Sometimes you see a team picture and want to learn everything you can about that team. That’s what happened when I discovered the South McAlester Miners.
So what was it about this picture that peaked my interest? First of all the name, South McAlester. I had no idea it ever existed. South McAlester was its own town from 1899-1907. The town was actually larger than its sister city to the north. In 1900, for example, census records show South McAlester had a population of 3,470 while North McAlester (or just McAlester) had a population of 642.
South McAlester had two professional baseball clubs during its short existence. In 1905 the South McAlester Giants took the field but finished in last place in the Missouri Valley League. In 1906 W.F. Harper and M. B. Brewer took over the team, changed their nickname to Miners, and moved to the South Central League.
Here’s the team picture from 1906:
Top Row L to R: Carl White, Cooper, C.M. Porter, Boulden, Foley White,
Middle Row L to R: Hugh McCullom, Harry White, Bill Lattimore, Harry Lally
Bottom Row L to R: Aubrey Pickens, Choctaw, J, W. Anderson
The White brothers, Carl, Harry, and Foley, were three of the team’s top players. Another star on the team was Clyde Milan (not pictured with the team but seen below). One year after playing ball in South McAlester, Milan signed with the Washington Senators of the American League. The speedy centerfielder spent 16 season with Washington. He even set an MLB record with 88 stolen bases in 1912.
Clyde Milan (Date unknown)
Thanks to Tom Shieber at the Baseball Researcher blog we have a picture of Milan playing centerfield during a Washington Senators game. Click here to see that picture and read about the amazing story behind the research into an historic baseball picture.
The South McAlester Miners played in the South Central League along with the Fort Smith Razorbacks, Guthrie Senators, Muskogee Indians, Shawnee Blues, and Tulsa Oilers. The Guthrie and Shawnee clubs started having problems and both disbanded on July 21st. The league eventually folded in August with South McAlester in first place.
We hope you’re just as much into the South McAlester Miners as we are and encourage you to click here or on the image below to order your vintage t-shirt today.
Some of this information is courtesy of Red Dirt Baseball-The First Decades by Peter G. Pierce. His books are an invaluable resource and we encourage everyone looking for more information on Oklahoma baseball history to check them out.