So, today, let me finish my thought, so to speak. We had Warrens introducing Warrens yesterday, and I was going to do the same for Adcock -- have Joes introduce Joes. But, today it's time for a different tack. I am going to intersperse baseball cards with some serious history. Apologies for either "boring" you with history or making the trite decision to include baseball cards with much more serious discussion.
Adcock was born and raised in Coushatta, Louisiana -- about 45 miles south of Shreveport in a rural area with a checkered past and a pretty dire-sounding present.
|1978 TCMA The 60s I|
|1989 Swell Baseball Greats|
|1982 G.S. Gallery All Time Greats|
It is worth noting that the area today is represented by Republican Gerald Long -- a 72-year-old whose family history in Louisiana is long and quite checkered itself. Gerald's third cousin is the infamous Kingfisher himself, Huey Long. Huey was a populist demagogue whose platform was based around wealth redistribution under the "Share Our Wealth" program. Gerald, on the other hand, is the only member of the Long family to have been elected as a Republican.
The area is a very conservative area and is noted as being the last parish in Louisiana to issue same-sex marriage licenses in 2015. Parish Clerk of Court Stuart Shaw had sided with then-Governor Bobby Jindal to defy the U.S. Supreme Court ruling. But that ended soon thereafter.
|1961 Nu-Baseball Scoops|
Coushatta's checkered past came during Reconstruction, when the local White League got very active. Wikipedia informs me that the White League was "an American white paramilitary organizations started in 1874 to turn Republicans out of office and intimidate freedmen from voting and political organizing." What differentiated the White League from the Klan was the fact that it operated openly. People in the community knew exactly who they were and what their goal was -- the overthrow of the Republican Reconstruction governments in the south.
In Coushatta, the White League forced 6 Republicans from office in August of 1874 and then killed all six before they could leave the state. These people included the brother and three brothers-in-law of Marshall H. Twitchell, a "carpetbagger" from Vermont who moved to the area after the Civil War and married a local woman. He became a successful cotton planter and was elected to the state legislature, and he appointed his family to the local offices in which they served.
The White League also killed between 5 and 20 freedmen (depending on what source you use) who had been escorting the Republicans from the state. This later became known as the Coushatta Massacre. President Ulysses Grant had to send in federal troops to pacify the Red River valley area where Coushatta is located, but the damage was done: voting by Republicans decreased and the Democrats took over the state legislature in 1876.
|1982 TCMA Baseball's Greatest Sluggers|
|1978 TCMA The 1960s II|
What followed? The Democrats took over in Louisiana for the better part of the next century and disenfranchised poor whites and African Americans to maintain control of the state. In fact, starting in 1876, it took until 1980 for Louisiana to elect a Republican governor. The chair of the Louisiana senate was a Democrat from 1877 until 2000. Both the State Senate and the State House of Representatives had a Democratic majority until 2011. That's how strong Reconstruction and its fallout were.
|1961 Topps Stamp...same photo (and same photo as used in 1962)|
To be fair to Joe, it wasn't like he got a ton of benefits. Joe grew up in a time where most people in the Parish did not have telephones -- as one source states, before 1950, only about 30 to 35 percent of parish households had telephones. Due to African American migration outward, population in the Parish declined steadily from 1940 onward. Adding insult to injury for the area, the Red River flooded at historic levels in 1945. By that point, though, Joe found himself at LSU on a basketball scholarship -- he clearly was a lucky boy to get out as he did.
|2005 Upper Deck Classics|