Joel Payton Austin Pioneers Scrapbooks
An Inventory of the Collection
The Austin Pioneers were a Class B baseball team in the Big State League organized in 1947. Ed Knebel, owner of the 7-Up Bottling Company and baseball enthusiast, financed the organization and spearheaded the fundraising efforts for the new baseball park Disch Field. The Pioneers played nine seasons (1947-1955) but never won a Big State League pennant. In 1956 Knebel sold the franchise to James D. Connolly and Associates who planned to bring the Texas League and Class AA baseball to Austin under the team name the Austin Senators.
Joel (Joe) Payton was raised in Austin, Texas. Payton was working for Ed Knebel, the Austin Pioneers owner, at his 7-Up Bottling Company when he was asked to take care of Disch Field in 1948. Payton did not have a background in caring for baseball fields but after visiting all the Texas League parks and talking to groundskeepers he set to work. Knebel believed that a clean and inviting ball park was one of major reason the Austin Pioneers led the league in attendance 1948 through 1952 and provided Payton with the resources to keep up with the most modern methods used in groundskeeping. Several Austin American-Statesman articles have quotes from visiting team managers commenting on the quality of the baseball field and park.
The collection contains five scrapbooks assembled by Payton documenting the Austin Pioneers from 1947 through 1951. Included are newspaper articles, photographs, box scores and weekly and daily standings. The 1947 and 1951 scrapbooks were in poor condition and were preservation photocopied to preserve the arrangement of the materials that remained affixed to the pages. Many of the newspaper clipping in these two scrapbooks had come loose and if it could not be determined which page the clipping belonged the clippings were placed in a folder that accompanies the photocopied pages.
Restrictions on Access
Open to all users.
Restrictions on Use
Donated by members of the creator's family.
Joel Payton Austin Pioneers Scrapbooks (AR.2012.041). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.
Donor #: DO/2012/074
Donation Date: 2012
Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults in 2013.
Detailed Description of the Collection