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Clarkdale Little League

Clarkdale Little League

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“We used to play a lot of baseball” 

Baseball, “America’s favorite pastime,” be came one of the favorite entertainments in  this community.  

Baseball drew local residents together for fun and recreation, linked this neighborhood to other African American communities, and brought notoriety to several community members. As one former resident recalled, “Baseball was the only thing they had to do out there.”
Children grew up playing base-ball at school recess and at home in their backyards and nearby pastures. “This is what we did. This was all our recreation,” recalled one resident. Another community member remembered his father buying him a little baseball glove and a rubber ball, which he threw against the house and caught, just like he was playing ball.

Many community members played with the Clarkdale Eagles baseball team which began in the late 1940s. The Eagles played at the Clark- dale baseball field from June through September. Crowds of up to two hundred spectators might attend the games, which became important social events
for visiting and courting. The Clarkdale Eagles played in the Branch Rookie League and the Georgia Cracker League, and competed against teams in

Atlanta, Dallas, Hiram, Cartersville, Rome, and Chattanooga. The team later moved to Marietta to play at Larry Bell Park and became the Marietta Eagles.

Baseball brought notoriety to several of the Eagles. A.W. Young and Melvin Austin went on to play semi-professional baseball with the Atlanta Black Crackers, a member of the Negro American League. Young might have been able to play professionally “if they’d have been talking the blacks at that time, but they wasn’t taking them. He had to work, so he had to give it up.” The National Baseball Congress recognized Lionel Watts as an all-star player for several years, and selected him for the All-League Baseball Team for the Georgia Cracker League.

The excitement about baseball spread into the community with the creation of baseball and softball teams for the neighborhood children after World War II. William and Lionel Watts coached teams for both boys and girls. They played on the field in Powder Springs Park, and then the children walked up to the café to socialize afterwards. These teams often traveled to other towns to play games. When they returned, they might have a picnic at the park, enjoy a parade for all of the players, or gather at the Café on the flat to socialize.


The Clarkdale Eagles baseball team.


A. W. Young played for the Atlanta
Black Crackers. Photograph courtesy
of Seven Springs Museum.



The Clarkdale baseball field, where the Eagles played. Photograph courtesy of Seven Springs  Museum.


Lionel Watts’



Lionel Watts’ Certificate




Download the PDF below
clarkdale baseball history.pdf
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