Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

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23 May

This Week in Southern Baseball (by AtlCrackers Fan)

May 26, 1907

After a day’s delay, Ponce de Leon Park debuts with a 2-1 Atlanta Crackers victory over the Shreveport Pirates. Atlanta’s Pete Zellers gave up more free passes (two walks and four hit batters) than hits (four) in recording the win.

The delay came after two railroad derailments left Shreveport stuck in Eutaw, Alabama, unable to make the scheduled 3:30 start on Friday, May 25. A Saturday crowd, reported as 8,426 paying and 500 free passes, was on hand to watch the affair, which took a lengthy 2:15. Atlanta papers reported that the delay cost the Crackers $2,000 since the postponed game would be made up later as part of a doubleheader.

The ball park was built on the site of an amusement park, with construction starting after the end of the 1906 season. Atlanta’s street car company and silent owner of the Crackers, The Georgia Railway and Electric Company, built the park and then provided the transportation to the park. Today a historical marker stands where the magnolia tree guarded the outfield. The site is a shopping center across from the old Sears store and regional warehouse and more recently City Hall East on Ponce de Leon Avenue in east Atlanta.

28 Responses to “This Week in Southern Baseball (by AtlCrackers Fan)”

  1. 1
    JonathanF Says:

    True test of an Atlantan: Pronounce Ponce de Leon park (or Avenue)

  2. 2
    Mark Grogan Says:

    True test of a Maconite: Pronounce Pio Nono.

  3. 3
    Mark Grogan Says:

    True test of just about anybody: Pronounce Houston Street in the ATL.

  4. 4
    spike Says:

    Of interest –

  5. 5
    fm Says:

    I want to describe just how awesome this is, but I can’t. It is too pure of a concentration of epicness for words to even be in its presence.

  6. 6
    Grst Says:

    @5 Glorious.

  7. 7
    sansho1 Says:

    AtlCrackersFan, a few years ago I tried to find the Ponce de Leon Park magnolia tree when I heard it was going to be taken down. There was one behind the shopping center in the loading dock area, further away from the street than Whole Foods. Was that it, do you happen to know?

  8. 8
    spike Says:

    It’s still there.

  9. 9
    Brave Marine Says:

    #5. Gattisclysmic awesomeness. Especially considering i was born on May 24th in advance honor of El Oso Blanco and how he rules both time and space

  10. 10
    John R. Says:

    @1, I always just said Ponce. (pontz.)

    @2, Pie No-nuh.

  11. 11
    ububba Says:

    Ponts d’lee-uhn.

    BTW, from previous thread: Thanks, Kate!

  12. 12
    c. shorter Says:

    5 – ha! the Yunel comment isn’t necessary, but I certainly laughed.

  13. 13
    Rusty S. Says:

    My sidebar ad is for a polar bear silver coin.

  14. 14
    sansho1 Says:

    Derek Lowe released by the Rangers. Looks like he’s done.

  15. 15
    Hotspur Says:

    @1 &@3: PAHNSS duh LEE-ahn and HOW-stuhn.

    @2 No idea, because like any self-respecting native Atlantan, I spent as little time in Macon as possible. :P

    (Kidding. But I do have a great story about how two friends and I lit out for Spring Break in Florida early one morning in our junior year in high school, 1986. We stopped for breakfast at the Waffle House in Cordele, GA, and were served by a middle-aged waitress with a pair of then-unfashionable cat’s-eye glasses (leftover from the Sixties, no doubt) and a name tag identifying her as “Vernelle.” It was still before 7AM and we were understandably punchy and snicker-y, which it eventually became clear the disapproving Vernelle was mistaking for the tail end of an all-night bender. As she handed us our check, she looked down her nose at us and sneered, I swear to God: “Y’all ain’t from around here, are you?” We allowed as how we were, in fact, from two-and-one-half hours up the road in Atlanta.

    “Anything north of Macon’s Yankee,” she sniffed, and turned and walked away with a haughty flounce.

    It was a classic beginning to an epic journey. :-) )

  16. 16
    beege Says:

    I have a buddy who likes to sport a t-shirt he bought off his Waffle House server in Macon while on some road trip. On the back is printed “I got my Bacon in Macon.”

  17. 17
    sansho1 Says:


    Sounds about right. I had a similar conversation at a Biloxi casino with a couple of fellows from Moultrie. They asked where I was from, and when I said Atlanta one of them snickered and asked, “Is that in Georgia?” I said, “Yeah, we’re there if you need us.” I don’t know what that meant, but it seemed to satisfy them.

  18. 18
    Dan Says:

    Derek Lowe released by the Rangers.

    And Wren is in the market for a reliever, which is what Lowe was doing for the Rangers.

  19. 19
    Hotspur Says:

    @17 That’s a great comeback. In truth, I think just about every town in the South has its own version of “Anything north of X is Yankee.” When I was growing up in Atlanta we used to say it about Chattanooga. :P

  20. 20
    ububba Says:

    If I had grown up in Moultrie or Cordele (or Americus or Tifton), I wouldn’t be making fun of anyone.

  21. 21
    John R. Says:

    I grew up in Florida, where everything south of North Florida was Yankee.

  22. 22
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I went to middle school with a guy who pronounced it “Pon-see,” but I always said “Ponts duh Lee-awn.”

    The only Houston I regularly went on was Houston Mill Road near Emory — of course, that was pronounced How-ston.

  23. 23
    John R. Says:

    Down here in Macon, we have a Houston Road that’ll take you into Houston County. Both are pronounced “How-ston”. I don’t know why they pronounce it stupid in Texas.

  24. 24
    sansho1 Says:

    There’s also the town of Hoschton, up I-85 towards Commerce. The “Hosch” rhymes with “push”. Took me a while to get that one right.

    But in a state rife with odd pronunciations, the oddest will always be Taliaferro.

  25. 25
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    It really irked me when, in the movie “42,” someone said that Jackie Robinson was from Cairo, Georgia, and pronounced it “Kye-row.”

  26. 26
    John R. Says:

    @25, Ugh. That kind of thing kills a movie’s credibility.

  27. 27
    jjschiller Says:

    Hey spike if you’re around, there’s a whole Hey Wake bedroom in my town for sale for $400, if you’re interested.

  28. 28
    AtlCrackersFan Says:

    Magnolia tree still stands. Look for the embankment beneath the old railroad tracks.
    The 1b lines ran essentially parallel with Ponce de Leon Ave. The right to center field followed the base of the embankment on which railroad tracks ran. There are stories, some true some ?? about trains stopping and watching a bit of game before moving on. (The tracks are long gone and the right-of-way is used as part of the recently completed Beltline park/trail.

    Our family just called it Ponce or Poncey.

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