Big State League
The Big State League was a mid-level, Class B circuit in American minor league baseball that played for 11 seasons, from 1947 through 1957. Its member clubs were exclusively based in Texas. It saw a lot of transition in its 11-year lifetime, with no team serving as a member in every single season. Waco came the closest, serving from 1947–1956. The league was known as an offense-oriented circuit.
The league debuted at the height of the short-lived postwar minor league baseball boom, in 1947, with eight clubs, all unaffiliated with Major League Baseball farm systems. Two clubs, Texarkana and Greenville, won more than 100 games, and four league members exceeded 100,000 in attendance. But beginning in 1953, the Big State League's teams struggled to reach six figures in that category. Only Corpus Christi drew over the 100,000 mark during the league's final five seasons, doing so on two occasions. The league was further weakened when a traditionally strong member, Austin, moved up to the AA Texas League in 1956.
The league began the 1957 campaign with only six clubs, and its ranks were reduced to four when Wichita Falls disbanded in May, while the Port Arthur team moved to Temple that same month before folding in August. Of the surviving teams, Victoria, a Brooklyn Dodgers farm team, outlasted Corpus Christi, Beaumont and Abilene to win the league's last pennant and playoff championship.
J. Walter Morris served as League President from 1947 through 1950, Howard Green, took over from 1951 through 1955 and Hal Sayles was in charge the final two years, 1956-57.
- Abilene, Texas Abilene Blue Sox 1956–1957, moved from West Texas–New Mexico League 1946–1955
- Austin, Texas Austin Pioneers 1947–1955
- Beaumont, Texas Beaumont Exporters or Beaumont Shippers (depending on source) 1956; Beaumont Pirates 1957
- Bryan, Texas Bryan Majors 1953; Bryan Indians 1954
- Corpus Christi, Texas Corpus Christi Clippers 1954–1957
- Del Rio, Texas Del Rio Indians 1954
- Gainesville, Texas Gainesville Owls 1947–1951
- Galveston, Texas Galveston White Caps 1954–1955, moved from Gulf Coast League 1950–1953
- Greenville, Texas Greenville Majors 1947–1950, moved from East Texas League 1946; Greenville Majors 1953
- Harlingen, Texas Harlingen Capitals 1954–1955, moved from Gulf Coast League 1951–1953 and Rio Grande Valley League 1950
- Longview, Texas Longview Cherokees 1952–1953
- Lubbock, Texas Lubbock Hubbers 1956, moved from West Texas–New Mexico League 1938–1942, 1946–1955
- Paris, Texas Paris Red Peppers 1947, moved from East Texas League 1946; Paris Panthers 1948; Paris Indians 1952–1953
- Port Arthur, Texas Port Arthur Sea Hawks 1955–1956, moved from Evangeline League 1954 and Gulf Coast League 1950–1953; Port Arthur Redlegs 1957
- Sherman, Texas and Denison, Texas Sherman-Denison Twins 1947–1951
- Temple, Texas Temple Eagles 1949–1954; Temple Redlegs 1957
- Texarkana, Texas Texarkana Bears 1947–1953, moved from East Texas League 1946
- Texas City, Texas Texas City Hubbers 1955; Texas City Exporters 1956
- Tyler, Texas Tyler East Texans 1951–1953; Tyler Tigers 1954–1955
- Victoria, Texas Victoria Eagles 1956; Victoria Rosebuds 1957, moved to Texas League 1958–1961
- Waco, Texas Waco Dons 1947; Waco Pirates 1948–1953, 1954–1956
- Wichita Falls, Texas Wichita Falls Spudders 1947–1953, moved to Longhorn League 1954; Wichita Falls Spudders 1956–1957
- Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, editors: The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 1997.