Believe it or not, Texarkana is a major part of baseball history. MLB Hall of Famer Eddie Mathews grew up in Texarkana, Texas before going on to hit 512 home runs in the big leagues. He's a 2 time World Series Champion, a 12 time all-star, has in number retired by the Braves and is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Texarkana is also home to numerous other big league players, the World Famous Dancing Umpire from the Savanah Bananas and dozens of minor leaguers who had decent careers.

On top of that, Texarkana has been home to numerous Minor League clubs - from the Twins to the Bears to the Liners. If you look back, there's been dozens of affiliated and unaffiliated ball clubs over the years. But only one of those clubs are in the baseball record books - even if it is for all the wrong reasons.

Who were the Texarkana Casketmakers?

If you've never heard of the Casketmakers, don't feel bad. They only existed during the 1902 Texas League season. In fact, they didn't even survive the full season...and we'll get to why here in a second.

They started the 1902 season as the Sherman-Denison Students. But after a rough 1-10 start to the season, the team relocated to Texarkana with a new name and looking for a new start. However, if you've been paying attention to the context clues in this story so far, things didn't get much better. In fact, one fateful and record breaking day, ended the ball club's season.

What Happened to the Texarkana Casketmakers?

One bad game on June 15th, 1902 basically ended the Casketmakers. Several Texas League records were broken that day...and none of them were for the Casketmakers. According to records online, it was a fateful day where everything that could have gone wrong for the Casketmakers did. And by a large margin.

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Here's the brief out line of events on that day - The Corsicana Oil Cities couldn't play in their hometown because of law prohibiting baseball on Sundays. So, the game wasn't played in Corsicana, they had to move to an amateur ball park in Ennis, Texas. That ballpark had some of the oddest dimensions I've ever seen for any field - according to the record books, it was a super short 140 feet down the lines and only 210 feet to right center. On top of all that, two of Texarkana's top pitchers were unable to go that, they had to enlist their first baseman to start the game.

READ MORE: Texarkana's Connections to the World Famous Savanah Bananas


Between the insane dimensions and having a fielder be your starting pitcher, things did not go well. In fact, the Casketmakers lost that day 51-3. Yes, you read that right, 51-3!

Several Texas League Records were established that day. From an article I found online and Texas League Historian Kris Rutherford, here's a little taste of the records established that day:

  • Most team at-bats (87)
  • Runs (51)
  • Hits (53)
  • Players with five or more hits in a game (7)
  • Extra-base hits (27) — four doubles, two triples, 21 home runs
  • Home runs(21)

Corsicana Catcher Jay Clarke also allegedly went 8-8 with 8 Home Runs - which is also a Minor League single-game record. Also, the record books show that this game was pretty much a microcosm of both team's season. The 1902 Corsicana team went 87-23 - that .791 winning percentage is still a Texas League season record. On the flip side, Texarkana was so bad, that a few weeks later, the team voted to disband.

What is the Legacy of the Texarkana Casketmakers?

As noted above, the Casketmakers will always be apart of baseball history - even if it is for all the wrong reasons. The team only existed for 3/4 of a Minor League season, but they've been apart of the Minor League record books for 122 years and counting.

In fact, the Casketmakers have such a cult following, you can buy Texarkana Casketmakers merch online. So, yeah...the team was so bad they folded mid-season, most players/coaches never touched a baseball diamond again. But, in the end, their name and dubious legacy still lives on today.

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