The Ligon Colored All-Stars     


Ligon's CrestIn the late 40s and early 50s, a prairie summer just wasn't complete without a visit from The Ligon Colored All-Stars Travelling Exhibition Baseball Team

George Ligon and his Negro Stars, who come from California in a bus with Texas plates, are back for the fifth straight year ... billed against the (Regina) Caps tonight.  On Monday, Caps have a date with Muskogee Cardinals, another touring club.  Next Friday and Saturday, Nick Pappas has booked the House of David and Harlem Globe-Trotters for an all-tourist show and on the following Wednesday ... Caps will appear against San Francisco Sea Lions.  (Tom Melville, Regina Leader-Post, June 17, 1949)

George Ligon in 1938Rufus Ligon in 1938George Ligon (left) provided a glimpse at the history of the club in a 1982 item in The Brawley News :

"And he loves to talk of the days when he was not just a good baseball player, but when he had his own team, known as Ligon's Baseball Club.

He still has several patches for the uniforms of the players who played ball for him. They show a white baseball on a red star in the center of a blue field, with red writing ... the days when the Ligon's Baseball Club and the Ligon's All-Stars played against tough competition in many states of the union as well as in Mexico and Canada ... "Canada ... that was the best," Ligon stated.

... Those days, when black men could not play on white men's teams, it was not always easy to remain calm and to swallow insults. "You have to know when they don't want you," Ligon said. "And then -- don't play there."  There was a pause, and again Ligon seemed lost in thoughts.  The days of Jackie Robinson who joined the then Brooklyn Dodgers, the first black man in the major leagues, had not yet come.

But black teams played often against white teams, and people came to watch the games.  "We made money for them," Ligon said, "so they liked to see us play."

Ligon was born in Austin, Texas in 1910 and started playing ball when he was in school in Uvalde.

"I became a pitcher," he said.  "And a pretty good one at that. At first my brother and I played for a white fellow who owned a black team, and we played against white teams quite often."

The team on which he played was in the black league, but Ligon said it was found out in about 1931 that it was too costly to run such a league. White people owner the ballparks, he said, and they charged 45 percent of the total take to allow a black team the use of their park.

"But it was a good league while it lasted," he said.  "Anyway, I started my own team in about 1937 and made it a traveling team.  Had it for 15 years.  We played in many tournaments in Nebraska, Iowa, the Dakotas, everywhere.  Even traveled to Mexico and to Canada.

... His playing career was interrupted when war came. He saw service in the South Pacific as a machine gunner ... When the was was over, Ligon continued his baseball playing days for a little while.  He got his old team together and they resumed their travels.  But in 1955, he felt his playing days were over.  He went to work on a dry dock in Galveston, Texas before moving on to Brawley. (The Brawley News, August 3, 1982)

Rufus Ligon
Rufus Ligon (right) in his days in the Negro League with the Memphis Red Sox.  Rufus (above right)  in 1938 with a Texas barnstorming team (believed to be either the Texas Black Spiders or the San Antonio Black Missions).  On a photo of the team, there is a caption "1938 Champions of Iowa".  The Black Missions traveled to Regina in 1938.


Ligon's 19461946

The Ligon's All-Stars, from Brawley, California, were reported to have played in Mexico in the spring of 1946 following action in the California Winter League.  The team picture (left) is from a stop in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

(June 14)  Ligon's All-Stars ran into a hot hurler Friday and came away with nothing - no hits, no runs - as Roman Roh, the Creighton dental student faced just 21 batters in the seven inning contest. He stuck out 16 and permitted just one ball to be hit out of the infield. Andy Grant, the first man up for the Stars swung for a third strike but reached first when the ball got away from catcher Joe Jenks. Jenks atoned for the miscue by throwing out Grant on an attempted steal. 

Woolsey (L), Walker and Knowles
Roh (W) and Jenks

(June 26)   The Albert Lea (Minn) Packers pounded out 13 hits to whip Ligon's All-Stars 10-0.  Francis Hicks, formerly with Springfield of the Western Minesota League, allowed just six hits and struck out 12 in gaining the win.  Felix Woodson started for the All-Stars, giving way to Walker in the 3rd inning.  Walt Menke had an inside-the-park homer for the Packers.

(July 29) The first touring ball team to come to Regina in some years, Ligon's Colored All-Stars, gave an overflow crowd a great treat at Tech Park while battling to a three - three tie with the Regina Red Sox. "Lefty" Straub gave up six hits and struck out nine in going the distance for the Sox. The tourists used two pitchers who surrendered seven hits. Ligon catcher Art Knowles sat in an armchair behind the plate as the Red Sox went down 1 - 2 - 3 in the 6th. Martin had three hits for the Negroes while Don Gill and Al Potter both had a pair for the Crimson Hose.

Walker, Bryant (9) and Knowles
Straub and D. Abel

(August 2) The Ligon Colored All-Stars defeated a select group of players from the Saskatoon Senior Baseball League by a 4 - 1 count in an exhibition tilt before a packed house at Cairns Field. The hosts out-hit the colored tourists 8 - 5 and had a 1 - 0 lead after 5 full innings as Hub City starter "Lefty" Hornyak held the Ligon boys hitless and run less to that point. The visitors exploded for 4 runs in the top of the 6th and were never headed thereafter. Danny Knowles, the Ligon catcher, caught through 2 innings while sitting in a rocking chair. Cal Mills, Ross Allan and Leo Kelsey all had a brace of hits for the Saskatonians.

Walker and Knowles
Hornyak (L), Lehman (6) and Dunc McKay, Dubyk

(August 3) Saskatoon's picked baseball squad got an even break with the Ligon Colored All-Stars by defeating the barnstormers 4 - 3 in the second match of a weekend exhibition series. The locals for the second successive day out-hit the tourists, this time 12 to 9. Felix Woodson went all the way on the hill for Ligon's and was stung with the loss. Johnny Grossman and George Lehman shared the hurling chores for Saskatoon with the win being credited to Lehman. With a double and single, Lehman was also the game's top hitter.

Woodson (L) and Knowles
Grossman, Lehman (7) (W) and Dubyk, Dunc McKay

(August 8?)  Wiseton, winners of the Saskatoon Exhibition Tournament, were drubbed 20-6 by the Ligon All-Stars in a game called after six innings because of darkness.

(August 18)    Cleveland Grant scored one run and knocked in another as the touring Texas Colored Giants (AKA Ligon's All-Stars) blanked Prince Albert Bohemians 3-0.  In the second inning, O.Grant drive in brother Cleveland with the games' first run.  Art Bryant made it 2-0 in the 5th scoring on a triple by Andrew Grant.  And "Old Rockin' Chair" Danny Knowles scored on a double by Cleveland Grant

xxx and xxx
xxx and xxx

(August 19)   The Texas Colored Giants made it two straight over Prince Albert Bohemians with a 5-4 victory Monday a Bohemian Park.  The visitors again got early runs scoring a pair in the first inning as Art Bryant and Archie Walker crossed the plate.  This time, however, the home squad quickly replied as Lefty Logue's double knocked in both Arnold Casey and Johhnny Boden in their half of the first.  Giants went ahead 4-2 in the 3rd with Danny Knowles and Sterling Fuller scoring the runs and plated what proved to be the winner in the 4th as Felix Woodson singled in Cleveland Grant.  Bohs struck again in the 6th with Lefty Logue coming home on Chuck Carle's single and they added their final marker in the 7th with Logue driving in Casey. Southpaw Johnny Maroniuk, who relieved in the 5th inning, turned in a sparkling performance allowing just one hit while fanning six over his three innings of work.

xxx and xxx
Olsen (L), Maroniuk (5) and xxx

(August 20) The Ligon colored ball club played a return engagement against a Saskatoon all-star team and had no trouble in sending the locals down by an 8 - 3 count. Winning pitcher Archie Walker held the Bridge City crew to 8 hits in going the distance. Walker also belted a homer deep into left field for Ligon's.

Walker and Knowles
Larry Oliver (L), Ross Allan, Smoky Harrison and Dunc McKay

(August 22) Faltering after a quick 3 - 0 start, the Regina Red Sox dropped a 6 - 3 verdict to the touring Ligon Colored All-Stars in an exhibition game at Tech Park. The colored boys didn't sparkle when they were behind but when the Sox elected to blow a tire and present them with the tying runs in the 4th frame, the touring gents perked up and stole the show. Felix Woodson rationed the Reginans to but four hits, two each by Doug Mearns and losing pitcher Art Straub. The barnstormers managed only six base blows off Straub to go along with six costly Red Sox' errors. Walker had two hits for the winners.

