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The Gulfport Shippers were part of the Mississippi Coast Baseball League in the 1950s

The Gulfport Shippers Baseball team during the 1956-1957.
The Gulfport Shippers Baseball team during the 1956-1957. Courtesy of Orbie Patton

Pictured are members of the 1956-57 Gulfport Shippers baseball team.

The Shippers were part of the Mississippi Coast Baseball League that formed in 1954. The name “Gulfport Shippers” should not be confused with other Gulfport baseball teams that had used the same name at various times since 1908.

Pictured are Bat boy, Bernard Magee. Front row Bob Lewis, Harold Sebastian, Jim Knight, Jack Patton, Nollie McCardle, Lou Cospelich. Back row Bill Springer, John Spencer, Hilton Dubuisson, Ray Smith, Carl Lizana, Dick Cospelich, Orbie Patton-Manager. Not pictured are Ed Clark, Jerry Daniels, Lawny Ferril, Harold Pavolina, Ray Sinopoli and Lee Wescovich. The team consisted of former professional and college players and locals who were good enough to play the game.

The eight teams that participated in the Mississippi Coast Baseball League during the 1956-57 season were the Biloxi Cardinals, D’Iberville All Stars, Gulfport Shippers, Kent’s Men’s Store (Biloxi), Ocean Springs Dude Ranch, Pas-Point (Pascagoula and Moss Point) Comets, Slidell Independents and Success all Stars.

According to Orbie Patton, who was one of the original organizers and its charter president, the Mississippi Coast Baseball League was registered with the National Baseball Congress of Wichita, Kansas, and they organized the first Mississippi Coast Umpire Association. The league disbanded about 1984.

Murella H. Powell, a local historian, writes the weekly Flashback column. Do you have a local photograph to submit to Flashback? It can be of any subject or event in the Coast’s distant or recent past. Please send a description with your name, address and phone number to Flashback, Sun Herald, P.O. Box 4567, Biloxi MS39535; call 896-2424; or email living@sunherald.com.

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