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  • Writer's pictureMatt Colville

Dub Herring Park - Pearl River Wildcats Baseball



Photos by Matt Colville, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.57


Dub Herring Park Poplarville, MS 39470



Year Opened: 2019

Capacity: 400


Welcome to 'The Dub' at Fabulous Pop Vegas

Pearl River Community College is one of 15 schools that make up the Mississippi Association of Community Colleges Conference (MACCC) for baseball. Located in the small town of Poplarville, MS in Pearl River County, the school opened in 1911, making it the oldest community college in the state.


Nicknamed the Wildcats, the baseball program has become a powerhouse in recent years, winning four MACCC State Championships since 2018 and two Region 23 Championships. Prior to 2018 the Wildcats had only won two State Championships, in 1939 and 2004, but the school's greatest feat occurred in 2022 when the Wildcats advanced to and won the NJCAA College World Series, the school's only national championship in baseball.



The Wildcats play at one of the finest ballparks in all of Juco baseball, Dub Herring Ballpark. After the 2018 season the school knocked down the old ballpark and built what you see today, including a new press box and 400 chairback seats with a shaded canopy. Re-dedicated after Dub Herring, a local RV and car dealer and longtime supporter of Pearl River athletics, The Dub has a homefield advantage unlike any other, and remains one of the most intimidating places to play in all of Juco baseball.


Food & Beverage   3

There is one small stand under the pavilion separating The Dub from PRCC softball stadium. The usual fare is sold here, with hamburgers, hot dogs, sausage dogs, nachos, pulled pork nachos, boiled peanuts, popcorn, chips, and candy rounding out the menu – expect small town prices here, as everything is under $5. Coca-Cola is the soft drink provider with 20 oz drinks selling for $3, and you can also purchase Pearl River baseball and softball shirts, along with hats, at the concession stand.   

 

Atmosphere   4

Dub Herring Park is located on campus, as part of PRCC Sportsplex, which also includes Dobie Holden Stadium and the softball facility. The Dub has a unique and interesting design, making it stand out among normal looking ballparks. The grandstand is basically concrete steps that go up, with rows of chairback seats in the Wildcats color of maroon – there are 6 rows of 400 chairbacks separated by a walkway. The exterior of the ballpark is designed with brick, including a brick press box behind home plate.


As part of the second phase of the recent renovation, two luxury suites were added down the first baseline prior to the 2023 season. In addition, the great thing about The Dub is that the entire ballpark is shaded, as the first and third baselines are covered by a tin awning held up by three brick columns; the only areas in the sun are the first two rows.


Pearl River also does a great job utilizing the maroon color scheme throughout the ballpark, as the entire outfield wall is made of maroon wall pads. There are also no advertisements or sponsor banners along the outfield wall; instead, banners honoring the Wildcats lone national championship, as well as banners honoring the Wildcats MACCC state championships wins cover the wall.


The Dub is not a hitter's friendly ballpark due to the "Maroon Monster", an 18-foot-high part of the left field wall, similar to Fenway's Green Monster. The centerfield batter's eye is quite high as well, making this a hard ballpark to hit it out of the park in. A state-of-the-art videoboard scoreboard sits in left center field; this is quite large for a Juco facility. An elevated party deck with two rows of chairback seats also overlooks right field, where you'll find a few of the hardcore fans grilling out and drinking a few beers.


The Dub is built into a grassy hill on the first base side, and students will sometimes come and sit on the hill and watch the game. Behind the third base side is a covered pavilion with a concession stand, plus more picnic tables with bench seating. Down the left field line is the Artigues Family Clubhouse, housing the locker rooms and batting cages for the Wildcats – the clubhouse is named after former coach and current Southeastern Louisiana AD Jay Artigues. Lastly, on the outside of the clubhouse is a banner listing all the former Wildcats who have gone on to play at the professional level.

 

Neighborhood   3

As you enter town, you'll see signs welcoming you to Fabulous "Pop-Vegas". The small town has really worked hard in recent years trying to boost the local economy, centered on the local community college and its thriving blueberry industry. You can park on campus and walk a few blocks over to a lively and pleasant downtown area – start the morning at Popa's Donuts or Main Street Coffee for some delicious brew, and then if you want to do some shopping walk across the street to Apple Ltd, the oldest locally owned clothing store in town, open since 1968. Later, walk next door to Pearl River Drugs and sit down at the old soda fountain for some ice cream, or for other restaurants in town there is Wild West Grill, Deb's Pasta and Pizza, and Fiorella's, which sells seafood.