Woodson (W) and Knowles
Straub (L) and D. Abel

Roster 1946 - Bryant Art OF, Foster OF, Fuller Jasper, Fuller Sterling SS, Grant Andrew 1B, Grant Cleveland 3B, Grant D 2B, Knowles Art/Danny C, Martin OF, Smith Oretus P, Walker Archie P, Woodson Felix P, Woosley Ray OF/P

The Ligon All-Stars in Western Canada


(June 16)  Before 1,200 fans at Weyburn, the Ligon All-Stars trounced the hosts 12-4. The visitors opened with a four-run outburst off Les Wilder in the first inning on two doubles, a triple, a single and two walks. 

xxx and xxx
Wilder, Covert (6), G. Shupe (8) and xxx

(June 18) Bolstered by 5 top players from other teams in the Southern League, the Notre Dame Hounds chalked up a 2 - 1 exhibition triumph over the touring Ligon All-Stars. Frank Germann was the hero for the Hounds, limiting the Negro stars to 4 bingles and scampering home with the winning tally in the 9th. The Hounds nicked Ray Woosley of the All-Stars for 6 hits with Ralph Beattie leading the way with 3 for 4. The Collegians were aided by Frank Smith and Ernie Franks of the Regina Clippers and the Metz brothers, Nick, Don and Bob of the Wilcox Cardinals.

(June 21) The Ligon Colored ball club gained an even break in their two exhibition games at Cairns Field against a group of Saskatoon & District Baseball League players. The visiting aggregation swarmed all over the locals 11 - 1 in the afternoon tussle while the Hub City Selects took advantage of a flock of Ligon errors in the 9th inning to win the evening encounter 5 - 4.  The barnstormers packed in 8 runs in the 2nd inning of the opener to run away with that game and win it for Ken Broady.

Broady (W) and Sanchez
Nordstrom (L), Dawes, Doeker and Barber, Sasseville, C. Vandale

Both teams plated a trio of runs in the final frame of the late game but the homesters' runs were all unearned as a result of 3 errors by Ligon's.

Reid, Pistle (L) and Thomas
Krook, Corbin (W) and Sasseville

(June 24)   George Ligon's colored All-Stars whipped Moose Jaw Canucks 7-1 before more than 15-hundred fans at Ross Park.  The All-Stars scored three in the opening frame, added three more in the 4th and finished off with a singleton in the 9th.  Moose Jaw's lone marker was scored on the 1st inning squeeze play with Lloyd Carr laying down a bunt to score Neil MitchellRoy White went the distance for the All-Stars giving up five singles and striking out 10.  Lefty Straub, Smokey Reynoldson and Ron Reynoldson each hurled three innings for the Canucks.  Straub gave up three hits, Smokey four and brother Ron, one.

Crowd pleaser(July 5-6)   Before about 2400 fans in Drumheller, Alberta, the All-Stars swept a three-game series from the locals, 6-3, 12-3 and 6-0. 

... fans -- 800 per game -- watched them uncork some nifty pitching, neat catching, spectactular fielding and timely batting ... the All-Stars fielded a smart squad with the play of Short-stop Bryant, Centre-fielder Reed, Catcher Underwood and First-baseman McColm reaching brilliancy on occasion ... 'Who Dat' Bryant (big, gangly-shanked short-stop) was the ace ball-hawk on the invaders' roster, his pickups -- and 'strike' pegs to first-base -- drawing peals of 'Boy, look at that. (The Drumheller Mail, July 10, 1947)

White and Underwood
R Berlando and Owens

Woodson and Underwood
Hangs, M Gorbous and Owens

Ligon, Woodsley and Underwood
Van Loo, Molyneaux and F Hackler

(July 7)   Ligon All-Stars had 12 hits and had a triple play in an 8-2 win over Lethbridge Miners. Ken Broady tossed a seven-hitter for the win.  Matt Slavich went the route to take the loss for the local squad.  Ligon's took an early lead with a pair in the first and a singleton in the second inning.  Three hits, including a double by Oliver Flowers pushed across a pair in the 7th and four hits in the 9th plated Porter Reed, Dan Thomas and Flowers. 

Broady and Underwood, Bryant (7)
Slavich and Deak

Ligon's win(July 14)   Ligon All-Stars, out of Brawley, California, took advantage of eight errors to topple Reo Motors 11-2 at Henderson Park in Lethbridge.  Four of the errors came in the sixth frame which, combined with three singles and a triple by Usee cGowan to count seven runs. Felix Woodson went the distance for the winners allowing seven hits.  (Headline, Lethbridge Herald, July 15, 1947)

Woodson and Underwood
Chervinski, Petrie, Kucheran and Ferguson, Munro

(July 15)   A record crowd jammed the Hillcrest Stadium Sunday as the Crow's Nest Pass All-Stars dropped a 9-6 decision to the touring Ligon All-Stars.  Wing Chan of Hillcrest had the only homer.

White and Underwood
J. Branchine and Fortunaso

(July 22) Before the largest crowd of the season at Cairns Field, the Delisle Commodores and the Ligon Colored All-Stars battled to a 5 - 5 10-inning exhibition stalemate. Max Bentley's inside-the-park home run in the bottom of the 9th inning tied the game.

Woosley and Underwood
Maroniuk and Reg Bentley

(July 25) The Ligon All-Stars, a band of colored barnstormers, took a 7 - 4 win from the Southern League's Regina Red Sox by a 7 - 4 count. Ligon's sewed up the game by counting 5 times in the opening 2 frames. Spotty fielding by the Red Sox contributed much to their defeat as no fewer than 8 miscues were charged against them. Outfielder U. C. McCowan, first baseman Claude Williams and winning hurler Ray Woosley each picked up 3 hits for the tourists. Doug Mearns was the Sox' top swatter with a triple and single.

Woosley (W) and Underwood
McCleneghan (L) and Mitton

(July 26) The Ligon Colored All-Stars defeated the Delisle Commodores 6 - 3 in a lively exhibition game witnessed by a large crowd in the Goose Lake line town. Tied 3 - 3 entering the 8th frame, the colored barnstormers broke through for three tallies to sew up the game. Delisle could only muster four hits during the contest. Max Bentley's triple was the only extra-base hit of the game.

Kembel (L), Maroniuk and Reg Bentley
Woodson (W) and Underwood

(July 27)   The Texas Colored Giants (aka Ligon All-Stars) added two more victories to their impressive record by edging the Bohemians 3-2 and 7-3 in a double-bill at Prince Albert.  Bohemians took a short-lived lead in the opener as Casey scored in the first inning. The All-Stars rebounded with one in the third and a pair in the 4th for the win. Gordie Wilson, the Bohemians third baseman, belted one over the centre field fence in the 5th inning for the other Prince Albert marker. It was the first home run ball over the fence this year. 

In the night fixture, White hurled a four-hitter for the Ligon's while Bowden allowed ten hits handling the mound chores for the Bohemians.  The Ligon's first baseman Claude Williams, a short and bulky player, amused the fans as he nonchatantly caught the ball and showed a definite lack of enthusiasm at having to run for anything. He did prove himself a good hitter, however, getting two hits, one of them a two-bagger which he could easily have turned into a triple if running hadn't been too much trouble.  Travis Taylor, at third base for the Texas club, led the team with two doubles and a single.

White (W) and xxx
Bowden (L) and xxx

(Aug 3)   Ken Broady, pitching for the Portage entry, dropped a touch 4-2 decision to CUAC Blues in the Winnipeg tournament.

... Mystery surrounded Portage hurler Ken Broady, who lost a tough one to the local Blues.  Broady is a fugitive from a touring colored aggregation from south of the line.  (Winnipeg Tribune Aug 4, 1947)

(Aug 4)   At Yorkton, the Ligon's All-Stars trounced the home club 13-2.

(Aug 6)  Inaugural Indian Head Tournament. (The community had held a tournament in July with 29 teams competing in junior and amateur categories. The weather was perfect. More than 10-thousand people turned out.  It resulted in another tournament to be held in August, this one for prize money -- $2,000.  The two-day event drew an estimated 15-thousand fans.)

The big $2,000 baseball tourney staged by the Rockets of Indian Head opened with a bang Wednesday, but that bang was nothing compared to the thunderous fall of the Bentley brothers' Delisle Commandos later in the day as Nick Metz and his Wilcox Cards took the nine-game spotlight by overwhelming the touted northerners 6-1.

When the dust from three diamonds had settled late at night, eight teams out of 17 starters remained in the hunt for the west's biggest cash prizes and Rockets and Indian Head prepared for another whacking crowd for Thursday's big windup.  Around 6,000 took in the first day's program. (Regina Leader-Post, August 7, 1947)

Ligon Stars knocked Fairlight out of the competition as Ladd White tossed a three-hitter over six innings as the American team won 9-0.  Ken Broady finished up the shutout.  

Long Lake 0, Sceptre 5
Arnold and McLane
Ohlheiser and Grant

Sioux Indians 2, Regina Red Sox 3
A Goodwill and John Goodwill
Harrison and Milton

Ceylon 5
Wallin and Morrison
Walker and Carefoot

Wilcox Cardinals 6 Delisle 1
Downton and Clements
Kimble, Maze and R Bentley

Marquis 1 Viscount 0
Smokey Reynoldson and R Reynoldson
Tholen, Folk and Clark

Ligon Stars 9 Fairlight 0
White, Broady (7) and Underwood
Eastman, Laroquje and Cleveland

Regina Clippers 4 Carrot River 1
Silverman and Brown
Jacobson, Minish and McKay

Williston 7 Forget 4
Ike and Howen
Hoffmaster, Dechaine and Crawford, McIlroy

Regina Red Sox 8 Sceptre 4
McLenaghan, Harrison and Mitton
Kjasgaard and Grant

The Twin City Giants, a colored team from St. Paul, failed to appear.  Kronau took their opening game by default. 

