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Baseball Research: The Hank Utley Baseball Collection

Description

The Hank Utley Collection consists of the research materials gathered by Robert Gerals "Hank" Utley for this book "The Independent Carolilna Baseball League", which he co-wrote with Scott Verner in 1999. The collection includes the original typed manuscript; written transcripts of the oral interview with the baseball players or their family; statistical information regarding the players; photographics, biographies and oral interviews with participants in the league other than baseball players, and audio-cassettes containing the taped interviews with the players or their relatives

The Hank Utley Baseball Collection is located in the public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County.

Click the following link to download a copy of The Hank Utley Baseball Collection research in Adobe Acrobat format:

The Hank Utley Baseball Collection

The Independent Carolina Baseball League: A Brief History

During the height of the Great Depression, baseball thrived in small textile mills throughout the South, especially in the two Carolinas. Civic and business leaders saw an opportunity to promote the favorite pastime of its citizens, as well as make a profit for the owners of the teams. The owners formed the Independent Carolina Baseball League, hereafter known as ICBL, in 1936. Some of the more popular teams include the Kannapolis Towelers, the Concord Weavers, the Valdese Testiles, the Lenoir Finishers, Gastonia-High Point Spinners, the Hickory Rebels, the Landis Cardinals, the Charlotte Hornets, the Shelby Cee Cee's, the Cooleemee's Cools, the Durham Bulls, the Mooresville Moors, the Lexington Colonials and the Salisbury Greyhounds.

The persistent efforts of the team owners to attract the best baseball players from both professional and minor leagues did not go unnoticed by the other leagues. Judge Williams G. Bramham, the President of the ICBI, coined the phrase "Outlaw League" to describe the ICBL. The Judge incurred the hatred of owners and players alike as he began blacklisting the ICBL players from other baseball leagues. Unlike most professional leagues, the ICBL did not fully honor other professional ball clubs' standard contract that tied a player to the team he signed with as long as he played ball. Meaning team owners in North Carolina were not above signing players who already had professional baseball contracts. The lure of off-season jobs in the textile mills by the owners was too great for some players whose professional salaries were usually far less than the ICBL package.

The league created enormous excitement in the mill towns and team loyalties ran high. Numerous stories from some of baseball's greatest players emerged during the leagues brief history. The lack of a financial base and the decline of the number of teams in the league led to its demise in 1938. Most of the players joined teams with the North Carolina Sate League, a Class "D" baseball team. However, their stories live on in the pages of Utley's research, which will enable scholars to obtain a better knowledge of the sport of baseball in the 1930's and the imapct the game had in small towns in North Carolina.

The Hank Utley Baseball Collection

The Hank Utley Baseball Collection is located in the public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County.

Click the following link to download a copy of The Hank Utley Baseball Collection research in Adobe Acrobat format:

The Hank Utley Baseball Collection

Baseball Research


The Independent Carolina Baseball League

The Independent Carolina Baseball League Book Image

R.G.(Hank) Utley
and Scott Verner

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Outlaw Ballplayers

The Outlaw Ballplayers Book Image

R.G.(Hank) Utley,
Tim Peeler and Aaron Peeler

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