Mississippi Monarchs

The Laurel Black Cats were founded in 1932 as a charter franchise of the Independent Negro League.  Legends like Henry Hank Aaron, Willie Mayes, Satchel Paige, Piper Davis, james ‘Lefty’ Bell, Dennis ‘Oil Can’ Ray, Artie Wilson, and Ed Steele are just some of the names that have played at their home Rayhaim Park (pictured).  Led by player/manager Arthur ‘A.W.’ Watson (above left) through the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, the Black Cats were a barnstorming team that played all over the south.  As baseball began to desegregate, and the Negro Leagues disbanded, the Black Cats survived as a semi-pro club, developing talent for southern colleges, and continued a winning tradition as a travelling team untill they were finally disbanded in 2006.  In 2010 the were reorganized as a developmental organization for local little league teams. (click on image for full story) 

DIXIE LEAGUE It was a big Week 5 in The Dixie League for Mississippi’s Kokomo Kings, after starting a little slow in their Game 1 against Western League rival Wade Bodiford and his Andalusia Arrows, the Mississippi Monarchs turned it on in the late innings of last week’s games, putting up an 18 run weekend.  They broke the bow of the Arrows and snatched the hat off their neighboring rival  New Orleans Black Hats in the second game by scores of 18-7 and 18-9 respectively.  The performance helped to propel them up the charts, coming in as the 5th ranked team in the Association on this week’s AF Top 25.  This week they’ll put it on the line, facing the AF#24  San Angelo Wolverines and then a rematch with the Andalusia Arrows who sit just outside the AF Top 25.  These Mississippin Monarchs lead the league in runs after last weekend, and also sit atop the Homerun Derby for total touchdowns scored this season.

The Kokomo (Miss) Kings put up an incredible 18 runs in Week 5, helping to boost them to #5 on the AF Top 25

In other action last weekend, the San Angelo Wolverines were able to ease by the worst in the league New Orleans Black Hats, 10-9 and then 10-5 against the Sanford Celeryfeds, who have but 2 wins on the season.  This week, they get a special Top 25 double header, facing the AF#5 Kokomo Kings and then, in their Game 2, the AF#19 Hinesville Warrior.  The Eastern League leader, Warrior played the league’s brother duo in Week 5, and took one on the chin in their Game 1 from the Lakeland Raiders, 13-7, but in Game 2 were able to sneak by the Orlando Crush by a 7-4 score.  Lakeland was able to sweep the weekend by not only beating Hinesville, but was able to slip by the veteran Westfield Bombers13-11, though the Bombers were able to salvage their weekend by whipping the Defending Dixie League Champion Sanford Celeryfeds 10-5.  The Austin Bulls were able to go 1-0-1 on the week with a win against Orlando Crush 7-4 and a tie with Andalusia 7-7.

The AF#24 San Angelo Wolverines must face two Top 25 teams in double header action this week

At this point in the season, statistically the Kokomo Kings lead the league in scoring with 61 runs followed at a distance by San Angelo and Hinesville with 51 each.  They also lead the Home Runs ( TD’s scored) category with 26, followed closely by San Angelo who has 23.  Orlando and Lakeland lead the league in Errors (Interception, Fumbles Lost) with 9 and 8 respectively followed by New Orleans at 7.  In the Steals ( Takeaways) catagory, the Kings are also the best in the league with 5, followed by Sanford with 4 and 2 teams, Hinesville and Westfield, with 3, while no one has more doubleheader sweeps than Hinesville with 3 of them in 5 weeks of play.

Could we see another big score put up this weekend by the Mississippi Monarchs in Kokomo or will they come back to earth?  Will New Orleans and Sanford , the best teams of last season, put together doubleheader sweeps to get back into the thick of things?  With many games being interleague this weekend, we could see the races tighten up in both the East and West.  Only 1 game separates the top 4 teams in the Western League, while Hinesville holds a 2 game lead on Lakeland in the Eastern League, but must play the high scoring Wolverines.