(Aug 7)   The Ligon All-Stars trounced Wilcox Cardinals 13-0 in the final of the inaugural Indian Head tournament.  

While an estimated 10,000 rooters jammed around the diamond until there wasn't space for even the circus Thin Man, George Ligon's colored All-Stars from California, or some other spot south of the snowline, whacked out enough base hits to make Indian Head's enormously successful $2,000 baseball tournament a runaway show on Thursday, tacking a crushing 13-0 setback on Nick Metz and his Wilcox Cardinals in a disappointing final.

The colored boys were extended only once in romping to four victories that figured out to $250 apiece as they copped first money of $1,000 with something to spare. Only in one game out of four did they yield any runs, making it rather decisive that they were the best ball club on the premises. (Regina Leader-Post, August 8, 1947)

Roy White tossed a four-hit shutout for the All-Stars in the final while his teammates pounded out 17 hits off three Wilcox hurlers.  First baseman Claude Williams had five hits and drove in three to lead the Ligon's attack.  Travis Taylor, who had three hits, had three runs batted in. 

The final day had other outstanding performances.  Jack Devine tossed a no-hitter as Marquis downed Kronau 4-1.The lone run against Devine came on a first inning walk and fielder's choice.

... but the twirler they were all raving over was Bert Shepard, the fella with the artificial limb.  You'd never know it to see him work and he was terrific against George Ligon's team.  They turned handsprings when they got past Bert, who was with St. Louis Browns at one time.  The handicap of losing a leg doesn't appear to trouble him and it wasn't cricket when his Williston team failed to get him a single run.  If Shepard comes around your way, make it a "must" to see him perform.  He gives an excellent tip on how a major leaguer goes about his business.  (Regina Leader-Post, August 8, 1947)

Shepard was minor league pitcher before serving in the Second World War.  When his fighter plane crashed in Germany, doctors amputated his right leg.  While in a POW camp, Shepard, with an artificial leg, learned to walk and pitch. Back home in 1945, he suited up as pitching coach of the Washington Senators. In a remarkable achievement, Shepard took the mound on August 5th, 1945 against Boston.  He pitched five and one third innings (three hits, one walk, two strikeouts, 1.69).  

Shepard and Ladd White of the Ligon's hooked up in a pitching duel in one of the morning games.  Each tossed a three-hitter.  Ligon's edged Williston 1-0.

Williston 0 Ligon's 1
Shepard and McNary
L White and Underwood

Moosomin 1 Regina Red Sox 4
Drake and Carefoot
Harrison and Mitton

Kronau 1 Marquis 4
Gottselig, Spry and Pete Kawuza
J Devine and Peterson

Regina Clippers 3 Wilcox Cardinals 10
Germann, Gerein and Brown
Buttgereit and Clements


Regina Red Sox 4 Wilcox Cardinals 5
McLenaghan, O'Brien, SInclair and Mitton
Buttgereit, D Metz and Clements

Ligon's 8 Marquis 2
Broady and Underwood
R Reynoldson, S Reynoldson and E Froehlich, R Reynoldson

Consolation Final :

Regina Red Sox 4 Marquis 4
Sinclair and Mitton
Torgerson, Devine and R Reynoldson


Ligon's 13 Wilcox 0
White and Underwood
Hogg, Downton (7), N Metz (8) and Clements

(August 12)  In their 4th exhibition meeting of the summer, the Ligon Colored All-Stars had a little too much for the Delisle Commodores and took a 4 - 1 decision from the Goose Liners. It was the rubber match between the two clubs as each team had won once while the other set-to resulted in an extra-inning saw-off. Winning pitcher Roy White limited Delisle to four hits, one less than loser Johnny Maroniuk gave up. Ligon third baseman Travis Taylor's triple and first sacker Claude Williams' double were the only extra-base hits in this contest and both drove in runs.

White (W) and Underwood
Maroniuk (L) and Reg Bentley

(August 17)  The Ligon Colored All-Stars and the Prince Albert All-Stars put on an exhibition of pitching and defense Sunday at Bohemian Park in spliting a twin-bill by identical 1-0 scores.  Ligon's had played in Brandon, Manitoba, Saturday and made the trip by bus during the night arriving just minutes before game time. Ken Broady fired a six-hit shutout in the opening game compiling six strike outs without a base on balls. Stan Kowalski and Lefty Logue gave up seven hits.  The only run came in the 5th inning as Ford singled, was sacrificed to second, took third on an infield grounder and scored on Porter Reed's single to centre field. Sanchez, the Ligon catcher and one time player in the Mexican professional league, fractured his finger in the second inning and was replaced by Travis Taylor. Ligon's turned three double plays.

Broady (W) and Sanchez, Taylor (2)
Kowalski (L), Logue (9) and Zwack

Lefty Logue held the visitors to just three hits, all singles, in the second game to best Art Bryant who allowed seven hits for Ligon's. Johnny Boden scored the only run in the 4th inning opening with a line drive over second base and coming home on an error. 

Bryant (L) and Underwood
Logue (W) and Zwack

(August 19) George Ligon and his Negro barnstormers dropped into Tech Park on their way to warmer climes and tarried long enough to defeat the Regina Red Sox 5 - 2 in an exhibition baseball tilt. Only a medium-sized crowd was on hand for the farewell appearance of the tourists but they sat in on a pretty good show as the All-Stars' Laddie White came through with a 5-hit pitching chore to best Regina's "Lefty" Harrison who yielded only one more. Shortstop Art Bryant was the only Star batter to get 2 hits off Harrison, one being a rousing triple. U. C. McCowan slashed out a double for the only other extra-base blow. Sox outfielder "Bucky" Walters had 2 singles and drove in both Regina runs.

White (W) and Underwood
Harrison (L) and Mitton

(September 19)  Item in The Hondo Anvil Herald

Ligon All Stars
Win 81, Lose 9
In Canadian Tour

Ligon's All Stars travelling professional baseball team returned to Hondo last week with an impressive record of wins in Canada which was only slightly marred Tuesday by their defeat at the hands of the Hondo Bears in an exhibition game.

The Ligon outfit toured through Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, North and South Dakota and entered Canada on June 15 where they played over British Columbia and other parts of Canada including many games in the Canadian Rockies and Prince Albert National Park.

Bert Shepherd's northern team was one of the notables licked by Ligon and they also defeated the team owned by the famous Chicago Blackhawks hockey stars, the Bentley brothers, collecting 81 victories against nine defeats in their Canadian tour. The All-Stars also won the $2,000 tournament at Indian Head, Saskatchewan.

Ligon All-Stars,1947 : Broady Ken P, Bryant Art INF/P, Flodin Lloyd C, Flowers Oliver 3B, Ford Melvin OF, Fuller Jasper 1B, Fuller Sterling OF/2B, Grant Cleveland 3B (also MJ Canucks), Henderson Alfred OF, Ligon George MGR, Ligon Marvin OF, Ligon Rufus P, McCowan Usee OF, Raymond OF, Reed Porter OF, Sanchez C/2B, Taylor Travis C/3B , Thomas Dan 2B, Underwood Henry C, White Ladd RHP, White Roy P, Williams Claude 1B, Willis Bernard SS, Woodson Felix P/1B, Woolsey Raymond OF


Sterling Fuller         Marvin Ligon           Roy White          Cleveland Grant
Sterling Fuller   Marvin Ligon              Roy White           Cleveland Grant

(April 9)  Item in the Hondo-Anvil Herald

Hondo's famed Ligon All-Stars will put their baseball shenanigans against the nationally known House of David Friday, April 23, at the Hondo High school ball park east of the football field.

The spectacular House of David will stage their amazing "pepper game" display in the fifth inning of the game. They average 150 games per season and for the past two seasons have played to nearly half a million paid admissions.

Organized in 1946 by George Ligon Jr. of Hondo, the Colored All-Stars have covered 94,380 miles in their own private bus since that time. They have played in three states of Mexico, four Canadian provinces, and twenty of the forty-eight U.S. states.

Their 1947 season was highly successful as they won 120 out of 151 games played, losing 29 and tying 2. The All-Stars won first prize money at the Indian Head, Saskatchewan Baseball Tournament.

During 1946 they won 96 out of 128 games, losing 32.

Ligon's team has their spring training camp at Hondo and players come from all over the south-western part of the United States, including Oklahoma, Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas.

One of the outstanding attractions is Claude "Lightning" Williams, who does a fine job of clowning and playing at first base. Another star is Rufus "Lefty" Ligon, who has played with the Memphis Red Sox and other Negro Major League teams.

