Austin History Center

Joel Payton Austin Pioneers Scrapbooks

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Payton, Joel
Title: Joel Payton Austin Pioneers Scrapbooks
Inclusive Dates: 1947-1951
Abstract: Joel (Joe) Payton signed on as the groundskeeper at Disch Field for the Austin Pioneers baseball team in 1948. The five scrapbooks he assembled contain box scores, standings, photographs and newspaper articles related to the Austin Pioneers dating from 1947 through 1951.
Identification: AR.2012.041
Quantity: 2 linear feet (5 scrapbooks)
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

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.

Scope and Contents

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


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Knebel, Edmund P.
Payton, Joel.
Austin Pioneers (Baseball team).
Big State League (Texas).
Austin (Tex.)
Baseball teams--Texas--Austin--History.
Big State League--Statistics.
Minor league baseball--Texas--History.

Related Material

Austin Files

  • AF - Baseball - Austin Pioneers B1198 (6)
  • Bio - Knebel, Edmund P.

General Collection

  • A CD 796.357 ED Ed Knebel: "Mr. Baseball" of Austin, April 17, 1950.
  • A 796.3570976 ON The Texas League, 1888-1987: A Century of Baseball.
  • A 796.357 RU The History of the Texas League of Professional Baseball Clubs, Founded in 1888.

The thesis Postwar Professional Baseball in Austin, 1947-1955: A Study of the Austin Pioneers of the Big State League is available at the Texas State University - San Marcos library.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Donated by members of the creator's family.

Preferred Citation

Joel Payton Austin Pioneers Scrapbooks (AR.2012.041). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2012/074

Donation Date: 2012

Processing Information

Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults in 2013.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Oversized Volumes Austin Pioneers scrapbooks (5), 1947-1951