Tuesday, January 14, 2020

SWAC-MEAC Baseball Tourney Comes to Smith-Wills

Overtime Sports issued the following press release. 


KSG in Association with Overtime Sports announces today that it has secured the inaugural SWAC – MEAC Challenge to be played at 45-year-old Smith Wills Stadium in Jackson, Mississippi.
This is the inaugural 3 day, 9 game tournament featuring teams from the Southwestern Athletic Conference “SWAC” vs. the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference “MEAC”. This tournament was previously held in New Orleans’ Wesley Barrow Stadium and has been relocated as part of KSG’s transformation of Smith Wills Stadium into an NCAA Academy in Jackson, Mississippi much like the MLB academies built in New Orleans, Los Angeles, Houston, and Puerto Rico. 

“Our plan is to renovate and create a place where local High Schools, Colleges and Universities from all over the country are invited to come and play games at Mississippi’s oldest professional baseball facility – Smith Wills Stadium and get a taste of true southern hospitality. This is an example of the validity and usefulness of older stadiums all over this country, these are places where baseball can still live and thrive along with so many other events”, says Bennett
“We have over 85 NCAA Collegiate games already scheduled along with at least 25 High School baseball games scheduled for 2020 with special events, concerts and a number of other sporting events”

– Tim Bennett

The SWAC – MEAC Challenge will feature Jackson State University, Alcorn State University, Southern University, North Carolina A&T, Florida A&M and Western Illinois playing in the tournament on February 21st – 23rd, 2020.

KSG – Overtime Sports plans to release a full schedule of baseball events to be played at Smith-Wills Stadium on Tuesday, February 4th.
 

SMITH WILLS NOTES:

 

Jackson Mets (N.Y. Mets AA Minor League)
Smith Wills Stadium, prior to the construction of Trustmark Park (Atlanta Braves – AA Minor League) and MGM Park (Milwaukee Brewers – AA Minor League) in Mississippi, was the home to the New York Mets AA Minor League team and the Houston Astros AA Minor League teams, touting memories of Darryl Strawberry, Mookie Wilson, Lenny Dykstra and legendary MLB Manager Ron Gardenhire who formerly managed the Minnesota Twins where he won AL Manager of the year (2010), runner up for that title 5 times and current manager for the Detroit Tigers. The Jackson Mets organization was home for another baseball legend in Billy Beane – Minority owner of the Oakland A’s and subject of 2011 hit film “Moneyball” who played for the Jackson Mets baseball club at Smith Wills Stadium in 1982.

The Jackson Generals (Houston Astros AA Minor League) would take over at Smith Wills Stadium following the departure of the New York “Jackson” Mets before the team would be sold and moved by an investment group led by MLB Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan into a newly built Dell Stadium in Round Rock, Texas. 


8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good for them. Glad to see life breathed into that old place. I can hardly think of a negative comment to post. Except its going to be damn cold for baseball!

Anonymous said...

Wait, what about the flag? I didn't think anyone would ever want to play here until we changed that horrible flag. What could possibly have happened?

Anonymous said...

Trust me Missippi's Rag won't be flying.

Anonymous said...

I was at Smith Wills back in November for a high school baseball showcase put on by Belhaven, and the stadium was still very much a dump then. Maybe a LOT of work has been done since then, but if not, then they have a long way to go to make it serviceable for that tournament next month. For example, you almost needed ankle-high waterproof boots just to go to the bathroom. The field and playing surface looked okay, but everything else was in bad shape.

Anonymous said...

Way to go, Tim Bennett! Glad the stadium will have a renewed purpose, and for the baseball events to be brought to Jackson.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see the old stadium is getting some use. I remember chasing foul balls there and seeing Lenny Dykstra play ball for Jackson Mets.
Ole Lenny is playing a totally different game these days...

Anonymous said...

Yep, I was there for Mookie Wilson’s wedding at home plate. Worked in the visitor’s clubhouse that season.

Anonymous said...

we took our infant out there when MSU was playing its fall scrimmage down there a couple of years ago. not top notch, but has concessions and pretty decent seating with good views of the field. playing surface looked nice on scrimmage days. had easily accessible wheelchair/handicap for my wife's father. perfectly fine to watch a baseball game in. do not need much more for a local, non-major university or minor league stadium that predominantly hosts high school baseball and belhaven.

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