“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Jasper in Jasper County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Jasper Steers

Jasper Steers Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Anderson, January 12, 2019
1. Jasper Steers Marker
Inscription.  In a time of segregated activities including sports, logging contractor Elmer Simmons organized the Jasper Steers, an African American baseball team. Simmons bought all bleachers, lighting, dressing rooms and concession stands from a defunct Louisiana baseball team in the 1940s. The facilities were shipped and reassembled as Steer Stadium east of Jasper, and Simmons hired African American players for his barnstorming team. The Steers traveled around the country, showing off the talent of the players, who claimed they were capable of playing any professional team. They were one of many independent black semi-professional baseball teams in the United States at the time.

Local white baseball teams sometimes played practice games against the Steers. In 1954-55, Steer Stadium also hosted home games for the Jasper High School Bulldogs, the town’s baseball team for white students, who had no home field of their own. Simmons offered a spot on the Steers roster to one of the high school pitchers, who spent a year traveling around the United States and Canada with the now-integrated team.

The Steers played their last game as a team
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in 1961. By this time the color barrier had been broken in professional baseball and there were more opportunities for African American players to enter professional leagues. Many of those who made the roster served their communities as teachers, authors, ministers, school administrators, coaches, businessmen and leaders, and even as baseball players in the major leagues. The team enabled players to showcase their talents, and the games provided community entertainment and created role models for African American youth.
Erected 2014 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 18147.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansSports.
Location. 30° 55.026′ N, 93° 56.805′ W. Marker is near Jasper, Texas, in Jasper County. Marker is at the intersection of U.S. 190 and Steer Stadium Road (County Road 293), on the right when traveling west on U.S. 190. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Jasper TX 75951, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Site of J.H. Rowe School (approx. 2˝ miles away); J. H. Rowe School History (approx. 2˝ miles away); Belle-Jim Hotel (approx. 3.1 miles away); Jasper County Courthouse (approx.
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3.2 miles away); Beaty-Orton House (approx. 3.2 miles away); Jasper County, C. S. A. (approx. 3.2 miles away); a different marker also named Jasper County (approx. 3.2 miles away); The First Baptist Church (approx. 3.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Jasper.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 15, 2019. It was originally submitted on January 14, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Humble, Texas. This page has been viewed 738 times since then and 181 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on January 15, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Humble, Texas.
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Sep. 29, 2023