The Dixie Series

The Houston Buffs flew their team pennant as four times winners of the Dixie Series.

As professional baseball rolled into the 1920s, the desire among fans for achieving the greatest recognition available for the accomplishments of their local clubs grew with it. The major leagues had the World Series to settle the “who’s best?” in the universe question, but the minor leagues wanted that kind of opportunity also for their (unspoken word to follow here) “lesser” championships in lower levels leagues.

At the highest minor league level, the “Little World Series” was formed by the clubs in the American Association and International League to determine the best club in minor league professional baseball, but that did not stop leagues at even lower levels of competition from coming up with their own end-of-season ultimate prizes. There was money to be made in the stir of post-year drama and the club owners and leagues hated to miss out on any extra opportunities to pack the houses of their champions four to seven more times.

Beneath the American Association and International League, the Texas League and the Southern Association jumped on the championship series idea like regional frogs on regional June Bugs. They got together and formed the Dixie Series as the annual settlement match between their two annual champs, starting in 1920.

The Dixie Series became an inter-league minor league postseason series that pitted the playoff champions of the Southern Association and the Texas League in a best of seven in games won match from 1928 to 1958. The series was revived for a single time in 1967, placing the Southern League champion Birmingham A’s into a match with the Albuquerque Dodgers of the Texas League. The A’s won that one, four games to two, but the appeal of a permanent rival of the series died on the vine. The Dixie Series finally was put to bed for good.

Here are the results of the Dixie Series from 1920 to 1958. Naturally, the eight trips to the Series by the Houston Buffs are expressed here in bold type. The Buffs won their first trip to “the big south show” in 1928, the first year of Buff Stadium, but the great 1931 club of Dizzy Dean and Ducky Medwick lost to Birmingham in a local shocker. In the end, the Houston Buffs split their eight Dixie Series trips, winning four and losing four. My personal favorite was their 1947 win over Nashville. My personally greatest disappointments came in 1951 and 1954, by the time I was old enough to better appreciate the meaning of their losses in 1951 and 1954.

For your information, here are the results of all Dixie Series matches played from 1920 to 1958:

YEAR WINNING LEAGUE WINNING TEAM LOSING TEAM RESULTS
1920 Texas League Fort Worth Panthers Little Rock Travelers 4 games to 2
1921 Texas League Fort Worth Panthers Memphis Chicks 4 games to 2
1922 Southern Association Mobile Bears Fort Worth Panthers 4 games to 2
1923 Texas League Fort Worth Panthers New Orleans Pelicans 4 games to 2
1924 Texas League Fort Worth Panthers Memphis Chicks 4 games to 3
1925 Texas League Fort Worth Panthers Atlanta Crackers 4 games to 2
1926 Texas League Dallas Steers New Orleans Pelicans 4 games to 2
1927 Texas League Wichita Falls Spudders New Orleans Pelicans 4 games to 0
1928 Texas League Houston Buffaloes Birmingham Barons 4 games to 2
1929 Southern Association Birmingham Barons Dallas Steers 4 games to 2
1930 Texas League Fort Worth Panthers Memphis Chicks 4 games to 1
1931 Southern Association Birmingham Barons Houston Buffaloes 4 games to 3
1932 Southern Association Chattanooga Lookouts Beaumont Exporters 4 games to 1
1933 Southern Association New Orleans Pelicans San Antonio Missions 4 games to 2
1934 Southern Association New Orleans Pelicans Galveston Buccaneers 4 games to 2
1935 Texas League Oklahoma City Indians Atlanta Crackers 4 games to 2
1936 Texas League Tulsa Oilers Birmingham Barons 4 games to 0
1937 Texas League Fort Worth Cats Little Rock Travelers 4 games to 1
1938 Southern Association Atlanta Crackers Beaumont Exporters 4 games to 0
1939 Texas League Fort Worth Cats Nashville Vols 4 games to 3
1940 Southern Association Nashville Vols Houston Buffaloes 4 games to 1
1941 Southern Association Nashville Vols Dallas Rebels 4 games to 0
1942 Southern Association Nashville Vols Shreveport Sports 4 games to 2
1943 No Series WWII
1944 No Series WWII
1945 No Series WWII
1946 Texas League Dallas Rebels Atlanta Crackers 4 games to 0
1947 Texas League Houston Buffaloes Mobile Bears 4 games to 2
1948 Southern Association Birmingham Barons Fort Worth Cats 4 games to 1
1949 Southern Association Nashville Vols Tulsa Oilers 4 games to 3
1950 Texas League San Antonio Missions Nashville Vols 4 games to 3
1951 Southern Association Birmingham Barons Houston Buffaloes 4 games to 2
1952 Southern Association Memphis Chicks Shreveport Sports 4 games to 2
1953 Texas League Dallas Eagles Nashville Vols 4 games to 2
1954 Southern Association Atlanta Crackers Houston Buffaloes 4 games to 3
1955 Southern Association Mobile Bears Shreveport Sports 4 games to 0
1956 Texas League Houston Buffaloes Atlanta Crackers 4 games to 2
1957 Texas League Houston Buffaloes Atlanta Crackers 4 games to 2
1958 Southern Association Birmingham Barons Corpus Christi Giants 4 games to 2

1958 was the last encounter in the Dixie Series between the Southern Association and Texas League. Beginning in 1959 it was replaced by the Pan-Am Series, the Texas League vs. the Mexican League.

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4 Responses to “The Dixie Series”

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  4. SHogfonkus Foolagoofoofalous Says:

    Except for the first twow paragraphs, this is a great article. Remember even now,entering the 7th grade in 1951, and playing the Barons against the Buffs or the 51 series by throwing a rubber ball against the concrete door steps. Was looked for a comparison attendance figures, but have not been able to locate.

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