Reader would like to see semi-pro baseball in Elizabethton area documented

Published 8:54 am Monday, August 28, 2017

To the editor:

Before moving back to Elizabethton after many years in Smyth County, Va., I was involved in compiling a book about semi-pro baseball in that area and mainly the Saltville Alkalies.
Semi-professional baseball was big in Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee from the 1920s to the 1970s. Now, most of the ballplayers are gone and most of the ballfields they played on are gone. I wanted to document that era as much as possible and get the book to the remaining ballplayers or their families. We also included family, fans and spectators. The book was a big success and brought back many memories.
At one time Elizabethton and surrounding areas hosted many teams either sponsored or representing their communities. The Six Star League and Tri-Cities League represented Hampton, Valley Forge, Dry Run, Bluff City, and many sponsored teams such as Seavers Bakery of Johnson City, Royal Crown, Faircloth Chevrolet, and the Blue Grays that Jacey Augustus documented recently.
I am hoping someone would take an interest and start a project to save the memories here before they are all forgotten and gone forever. It will take someone interested in preserving the names, the memories, and the places. I will help.

Dick Ryan
(Ryan can be contacted at: or by calling 276-348-4709 or 543-1547)

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