I bumped into this Youtube video the other day. It is about the former ballpark in Meridian MS, Buckwalter Stadium. The ballpark was built in the 1930s and after several runs of the Cotton States League, it was left alone as nature slowly took over.
Professional baseball was played in Meridian since 1905 for sure but perhaps even in 1893 already.
In the 1930s when Buckwalter Stadium was built, Meridian had a team in the Southeastern League, named the Scrappers. The rumour goes the team got its name because the players of the team often got involved in fights in or outside their favorite bar. Back then, the stadium was called Fairgrounds Field as the place was also used as a fairground.
Besides the teams that played there, not much is know about the stadium. For example, the exact year, the stadium was constructed or why it was built, perhaps as a part of the New Deal policy of Franklin Roosevelt.
After the Southeastern League ceased to exist after the 1950 season, the Meridian Millers as the team was called now, did not have a league to play in, so they sat out the 1951 season. But in 1952 there was a vacant spot in the Cotton States League. It would be the Meridan’s third run in the Cotton States League. Right in the first year of their return, the Millers won the Cotton States League championship and the team would repeat in 1953.
After the 1954 season, the team moved to Vicksburg where it played under the moniker Hill Billies. But not all of 1955, Meridian had to do without Cotton States League baseball. On June 16, the Pine Bluff Judges moved to Meridian, where they finished the season.
The 1955 season would be the last for the Cotton States League and Buckwalter Stadium would lose its baseball purpose. For several years to come, the area was still in use as a fairground and even as a low key amusement park but eventually, it also lost that purpose.
Even though the ballpark stood up for sale, not much has changed except for the fact that the area is now used as city dump. A sad ending for one of those illustrious minor league ballparks.
As a Dutch guy, I think it is hard to fathom that a structure like this is left to rot. If buildings lose their purpose in the Netherlands, they will be demolished or restored but they will never let it get this far.