Popularity of the All-Stars is shown by the fact they they have played repeat games in most of the towns on their circuit, and plan to cover much the same territory during 1948.

Included in the lineup are the following players :

Pitchers : Roy D. White, Kenny Broady, Art Walker, Rufus Ligon, Levy James.

Catchers : Henry Underwood, Speedy Williams

Outfielders : Melvin Ford rf, James Willis cf, Porter Reed lf, Sterling Fuller (Utility).

Infielders :  Lightning Williams 1b, Houston Traison 2B, Art Bryant ss, Cleveland Grant 3b.

Manager : George Ligon Jr., Hondo.

Booking Agent :  Guy L. Rathbun, 111 S.Howard St., Spokane, W.

(June 20)   Negro League veteran Rufus Ligon took on the pitching chores, after starter Jim Jefferson went down with an arm injury, and hurled the Colored All-Stars to a 4-0 verdict Sunday evening over the Prince Albert Veterans.  Ligon's battery mate Henry Underwood also was sidelined when he split a finger on a foul tip. The scheduled afternoon contest was called off in the first inning on account of rain after the Ligon's had run up a 5-0 lead.  Albert Knutson, pitching for the Veterans gave up five straight walks and Bo Carlson who replaced Knutson was touched for a single, hit a batter and walked one before the game was called.  Ligon's were seldom in trouble in the evening affair. The All-Stars broke a scoreless tie in the 6th inning when Cleveland Grant, Sterling Fuller and Toby Simms punched out singles. They added three more in the 9th as Tom Snoddy started a rally with a triple to left. Ligon reached when hit by a pitch and Johnny Johnson and Brown followed with singles. Ray Friesen took the loss.

R.Ligon (W) and xxx
Friesen (L) and xxx

Fuller & Ligon(June 23)   Muskogee Cardinals were scheduled to meet the Brandon Greys at Kinsmen Memorial Stadium Monday night.

The Cardinals are under the reins of Danny Thomas, dimunitive (sic) second sacker who appeared here last year with the Ligon All-Stars, and they have a star studded aggregation.  The Greys and Cardinals tangled at the southern town last week with the colored club gaining a 7-4 win.  Thomas has in his lineup Travis Taylor and Raymond Woosley, both teammates of his with Ligon's last season.

Also included in the lineup are several young colored stars who attend college in the winter and make the northern circuit with the club in the summer. (Brandon Daily Sun, June 24, 1948)

(Wed June 23)  George Ligon's Colored All-Stars won top money in Brandon's invitational tournament downing the Greys 5-3 before 25-hundred fans in the final.  Ensloe Wylie allowed eleven hits but fanned thirteen as the All-Stars took advantage of two Brandon errors to score three times in the 4th inning.  Toby Simms and Sterling Fuller each had two hits.  Bus Quinn paced the Greys with two hits and two RBI.

R Reynoldson (L) and Christopher
Wylie (W) and Underwood

Quinn tossed a four-hit shutout and belted a triple as Brandon reached the final with a 5-0 win over Minot.  Coney Williams had three hits for the Greys.

Quinn (W) and Christopher
Keck, Claussen and Tiller

Roy White also pitched a four-hit shutout as the All-Stars downed Winnipeg Reos 4-0.  He chalked up eleven strikeouts and walked two.  The Browns were much in evidence.  Second baseman Eddie Brown and centre fielder Jack Brown of the All-Stars provided the fielding gems of the game robbing Murray Brown of the Reos of base hits in the 6th and 8th innings. 

Walker (L) and Merlevede
White (W) and Underwood

(June 23)   Steve Ensloe Wylie "big, righthanded chucker" left the Ligon Colored All-Stars to join the Brandon Greys.  Wylie had just finished pitching the All-Stars to a win over the Greys in the Brandon tournament.

Winners in Brandon

(June 27)   The Ligon All-Stars took both ends of Sunday's double-bill with the Bohemians 12-5 and 5-1. The home squad were spotted two runs in the first inning of the afternoon fixture as Arnold Casey and Lefty Logue scored on Andy Zwack's double. Roy White then held the Bohs off the scoreboard over the next six innings allowing just one hit. The All-Stars tied the game 2-2 in the 3rd as Johnny Johnson and Ed Brown both singled and scored. Steve Wylie started a five-run onslaught in the 4th with a ringing triple and was followed around the diamond by Sterling Fuller, Tom Snoddy, White and Johnson before the Bohemians could halt the proceedings.  Cleveland Grant added one for the All-Stars in the 6th stealing his way around the sacks after reaching with a base on balls.  Fuller, White and Ed Brown plated runs in the 7th and Snoddy scored the final Ligon marker in the 9th. White gave up just six hits in pitching the victory. He fanned 11.

White (W) and Jack Brown
Kowaksky (L) and Zwack

Big Jim Jefferson limited Prince Albert to five hits in the nightcap, two of them in the 7th inning when the Bohemians scored their lone tally.  Lefty Logue was touched for nine safeties in taking the loss. After four scoreless frames, Ligon's plated a run in the 5th when Fuller reached on a fielder's choice, was sacrificed to second and came home on Jefferson's base knock.  A four-run 5th inning by Ligon's put the game out of reach. Eddie Brown was walked and Jackie Brown followed with a single.  The runners advanced on a sacrifice and both scored when Buchanan muffed Underwood's drive to left.  Fuller tripled to right field and in turn scored when Carle dropped Snoddy's drive to centre field.

Jefferson (W) and Underwood
Logue (L) and Zwack

(June 28)   George Ligon's colored All-Stars whipped Regina Red Sox 12-1 pounding out 17 hits against three Regina pitchers.  Roy White tossed a five-hitter for the All-Stars fanning 16.  Jackie Brown led the Ligon's at the plate with four hits. Toby Simms and White each had three.

White (W) and J Brown
Foster, R Harrison (4), C Harrison (7) and McFarland

(June 29)   Regina Caps, with a huge assist from Johnny Johnson of the Ligon All-Stars, picked up top prize of $300 at the Lanigan baseball tournament.  Johnson, on loan to the Caps, pitched 27 straight innings to lead Regina to three victories and the championship.  After Quill Lake got toe Caps' starter Chris Gerein for three runs in the 3rd inning of the first game, Johnson took over and the Caps went on to a 7-4, 12 inning triumph.  Johnson then shutout Liberty Eagles 4-0 in the semi-final and went the distance in the final as Regina topped Sioux Indians 8-3.  Two more Ligon's, Sterling Fuller and Cleveland Grant, along with Gordie Knutson of the Regina Red Sox bolstered the Caps' lineup.

(July 15)   Ligon's All-Stars fell behind 4-0 in the first inning but bounced back with four runs in the 7th and a pair in the 8th for a 9-5 win over Lethbridge All-Stars.  Lefty Jack Johnson allowed just seven hits in registering the win. Felix McLaren had a double and two singles to lead the hitters.  Toby Simms, Ligon's second sacker had a pair of safeties.  The winning outburst in the 7th included singles by Eddie Brown and Tom Snoddy and McLaren's double.

Johnson (W) and Underwood
Petrie (L), Kucheran (8) and Petrunia

(August 1)   Ligon's Colored All-Stars swept an exhibition double-header from Prince Albert Bohemians Sunday defeating the locals 4-1 and 5-2. Johnny Johnson fired a four-hitter to post the win in the opener. He fanned 13 and walked five. Stan Kowalski pitched well for the locals allowing just five hits while striking out seven and issuing two free passes. The All-Stars scored first as Henry Underwood crossed the plate in the 3rd inning helped by a brace of errors. They added one in the 4th on Underwood's sacrifice fly.  Jackie Brown and Felix McLaren each doubled and scored for the visitors in the 6th. Berle Fisher, who had doubled, brought in the only Bohs run in the 7th.

Johnson (W) and Underwood
Kowalski (L) and Zwack

Bohemians belted two homers, by Andy Zwack and Doug Boettcher, in the second game but they were the only runs for the locals as Ligon's notched the 5-2 triumph.  The visitors got a run in the first as White, leading off, walked and rounded the bases on ground balls.  They added a pair in the 3rd with Sterling Fuller sending a sharp single to right, advancing on an error and scoring on McLaren's booming double off the left field fence. McLaren came home on an overthrow.  The All-Stars completed the scoring in the 5th on two hits and two walks.  Toby Simms was the winning pitcher besting Lefty Logue. Each gave up eight hits.

Simms (W) and Underwood
Logue (L) and Zwack

(Aug 2)   Brandon scored two wins over the touring Ligon All-Stars, 3-1 and 7-6.  Greys got just three hits in the first game off Roy White but all came in the 4th inning as Brandon scored three times on a triple by Bus Quinn, single by Ian Lowe and homer by Rafe CabreraJack Sinclair held the All-Stars to four hits.  In the second game. Coney Williams' single scored Stan Clark in the 8th inning with the winning run as the Greys over-came a 5-1 deficit to sweep the twin-bill.  Clark led the Greys with three hits and scored four times.  Sterling Fuller had three doubles and a single for the visitors.  

