It’s that time of year again when the smell of freshly cut grass, hot buttered popcorn and roasted peanuts have started filling the spring air. It’s accompanied by the familiar sounds of the crack of a bat, the snap of ball into leather glove, and the cheers of crowds that have gathered in small–town Little League parks and big city stadiums all across America.

Photo: Bill Stephan via Unsplash

Yes, folks, it’s spring, that time of year when, as Lord Tennyson put it “… a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” However, when it comes to spring and love, we prefer Yogi Berra who said, “Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too.

If you also think baseball is pretty good, too, and you’re looking to take a little weekend family road trip, Georgia might just be the place for you on Saturday April 24, 2021. That’s the day the Middle Georgia State University’s baseball team is celebrating Stuckey’s Game Day with a double-header against the Brewton-Parker Barons at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. at MGU’s Stuckey Field in Cochran, Georgia.

If you’re thinking, “Wait a minute. Stuckey’s Field? Stuckey’s Game Day? Is that the same Stuckey’s we used to stop at on our family road trips of yesteryear? The one with those delicious pecan log rolls?”

Why, yes, it is that very same Stuckey’s.

You see, Stuckey’s has been a fan of baseball since its founding way back in 1937 when W.S. Stuckey opened his first roadside pecan stand in Eastman, Georgia, about a half an hour’s drive from Stuckey Field.  In fact, while the little roadside stand grew into a franchise with a Stuckey’s lining the highways of nearly every state in America, Mr. Stuckey sponsored a local Eastman Little League team called “The Candymakers”. Imagine being on the team when, sometime in the late 1950s, none other than Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio, then retired from baseball and doing promotional work for one of Stuckey’s distribution companies,  V.H. Monette & Co., stopped by practice one day to give the team some batting tips.

Joe DiMaggio visits the Stuckey’s Candymakers Little League Team in Eastman, Georgia, c. late 1950s.
Photo: Stuckey’s Corp.

And Stuckey’s Field? Well, as it happened, MGU wanted to play night games at their then unnamed field. Problem was they needed money for the light poles. So, MGU approached the Stuckey family who donated $10,000 dollars towards the cause. Stuckey’s donation got the attention of both private donors and government sources that also helped fund the university’s ability to play baseball after dark. It wasn’t long after that when the MGU Knights started playing baseball at night on Stuckey Field – named in appreciation of the Stuckey family’s generous contribution to the university’s baseball team. 

However, Stuckey’s Game Day was not the idea of Stuckey’s Corporation, now helmed by W.S. Stuckey’s granddaughter, Stephanie Stuckey; rather, it was thanks to a nostalgic baseball mom who also just so happens to love pecan log rolls, too.

Kathy Wilson was waxing nostalgic with her son, Ryan, about road trips she used to take in the Midwest during her dance competition days. She remembered that part of those road trips almost always included stopping at Stuckey’s along the way. Ryan is now enrolled as an aviation major at Middle Georgia State University; he also happens to play baseball for the Knights, MGU’s baseball team. Remembering his mom’s nostalgic tales of the iconic roadside stop, he called her one day and asked, “Hey Mom, did you know that we play at Stuckey Field?” 

Kathy Wilson and her son Ryan at Stuckey Field.
Photo: Middle Georgia State University

Intrigued, Kathy took a picture of the field’s sign and posted it to the Stuckey’s Facebook group, wondering if the field was named after the same Stuckey’s of iconic roadside fame. A short time later she was contacted by Stuckey’s CEO Stephanie Stuckey, who said it was, indeed, the same Stuckey family name gracing the baseball field that also graces the American roadside legend. Well, soon after, one thing led to another and after help from interim executive director of the MGA Foundation, Julie Davis (who also just happens to have the same feelings of nostalgia for Stuckey’s as Ms. Wilson), Stuckey’s Game Day is now official.

If you plan on going, admission is free, but be sure to get there early because Stuckey’s CEO Stephanie Stuckey will be handing out the company’s legendary Stuckey’s pecan log rolls on a first come, first serve basis. There will also be Stuckey’s merchandise handed out as prize giveaways throughout the two games. And you don’t want to miss Stephanie throwing out the first pitch at the 1 p.m. game. (She’s been practicing for weeks.)

It’s going to be a fun day and we’d like to thank Ryan’s mom, Kathy Wilson, for making Stuckey’s Game Day possible.

And speaking of thanking moms, why not thank your mom for all that she’s made possible for you by sending her the perfect gift to celebrate Mama’s Day on May 9 – the Stuckey’s “Mama’s Day” Gift Box! Each box comes with all of those things your mama loves:

  • 3 ea. 2 oz. Pecan Log Rolls
  • 1 ea. 8 oz. Caramel Popcorn
  • 1 ea. 6 oz. Pecan Log Roll
  • 1 ea. 8 oz. Pecan Divinity Tub
  • 1 ea. 9 oz. Pecan Halves
  • 1 ea. 4 oz. T&S Pecans
  • 1 ea. Candy Shop Coffee Mug
  • 1 ea. Recipe Card

Be sure to remember that if you live west of the Mississippi, orders will ship Monday 04/26/21. Orders east of Mississippi will ship Monday 05/03/21.  If you order after those dates, you’ll most likely not receive them in time to make Mama feel special on her special day, so make sure to order yours today!

Can’t make it to Stuckey’s Game Day but still waxing nostalgic for our world-famous pecan log roll?  Or maybe you’re going, but you’re looking for a few more snacks to get you through the double-header. Well, then, why not head over to the Stuckey’s where you’ll find not only our delicious pecan treats, but also some of the best game day munchies in all of Georgia. We’re talking flavored pecans and mouthwatering popcorn including our very own version of Cracker Jacks with a pecan twist – Hunkey Dorey!

You can also support the Stuckey’s home team by showing up in a Stuckey’s branded t-shirt or cap and cheering the MGU Knight’s on to victory as they celebrate Stuckey’s Game Day. For more info, stop by your nearest Stuckey’s location or visit us at stuckeys.com. We hope to see you there!

Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!