joe Clements ran the family business, the Clements Sawmill .
The Clements family was among the most prominent families in Ray City. The Clements sawmill was the largest industry and largest employer in Ray City. After the Clements sold the lumber business about 1923, J.I.’s father went into the retail grocery business.
In 1940, J.I. Clements Jr. attended Norman Junior College, at Norman Park, GA, where he was engaged in student government.
October 12, 1940
STUDENT OFFICER NAMED
NORMAN PARK, Ga., Oct 11. In a runover election yesterday, J.I. Clements Jr., of Ray City, was elected secretary-treasurer of the student body of Norman Junior College over Warren Horton of Lake Wales, Fla., runner-up, and Earl Swindel of Ray City. Doyle Rentz, Norman Park, student president, and Brown Pinkston, Tifton, vice president, already have taken over their new posts.
Brand Hall at Norman College, Norman Park, GA
On June, 8 1944 James I Clements Jr enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army. At 23 years of age, he was married, five feet eight inches tall and weighed 190 pounds. He had two years of college education and was employed in the category of “Athletes, sports instructors, and sports officials.” He enlisted at Fort McPherson, Atlanta, GA.
After the war he returned to school, attending Eastern Kentucky University. He played on the baseball team and was a member of Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society in Education. He received a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education in 1947, and his master’s degree in 1948.
Eastern Kentucky University Baseball Team, 1949.
First Row: Left to Right–Capt. Pete Nonnemacher, Roger Parsons, Jimmy Cinnamon, Dick Scherrbaum, Mac McCarty.
Second Row: Left to Right–Lonnie Nelson, Howard Bartlett, Charles combs, Luther Wren, J. I. Clements, Jim Thompson, Coach “Turkey” Hughes, Manager Charles Spicer.
Third Row: Left to Right–Don Newsom, Ted Dunn, Ed Lewicki, Ray Giltner, Goebel Ritter, Carl Eagle, Jack Meeks.