White and Underwood
Sinclair and Christopher, Cabrera

Henry and Underwood
Watkins and Cabrera

(Aug 4)   Two upsets marked the opening day of the Indian Head tournament.  Gail Shupe, the former Winnipeg Maroon hurler, pitched Rouleau to a 4-3 win over the Ligon All-Stars.  Williston, North Dakota lost to Liberty 3-0.  

(Aug 16)  21-year-old Roy White held Brandon to four hits as the Ligon All-Stars topped the Greys 5-1.  Ian Lowe's homer accounted for the lone Brandon marker. 

White and Underwood
Sinclair and Christopher

(August 18)   Ligon's Colored All-Stars put on an entertaining show for the Estevan fans at Nicholson Park Wednesday as they walked away with an 8-2 victory.  Ligon's scored a pair in the first inning and one in the second to take a lead they held throughout.  Roy White slammed a triple for the winners, the longest hit of the day.  Jim Jefferson drew applause and chuckles from the crowd in the 5th as he played stadium announcer and called his shot - a bunt with a tiny kid's bat.

Johnson (W) and Jefferson
H.Barden, Chapman and B.Barden

Ligon's All-Stars were reported to have played 153 games in 1948, winning 122 and losing 31.

1948 Ligons

Left to right : Doug Bentley (Delisle), Ligon's batboy, Donald Schwans, Roy White, Marvin Ligon, Jackie Brown, Leroy Jefferson, Thomas Snoddy, Henry Underwood, Eddie Brown, Cleveland Grant, Toby Simms, Sterling Fuller ?, Jonny Johnson, George Ligon. Missing - Rufus Ligon 

Ligon's All-Stars, 1948 :  Broady Ken P, Brown Eddie 2B, Brown Jackie OF,  Bryant Art INF, Fuller Sterling OF/2B, Grant Cleveland 3B, Henry Preacher P, Jefferson LeRoy, Johnson Jack OF/LHP, Ligon George MGR, Ligon Marvin, Ligon Rufus P, McLaren Felix, Reed Porter OF, Simms Toby SS, Snoddy Tom 1B, Underwood Henry C, White RoyD. P, Wylie Steve P


1949 Ad

(Left -- an ad in The Sporting News in March, 1949)

(June 13)  George Ligon's coloured All-Stars took a pair of exhibition tilts from the Regina Caps, 10-8 and 10-6. 

Toby Simms belted a homer and a triple to pace Ligon's to the win in the opener.  Fred Bankhead had three hits for the winners while Jackie Fulton and Shaffer Green each had three for the Caps.

R Ligon and Bailey
Green, Vogt (5) and G Kyle

Ligon's broke loose for two runs in the 8th and three in the 9th to down the Caps 10-6 in the second game.  Regina had taken a 4-0 lead in the opening frame.  Aquillon Bailey, who had two hits, including a triple, in the first game belted three safeties in the evening encounter.  Curtis Tate went the distance for the win. Green added another two hits for Regina.

Tate and Harland
Harrison, Vogt (9) and G Kyle

(June 14)   Estevan Maple Leafs upset Ligon's Colored All-Stars 4-3 as the Ligon's began their 1949 tour of the prairies. Mike Dubyk got the Leafs off on the right foot with a three-run homer in the first inning scoring Gary McKechney and Frank John ahead of him.  Dubyk later added a double and single.  Ligon's got one in the first as Fred Bankhead stole second and third after reaching with a walk and came home on an error.  They tied the game in the 2nd when Buford Holland tripled and scored as Marvin Ligon reached on an error. Ligon came around to score on Jabe Brazzell's two-bagger. Leafs got the winner in the 7th as John singled to drive in McKechney had had made it to first on a fielder's choice and advanced on Johner's single.  Dale Abbott, a junior age player, picked up the win in relief of starter Don Chapman.       

Chapman, Abbott (W) (6) and Dubyk
Brazzell (L) and Holland

(June 16)   Moose Jaw Canucks were awarded an exhibition victory over the Ligon All-Stars after a 10th inning rhubarb over a balk call.  Canucks were handed the win by umpire Paul Bozak when All-Stars' manager George Ligon walked on the field to protest a decision.  When he refused to leave the field the game was called.  The dispute hinged on a balk call on Ligon pitcher Rufus Ligon.  The visitors were leading 4-3 when the contest was ended.  Lefty Lauer and Elmer Torgerson worked the hill for Moose Jaw.

George Ligon and his Negro Stars, who come from California in a bus with Texas plates, are back for the fifth straight year ... billed against the (Regina) Caps tonight.  On Monday, Caps have a date with Muskogee Cardinals, another touring club.  Next Friday and Saturday, Nick Pappas has booked the House of David and Harlem Globe-Trotters for an all-tourist show and on the following Wednesday ... Caps will appear against San Francisco Sea Lions.  (Tom Melville, Regina Leader-Post, June 17, 1949)

(June 21) Baseball-hungry Saskatonians over-flooded the seating capacity at Cairns Field and standing room only around the perimeter of the diamond and outfield fence was the order of the evening as the touring Ligon Colored All-Stars defeated a Saskatoon club composed of players from both the Cubs and Legion of the Saskatoon & District Baseball League by an 8 - 3 score. Jack Woods twirled a five-hitter for the winners. Ligon's combed a trio of Hub City hurlers for 14 hits. Toby Simms, lively Ligon shortstop, belted two triples.

Woods (W) and Holland
Grossman (L), Currie (4), Jones (7) and Sasseville, Huckaby (7)

(June 24)   At Dauphin, the locals had a 4-2 lead on the Ligon All-Stars when rain in the 4th inning forced cancellation of the game. 

Wood and Holland
J Nash and Ball

(June 26)  The Ligon All-Stars downed Gilbert Plains 3-0 in the final to win the Yorkton tournament.  A bases-loaded triple in the 8th inning accounted for all the scoring.  Vic Franczak went the distance to take the loss.  Gilbert Plains had earlier topped Ryan 5-2 behind the pitching of Orville Minish and whipped The Pas 12-6.  Rico Lysecki, with relief from Minish in the 7th, picked up the win.  Bill Murray clubbed a homer for Gilbert Plains.

(June 28)   Veteran lefty Rufus Ligon and Brandon's young Dirk Gibbons hooked up in a pitchers' duel under the lights at Brandon.  When it was over the Greys had notched a 5-4 win over the Ligon Coloured All-Stars and picked up their 28th victory in 30 games.  Gibbons allowed just four hits and fanned 16.  Ligon pitched a five-hitter and struck out eight.  Each pitcher walked just one batter.  Playing-manager Ian Lowe paced the Greys driving in four runs.  Toby Simms knocked in two for the Stars with a double and single. 

R Ligon and Holland
Gibbons (8-0) and Rodriguez

(June 29)  Brandon notched its 29th and 30th wins of the season with a double-header sweep of the Ligon All-Stars.  Greys scored a 5-2 win in the afternoon contest and trounced the All-Stars 14-5 in the night game. After Frank Watkins bested Eddie Woods in the opener, the clubs took the offensive in the nightcap.  Rafe Cabrera drove in three runs for the Greys with two triples and a single, Coney Williams had three hits and Chuck Wilson blasted a homer.  Toby Simms belted a pair of three-baggers for the All-Stars.

Woods and Holland
Watkins (6-0) and Rodriguez

Simms, Woods (2) and Holland
Vasquez (3-0) and Rodriguez

(July 13)   The All-Stars whipped the North Battleford Beavers 13-3 in a game held up for 15 minutes due to a third-inning rain storm.  The Ligon's took the lead for good with a five-run third inning.  Toby Simms, Fred Bankhead and Les Dean blasted homers.

(July 18)   The Prince Albert Bohemians of the Hi-Way Baseball League edged the Ligon All-Stars 3-2 as Lefty Logue, on loan from the Prince Albert Vets of the Saskatoon and District League, tossed a seven-hitter besting Ed Woods of the All-Stars.  Marvin Ligon had the only extra base hit, a triple.  

Logue (W) and xxx
Woods (L) and xxx

(July 28)  At the Indian Head tournament, Carrot River won by default over the Ligon All-Stars after a protest over a controversial play in the 5th inning with the Loggers ahead 3-2. A Ligon's runner collided with the Loggers' shortstop in trying to break up a double play and officials called out the runner going to first.  Ligon's refused to resume the quarter-final game in protest over the decision and when fans moved onto the field umpire Rudy Brooker awarded the win to the Loggers.

Woods and Holland
Polus and McLean

Ligon All-Stars earlier scored a 5-1 win over Woodrow.

(July 31)   Ligon All-Stars swept an exhibition double-header in Flin Flon, 7-1 and 16-1 against the local all-stars.

Over 4,000 Flin Flon sports fans proved without a doubt here yesterday, that this town can support any form of high class entertainment, providing proper facilities are provided, when they flooded the Foster Park area to witness two exhibition ball games.

