The city of Shreveport has a pretty rich tradition of professional baseball. Even though its been over two decades since the last Major League Baseball affiliated team played in the city.

Shreveport's baseball origins date back to the 1800s, when the upstart Shreveport Grays took on the Texas-Southern League. The team, like many in that era, was an on-again-off-again franchise that played mostly Texas-based teams.

After the Grays era, the Shreveport Giants started play in 1901 in the Southern Association. That team would eventually transition to the Shreveport Giants of the Texas League. The Giants ran from 1904 to 1910, which actually included some winning season in the mix.

The Giants eventually gave way to the Shreveport Gassers in 1915, who ran until 1924. During this period, the Gassers won the Texas League in 1919, and then welcomed the biggest star in American sports to their city. In 1921, the Gassers hosted Babe Ruth and his New York Yankees during Spring Training.

The Gassers and Yankees played at least three games in Shreveport. The first was a close contest with the Yanks winning 7-3. That day Babe Ruth went 0-5 at the plate. But the following day, Ruth crushed 3 home runs as New York beat Shreveport 21-3. It was the third game Shreveport was able to steal from New York 3-2 in 11 innings.

After the Gassers, Shreveport entered one of their best baseball eras with the Shreveport Sports. The Sports ran for most of 1925-1961, winning at least three league championships during that time. Three members of the Sports organization were eventually inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. That includes George Sisler, Zack Wheat, and Bill Terry. The organization bounced between minor league classes, and spent many years affiliated with the Chicago White Sox organization.

After a few years without baseball, Shreveport gained an Atlanta Braves affiliate in 1968 when the Shreveport Braves joined the Texas League. The team was best known for having future World Series Champions Dusty Baker and Darrell Evans on their roster.

The Shreveport Braves left town in 1970, and were quickly replaced by the Shreveport Captains. This is the organization that most people think of when they remember pro baseball in Shreveport.

The Captains started up in 1971 with former Chicago White Sox Manager Les Moss as their Manager. At the time, the Captains were affiliated with the California Angels. In 1973 their affiliation switched to the Milwaukee Brewers, and switched again in 1975 to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The team took on the moniker of the New York Mets in 1977, playing one season as the Shreveport Mets. The last change came in 1979 when the team became affiliated with the San Francisco Giants.

The Shreveport Captains would move into Fair Grounds Field when it was completed in 1986. They would host the Texas League All-Star games here in 1986 and 1995, the Double A All-Star Game in 1995, and various college baseball tournaments through the years.

Over the decades, the Shreveport Captains won three Texas League Championships, with back-to-back titles in 1990 and 1991, and again in 1995. But eventually the franchise would start to slide. They changed their name to the Shreveport Swamp Dragons in 2001, but it wasn't enough to save the organization. With dwindling attendance, and the inability to update their stadium, the franchise was sold and relocated to north Texas. That team is now known as the Frisco RoughRiders.

Shreveport may be without pro baseball, but its not without baseball fans.

If you are a Shreveport area fan, and want to enjoy some minor league baseball, you actually have some options not too far away. There are at least 10 stadiums that you can get to in a day, and with the way minor league baseball series are played, you could catch multiple games over a weekend, and be back home for work Monday.

Check out the list of nearby stadiums and teams here:

Closest MLB Minor League Baseball Parks To Shreveport

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