Tuesday, February 22, 2011

MPTLL History Project: 1952

As previously mentioned, Little League first came to Charlotte in 1951. Our own Myers Park Civitan League was chartered with Little League Baseball in March of 1952. Play began in June of that year.

The 1952 season included four original major league teams: Harry & Bryant Co., Al Browne's Service, Blythe Motors and Farmers Dairy. Although Philip Der Yuen was listed on the charter as President of the league, with Robert Brooks as Vice President and Harold Richardson as Secretary/Treasurer, it has been said that Jack Starnes was considered "head of the Little League group" for the Civitans and therefore our first league President. Jack was closely involved throughout the 1950's in a variety of ways: umpiring games, travelling to all-star tournaments, helping build Ranson Field (later named EC Griffith) on Randolph Road, etc.

During that first season, games were played on the Myers Park Elementary School playground among the four teams. Legend has it that Clayton Bundy of Farmers Dairy hit the first homerun in league history on Opening Day 1952. His team would go on to win the championship that year, thanks in part to Bundy's bat and the pitching of guys like Ray Farris.

As was usual throughout the '50's and '60's, there were several newspaper clippings about the games. This first set includes a picture of what is possibly the first game ever played between now old rivals Al Browne's and Harry & Bryant. It was a part of this Observer spread about the rise of Little League in Charlotte. Hope you enjoy.

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