Play Ball Exhibit

“Play Ball: A History of Sports in the Delta”

This is a brand new exhibit on display at the MS Wildlife Heritage Museum in historic downtown Leland. You are cordially invited to the opening reception of the exhibition on Tuesday evening, 30 August at 5:30pm. The exhibit will be on display through 30 September.

“Building a local exhibit like Play Ball within a community like Leland allows me the opportunity to share regional history outside the walls of the University Archives,” shared University Archivist, Emily Jones. The community is invited to bring out their sports memorabilia to display during this time as well.

MS Wildlife Heritage Museum Director Bob Neill is looking forward to opening the museum for tours to schools, special interest groups and the general public. “Pull out your photographs, dust off your high school trophies, and shake out the wrinkles from your Letterman jackets. Bring them and your stories to the museum as we are also interested in recording our history during this time,” states Neill.

“Play Ball: A History of Sports in the Delta” is the companion exhibit to the Smithsonian traveling exhibit, Hometown Teams: How Sports Shaped America, which will be open to the public beginning September 29 in the Chadwick-Dickson Field House at Delta State University in Cleveland, MS. Hometown Teams will be on display through 11 November.
Throughout the Hometown Teams exhibition period, special programs will be offered, free and open to the public, in the Chadwick-Dickson Field House at Delta State University.

  • 5 October @ Noon – Dr. Charles Ross will present “African Americans in Sport from Mississippi”; sponsored by the MS Humanities Council
  • 10 October @ Noon – John Cox will present “NCAA and the Shifting Definition of Amateurism”
  • 25 October @ 7pm – Dr. Charles Westmoreland will present “Fleeting, Fickly Sports: Segregation, Intercollegiate Athletics, and Social Change in Mississippi, 1954-1977.”
  • 1 November @ Noon – Donny Whitehead will present “Greenwood Baseball Legends and Lore”Hometown Teams has been made possible at Delta State University by the MS Humanities Council. Hometown Teams is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and State Humanities Councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the United States Congress. Play Ball is generously supported through the Delta Regional Foundation.



Judge Pepper when he played football for Belzoni High School.football_judge_pepper_in_highschool

Football WC Bell Coach is of the football team from Gunnison, MS.




 Basketball Spectators and JW Dunn tennis are both related to the Chinese Mission School that used to be in Cleveland, Mississippi.

jwdunntennis_1938ish basketball_spectators_1938


Parker Field is the new artificial turf field at Delta State University


Below is the women’s basketball team at Delta State where legendary Coach Margaret Wade was a teammate. She would go on to become the Mother of Women’s Basketball in the United States. The Wade Trophy is  named in her honor and is to Women’s Basketball what the Heisman is to Football. So, she’s a pretty cool chick.



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