gen_1618.1.gif
gen_2535.1.gif
gen_1630.1.gif
gen_1620.1.gif
gen_2565.1.gif
gen_1621.1.gif
gen_1623.1.gif
gen_1625.1.gif
gen_1626.1.gif
gen_1629.1.gif
gen_1632.1.gif
gen_1634.1.gif
gen_2476.1.gif
gen_1636.1.gif
gen_1637.1.gif
gen_1638.1.gif
gen_2498.1.gif
gen_1639.1.gif
gen_1640.1.gif
gen_2551.1.gif
gen_2019.1.gif
gen_2393.1.gif
gen_2394.1.gif
gen_1644.1.gif
gen_1645.1.gif
gen_2481.1.gif
gen_2193.1.gif
gen_2574.1.gif
gen_2532.1.gif
gen_1648.1.gif
gen_2270.1.gif
gen_2559.1.gif
gen_2567.1.gif
gen_1649.1.gif
gen_2276.1.gif
gen_2579.1.gif
gen_1651.1.gif
gen_1652.1.gif
gen_2575.1.gif
gen_1655.1.gif
gen_1656.1.gif
gen_1657.1.gif
gen_2527.1.gif
gen_2223.1.gif
gen_2392.1.gif
gen_1659.1.gif
gen_1660.1.gif
gen_2053.1.gif
gen_2577.1.gif
gen_2576.1.gif
gen_1662.1.gif
gen_1663.1.gif
gen_1671.1.gif
gen_1672.1.gif
gen_2557.1.gif
gen_1674.1.gif
gen_1675.1.gif
gen_2541.1.gif
e-mail me



 

Alibris - Books You Thought You'd Never Findbanner

Vidalia-Lyons 1950 Scorecard   Vidalia-Lyons Photo Gallery from the 1948 season 

From 1948 to 1956 professional baseball, for the most part flourished, in Toombs County. The first incarnation of the county’s team was called the Vidalia-Lyons Twins. It, like all the other five teams in the Georgia State League, was unaffiliated with major league baseball. The team was called the Twins because of the close proximity of Vidalia and Lyons.

In the first season the Twins finished fifth in the league with a 54-66 record and drew 31,580 fans to Twin Cities Stadium, an average of over 500 per game. Harold Johnson was the team’s top pitcher with a 17-13 record and Truman Connell was the top hitter with a .358 average. Connell finished second in the GSL in batting average, but he topped the circuit with just 11 home runs. Gene Solt hit .285 and was top five in seven different offensive categories and he led the league with 43 extra base hits. Also fielding teams in that league during the first season were the Sparta Saints, the regular season champions with a 81-37 record, the Fitzgerald Pioneers, the GSL champs after beating Sparta four games to three, the Baxley Red Sox, the Eastman Dodgers and the Douglas Rebels.

Jerry Silverman, from St. Petersburg, Florida, joined the 1948 team during the season and he continued to play for the Twins until 1950. Silverman was a fine defensive first baseman who hit .290 or better each season. Silverman struck out just 31 times in 830 at bats with the Twins. Silverman, who enjoyed his playing days in Vidalia-Lyons, said the players were treated well by the community, “They were the greatest fans in the world, they treated us just like a family,” said the 86 year old Silverman. “They fed us all the time and they could not do enough for us. The stores always had donations for us, they gave us shirts, it was the greatest town in the world.” And the players needed all the financial help they could get. The total team payroll for 17 players in 1949 was $2,600, an average of $153 per month, per player.

In 1949 the GSL increased to eight teams with the addition of Dublin and Tifton. Vidalia-Lyons improved its record to 72 and 65 and finished in fourth place, qualifying the team for post season play. The Twins upset Eastman, the league’s top team during the regular season, three games to two before losing to Tifton four games to two in the championship series. Attendance that season improved to 45,463, an average of around 650 per game. Jim Smith hit .310 and Don Ricketson was second in the GSL with 26 home runs. Mike Rossi was the teams top pitcher. Rossi lead the league in wins with a 25-13 record and he had a 2.80 ERA. Rossi holds the league record for innings pitched with 325 in 1949. Bob Bass, was the teams bat boy and he said Rossi was a workhorse, “Mike Rossi used to pitch double headers and win them. He pitched a no-hitter and won that game with a home run and then pitched the second game and threw a shutout and drove in the runs in that game as well. I remember him pitching several double headers.” Rossi pitched his no-hitter on July 16, 1949 as the Twins shutout Tifton 2-0 in a seven inning game.

More to come