By the fall of 1945 World War II was over. The boys were coming home. The rationing of gas, rubber tires, and many other products no longer existed. Life was returning to normal. Actually it was returning to a normalcy many had not lived since before the thirties, because the war and the post-war boom moved America out of the depression era and into a new world and economy.
Headlines in the Union City Daily Messenger on November 19, 1945 proclaimed KITTY LEAGUE REORGANIZED: UNION CITY IN. A meeting held in Mayfield Kentucky reorganized the Kitty League that had closed down in 1942 because of the war . While there were a number of small towns interested in supporting professional baseball, there were a number that thought there were more pressing priorities . Invitations were sent to eleven cities to attend the reorganization meeting in a Mayfield hotel. The cities having been members of the Kitty League at it's shutdown in 1942 were given first right of membership. Those towns were Jackson and Union City in Tennessee: Hopkinsville, Owensboro, Bowling Green, Fulton, Mayfield, and Paducah in Kentucky. Jackson did not send a representative , rather sending word that they could not possibly be ready to start up before 1947. The League sent word back that they would be welcome to return if a subsequent vacancy occurred, but the Kitty would be playing in 1946. Paducah was represented by B. B. Hook, the same man who sponsored the team when the Kitty League reorganized in 1935. However, he said Paducah was unable to come up with the needed capital and playing facilities.
Representatives present and seeking admission were from Union City and Clarksville in Tennessee, Fulton, Mayfield, Madisonville, Owensboro, Hopkinsville, and Bowling Green in Kentucky, Cairo, Illinois, and Vincennes, Indiana. The only three teams to be voted unanimously into membership were Mayfield, Fulton, and Union City. The others elected into the eight team membership were Owensboro, Hopkinsville, Madisonville, Bowling Green, and Clarksville. Cairo and Vincennes were rejected. Madisonville and Clarksville replaced Jackson and Paducah.
At the same meeting a number of other resolutions were passed. Umpires would be paid at a rate of $200 a month and their old practice of paying $5 per game would be repealed. General admission prices would not exceed $.50 plus federal tax, J. P. Friend of Blythesville, Arkansas, was again appointed official statistician at a contract rate of $100 for the season, and each team was allowed to appoint and pay their official scorers as they chose as long as they were paid at least $1 per game. Each team would pay their own travel expenses and would receive no guarantee from the home team, rather a percentage of the gate.
Union City's unofficial representative to this organizational meeting was Cecil Moss. Mr. Moss had been the President of the Union City Greyhounds, when the club was disbanded in 1942. He returned to Union City to meet with the Milton-Talley American Legion Post 20 to find out their interest in sponsoring league baseball in the city. After meeting with the Post Executive Committee it was announced that the group was interested in sponsoring the team if the city was interested in supporting the effort. A group was appointed to meet with the city government representatives, and on December 4, 1945 the Legion announced its intent to sponsor organized professional baseball in Union City. The city agreed to provide the playing spaces at Turner Memorial Field and to make necessary improvements in the playing field, grandstand seating, and lighting. There was a need for more bleachers and one light pole had burned as a result of a lightning strike since the field was last in use. The spokesman announcing this news was Dixon Williams a member of the Legion.
The American Legion was a strong organization in the community. Veteran organizations have always been a force in communities like Union City, but this was especially true after WWII. In 1945 the local post had 1000 members with a goal of 1500. The Post at Obion had 250 members. In addition to the professional level they also sponsored for a number of years Legion baseball for young men age 13-17, as well as basketball teams that played on a regular basis at the National Guard Armory on West Main Street. These were community spirited organizations that left an imprint on their communities.
Soon after returning to their homes the various representatives began to consider the implications of the reorganizational meeting. It soon became apparent to those west of the Tennessee River that there were more reasons for their unanimous selection than their popularity. When the teams of Union City, Fulton, and Mayfield started looking at the economic ramifications of the league they began to have second thoughts. The expenses associated with travel were of concern to all clubs. It was assumed those games played between teams on the same side of the Tennessee River could be played without an over night stay. When the schedule called for a series, usually three games, to be played between teams on opposite sides of the river this would necessitate two nights in a hotel, plus the higher food and gas expenses. Said one representative, "we can't take our teams over there for less than $100 per day, and we never received more than the $40 guarantee when we played them before the war. Since there are three teams west of the river and five teams east of the river, we have higher seasonal expenses than they do."
