Powder Springs has always had a ball team since the early 1900’s. During the ball season almost everyone in town, young and old, would attend the games. The games were always a social gathering for the community in the past. This tradition continues today. The teams never lacked for fans.
Through the years there were those who even went on to play in the Minor League, the Major League and for the Atlanta Black Crackers Baseball League (around 1919 to about 1947) of the Negro League Baseball.
The area schools and churches had baseball teams, also. These teams played against the other schools and churches in the area or among their own teams.
They were all enjoying baseball whether it was on a team or only in their own front yards or vacant/empty lots. It did not matter if they played on a baseball team and regardless of whether they achieved fame or not.
As Powder Springs grew with more families moving in, the need to organize these sports teams arose. The Powder Springs Baseball Association was formed to help meet this need. The Association helps develop baseball skills for youths ages three to fourteen.
There have been many coaches through the years. Some of whom played baseball in school as they grew up and went on to coach high school baseball teams as a career. A few served on the PS Baseball Association as members and others as President.
Powder Springs had their own baseball teams and players:
1920 – 1930’s – Paul Hilley, Walter Lamar Jennings, Red (Lewis Clement) Lawler, J. B. McCutcheon (and as Umpire), John B. McTrye and Tom N. Scott.
1947-1948: Harold Duke, Weyman (Waymon) Eidson, Pete Hardy, Alton Keith, Marion “Buddy” McTyre, Carl Moon (later member of PS Baseball Association and as Coach), Harold Moon, Hugh Poore (later as Coach), Ty Cobb Porter, George Roberts and Linton “Lin” Spratlin.
In the late 1940’s Harvey Young started the Clarkdale Eagles Baseball Team. He played on the team and was their sponsor for many years. They played in the Branch Rookie League and the Georgia Cracker League.
In the 1930’s and 1940’s, Harvey Young, Archie Watson Young and Melvin Austin, all members of the Eagles Baseball Team, went on to play semi-professional baseball with the Atlanta Black Crackers, a member of the Negro American League.
Johnny Hill (1909-1970) played for the Atlanta Crackers during the 1930’s. He led them to win the pennant, playoffs and Dixie Series in 1938. Johnny also went on to play for Milwaukee and San Diego in the 1940’s. He was born and raised on a farm on Old Lost Mountain Road.
Bill “Lightning” Webb (W.F) (1913-1994) was a pitcher who had the distinction of playing in every class of baseball, from cow pasture to professional. He played with the Philadelphia Phillies and the Dodgers in the 1940’s.
In 1969, Lionel Watson (1929-1986) was recognized by the National Baseball Congress of America as an All-Star player for the several years he played professional baseball for the Georgia Cracker League. He also coached baseball for both girls and boys with his brother William.
Powder Springs Youth (Baseball) Association: Robert “Bob” Burkett (coach), Paul Bourassa (coach and President), Johnny Eidson (coach), Carl Moon, Tommy Ray (coach) and Steve Tessereau, coach of PS Storm Baseball Team. Coach Eidson and Coach Ray both coached PS Bears Baseball Team.
On display at the museum are numerous items that have been donated by their families that honor these men, their history and career in baseball.
The right front room of the museum has a display case that has several photos of these ball teams, some of their history, a roster for 1920-1930 Powder Springs Baseball Team, and a 1930 photo of the Clarkdale Eagles Baseball Team. An autographed baseball and glove belonging to Johnny Hill from his time with the Atlanta Crackers Baseball Team and his photo.
Upstairs in the Black History Room you will find more information on Harvey and A. W. Young and Melvin Austin.
Information obtained from: Powder Springs Image Book, “Powder Springs Has Some Deep Roots In It” Book, Georgia Magazine Article issue April 2021 “Atlanta’s Field of Dreams, Remembering The Atlanta Black Crackers of Negro League Baseball”. Online Wikipedia “Atlanta Black Crackers” and www.findagrave.com.
Other information was compiled from history accounts collected by our past historians.