Pop Vegas is also home to hundreds of blueberry farms, and the town is nicknamed the Blueberry Capital of Mississippi. Every June they host Blueberry Jubilee, attracting thousands of people to the small town – if in town during this weekend there are several blueberry farms which offer tours, as well as samples of some of the best blueberries in the world. In downtown there is a blueberry-themed water tower next to an old, abandoned water silo; this makes for a great photo op. Also before you leave town make sure you fill up your gas at Hall's Service Station; this vintage station is a throwback, so much so that a gas station attendant actually pumps your gas for you.


There is no alcohol sold in Poplarville, as the county is a dry county. Pop Vegas also doesn't have any hotels; instead I would recommend staying about 30 minutes south in Picayune. Or, Poplarville is also about 30 minutes south of Hattiesburg and an hour north of New Orleans, where there are plenty of additional hotels and better food options.

 

Fans   4

With baseball powerhouses Southern Miss and even NAIA William Carey up the road this area of Mississippi loves their baseball, and just 30 minutes down the road it's no different here in Poplarville. Fans show up on gamedays and are quite into the game. Each game averages a couple hundred people spread out throughout the chairbacks – the Dub only has seating for 400 people so expect a sellout, but many of the fans are scattered around, which helps. You'll find fans standing under the pavilion and on the berm area down the first baseline.



There isn't a whole lot to do in town at night either, so many of the local residents are ardent supporters of the Pearl River baseball program. It also helps that the baseball program is consistently ranked in the top 10 of the country, not to mention the MACCC schools have a passionate fan base when it comes to baseball, so expect a decent turnout from away fans as well.     

 

Access   4

Getting to PRCC’s campus shouldn't be too hard; Poplarville is located right off Interstate 55 about an hour northeast of New Orleans and about 30 minutes southwest of Hattiesburg. Exit 29 to Highway 26 will be your best bet, as it is the main road that heads into town – the school is located a few minutes down 26 just north of downtown.


The Dub is kind of hard to find, as it is located on the far north side of campus. If you’re having trouble finding it just go to the north side of the football stadium and it's right there. Once inside the ballpark there are no obstructed views, and it is perfect size for a Juco facility.

 

Return on Investment   3

Tickets are $7 and allow you to sit anywhere you want inside the facility. PRCC has also become a Juco powerhouse in baseball in recent years, so expect a high level of competition between schools. During my most recent visit # 3 ranked Pearl River played # 5 ranked Meridian Community College – a lot of these players will sign with D1 colleges after PRCC. In fact, Pearl River had four sign with D1 baseball schools after the 2024 season, including two who signed with SEC schools.

 

Extras   4

One extra for the Wildcats winning the 2022 NJCAA World Series, capturing the school's first national championship in baseball. A huge banner commemorating that feat sits behind the scoreboard, and is the first thing you’ll see when you come to the ballpark.


People in South Mississippi may not be familiar with the name Dub Herring, but I guarantee you they'll be familiar with Paw Paw from Paw Paw's Camper City. Dub Herring is the namesake behind Paw Paw, and since the 1970s has owned car dealerships throughout southern Mississippi. In 1992 Paw Paw entered the RV business and opened Paw Paw's Camper City in Picayune, now known as Paw Paw's Campers and Cars – for the past 30 years everybody with a television on the Gulf Coast has been greeted to the words "That's a good RV Paw Paw" coming through their TV sets. Thanks in part to his famous commercials, Dub Herring holds a special place in the pop culture of the Gulf Coast. Paw Paw did not attend Pearl River, but his grandkids did, and Herring was the one who raised the funds to build the new baseball stadium that now bears his name.


Another extra for all the famous baseball players to come through here – Pearl River has had over 20 players get drafted into MLB, with four players making it to The Show. Perhaps the most successful player to ever come out of here is outfielder Wendall Magee, who had a seven-year big league career with the Phillies and Tigers, from 1996-2002.


Pearl River has a few famous alumni, but perhaps the most famous alum is Jimmy Buffett, who attended for one year (1966-67). Buffett hated Poplarville, as there are no bars in town to play music in, so he resorted to playing his guitar from his Huff Hall dorm room, which is still standing at the entrance to campus.


Another extra for the Wildcats Den, the official on-campus store for Pearl River athletics. Located at the main entrance to the sports complex, this bookstore rivals some of the nicest bookstores you will find at four-year colleges. You can find all the latest Wildcats merch and even some items on sale, and the baseball game is usually playing on TV for those who want to get some A/C during the game. There is also a pretty cool little history museum right across the street, honoring all the school’s past achievements and housing old memorabilia from Pearl River athletics.



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