• Steve Potter

The Macon Peaches

Time Period - 1966


Level of Play : AA


Venue : Luther Williams Field


City : Macon, Georgia


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Franchise History :


Macon, Georgia has a long history of baseball dating back to 1892. Major league affiliation began in 1929 when the Brooklyn Dodgers had a two year stint. There was a gap till 1936 when the Reds signed on for one season. The Dodgers returned for the 1939 and 1940 seasons.


The Chicago Cubs affiliated with Macon from 1941-1942, 1946 - 1949 and 1952-1955 followed by the Brooklyn/LA Dodgers from 1956 to 1960. Cincinnati returned from 1962 to 1964 with the Phillies playing one season in 1966. The Pirates had two turns ( 1967 & 1984 to 1987 ) with the Tigers ( 1981-1982), Cardinals ( 1983 ) and Braves ( 1991 to 2002 ) finishing up the MLB affiliations. Teams played in the Southern Association, the Southeastern League, the Southern League and the South Atlantic League.


Since the 2003 season various Independent League teams continued to play in Macon. The Macon Bacon, a collegiate summer team in the wood bat Coastal Plain League was established in 2017 and began play in 2018 with a lease agreement to use Luther Williams Field till 2027.


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The Stadium the Phillies played in :


Luther Williams Field was built in 1929 at 225 Willie Smokey Glover Boulevard, Central City Park in Macon. It holds 3,500 people with field dimensions being 338 to both left and right field and 402 to center. The original grandstand remains in place today.


Luther Williams was the Mayor of Macon in 1929 and was credited with getting the stadium built instead of using the property for an oil field. The town council named the field after him six months after it was built.


Jackie Robinson broke the Georgia color barrier on April 7th, 1949 when he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in an exhibition game at the stadium. Hall of Famers Pete Rose, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Chipper Jones, John Smoltz and Tony Perez also played games there. Vince Coleman set a minor league record for stolen bases with 143 playing for the 1983 Cardinals affiliate in Macon.


The stadium was used for location shooting for the 1976 film “The Bingo Long Traveling All Stars” and two 2012 films - “42” - chronicling legend Jackie Robinson and Clint Eastwood’s film “Trouble with the Curve”. The NetFlix series “Brockmire” also used the venue.


The ballpark is on the National Register of Historic places and is one of the oldest active baseball stadiums in the country.


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The Season :


1966


Southern League . . . Manager: Andy Seminick . . . 67-73, fifth place ( six team league ) . . . Attendance: 45,011.


25 year old 1B/OF Rick Barry hit 30 doubles, 5 triples and 16 home runs and drove across 80 while posting a .291 batting average in 488 at bats. He would go on to play 20 games in the major leagues with the 1969 Phillies.


24 year old RHP Larry Colton went 11-8 with a 3.77 ERA ( 186 IP ) to lead the staff. Colton would appear in one major league game with the 1968 Phillies pitching two innings yielding a run on three hits, he struck out two batters.


Major Leaguers :


14 of the 29 players on the roster that season eventually played in the major leagues.


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The Phillies moved their AA club to Reading, PA for the 1967 season and have been there ever since.


Happy Day, Happy Baseball ⚾️


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