First Little League baseball field in Lufkin honored with bronze home plate

First Little League baseball field in Lufkin honored with bronze home plate
Published: Jul. 25, 2023 at 11:40 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - The first Little League baseball field in Lufkin stood right where Kurth Memorial Library now stands. In 1952 there wasn’t much entertainment, so the community turned to little league baseball.

Mike Maberry, member of Lufkin’s 1963 Texas baseball state championship team, and the man behind putting this dedication together, says the process to get here took a few months.

“It took about eight weeks; we went before the city council and the mayor, we presented everything to them. we said, ‘look its gonna be paid for, we’d like to put it in the side walk, and we’d like to make it a special place for Lufkin.’”

Maberry says baseball was an outlet for local boys.

”There was little kids everywhere, lot of little boys that were eager, and the momma and poppas were thinking ‘we got to figure out some way to get this energy off, spent off,’ and so baseball was absolutely perfect.”

A member of the first Little League team in Lufkin, Ardie Dixon, remembers one of his first moments on the team.

“I remember when I got my uniform I was 12 years old. I went all around the neighborhood, I put it on showing everybody.”

“My goodness, the little stands would be full every time we played in Lufkin something new, you’ve got to realize this has been 71 years ago, and I loved it, I mean I really loved it.”

Dixon says the dedication is an honor, and had this to say about his first home run.

“You know people tell, I’ve heard people say. ‘yeah, old Ardie.” That’s me, hit the first home run, but I think I might’ve been the first to strike out, I don’t know.”