In 1931 Corpus Christi Parish in New Orleans opened a new baseball field formally inaugurated with a game between the Corpus Christi Stars and the Community Center Bulldogs in front of a large home team crowd of 3,000 attendees. A feature of the game was the initial appearance of the Corpus Christi Boys’ Orchestra. With the opening of this ball field Corpus Christi added more prestige to its position of being the largest colored [using the vernacular of the time] parish in the United States.
The Corpus Christi Athletic grounds baseball field was the square located at St. Bernard, N. Galvez, London and N. Johnson streets. Unfortunately, the field had no fence so each game reviewed by the press reported “unruly” crowds interfering with the play. Actually the fans were just so eager to see the players, and got so involved in the games that they encroached on the field for better views, interfering with the players.
Unfortunately, the above picture does not have names of the members of the baseball team but some of the players who were mentioned in various articles about the team are listed here (some only mentioned by last name):
Melvin Lewis – pitcher, described as a lanky southpaw
“Vic” Labat – pitcher
Cyperian Stokes – pitcher
“Iron Claw” Populus – the one-arm pitching marvel
Bibbins – pitcher
Jackson – pitcher
Barry – catcher
“Rag Doll” Grullier
Those of you who are aware of a family member having played on the team may be able to find your ancestor gloriously represented here and/or help identify others on the team for our readers.
Sources: The Colored Harvest, Vol XIX, No. 3, June-July 1931, page 13; “Corpus Christi Grounds Will Open With Big Game Sunday,” Louisiana Weekly, 11 April 1931, pg.4; “Disorderly Crowd, Miscues Result in Christi Route,” Louisiana Weekly, 18 April 1931, pg. 3; “Athletics and Corpus Christi Divide Pair” Louisiana Weekly, 14 June 1931, pg. 8.