The estimated 2,000 spectators attending each game overflowed from the 375 seats in the bleachers and grandstand packing the rocks behind home plate, swarming on top of cars and trucks, and encircling the entire field. (Flin Flon Daily Reminder, August 1, 1949)

The visitors put on a good show and their admitted superiority gave them ample opportunity to provide merriment as well as good baseball.  Claude "Pappy" Williams, rotund first sacker for the Stars carried the top role as funster and at the same time showed amazing ability and dexterity with his "claw" at the corner sack.

Donning catcher's equipment in the 8th inning of the twilight tilt, he caught in various positions including lying flat on the ground, with his mitt a target that pitcher Rufus Ligon hit with unerring aim.  (Flin Flon Daily Miner, August 1, 1949)

Ed Woods pitched a six-hitter, with 15 strikeouts, to take the 7-1 win for the Ligon's in the opener.  Toby Simms belted a homer and Buford Holland added a triple for the visitors.  Williams, Curtis Tate and Woods had doubles.  Buddy Killick went the distance for Flin Flon giving up 11 hits.  He struck out 10.  

Rufus Ligon held the locals to seven hits in the second game.  He fanned seven and walked none.  Holland had four hits.  

Woods and Holland
Killick and Lyons

Davidson, Kapphahn (7), Shockey (7) and Lyons
R Ligon and Holland, Williams (8)

("Shockey" is believed to have one of the Ligon's hurlers -- Bilbo -- who was billed as a pitcher up from Kamsack to help out the Flin Flon club.  Marvin Ligon says he can't remember how they came up with the name, but on the bus after the game Bilbo was the brunt of jokes calling him the "pitcher from Kamsack".)

(Aug 9)   Regina Caps and Ligon All-Stars battled to a 4-4 tie in an exhibition tilt at Taylor Field.  Al "Red" Staley's single with two out in the bottom of the 9th drove in the tying run.  The game was called because of darkness.  Caps carried a 2-0 lead into the 7th when the All-Stars plated three to take the lead.  Each team scored in the 8th.  Tony Maze went the distance for Regina allowing six hits.  He fanned seven and issued one base on balls.  Veteran lefty Rufus Ligon started for the visitors giving way to Frank Pearson in the sixth.  

R Ligon, Pearson (6) and Holland
Maze and Kyle

(Aug 11)   New Orleans Creoles, with female second baseman Toni Stone making an appearance, downed the Southern league All-Stars 8-4 at Taylor Field.  Creoles broke open a tight game with three runs in the 7th inning and a pair in the 8th.   Lefthander Jonny Johnson, who performed with Ligon's in 1948, held the All-Stars to seven hits in going the distance.  Al Pinkson, "giant New Orleans rightfielder" had two hits, including a towering homer.  Stone was hitless in her one trip to the plate. 

Johnson and Swanson
Maze and Kyle

(Aug 20)   Ligon All-Stars scored three runs in their first at bat and went on to trounce Minot Merchants 11-5.  The visitors banged out 17 hits off Ed Claussen and Rasmussen including three apiece by Tom Snoddy, AQ Bailey and Pepper Sharpe.  Bailey had a triple and a homer.  Fred Bankhead, Toby Simms and Curtis Tate each had a pair of safeties.  Rufus Ligon went the first five innings for the All-Stars with Ed Woods finishing up.  

R Ligon, Woods (6) and Holland
Claussen, Rasmussen (8) and Tiller

(Aug 21)  Minot turned the tables on the Ligon All-Stars breaking loose for three in the first inning en route to an 8-1 exhibition victory before more than 14-hundred fans at Minot.  Al Bryant tossed a seven-hitter for the win.  Ted Strong had a triple, double and two singles in five trips to the plate.  Toby Simms had three hits for the visitors.

Brazzle and Holland
Bryant and Tiller

Ligon's All-Stars, 1949 :  Bailey Aquillon OF, Bankhead Fred 2B, Bilbo P, Brazzell Jabe P-OF,  Holland Buford C, Ligon George MGR, Ligon Marvin OF, Ligon Rufus P, Pearson Frank P, Sharpe Pepper OF, Simms Toby SS, Snoddy Tom 1B, Tate Curtis 3B, Waites Ellsworth OF, Williams Claude(Lightning) 1B, Woods Ed P.


The following item appeared in the San Antonio Register (San Antonio, Tex.), Friday, April 21, 1950

Ligons travelLigon's All Stars of Hondo, who will be seen in action, here, Sunday, against the San Antonio Aztecs baseball team, has since 1946, covered more mileage than any other team in the Southwest.

Organized, that year, by George Ligon, Jr., of Hondo, the All Stars have traveled 177,380 miles by bus, train, plane, and boat, since 1946. The All Stars have played in 20 of the 48 states of the United States, three states of Mexico, and four Canadian provinces.

Record Very Good

In 1948, they played 153 games, winning 122, while losing 31. In 1947, they won 120 out of 151 games, as well as taking first price at the Indian Head, Saskatchewan, baseball tournament.

In 1949, they played 149, lost 28, and won 121 games. They won first price at the Knights of Columbus tournament at Yorkton, Sask. Thus, playing 453 games in three years, they have won 363, lost 90 games.

The Ligon players come from all over the southwestern part of the United States, including Oklahoma, Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. Their spring training is done at Hondo, formerly the home of the world's largest air force navigation school.

Tom SnoddyOne of the stars of the team is Eddie "Lefty" Woods, a capable moundsman. Another ace is Rufus "Lefty" Ligon, who has played with the Memphis Red Sox, and other Negro major league teams.

"Spring Legs" Snoddy (right) is known far and wide for his lively cavorting around first base. One of the most versatile performers is Jack Brown, who can play just about any position on the field.

Popularity of the All Stars is attested to by the fact that they have played repeat games in most of the towns of their circuit, and plan to cover most of the same territory, this season.

(May 24)   Regina announced the arrival of two "colored" imports, Claude Williams and Ira Wells.  The 32-year-old Williams was described as a 235-pound first baseman.  He had played previously with the Ligon All-Stars.  Wells was reported to be 27 years old in his first season in Canada.  He played in Austin in 1949 and with the Memphis Red Sox of the Negro American League in 1948.  Both called Austin, Texas home.  Catcher Sherman Watrous also arrived with the pair. 

(July 5)  California Mohawks beat Indian Head 5-2 to capture first prize money of $1,000 in the Foam Lake tournament.  Jake Abbott went the route on the hill for the Mohawks besting the Rockets' Jim Morrow.  

The California collegians trounced the Carrot River Loggers 11-0 in a semi-final as Lawrence Bolger tossed the shutout.  In opening rounds, Mohawks trounced the Ligon All-Stars 15-7 and got by Quill Lake 5-3.  

(June 13)  Ligon's All-Stars shaded Weyburn 6-5.  

(June 20)  Ligon All-Stars took an early 6-2 lead and held on to down Regina Caps 7-5.  Henry Nears, with a triple and double, and six-foot-five shortstop Bernard Willis with a homer paced the All-Stars.  Curtis Tate and Tom Snoddy banged out triples and Marvin Ligon added a double for the visitors.  Del Wardien and Art Stone socked triples for the Caps.  Jack Lefty Woods went the distance for Ligon's.

Woods and Holland
Harrison, Searcie (4) and Warwick, Kyle (7)

(June 24)   Ligon's Colored All-Stars added two more wins taking a twin-bill from the Lumsden Royals at Taylor Field, Regina.  Ligon's won the afternoon contest 15-3 and escaped with a 4-2 win in the evening encounter.  Buford Holland, Art Neal and Bernard Willis each had two hits in the opener.  Marvin Ligon went hitless but reached base six times and scored four times.  In the second game, Felix Valdez held the Royals to four hits.  Ligon's lost the services of third baseman Curtis Tate and outfielder A.G. Bailey.  Both jumped the club with hopes of joining North Battleford.

McClenaghan, McMurtry and Frolick
Lewis, English and Holland

Valdez and Nears
McMurtry and Ross

(June 29) Sceptre walked off with the $1,400 first price in the Melfort tournament trouncing the Ligon All-Stars 17-9 in the final.  Bert Olmstead picked up the win in relief.  Ligon shortstop Bernard Willis was the hitting star with two homers and a triple.  

Sceptre reached the final topping Carrot River Loggers 6-1.  The Loggers had knocked Regina out of further play with a 5-4 victory.  Ligon's ousted Saskatoon Legion 6-5.  

In opening round action, Saskatoon Legion upset Delisle 5-3 with four runs in the eighth inning.  Ligon's Colored All-Stars advanced with an 11-5 win over Eston and Sceptre defeated the California Mohawks 4-1.  More than 15-hundred fans were on hand for the first round games.

(July 5) The report in the Regina Leader Post said more than 12-thousand fans were on hand as the California Mohawks beat Indian Head 5-2 to capture first prize money of $1,000 in the Foam Lake tournament.

Jake Abbott went the route on the hill for the Mohawks besting the Rockets' Jim Morrow.  

