Jasper Steers

Jasper Steers (HM2DL5)

Location: Jasper, TX 75951 Jasper County
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Country: United States of America
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N 30° 55.026', W 93° 56.805'

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In a time of segregated activities including sports, logging contractor Elmer Simmons organized the Jasper Steers, an African American baseball team. Simmons bought all bleachers, lighting, dressing rooms and concession stands from a defunct Louisiana baseball team in the 1940s. The facilities were shipped and reassembled as Steer Stadium east of Jasper, and Simmons hired African American players for his barnstorming team. The Steers traveled around the country, showing off the talent of the players, who claimed they were capable of playing any professional team. They were one of many independent black semi-professional baseball teams in the United States at the time.

Local white baseball teams sometimes played practice games against the Steers. In 1954-55, Steer Stadium also hosted home games for the Jasper High School Bulldogs, the town's baseball team for white students, who had no home field of their own. Simmons offered a spot on the Steers roster to one of the high school pitchers, who spent a year traveling around the United States and Canada with the now-integrated team.

The Steers played their last game as a team in 1961. By this time the color barrier had been broken in professional baseball and there were more opportunities for African American players to enter professional leagues. Many of those who made the roster served their communities as teachers, authors, ministers, school administrators, coaches, businessmen and leaders, and even as baseball players in the major leagues. The team enabled players to showcase their talents, and the games provided community entertainment and created role models for African American youth.
HM NumberHM2DL5
Year Placed2014
Placed ByTexas Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Tuesday, January 15th, 2019 at 7:03pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 409537 N 3420798
Decimal Degrees30.91710000, -93.94675000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 30° 55.026', W 93° 56.805'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds30° 55' 1.5600000000002" N, 93° 56' 48.3" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)409
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 184 Co Rd 293, Jasper TX 75951, US
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