Smith-Wills Stadium

From BR Bullpen

Smith-Wills Stadium in Jackson, MS, was the home of Jackson affiliated baseball from 1975 through 1999. After that, the Jackson Generals of the Texas League began playing in a new ballpark in Round Rock, TX, as the Round Rock Express.

The cakebox-style ballpark was one of the last of its era. Two famous former MLB pitchers who never played for a Jackson team played key roles in its history - one filled it to bursting and the other emptied it.

Its stated capacity is 5,200, but it reported 6,252 for a May 1991 game started by Fernando Valenzuela. The Mexican pitching legend was attempting a comeback with the California Angels, playing with the Midland Angels after being released by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Nine years later, strikeout king Nolan Ryan's family company emptied it of Organized Baseball by buying the Generals to move them to Texas.

Ironically, the franchise that had become the Generals moved from Texas in the first place: the Memphis Blues moved to Victoria, TX, in 1974, but on to Jackson the very next season. Affiliated baseball returned to the Jackson market, in the suburb of Pearl as the Mississippi Braves who play in Trustmark Park.