The Goodyear Service Pin used in our logo is courtesy Jerry Bell. The pin belonged to his dad, Adolphus. R. Bell.

03 January, 2011

The History of Textile Mill Baseball

'We felt this was a story worth telling."

"In the fall of 2000 while working on a documentary about "Shoeless Joe" Jackson for ESPN Classic, we met Joe Anders, a textile leaguer from Greenville, South Carolina. Intrigued by stories told off-camera by Joe, we spent an afternoon with him and his wife, Kate.

We listened to many stories about their lives growing up in the mill village, and their undying love for each other. Joe had several offers to play professional baseball, but he and Kate did not want to be separated, nor could they bring themselves to leave the security of the mill hill. We felt this was a story worth telling.

Production began on THREAD, and after nearly fifty hours of on-camera interviews with players, wives, fans, mill workers, writers and historians, we found that Kate and Joe's story was not unique. Many great ballplayers had their own chance at fame in the big leagues, but chose instead the security, family, and friendship of the mill community."

1 comment:

  1. Hi.

    Did you ever produce "Thread"?

    I was interviewed on camera about Textile League Baseball by someone making a documentary for ESPN around this time while I was a sports writer at The Index-Journal in Greenwood, S.C. The interview took place at The Inn on the Square, which is now a Lander University dorm.

    I always wondered what became of the footage/documentary. I never heard anything from the community of journalists and authors with whom I worked with on documenting Upstate, S.C., area mill village baseball and those who went on to play in the pros, such as Bill Voiselle, who is now deceased.

    Anyway, if you have information -- and if I have the right people who filmed me -- I'd love to hear from you and what became of the project. The post above said "production began," but then doesn't say whether anything became of it.

    You can contact me at


    Greg Deal
    Greenwood, S.C.


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