Textile Baseball



It is very difficult today to understand how important baseball once was to the little textile towns like Glendale. Before the coming of television and modern day transportation, recreation was largely homegrown. In the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s and into the 1950’s, textile league baseball was extremely popular throughout the Piedmont.

Almost all of the Upcountry textile towns had a baseball team and serious rivalries developed. The level and skill of many of the players were fantastic. A number of them went on to have successful major league careers. The most famous of these was Shoeless Joe Jackson who played for Brandon Mills in Greenville. He went to the major leagues to play.  His short career came to and end when he was playing for the Chicago White Sox when he was caught up in the betting scandal of 1919.  The legend of Shoeless Joe continues to grow long after his death. His ghost was the hero of the movie “Field of Dreams”.

Glendale, too, had its team and baseball park. The baseball field was located near the Trolley Park, just off Ben Avon Road. There is a wonderful book titled “Textile League Baseball- South Carolina’s Mill Teams 1880-1955
by Thomas K. Perry. It is published by McFarland and Company, Inc. The first mention of a Glendale team in this book is that Glendale is shown as an independent team, not in a league, in 1909 with five of the players being named. They were Reeves, Branch, Guthrie, Easler and Gosnell. That year the team won 3 games and lost 1.

In 1911, still in not in a league, the team had a bad year. They lost 4 games. The players named are Gossett, Easler, Lockman, Guthrie, Smith, West, Black, Brown, Parr, Land and Black.

Glendale was in the Spartanburg Mill Baseball League by 1913. Others that were sometimes in this league were Drayton, Saxon, Whitney, Converse, Beaumont, Arkwright, Spartan Mill and Arcadia. At about this time, the Glendale team became known as the “Glendale Tigers.” The 1913 Tigers had a 10 win and 10 loss season. The Glendale players named for 1913 were Gosnell, Mulligan, Allen, Smith, Sanders, Gilmer, Tindall, McGraw, Bagwell, Lowe, Coleman, Gilmore, Holmes, Gault (Manager), Mulligan, Reaves, Brown, Murray, Gossett, Guy, Scruggs and Bridgman.

Over the years, Glendale played in other leagues and as an independent team. The last year the Glendale team is listed in the book is 1951. They were in the Spartanburg County League and the team name had been changed to the “Glendale Browns.” The team had a record of 12 wins and 23 losses. The players named for that year were Hammett, Phillips, Bill Allen, Dick Ogle, Pete Brown, Page, Chapman, Harvey, Parris Jett, Harrison, Ralph Dillard, Lavender, Dempsey, Haynes, White, Harrison, Cooksey, Smith, and Hicks.

The Cooksey, listed above, on the 1951 team, is Arthur Boyd Cooksey. Arthur Cooksey had a long career in textile baseball. His playing time spanned almost 20 years, from 1934 to 1953.  His son, Richard, has furnished us
information about the teams he played on and the names of his teamamtes. This list of teams  and players include the Glendale teams from 1934 through 1938 and 1951. Click on the link below to read more about these teams.

Arthur Boyd Cooksey and his Teams

Richard also furnished us photos of a baseball signed by the Glendale team of 1936. Click on the link below to see the photos.

Autographed Baseball from the 1936 Team

The Hammett player listed with the 1951 team above is Charles Hammett. Today, Charles still lives in Glendale. He  had the opportunity that many boys in the early 1950’s could only dream about. He actually played for the Glendale baseball team for a short time. He has been kind enough to share his story with us. Click on the link below to read his story.
Playing with the Glendale Team.

The baseball teams were important to the adults of the textile towns but also to the young boys. Click on the following link for a story that describes how one of these teams affected one of these boys, my husband, Gerald Teaster. Although written about the team at Pacolet Mills, the Trojans, the same can be said about the teams at Glendale, Clifton, Drayton and the other textile towns of the Upstate.

The Bases are Loaded - With Memories

Many of the textile league players went on to the major leagues. One of these was Charlie Wood. He played for Glendale in 1932 and Pittsburgh in the National league. Click on the following link to read more about baseball players from Spartanburg County who went on to play in the major leagues.

Spartanburg County Major Leaguers

If you have any stories or photos about the Glendale baseball teams we invite you to please send them to us at
marylee@glendalesc.com

Personal Note from the webmaster- One of my uncles, the late William “Whitey” Moore was a pitcher for the Drayton team. He was the husband of my Dad’s sister, Ruth McKinney. He loved to talk about his baseball playing days.

Return to Glendale Homepage

This web site has been started as a public service to share the story of Glendale. The web master and person to contact about putting information on the web site is Mary McKinney Teaster.  Contact her at:
marylee@glendalesc.com or by telephone at (843) 873-8117. See more information about Mary and her Glendale connection at Mary McKinney Teaster.