One of my prized possessions is a 1950 Nashville Vols pocket schedule. I could not tell you if the Nashville baseball club printed these and sold advertising in the center or if the owner of Hagey’s (“The Complete Store”, 2521 Clarksville Highway, Ph: 4-7589) had them printed on their own as an advertising piece.
I have seen no other like it for 1950, so I would guess that Mr. Hagey’s was the only one for that year. Hopefully the Vols management put their stamp of approval on it, although in those days any promotion paid for by someone else would probably be blessed by the Nashville club staff.
The 154-game season schedule printed on it shows an equal number of home games as away games, 77, and 11 games against each member of the Southern Association at home and 11 games on the road against the same opponent.
It is notable that the schedule lists 12 doubleheaders at Sulphur Dell for Nashville, and 10 at opposing ballparks. On Sunday, July 2nd Nashville hosts Chattanooga and two days later plays the visiting Lookouts on a 4th of July Tuesday doubleheader.
The schedule reciprocated in favor of the Lookouts near the end of the season. On Sunday, September 3rd, the Vols were scheduled against Chattanooga at Engel Stadium and followed up there with another twin bill on Labor Day. There were twenty-two doubleheaders scheduled for the Vols in 1950. There were twenty-two Sundays in the season.
For comparison, in 2013 there were 25 doubleheaders played in the major leagues.
How in the world did those guys play 154 games in 1950, much less with Sunday doubleheaders in the heat of the season, with no PEDs, no indoor stadiums, no energy drinks, no uniforms or caps made from moisture-absorbing materials to cool them?
I’ll tell you how: there were towels soaking in rubbing alcohol-laced ice water in a cooler to wrap around one’s blistering neck; maybe a fan or water cooler in the dugout. And maybe a chance to play at a higher level. Or for pride, or for honor.
Or maybe they just loved it that much.