Early Houston Baseball Teams

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[1888 Houston Babies – baseballasamerica.org]

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[1889 Houston Babies – lsjunction.com]

Houston had a baseball team as early as 1861. That first team was known as the Houston Base Ball Club. There were many name changes to follow.

The Houston Post reported that, on San Jacinto Day (April 21) in 1868, the Houston Stonewalls played a game at the San Jacinto Battleground against the Galveston Robert E. Lees, and beat the Galveston team 35-2, before a crowd of about 1,000. The game was billed as the “state championship game.” The Galveston paper’s Houston correspondent reported the score as 33-6, stating:

In the meantime, the Houston Stonewalls and Galveston Lees were contending for the championship of the State. The game lasted over four hours, and resulted in an easy victory for the Houston Stonewalls over the Galveston Lees. In seven matches the former were scored thirty-three, the latter only six. Try it again boys; but our Houston athletes are hard to beat.

When the venerable Texas League was founded in 1884, Houston’s club was supposedly called the Red Stockings or Lambs – a newspaper article from that year refers to the Houston team As the Nationals. In 1887, after some period of dormancy, the Texas League featured a Houston team named the Crescents. There was also apparently a Houston Heralds club at the same time, as the Crescents played a game against the Heralds in July 1887 at “the Herald Base-ball park at the head of Travis street.” (An 1896 article refers to a Houston-Chicago game being played at the “new baseball park at the end of Travis street.”)

By 1888, the team was called the Houston Babies. The Babies were the Texas League champions in 1889. In 1903, the team was renamed the Houston Wanderers.

More information:
Lone Star Junction article on early Texas baseball
Astrosdaily.com article on early Houston baseball
Aulbach, L.F., “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” Buffalo Bayou – An Echo of Houston’s Wilderness Beginnings (2006).

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