Saturday, August 04, 2012

Yanceyville Tigers Baseball Team

The Yanceyville Tigers was an all-black baseball team that played in the Caswell County, North Carolina, area during the 1930s and 1940s. Yanceyville resident (and former professional baseball player) Neal Watlington remembers seeing the Tigers play when he was a teenager. The team played on the old Bartlett Yancey High School baseball field and on a field near what became the Caswell County Training School/Caswell County High School. Mr. Watlington recalls that the team was very skilled and that he most likely acquired some of his baseball proficiency by watching the Tigers play.

David Williamson of Yanceyville, ninety-four, believes he is the only member of the team still living. He recalled all the names of the players, listed below, and that his brother, Walter Williamson, was the manager.

James Williamson               John Johnson (Second Base)
David Williamson                Henry Williamson
Elbert Williamson                Ollie Bowe (Pitcher)
Harvey Lownes (Pitcher)     William Lea
Irvin Johnson (Pitcher)        Walter Williamson (Manager)

The team was not in an organized league. The manager would schedule games with teams from Caswell, Pittsylvania, Alamance, Orange, and Guilford Counties. David Williamson recalled that the better teams played were The Goshen Red Wings from Greensboro, Shockoe from Pittsylvania County, Virginia, and Watsons from Orange County, North Carolina.

The Yanceyville Tigers Baseball Team deserves to remembered as part of Caswell County's sporting history. Unfortunately, all we know is set forth above. Can you help?

David Williamson, who was ninety-four years old in September 2011, probably is David Williamson, Jr., born 1917 a son of David Williamson and Emma Rascoe Williamson. His brother, Walter Williamson would have been considerably older, born around 1904.

Pitcher Ollie Bowe probably is Ollie Spencer Bowe, son of Loyd and Mary Eliza Bowe who lived in Yanceyville.

Related Material, References, and Links

Joe Siddle Obituary - Died Sept 25, 2006
Former Negro League Player Joe Siddle Dies

Greensboro, North Carolina (Associated Press) - Joe Siddle, a former Negro League player for the Kansas City Monarchs, has died at the age of 85. Siddle's baseball career began with the Goshen Red Wings, a semipro team formed in 1935 in the Goshen community south of Greensboro. After service in World War Two, Siddle spent time in 1946 with the Monarchs. He returned home the following year and rejoined the Goshen team, which by then was called the Greensboro Red Wings.

The Red Wings competed against barnstorming Negro League teams that came to War Memorial Stadium. They also beat a talented white industrial league team in a game played without publicity to avoid protests from segregationists. Ten years ago, the city honored Siddle and about 30 other former Red Wings at a ceremony downtown. A plaque commemorating his achievements stands outside First Horizon Park in Greensboro. Siddle died last Wednesday (Sept 25, 2006) and his funeral was held last Thursday.

Negro League Baseball Players Association

North Carolina Baseball Museum

1 comment:

  1. Just "stumbled" upon this a few moments ago. Had never heard of this team until now. Fascinating story! Is David Williamson still living?