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 Post subject: BASEBALL
PostPosted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 12:28 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 30, 2005 5:53 pm
Posts: 14921
Location: Meridian, MS
I have so many wonderful memories of baseball in Meridian that I hardly know where to begin.

My earliest memories are of attending Meridian Millers' games at Buckwalter Stadium. I don't think I had even started school. Some of the players' names, like Dolph Regelsky, Gene Pompelia, and Bobby Harrison still linger in my memory.

In about '52 or so, shortstop Dolph Regelsky hit 5 home runs in 5 consecutive times at bat. Four of them were hit one Sunday afternoon, and the fifth was hit his first at bat in the next game.

Center fielder Gene Pompelia was almost worshipped by many of Meridian's boys. He could do it all, especially throw. As I remember, he could throw a ball from deep center field to home plate on the fly. For many years, he did volunteer work with Meridian's youth. He also sold cars at Reliable Chevrolet.

Pitcher Bobby Harrison was also quite a hero. His enthusiasm was contagious. Later, he was a postman at the North Meridian Station with my father.

Little League Baseball came to Meridian in about '52 or '53. Richard Randall, Max Brunson, Shine Gray, Bo Northam, Leslie Wilkes, and John East were some of its early leaders. The first fields were at Shamrock and South Side. Shamrock Field was across the street from Kate Griffin Junior High School. South Side Field was off 22nd Avenue across the street from Mountain View Village, near the Old Fairgrounds and Hardin's Bakery.

Babe Ruth League Baseball, American Legion Baseball, and High School Baseball kept our boys busy. They were good, too. They had some good managers and coaches, too. We were always competitive. There was nothing quite like sitting in the stands at night, cheering, drinking Cokes in cups and eating peanuts. I loved the atmosphere, especially the cheering, the sounds of the bats, the smell of the grass, and even the thickness of the summer air.

Church League and Industrial League Softball were also enjoyable to play and to watch. Many of Meridian's churches fielded talented teams, with some even breaking the rules to recruit good players. Southern Pipe and other companies had some outstanding teams. One of the best pitchers was our own much-loved Coach Billy Allgood.

On Saturday afternoons, we watched The Game of the Week and listened to Dizzy Dean and either Buddy Blattner or Pee Wee Reese call the action. Back then, Meridian had only one TV station, WTOK-TV, which carried programs from the CBS, NBC, and DuMont television networks. Later, newcomer ABC came on the scene. It's hard to imagine now, but for years, the single Saturday afternoon game was the only baseball game shown on TV.

I'm sure that I've left out some things, even though I've been so wordy. What are some of your Meridian baseball memories?

Jeff "Corky" East
Class of 1960

I thank my God in my every remembrance of you, Meridian, and the wonderful childhoods some of us had.

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