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

Mineola Black Spiders

 
 
Mineola Black Spiders Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, September 1, 2019
1. Mineola Black Spiders Marker
Inscription.  In the 1800s and into the first half of the twentieth century, African-American baseball teams played separately from white teams. The community of Mineola, though small in population, had both white and black baseball teams. The Mineola Black Spiders was composed of African-American men and youth from the town. The ballplayers wore solid gray uniforms and played at Epperson park in south Mineola, in addition to traveling to games in Dallas, Commerce, Shreveport (Louisiana), and other places. Home games sometimes attracted around 200 spectators.

Vernon Klingaman, who moved to Texas in the late 1920s, settling in Mineola, soon became involved with the team. He expanded the roster, opening it to non-residents, and changed the name to the Texas Black Spiders. In 1932, the players departed Mineola for the Midwest, becoming a barnstorming team, staging exhibition games in various locations. That year, the team underwent a name change, becoming the mason city black bats. They headquartered in Iowa, though most members would return to the spiders’ squad, while others moved back to Texas.

The Black Spiders gained a reputation as being one

Mineola Black Spiders Marker with another local marker about the Spiders. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, September 1, 2019
2. Mineola Black Spiders Marker with another local marker about the Spiders.
of the fastest teams from the south. They were also very successful; in 1936, the Spiders’ record was 34-1. However, by 1937, there was a substantial turnover in team personnel. The Black Spiders fielded a team in 1938, but disbanded afterward. Today, the team is mostly forgotten in Mineola. However, the Black Spiders remain a significant part of the community’s history as a black baseball team that became a success locally and in the midwestern United States.
 
Erected 2010 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 16321.)
 
Location. 32° 39.412′ N, 95° 29.418′ W. Marker is in Mineola, Texas, in Wood County. Marker is at the intersection of South Pacific Street (U.S. 69) and South Johnson Street, on the right when traveling south on South Pacific Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: South Pacific Street, Mineola TX 75773, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Mineola Black Spiders (here, next to this marker); John Creighton Buchanan (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); George C. Reeves (about 600 feet away); Dr. Adolphus Leander Patten (about 600 feet away); Robert N. Stafford (approx. 0.2 miles away); Richard Malcolm Smith
Another nearby Mineola Black Spiders Marker. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, September 1, 2019
3. Another nearby Mineola Black Spiders Marker.
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Addie E. McFarland (approx. ¼ mile away); Mineola Ice, Light and Water Company (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mineola.
 
Also see . . .  Stephen F. Austin State University on Early East Texas Baseball & The Mineola Black Spiders. (Submitted on September 5, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
 
Categories. African AmericansSports
 
View from marker south on U.S. Highway 69. image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, September 1, 2019
4. View from marker south on U.S. Highway 69.
 

More. Search the internet for Mineola Black Spiders.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 5, 2019. This page originally submitted on September 5, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 50 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 5, 2019, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.
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