The California collegians trounced the Carrot River Loggers 11-0 in a semi-final as Lawrence Bolger tossed the shutout.  Indian Head beat Estevan 12-7 to reach the finals.

The defending champion Delisle Gems were knocked out in the first round.  In earlier action, Estevan got by Eston 8-6, the Mohawks whipped the Ligon All-Stars 15-7, Indian Head dumped Kamsack 17-9, and the Loggers upset Sceptre 7-2. 

In the opening round of the sixteen-team tournament, Kamsack Cyclones surprised Delisle by scoring a 2-1 victory before more than 6-thousand fans.  Eston edged Saskatoon Legion 5-4 in eleven innings.  Mohawks beat Quill Lake 5-3, Ligon All-Stars topped Watson 9-1, Sceptre beat Muskogee Cardinals 8-4, Indian Head scored a 9-2 win over Yorkton, Estevan Maple Leafs defeated Shelo 7-2 and Carrot River beat Elfros 9-2.

(July 19)  Regina Caps upset Sceptre 5-3 to take $1,450 top prize money in the second annual Nipawin Curling Club's tournament.  Sceptre took an early lead on a two-run, first inning homer by Bert Olmstead.  Caps got a two-run homer from Gus Kyle in the second.  Caps added two in the fourth and another in the sixth.  

In the semi-finals, Regina whipped the California Mohawks 8-1 and Sceptre downed Carrot River 6-2.

In first round games, Don Barnett tossed a three-hit shutout as the Mohawks beat Delisle 6-0, Carrot River scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to edge the Ligon All-Stars 8-7, Neil Courtoreille allowed just five hits as Sceptre shutout Muskogee 8-0, and Regina beat Eston 8-4.

Ligon All-Stars

Front row (left to right) : Isidro Beltran, Chino Valdez, AQ Bailey, Buford Holland, James Neal, Kenneth Broady, Thomas Snoddy, Marvin Ligon.  Back row : Felix Valdez, Lewis, Edward Woods, Rufus Ligon, Bernard Willis, Bilbo, Henry "Red" Nears, Curtis Tate.

1950  Ligon's All-Stars : Bailey Andy AQ OF, Beltran Isidro OF, Bilbo 3B, Broady Ken P, Holland Buford C, Lewis P, Ligon Marvin OF, Ligon Rufus P, Neal James (Art?) OF, Nears "Red" Henry OF, O'Neill OF, Snoddy Tom 1B, Tate Curtis 3B, Valdez Chino, Valdez Felix 2B, Willis Bernard SS, Woods Edward Lefty


(N/A) Saskatoon 55s whipped the Ligon All-Stars 14-1 as Bob Herron belted a homer, triple and two singles to pace a 14-hit attack.  Murray Coben had a one-hitter over five innings, but with a 13-0 lead he handed over the mound chores to Roy TaylorJaycee Kelley and Jabe Brazzle worked the hill for the All-Stars.

(June 24)  Prince Albert  Ligon's 3 Medicine Hat 8
Kelly, Brazzel (9) and Scott
Watkins and Noce

(June 27)  Rain washed out the semi-finals and final of the $2,500 Biggar tournament.  

Saskatoon 55s, Eston Ramblers, Delisle Gems and Ligon All-Stars had advanced after the first round.   

The feature of the opening day was a two-hitter by Saskatoon's Jack Hannah as the 55s upset the powerful Sceptre club 5-1. The 55s backed up the 17-year-old's mound effort with eight hits off Cliff Jacobson including six doubles -- two each by Bob Garcia and Sherman Watrous.  Eston squeaked out a 3-2, 11-inning, win over North Battleford as playing-manager Jimmy Shields singled, stole second and romped home on a single by Grant Locke.  Delisle defeated Kindersley Klippers 5-1 and Ligon All-Stars shaded Colonsay Monarchs 6-4.

Each of the semi-finalists received $250 with the first round losers -- Sceptre, North Battleford, Colonsay and Kindersley -- pocketing $100 each.

(July 6)  The host club won.  Sceptre Panthers erupted for four runs in the sixth inning to defeat North Battleford Beavers 6-3 in the final game.  Panthers outhit the Beavers 14-5.

North Battleford 3 Sceptre 6
Wylie, P Polus and Prediger, Green
Jarvis and Garay

The Panthers downed the Delisle Gems, and North Battleford got by Swift Current in the semi-finals.

Also in the tournament were Eston, Shaunavon, Ligon All-Stars and Kindersley.

(July 6)  Matt Slavich cracked a seventh inning homer with Frank Deak aboard to five Lethbridge Miners a 6-4 triumph over the touring Ligon Colored All-Stars.  Stumpo Kimoto picked up the win in relief of starter Hec Negrello. Jay Brazzle went the route for the visitors, giving up 11 hits. The All-Stars had nine, including a homer by Sonny McCullough in the second frame. Pete Lysak had a triple, double and single for the Miners. Ken Broady and Bill Earl each had a pair for Ligon's.

Brazzle (L) and Scott
Negrello, Kimoto (W) (7) and Deak

(July 16)   Estevan Maple Leafs erupted for nine runs in the 1st inning en route to a 13-2 win over Swift Current Indians.  Included in the onslaught were triples from Leroy Pettus, Bill McCullough and Wilbur GreeneCurly Andrews added a double.  Collins Jones, the only player not to score in the 1st inning, led off the 2nd with a homer.  Junior Walton also had a four-bagger.  Lefty Allan Bryant held the Indians to seven hits with eight strikeouts and one walk.  Andrews and McCullough, former members of the Ligon All-Stars, played their first games with the Leafs.

McManus, Nelson (2) and St. John
Bryant and Landrum

(July 19)  Ligon All-Stars were knocked out of the Indian Head tournament suffering an 18-7 drubbing at the hands of the Estevan Maple Leafs. 

Estevan 18 Ligon's 7
Torgenrud, Lombard (5) and Burleson
Kelley, Broady (3) and Scott

(August 4)    With three runs in the top of the first inning, the All-Stars hung on to blank Yorkton Cardinals 3-0 in an exhibition game at Jubilee Field at Yorkton.  Ken Broady fired the shutout, besting Ernie Koroluk who settled down after the Ligon's big first frame.

Broady and xxx
Ernie Koroluk and xxx

Ligon All-Stars, 1951 :  Brazzle Jay/Jabe P,  Broady Ken P, Brown Jack, Earl Bill, Kelley Jaycee P, Ligon Rufus(Lefty) P, McCullough Sonny 1B, Scott C, Snoddy Tom(Spring Legs) 1B, Woods Eddie(Lefty) P



At the start of the 1953 season the Ligon's used Prince Albert as a home base but the arrangement appears to have lasted just a month or so. 

The local paper, the Prince Albert Herald, began promoting the impending arrival of what was referred to as "Prince Albert's entry into the western Canada tournament and exhibition trail" in it's May 22nd edition. They had no affiliation with any league and no mention was made as to the length of their contractual obligation to represent the city of Prince Albert. It was pointed out that the team would not be playing any pre-season games in Prince Albert but that they would be stopping to take part in a 3 day tournament in Worland, Wyoming on their journey from Texas and that they would probably arrive in Canada a day or two later, but just in time, for their scheduled opener in the well-publicized 1953 Prince Albert Kinsmen tournament. The hype sounded great with exhibition games tentatively scheduled with Nipawin, Carrot River, Tisdale, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Camrose, Wetaskiwin, Yorkton, Regina, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon and North Battleford. Following a long bus trip from Wyoming, the team arrived in the wee hours of the morning of June 9th, the same day as their tournament opener. Luckily for the Ligon squad, the Swift Current Indians who were their scheduled opponent, dropped out and a last minute replacement team of junior aged players from Melfort, the Athletics, provided the opposition.

(June 9)   Prince Albert Imperials scored five in the top of the 1st inning and hung on to beat Melfort Juniors 7-4.  A two-run homer by Washington was the key hit for the Imperials.  19-year-old Bob Holowaty allowed just three hits after the disastrous first frame.

Long, Pierson (W) (5) and Howard
Holowaty (L) and Fennell 

(June 10) The Imperials were eliminated from their own tournament when the Saskatoon Gems laid a 15 - 4 thumping on them in a game which was called at the end of 7 innings with the 10 run lead mercy rule in place.  Jim Ryan had a homer and a double for the Gems while Max Bentley added three singles.

Cisnero, Vera (W) (3) and Dean
Pierce (L), Kelly (6) and Howard

The Saskatoon Gems and the Regina Caps divided the top money in this tournament as dense smoke from the Prince Albert city dump brought the final game to an abrupt and unexpected halt in the 4th inning. This sour ending plus the indifferent play of the Imperials didn't exactly endear the newcomers to the hearts of their adoptive fans.

(June 14)   Four days later, the Medicine Hat Phillies paid a visit to Bohemian Park in Prince Albert and the teams split a doubleheader. The Prince Albert Imperials won the opener 9 - 5.

Quinto, Garrett (3), Bornmuth (4), King (7) and Lambert
W. Kelly and Howard

Medicine Hat rebounded to take the evening encounter by an 8 - 6 count as Walt Tyler went the distance for the win.

