- Posted February 18, 2013 by
One Small Town Mississippi Person Makes It Big In Baseball
In Maben, Mississippi, in Oktibbeha County, 18 miles, west of the County seat,Starkville, and Mississippi State University, there sits an empty school building.
This school is West-Oktibbeha School, later named, O.L. Wicks Elementary, sits empty, and run down, and in a bad physical condition, as it was closed down, when area schools were consolidated.
But, this school does have special memories to some people, and especially, the family of and the people, who knew Elon Walker.
Elon Walker, a black , was born on November 19, 1935, and died of cardiac arrest on April 8, 2008, at age 72.
Elon, was born in Michigan, son of Guy Walker, and Annie Bell, and when Elon was a young child his family moved to Starkville, Mississippi.
Elon, shown in this 1947-48 Oktibbeha-Webster School photo ( Courtesy of Cleveland Carlisle) showed an interest in baseball, at an early age.
Although, living in Starkville, Elon chose to attend Oktibbeha-Webster Elementary, in Maben, some 20 miles away.
Dr. Fenton Peters, retired Superintendant of Starkville Schools, who was the same age as Elon Walker, says he understands Elon chose to go to the all black school, in Maben, because they had a baseball team, and at that time, none of the Starkville schools had one.
Elon attended and graduated from Oktibbeha-Webster School in Maben, later O. L. Wicks Elementary
and received athletic awards.
At first, many days, Elon would walk to school, out of his love for baseball.
Mr. O. L. Wicks, who was principal of the Maben school, at the time lived one block from Elon, and he and his wife,who was a teacher, began bringing Elon to school.
After High School, Elon received a letter from Burl Lee Smith, of The Negro Baseball League Pine Bluff, inviting him to come up for an interview, and tryout.
Elon was recruited by many teams, and he played for The Memphis Red Sox.
Elon's half brother, Cleveland Carlisle, from Starkville, was 12 years younger, and he says, he does not remember Elon's playing baseball, but had heard the many stories from his parents.
Elon was backup Pitcher for Charlie Pride, the world known black Country Music Artist.
After Charlie Pride left The Memphis Red Sox, he remained special friends with Elon, and corresponded with him, and kept all letters from him ion a baseball bag, with other baseball treasures.