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Big Time Baseball in a Small Texas Town

From: Marfa Public Radio
Length: 28:59

The real life version of "Field Of Dreams" takes place in Alpine, Texas in the 1940s and 50s. This is a story about a man, his baseball field and a town that loved both, in Far West Texas.

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Mention the “Cowboys” in almost any other town in Texas and you’d likely be talking about a football team from Dallas, but here in the rural town of Alpine, the cowboys are the local baseball team, and the field they play on is the stuff of legends.  Built in the 1940’s by a local rancher, at a cost of more than a million dollars, this Wrigley field replica has seen baseball greats like Satchel Paige, Norm Cash and Gaylord Perry pitch, hit and score in the shadows of its imposing red rock walls.

It’s amazing that in this cow & college town of Far West Texas, with a population of less than 6000, the local baseball team could draw such loyal and enthusiastic crowds.  Even more incredible is the story of how that town came to have such a beautiful baseball park, named by sports illustrated as “the best little ball park in Texas”.  This piece tells the story of Mr. Herbert Kokernot Jr and how he came to build what Sports Illustrated magazine would call “the best little ball park in Texas.”

This piece features interviews with Big Bend Cowboys General Manager JR SMITH;  grandson of Mr Herbert Kokernot  CHRIS LACY; son of Alpine Cowboys pitcher DJ STOUT;  former Alpine Cowboys player CHARLIE DAVIS; owner & founder of Big Bend Cowboys FRANK SNYDER;  Big Bend Cowboys coach Donnie Randell; and son of Alpine Cowboys short stop TIM PARSONS.

This is a KRTS Marfa Public Radio production written, produced, & edited by Sam Griffin; with sound recording by Dave Leonnig. Production assistance from Peter McCrady.

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Piece Description

Mention the “Cowboys” in almost any other town in Texas and you’d likely be talking about a football team from Dallas, but here in the rural town of Alpine, the cowboys are the local baseball team, and the field they play on is the stuff of legends.  Built in the 1940’s by a local rancher, at a cost of more than a million dollars, this Wrigley field replica has seen baseball greats like Satchel Paige, Norm Cash and Gaylord Perry pitch, hit and score in the shadows of its imposing red rock walls.

It’s amazing that in this cow & college town of Far West Texas, with a population of less than 6000, the local baseball team could draw such loyal and enthusiastic crowds.  Even more incredible is the story of how that town came to have such a beautiful baseball park, named by sports illustrated as “the best little ball park in Texas”.  This piece tells the story of Mr. Herbert Kokernot Jr and how he came to build what Sports Illustrated magazine would call “the best little ball park in Texas.”

This piece features interviews with Big Bend Cowboys General Manager JR SMITH;  grandson of Mr Herbert Kokernot  CHRIS LACY; son of Alpine Cowboys pitcher DJ STOUT;  former Alpine Cowboys player CHARLIE DAVIS; owner & founder of Big Bend Cowboys FRANK SNYDER;  Big Bend Cowboys coach Donnie Randell; and son of Alpine Cowboys short stop TIM PARSONS.

This is a KRTS Marfa Public Radio production written, produced, & edited by Sam Griffin; with sound recording by Dave Leonnig. Production assistance from Peter McCrady.