The answer was another meeting reported in the Louisville Courier as "a group of insurgents". In a meeting held at the Cairo Hotel in Cairo, Illinois, there was an attempt to form a new league, or at least reform the existing one. It is logical to assume the meeting was instigated by factions in Cairo since it was held in Cairo, with Cairo attending, and after Cairo had been denied membership at the Mayfield meeting.
As a result of this Cairo meeting and a discussion of the economic realities associated with the Kitty League as configured during the earlier Mayfield meeting, Fulton, Mayfield, and Union City decided to withdraw from the newly reorganized Kitty League. Instead they began to talk to other small towns in the surrounding area about forming a league that would allow less expensive travel budgets and more fan support through reasonable travel between league cities. Included in the talks were the Tennessee cities of Jackson, Paris, Milan, Martin, and Dyersburg. The city of Corinth, Mississippi, was also contacted. In the Louisville Courier story, reported from Columbus Ohio during the winter baseball meetings, Union City was credited with the "insurgency". The same story said these teams hoped to be able to continue the use of the "famous Kitty League name". It pointed out, however, the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues had to recognize the fledging league, and as long as four of the teams currently configured and recognized as the reorganized Kitty League fielded a team, they would be the Kitty League.
In early December, the president of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, Judge W, D. Bramham, announced approval for the reorganized group attending the November meeting in Mayfield to began play as the Kitty League on May 1, 1946. This approval was announced despite assurances that no decision would be made until the league had the opportunity to work out their differences. Fulton club president K. P. Dalton said Fulton would not play in a league so unbalanced. Union City remained interested in formation of a new league as well.
Another meeting was held in Cairo on December 12, 1945. The result was the formation of the class D, Mid-South League. The members were Cairo, Illinois; Cape Giradeau and Sikeston, Missouri; Fulton and Mayfield, Kentucky; and Union City, Tennessee. The League president was Lawrence Holland, principal of Fulton High School. However, before the ink was dry on the minutes of the meeting, Mayfield went home, changed their minds, and decided to stay in the Kitty League.
The Mayfield decision was important because it created imbalance in both leagues. There were not enough teams to play a meaningful season in the Mid-South and Mayfield certainly could expect to lose money in the Kitty if every away game involved overnight expenses. At one point the Union City American Legion announced "baseball would not flourish in Union City" if they were not allowed to leave the Kitty League and join the Mid-South. At a Kitty League meeting on December 17, 1945, Union City and Fulton were allowed to withdraw from the Kitty League with the understanding they could reenter the league for the 1946 or '47 seasons if a vacancy existed. Cecil Moss and W. T. Wirt were the Union City American Legion reps at this meeting.
In the next month the Mid-South League fell apart and died without an opening ball ever being thrown out. While the economic problems were still present there was a great deal of sentiment for baseball in Uniion City. An editorial in the local newspaper urged readers to "voice their choices and support". Fulton's group meanwhile voted to rejoin the Kitty League.
At a meeting held by the American Legion group, with Cecil Moss as chair, 50 enthusiastic fans attended. It was noted that a $750 guarantee must be raised to cover the application fee for the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues. In short order $900 was pledged and a committee was formed to contact other potential donors. The $750 fee was turned over to Shelby Peace, Kitty League President, on January 20, 1946 and Union City was back in the Kitty League. Some would say they never left it.
Meanwhile, Bowling Green, perhaps tiring of the bickering, withdrew from the league and Cairo was awarded their franchise. This had the effect of balancing the league with four teams on each side of the Tennessee River. A Kentucky-Illinois-Tennessee (KIT) membership in the Kitty League was also preserved. The season was set to start on May 7 and would end on September 2.