Thursday, September 13, 2012

SxSE: Roll Tide Roll

Sewell Thomas Stadium
Photo by David Smith

♦ Sewell-Thomas Stadium 
  • Opened: 1948
  • Capacity: 6,571
  • Often referred to as "The Joe".   The song "Cotton Eyed Joe" is played in the sixth inning of each game.
  • Named after: Joe Sewell, former Alabama player and MLB star; Frank Thomas, former Alabama baseball coach.   
♦ Attendance at Joe Sewell Stadium has been on a steady decline since it peaked at 6,216 (average per game) in 2000.  Of course, their recent averages of just under 4,000 per game are still more than could fit into Taylor Stadium.

♦ How many Alabama fans does it take to change a light bulb? About 75,000. One to change the bulb, and 74,999 to stand around and talk about how great the old one used to be. (

♦ The Tide hosts an annual Fan Day a week or so before the baseball season begins.  The 2012 Fan Day included a Kids' Baseball Clinic, a $10-a-plate Barbecue, sponsored by the Grand Slammers Club, and a team scrimmage at the ballpark.

♦ The Grand Slammers is the Alabama Baseball Booster Club

♦ About Bama Ahletics
  • Why "The Crimson Tide"?

    In early newspaper accounts of Alabama football, the team was simply listed as the "varsity" or the "Crimson White" after the school colors.

    The first nickname to become popular and used by headline writers was the "Thin Red Line." The nickname was used until 1906.

    The name "Crimson Tide" is supposed to have first been used by Hugh Roberts, former sports editor of the Birmingham Age-Herald. He used "Crimson Tide" in describing an Alabama-Auburn game played in Birmingham in 1907, the last football contest between the two schools until 1948 when the series was resumed. The game was played in a sea of mud and Auburn was a heavy favorite to win.

    But, evidently, the "Thin Red Line" played a great game in the red mud and held Auburn to a 6-6 tie, thus gaining the name "Crimson Tide." Zipp Newman, former sports editor of the Birmingham News, probably popularized the name more than any other writer. (Paul W Bryant Museum)

  • Bama Mascot:  The Elephant

    The story of how Alabama became associated with the "elephant" goes back to the 1930 season when Coach Wallace Wade had assembled a great football team.

    On October 8, 1930, sports writer Everett Strupper of the Atlanta Journal wrote a story of the Alabama-Mississippi game he had witnessed in Tuscaloosa four days earlier. Strupper wrote, "That Alabama team of 1930 is a typical Wade machine, powerful, big, tough, fast, aggressive, well-schooled in fundamentals, and the best blocking team for this early in the season that I have ever seen. When those big brutes hit you I mean you go down and stay down, often for an additional two minutes.

    "Coach Wade started his second team that was plenty big and they went right to their knitting scoring a touchdown in the first quarter against one of the best fighting small lines that I have seen. For Ole Miss was truly battling the big boys for every inch of ground.

    "At the end of the quarter, the earth started to tremble, there was a distant rumble that continued to grow. Some excited fan in the stands bellowed, 'Hold your horses, the elephants are coming,' and out stamped this Alabama varsity.
♦ Alabama Baseball? (Message Board comment,, April 2012)
Watching Alabama baseball is like having salt poured on your eyeballs. As an alum & former player, this season has been tough to watch. Other than Justin Kamplain's stellar performance against Ole Miss, our young pitchers have yet to come around, defense has been shaky at best & our bats have stayed cold, extremely cold! Do we have a young & talented team,yes. Do we have a solid coaching staff, yes. That offers hope for a promising future. The game of baseball can be hard a game to figure out for players at all levels. Baseball is a game of superstitions, numbers, streaks & sometimes a little luck, but yet none of that can explain why this team continues to struggle in every phase of this crazy game that we call baseball. To me, this Alabama team seems to be lacking confidence & unity. So, in a last ditch effort to impose the mercy rule, I'm begging the baseball gods to help this team find their way & more importantly, themselves!!! ROLL TIDE & Give'em Hell SEC!!!

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