Historic Buckwalter Stadium located in the old Meridian fairgrounds is not only a piece of history for the city; but a place of sentimental memories for one local.
“My dad brought it in the late 50’s, it was a defunct baseball stadium and he brought it and built a fair park entertainment venue out of it and it just kind of; you know we didn’t have sporting events here years after that we had a lot of entertainment.” Said Zane Royal, owner.
Recently, it received international recognition by a filmmaker from Panama searching for stories about Chico Heron, one of the first Black Latino baseball players that played for the minor league in Mississippi.
“We found out that he played here in Mississippi back in 1954 and only playing in 54, he was the first black player to be part of a white team in the whole state of Mississippi.” Said Alberto Serra, documentary director.
Heron played at Buckwalter Stadium and the mystery continues to unfold about the legacy he leaves behind.
“Basically, he has all these stories behind him that nobody really knows because he was a really quiet person like he wouldn’t talk too much about him.” Said Alberto Serra, documentary director.
Serra says the deadline for the film is tighter than films he's worked on in the past.
“Normally it takes me a year, two years to finish it, but I think we’re doing it in six months, we have kind of like a rush because Chico Heron was also the mentor for Mariano Rivera and people that know baseball know that Mariano; he was the biggest player that the Yankee’s ever hand and he’s entering the hall of Fame. “Said Alberto Serra, documentary director.
The question remains about what will happen to Buckwalter stadium moving forward.
“Probably the future of this venue is doomed, if somebody comes in and buys it, it is at the point where it is, it is restorable it’s a very viable building as far as it kind of has an uncertain future.” Said Zane Royal, owner.