Tyler and Lambert
Trouter, Pierson (8) and Howard

(June 14)  The Prince Albert Herald reported that the Imperials' top hitter for their first 4 home games (2 in the tournament and 2 against Medicine Hat) was a local Prince Albert player, Joe Nishnik, who was temporarily added to the roster and was the only non-import player early that season.

(June 17)   North Battleford downed the Prince Albert Ligon's 5-3 in an exhibition match.  Al Vogt, former Regina Cap, and Max Weekly handled the mound chores for the Beavers and allowed just three hits between them.  

Pearson and Howard
Vogt, Weekly (4) and Green

(June 26)  In the Lacombe tournament, George Ligon's Negro All-Stars (who were based in Prince Albert) whipped Indian Head 9-2 to take first prize money ($1,400).  Percy Howard led the All-Stars with a pair of homers.  William Washington had three hits including a two-run homer.  Frank Pearson held the Rockets to just three hits in pitching his second game of the day.

Pearson and Howard
Miranda, Hernandez (5), White (9) and Yzquierdo, Miranda (6)

Ligon's reached the final with a 9-7 win over Delisle.

Hutton, Dinero (2), Murray (6), Coben (6) and Dean
Pearson, Kelly (6) and Howard

Indian Head clobbered Carstairs Cardinals 29-9 in the other semi-final.  Rockets scored ten runs in the opening frame.

Barbon, Prats (3) and Miranda
Kirk, Berlando (1), Gazely (5) and Noble.

Delisle Gems gained the last semi-final berth scoring a 5-4, 10 inning win over the Edmonton Pontiacs in the final game of the opening day.  Third baseman Jimmy Shields scored the winner on Del St. John's single.  

Coben, Lauer (7) and Dean
Seaman, Bill Olson (10) and Bob Olson, Shaw (10)

17-year-old Ivory Long tossed a no-hitter as Ligon's dumped the Central Alberta All-Stars 6-0. 

Devost, McGregor (8) and Martin
Long and Howard

Carstairs Cardinals upset the New York Harlem Black Yankees 4-0 as Don Kirk tossed a three-hit shutout !  

Brown and Shelton
Kirk and Noble

Indian Head scored seven runs in the first inning and held on to top Brooks Buffaloes 9-6.

White, Conner (3), Hernandez (7) and Miranda
Unchelenko, White (1) and McBride

(June 28)   Saskatoon Gems and Prince Albert Imperials split a double-header at Saskatoon, the Imperials taking the opener 10-8, Gems winning the nightcap 2-1.

Jose Vera was the workhorse for the Gems, firing a one-hitter to win the second game after pitching five-plus innings in relief in the first game.  Pete Pierce scattered ten hits to win the opener for the Ligon All-Stars, playing under the banner of the Imperials.  Walt Kelly allowed just six hits in the second contest but suffered the loss.

Leopold Reyes of the Gems went two for three in the opener and one for three in the second game. Sherman Watrous led Saskatoon in the second game with a pair of hits.  Lee Ingram, the Prince Albert second baseman, belted a grand slam homer in the first game, one of his three hits. 

Pierce (W) and Howard
Cisnero (L), Vera (4) and Romay, St. John (7)

W. Kelly (L) and McDaniels, Howard (7)
Vera (W) and Romay

(July 1)  At the Saskatoon Optimist Tournament,  Bennie Griggs pitched Saskatoon's second shutout, a three-hitter, as the Gems downed the Ligon's All-Stars, representing Prince Albert, 8-0.  

Long, Peterson (7) and Howard
Griggs and Shirley

(July 12)   In an exhibition doubleheader at Bohemian Park, the Imperials swept both games against the Prince Albert Bohemian All-stars, a combination of the junior Bohemians' team members and veteran local Prince Albert players.

Imperials - 17 Bohemian All-Stars - 12
Giles, Logue (5) and xxx
Pierson, M. Kelly (3) and Howard

Imperials - 15 Bohemian All-Stars - 1
W. Kelly and Howard
Skalicky, Slonski (4), Giles and xxx

These 2 games against the local talent were the last two that the Imperials played on their so-called home diamond, for a grand total of six home games for the one month season wherein they put down roots. At this point, they completely vanished from Prince Albert and resumed their normal vagabond ways.

(July 17)  Bowsman vs Ligon All-Stars, double-header

(July 19)  Ligon All-Stars dumped the Gems 6-3 in an exhibition game at Cairns Field at Saskatoon.  

Pearson, Long (8) and Howard
Vera, Cisnero (7), Martinez (9) and Romay

(July 27)   Ligon's rookie right-hander Frank Pearson set Lethbridge Miners down on seven hits as the All-Stars downed the Miners 8-1 at Adams Park.  Paul Jones, who joined the Miners just for the exhibition tilt, allowed just nine hits in taking the loss.  Willie Washington led the offense with a three-run homer in the 7th innings.  Fred MacDaniel had three hits.  Matt Slavich had a double and single for the host club. 

Pierson (W) and MacDaniel
Jones (L) and Deak

(July 29)  In a game played in Camrose, the Ligon All-Stars rebounded from an early 5-2 deficit to beat the Edmonton Pontiacs 11-6.  The All-Stars tied the score in the third inning on a run-scoring double by Ingram and a two-run homer by William Washington.  A four-run uprising in the fourth, on three hits and three Edmonton errors, gave the visitors a lead they never relinquished.  Ingram drove in two more counters in the 6th.  Sam Pierce went the distance for the win. 

Pierce and McDaniel
Bill Olson, Harold Callahan and Bob Olson

(July 31)  The Ligon All-Stars dropped a 4-3 decision to Great Falls, Montana in opening round action at the Lethbridge Rotary Tournament.  Spokane Builders went on to capture top money with a 2-1, 10-inning victory over Great Falls in the final.

Ligon All-Stars, 1953

(Aug 14-16)  In weekend action at Brainerd, Minn. Ligon's dropped three straight to the Brainerd Braves as the hometown club ran its record to 31 victories in 33 games. 

" All three games with Ligon's were close engagements and the Sunday night finale at Memorial park was the tightest, most confusing contest player here in three years with the majority of the large crowd which attended going home not realizing just what transpired as Brainerd was awarded a 9-8 decision in the 11th frame." (Brainerd Daily Dispatch)

The hometown Braves had won 7-5 Friday and 6-3 on Saturday.

On Sunday, with the game tied 8-8 in the bottom of the 11th, Dick Connolly led off with a double and Sam Zivkovich laid down a sacrifice bunt and appeared to beat the throw, but was called out by Umpire Fred Broske.  A rhubarb ensued when Umpire Bill Fox overruled Broske.  Fox's ruling held.  When play resumed, Ligon's pulled their entire outfield into the infield to cut off any ground ball.  Pitcher Sam Pierce was ordered to walk Ralph Blinn to load the bases.  With the count 3-0, Blinn reached out and tapped a grounder to first.  Ingram stepped on the bag and tagged the surprised Zivkovich. However, the apparent double-play was not to be.  The umpires called Blinn an automatic out for stepping on the plate in reaching out for the ball.  The next hitter, June, bounced to the first baseman who stepped on the bag for the second out but failed to throw home as Connolly raced across the plate with the winning run.

Cliff Grant paced Ligon's in the series with 7 hits, including a double and homer, in 14 trips to the plate. He knocked in 5 runs.

Fred McDanielsFrank Pearson1953  Ligon's All-Stars / Prince Albert Imperials:  Earl, Grant Cliff LF; Howard Percy C; Ingram Lee 1B; Kelly Milt P/OF; Kelly Walter P/OF; Long Avery P;  McDaniels Fred 3B/C (left);  Mann, Tie INF; Nishnik Joe OF (the only local Prince Albert player); Pearson Frank (picture at right);  Peterson;  Pierce Pete/Sam OF/P;  Trouter John OF/P; Washington William SS/3B



(   )   Lacombe Tournament :  Brooks Buffaloes won top prize.  Carstairs Cardinals, Ligon's California All-Stars, Great Falls Jet Liners, Peace River (Donnelly) All-Stars, Central Alberta All-Stars, Lethbridge Niseis, Edmonton Athletics.

(July 12)  Before the largest sports crowd in the history of Fairview, Alberta, the hometown Imperials upset Ligon's All Stars 15-13 in a wide open affair Monday. The visitors jumped into a 6-0 lead in the first inning before the fans got comfortable. After two frames Ligon's held an 8-6 lead and after five it was 11 to 8 for the touring squad. Ray Kuntz, with some powerful swatting brought the locals back with rallies in the sixth and seventh innings. Kuntz led the batters with a three for four day. Bill Ulmer was the winning hurler, going all the way as did Alexander for the All-Stars.

Alexander (L) and Scott
Ulmer (W) and Bud McLean


Ligons AdThe team continued on the road in the mid 50s.  This advertisement in The Sporting News (May 18, 1955) was an attempt to drum up some business in a markedly declining market for barnstorming teams.