29 Dec

pieces of cardboard

Found in one of those packages of assorted baseball cards available at certain thrift stores: a 1995 Upper Deck Tony Eusebio. A cool moment. Eusebio holds a special distinction in Mississippi baseball history: The Dominican catcher was the first Jackson General to make the big leagues. He got the call from the Houston Astros early in the 1991 season, the first year the Astros’ Double-A team occupied Smith-Wills Stadium. Eusebio never made much of a splash in the big leagues, but he will always be remembered as the first General to make the jump. That old baseball card served as a nice reminder. You can tell a died-in-the-wool baseball fan, at least one who came up in the ’60s or ’70s, by how much attachment he or she feels to baseball cards. Those little pieces of cardboard are such an indispensable part of the game. Flipping through one of those assortment packages brings a rush of memories. Also in this particular pull: a Jeff Brantley, Greg Hibbard, Gregg Jefferies, Al Pedrique and Kevin Mitchell. If you’ve been around Mississippi very long, those names need no elaboration.

20 Dec

once and again and again

Vicksburg native Roosevelt Brown has several noteworthy highlights on his baseball resume. The former outfielder, who was announced as the Double-A Mississippi Braves’ hitting coach on Thursday, was drafted by the Atlanta Braves out of high school. He won a Triple-A batting title. Made it to the big leagues. Played in Japan’s big leagues, too. But this is the best tidbit: Brown was once traded, straight up, for a former National League MVP. In 1996, when Atlanta was looking for help during an NL East title drive, the Braves sent Brown to the Florida Marlins for Terry Pendleton, who had won NL