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And now you know: Orange is considered the home of a professional baseball team - Orange Leader
And now you know: Orange is considered the home of a professional baseball team - Orange Leader

And now you know: Orange is considered the home of a professional baseball team – Orange Leader

And now you know: Orange is considered the home of a professional baseball team - Orange Leader

Mike Louviere
And now you know it

In May 1950, there were good prospects for Orange to become the home of a professional baseball team in the Gulf Coast League.

Southeast Texas already had two pro teams, the exporters were in Beaumont and the Sea Hawks were based in Port Arthur. It was possible that Orange would be the home of a third team.

The Lufkin Angels were a Class C team in the Gulf Coast League and the owners had announced that they were moving the team from Angelina County and had chosen Orange as a favorable spot.

A representative of the owners of Angels had recently been to Orange and had tried to broker a deal to move the team to Orange. Local people who were interested in getting the team to move to Orange had done a good job and received positive responses.

Bringing the Angels to Orange would necessitate an agreement with the Orange Board of Education for the use of West End Park, at least for the rest of the current season. There would be benefits to the school such as installing adequate lighting that would enable night games for high school baseball, adding more seating, more interest in baseball and better training for high school teams, and additional revenue for the school athletics program. The board was expected to take the proposal seriously when it was expected to be considered at the next ordinary board meeting.

Representatives of the Lufkin club said they had the necessary lights, so only a short time would be needed to get West End Park ready for night baseball.

The Gulf Coast League season was about a quarter complete, and if the Angels moved to Orange, all of the remaining home games would be played in West End Park.

The Lufkin club had not been too successful, but was ahead of the Port Arthur Sea Hawks. The Angels were in fifth place with 11 wins and 20 losses. The Sea Hawks were in last place with 7 wins and 23 losses.

The reason for moving the angels from Lufkin was poor attendance, the team leaders stated.

Angels manager Carl Carter had hopes of strengthening the team when major league teams began sending players down to the Class C teams.

The main weakness of the angels was the outfield where a complete change seemed necessary. The angels also needed at least one more good pitcher. Making these changes will likely make the team a first-class challenger overnight.

Orange had been invited to join a team in the Gulf Coast League when it was formed in 1949, but at that time local funding was not sufficient to support a team in Orange.

Under the current proposal, the city will be able to get a professional ball team to move to Orange with little or no local money invested in the agreement.

For whatever reason, the Angels did not move to Orange, instead the team moved to Leesville, Louisiana on July 15, 1950 and became Leesville Angels.

Leesville finished the season in fourth place with a record of 75 wins and 70 losses. The team did not return for the 1951 season.

The Gulf Coast League was dissolved after just three years.

“And now you know.”

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