MGA Baseball Hosts “Stuckey’s Day” On The Cochran Campus

Author: Sheron Smith
Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2024 12:00 AM
Categories: Athletics | Pressroom | Students | Events- Public

Cochran, GA


The Knights are paying tribute to an Eastman family behind an iconic roadside store chain that, some four decades ago, made it possible for Middle Georgia State to light up the University’s Cochran Campus baseball field for the first time.

“Stuckey’s Day” starts at about 12:45 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at Stuckey Field, where the Knights will take on the Eagles of Faulkner University in an SSAC matchup. A member of the Stuckey family, Will Stuckey, will toss the ceremonial first pitch and give away pecan log rolls and other Stuckey’s merchandise while supplies last.

The game is free and open to the public.

“We’re delighted to host a representative of the Stuckey family and highlight MGA’s connection to a business that many people still have a lot of nostalgia for,” said Michael Brown, the University’s athletics director. “It will be a great day for the community to come out and catch a ballgame.”

This will be the third “Stuckey’s Day” that Knights baseball has hosted. The tribute began in 2021 when Kathy Wilson, mother to Knights player Ryan Wilson, learned that Stuckey Field on the Cochran Campus was named after the family that founded the roadside store chain she remembered so fondly from traveling around the Midwest with her family when she was growing up.

Here’s the MGA connection: Robert Sapp, the legendary baseball coach who led what was then Middle Georgia College to four National Junior College Athletic Association championships, began looking for donors in the late 1970s to install light poles at the field. He approached the Stuckey family, which contributed $10,000. That gesture helped attract a few additional private donations, as well as some public funding through the state legislature.

At the time, Stuckey’s stores and their blue-teal roofs were a familiar part of the landscape. From the late 1930s through the 1970s, Stuckey’s locations were popular stops for travelers looking to fill up their car tanks, take restroom breaks, peruse aisles of novelty toys and kitschy items, and stock up on branded treats, especially the pecan log rolls the franchise was famous for.

The franchise was founded by W.S. Stuckey Sr. of Eastman, less than 20 miles from Cochran. At its peak, the franchise boasted nearly 370 stores. The company declined after changing owners, and most of the stores have closed. But in recent years there has been a resurgence of Stuckey’s-branded pecan snacks and candies under the ownership of Stephanie Stuckey, granddaughter of the original founder.

Stephanie Stuckey attended MGA’s “Stuckey’s Day” in 2021 and 2022. Matt Holt Books recently published her book, “Unstuck: Rebirth of an American Icon,” about the resurgence of the Stuckey’s brand.

Directions to and a map of MGA’s Cochran Campus are at