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Pro baseball still alive in Jackson

By By Austin Bishop / regional sports editor
July 3, 2002
Writing words of Wisdom on a Wednesday while wondering whatever happened to Roscoe Tanner …
A year ago Smith-Wills Stadium sat silent.
For 25 years there had been Minor League baseball of some sort in the stadium that was once the home of the Jackson Mets, Jackson Generals and Jackson DiamondKats.
The future of professional baseball in the capitol city of Mississippi did not look good. Not good at all. In fact, bleak would have been a good description.
But then this year, on very short notice, the Tyler franchise of the independent Central Baseball League moved to Jackson.
There was some doubt as to how the fans would react to another nonaffiliated Minor League team inhabiting Smith-Wills.
The way Craig Brasfield sees it, the public's reaction to the Jackson Senators has been good.
Not only is Brasfield the team's vice president and general manager pleased with the way things are going at the turnstiles, he also likes what is happening on the field.
Going into Tuesday night's game with the San Angelo Colts the Senators were tied with Springfield/Ozark for first place in the CBL East with identical 22-20 records.
Before coming to Jackson to run things for the Senators, Brasfield ran the operations for the Alexandria (La.) Aces, one of the charter members of the now-defunct Texas-Louisiana League. Most of that league's teams are now members of the CBL.
The first half of the season comes to a close on Sunday, with Jackson getting the opportunity to play the last six games of the first half at home as they chase a division title.
The East first-half winner, will face the second-half winner in a best-of-five series to see which team advances to the CBL championship series against the winner of the West.
There are two names on the Jackson roster that local fans should be very familiar with.
Former Meridian High School standout Gerard McCall, who was drafted by the Chicago White Sox out of high school, is the team's starting catcher, while former Neshoba Central standout and Cleveland Indians farm hand Tommy Bost, plays first and outfield, as well as seeing action as the designated hitter.
Bost leads the team at the plate with a .320 average.
While Brasfield says he is enjoying seeing the team win, he says the club needs to build its fan base in order to survive.
Despite being an independent league which means that no Major League teams provide players or pay any of their salaries Brasfield said the eight-team CBL has a good chance to survive.