State Champs reunite after 60 years


1959 was a year to remember for baseball in Yazoo City.

Yazoo City’s little boys baseball team won the District Three championship in a tournament they hosted. The team then went on to win the State Championship in Natchez.

History was made at Natchez when the Yazoo City team defeated Columbus 3-2 to capture the city's first state title little boys baseball championship, which then earned them the right to advance all the way to the LBB Dixie World Series at Lakeland, Fla.

Yazoo’s team started the Natchez tournament strong with Gerald Moses allowing just two hits and striking out 12 in the team’s win over Morton. Moses, who went on to play professional baseball for the Boston Red Sox, batted .700 during the tournament and earned two of the team’s wins from the mound.

Lonnie Graeber had a home run in the Morton game.

Haley Barbour took the team over one of its biggest hurdles by pitching a six-hit shutout against Cleveland.

“Win or lose, the entire city and county cannot be anything but proud of the success they have already achieved,” sports editor Bill Bralick wrote in The Yazoo Herald as the team prepared to leave for Florida.

The boys played a thrilling opener in Florida with Haley Barbour pitching a shutout in a 4-0 win over Chase City, Va. The young righthander pitched all six innings and struck out seven.

Unfortunately the tables would turn the following night against North Augusta, S.C. where Gerald Moses gave up only 4 hits, while striking out 12, but the game would end in a heartbreaking loss with an ironic score of 4-0.

Yazoo City lost its second game in the double elimination tournament when they were defeated the following afternoon by Rossville, GA with a score of 5-3.

It was an outstanding performance by a team that is still remembered six decades later.

The team recently held a 60th reunion at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Finley of Madison.

A fun filled night with a baseball themed atmosphere and meal; play by play fond memories, and tales of their personal experiences as players and teammates was enjoyed by all. Each player received a souvenir baseball and a scrapbook filled with their team's history, compiled by Clara Dean Finley.

It was expressed that their baseball playing days as a team have ended but, the memories and bonds of friendships formed over 60 years ago are like family and will last forever.