Wednesday, September 14, 2011

MPTLL History Project: 1954-1956

The Myers Park Civitan League's third year saw more changes as the "kid loop" continued to evolve. In 1954 the Blythe Motors team changed sponsor names and became known as Auto Finance. But star pitcher Greg Schachner and others remained, and the team started strong.

During this early period, the league constructed a new playing field near the Mint Museum on Randolph Road that would remain in use for over 40 years. Later named E.C. Griffith Field in honor of the new park's generous land owner, Ranson Field was built by league volunteers while teams continued to play at the Myers Park Elementary School playground. Phil Howser and his Charlotte Hornets' grounds crew would later help construct a grass infield at the new ballpark, which was originally named for the first Myers Park Civitan Club president, John Ranson. By 1954, the league's teams were making news consistently at the new field. And it would soon play host to District 3 All-Star games.

The four Major League teams - Auto Finance, Farmer's Dairy, Harry & Bryant and Hotpoint - would continue their sponsorship unchanged in 1955 and 1956. Throughout the summer, they would pack a full schedule of games into each week. This was a period when many of our league's future coaches were enjoying their own Little League days - men like Zan Copeland, who would coach the Trinity team from the mid-1970's until his death in 2010; Buddy and Teddy Dubose, who coached several teams, including the original Carolina Pad / Kitchens Unlimited team in the early 1980's; and Pete and Wayne Ayers, who starred at Dilworth, later coached Proposition XLV / T.R. Lawing in the '80's and '90's, and enjoy watching a third generation of their family play today.

No comments: