10 Apr

simply the best

As yet another era of Double-A baseball in the Jackson area enters its final chapter, raise a glass to the seven championship teams produced over the years. The JaxMets won Texas League titles in 1981, ’84 and ’85. The Generals (a Houston affiliate) won TL pennants in 1993 and ’96 at Smith-Wills Stadium. The Pearl-based Mississippi Braves won the Southern League title in 2008 and the Double-A South crown in 2021. The best team among that bunch arguably would be the ’84 JaxMets, who could run out a starting nine made up entirely of future major league players. That club, managed by Sam Perlozzo, featured Lenny Dykstra, Billy Beane, Al Pedrique, Mark Carreon, Greg Olson, Randy Milligan, Calvin Schiraldi, Randy Myers and Floyd Youmans, among others. They went 83-53 overall and won both halves handily in the TL East. Schiraldi was 14-3 with a 2.88 ERA and was the league’s pitcher of the year. Dykstra led the league in runs with 100 and stole 53 bases while batting .275. Beane, in what he called his “junior year” in Jackson, had a breakout season: .281, 20 homers, 72 RBIs, 26 steals. Pedrique led the league’s shortstops with a .961 fielding percentage. Bill Max, who never made the majors, had a TL-best 16 game-winning RBIs plus 11 bombs. All told, 19 players who appeared on the JaxMets’ roster in 1984 made it to The Show. P.S. Jackson teams also won championships in various low-level minor leagues in 1908, 1913, 1925, 1927, 1931, 1940 and 1947 — according to the Minor League Baseball Encyclopedia.

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