By DAVID CLAYBOURN
Greenville had a minor league baseball team called the Majors that played in several leagues from 1946-57.
Those Majors made national headlines when they upset the New York Yankees 4-3 in an exhibition game in 1949 and also set a Class C minor league attendance record for one season.
Carrying on the tradition of the Majors are youth league teams in baseball, softball and even volleyball.
“We started in 2010,” said Chad Crumpton, who coaches one of the teams. “We started out with three teams. Last year (the most recent season) we had six boys (baseball) teams and three girls fast-pitch (softball) teams and we also had some girls on a volleyball team that went over to Dallas to play.”
Crumpton and some other parents wanted their kids to play some tough competition.
“They had select baseball that wasn’t really select,” he said. “They weren’t really playing against the teams from Rockwall, McKinney and Dallas but that’s what we started doing.”
So Crumpton worked with former city Parks and Recreation Department director Colby VanGundy and others to start up the Majors and play other select teams from all around the Metroplex.
“We’ve had a great year,” said Crumpton.
Greenville’s 8U Majors, coached by Kenneth Fifield, Joe Allen, Bobby Castillo and Joe Killgore, finished third in the Rowlett select baseball league. They competed in four tournaments, finishing third in the state tournament. Their roster included Bryson Allen, Tyler Vazquez, Aaron Burnette, Braydon Castillo, Jett Fifield, Brayden Juarez, Charlie Ott, Brett Wooldridge, Townes VanGundy, Brady Britain and Colton Smith.
The 9U Majors went 4-7 in the Northeast Classic Baseball League, playing in six tournaments, finishing second in one of the tournaments. Jeff Laster served as head coach, assisted by Bobby Brumley. Their roster featured Lucas Laster, Cutter Brumley, Cade Crossland, Nathan Cascio, Brody Bauman, Miles Boyd, Jace McMahon, Ryan Harris and Bryson Elbert.
Greenville’s 10U Majors finished second in the Northeast Classic Baseball league with a 9-4 record. They played in five tournaments, winning two of them and have moved up from AA to AAA in classification after ranking among the top 10 teams in the state. Colby VanGundy was their head coach. On the roster were Nathan Sikes, Gaven Beane, Andrew Claude, John Howell, Carson VanGundy, Brandon Stephens, Garrett Philips, Garrett Poteet, Luke Adel, Jonathan Hernandez and Bryan Jones.
The 11U Greenville Majors finished ninth in the Northeast Classic Baseball League. Nathan Collins was the head coach. The players included Jesse Collins, Tyson Gray, Trace White, Houston Ivey, Luke Allen, Jaden Ross, Josh Ward, Brian Bailey, Jack Kizer, Bryce Gutierrez and Steven Gilmore.
Greenville’s 12U Majors went 8-6 in the Northeast Classic Baseball League, finishing fourth. They competed in five tournaments, winning one and finishing third in the other four. They moved up from AA to AAA in classification. Chad Crumpton was their head coach. Their roster featured Wesley Crumpton, Cody Banks, Carter Mulkey, Kyle Weeks, Connor Weeks, Clay Burnett, Jackson Sickels, Jack Philips, Kyle Schillinger and Caleb Jarvis.
The 14U Greenville Majors went 5-10 to finish fifth in the Northeast Classic Baseball League. Chuck Grant was their head coach. The players included Walker, Marshall, Landon, Thomas, Dylan, Dillon, Austin, Brett, Garrett, Garrett, Holdyn, Nick and Greyson.
Greenville’s 12U Lady Majors finished second in the district softball tournament and third in a Sulphur Springs event. Their coaches included David McNair, Clayton McElfresh and Steve Saenz. Their lineup included Kylah Edwards, Ellie Samples, Kelsi McNair, Emily Saenz, K. Caldwell, Taylor McElfresh, Avery Waits, Hannah Lara, Corey Gaddis and Shalon Alford.
Another 12U Greenville Lady Major softball team, coached by Gary Sickles, finished first in its Rockwall league with a 13-1 record, plus won the ASA District 13 tournament and placed third at a Princeton tournament. The players included Jayde Sickels, Avery Folks, Jade Jacobs, Makayla Darter, Halle Himes, Maddie Stephens, Jill Fifield, Shelby Smith, Jamie Broyles, Madison Wilkinson and Katie Shaw.
The 14U Greenville Lady Majors softball team won the District 3 championship and was first in Rockwall league. The Lady Majors have also competed in tournaments in the Metroplex and in East Texas. Their coaches are David Garcia, Scott Gilmore and Jason Turney. Their roster includes Maya Wiemokley, Madi Turney, Ariel Forsyth, Danielle Mumphrey, Rachel Garcia, Bailee Turney, Madelyn Jones, Francesca Williams, Stephanie Hutchings, Allison Gilmore and Katilyne McNair.
There are two Majors volleyball teams, Red and Black. The Majors’ Black team has won its league title for two straight seasons and the Red team finished third this season.
Players on the Black team include Jayde Sickels, Jade Jacobs, Avery Folks, Makayla Darter, Katie Shaw, Hallie Himes, Maddie Stephens, Tristan King and Jill Fifield.
On the Red team roster are Kaylee Shields, Martha Hill, Kate Willeford, Allison Millard, Hannah Packer, Rebecca Christian, Chloe Burk and Josie Wooten.
Coaches for the volleyball teams are Gary Sickels, Rachael Cook and Jenna Sickels.
The Majors will continue the tradition as they look for more players in tryouts on Aug. 3 and Aug. 31 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Greenville SportsPark.