Buff Stadium: The Fair Maid Moon!

Fair Maid 001

Some of us called it “The Fair Maid Moon.”  By evening game time at Buff Stadium during the Post World War II last days of Houston’s minor league history (1946-61), the old bread bakery sign hung faithfully, and lovingly, and hopefully too, in the summer night sky. Suspended in full view of Buff fans, and hanging like an ascending astral body, just above the left center field fence line, and even though it never actually moved, the neon-lighted Fair Maid sign always seemed ready to take off in celebration of the Buffs  across the Houston evening air. What is sent to us in compensation for its own lack of movement was a fragrance usually reserved for the baker man himself.  The aroma of freshly baking bread came wafting into the stands at Buff Stadium like clockwork, peaking appetites, and probably boosting hot dog and hamburger sales many times over President Allen Russell’s wildest dreams.

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The photo that yields this typical glimpse of a night at Buff Stadium reveals through the above crop-shot that that season  of its taking had be wither 1956 or 1957. Those were the only two times that the league included Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Shreveport, and Tulsa. From a larger copy of this shot than I am able to include here, I can give you this rundown on the three line scores on display: Dallas @ San Antonio, San Antonio leads 1-0 through 6 innings; Fort Worth @ Austin, Austin leads 7-2 through 3 innings; Tulsa @ Shreveport, game is tied 4-4 though 4 1/2 innings. That leaves Oklahoma City, playing in the field, against Houston, the home club. I can’t tell you the score because we cannot see the Buff Stadium home scoreboard in far left field.

Fair Maid 005 Dead center field in Buff Stadium was 424 feet from home plate. and the outfield pasture also included a free-standing flagpole of some considerable similarity to the one that now resides in Minute Maid Park. It was located about five feet in from the outer wall, but there was no hill to climb.

Note the prevailing wind that typically blew the flag from right to left as the breeze came across the right field fence from the gulf.

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That’s the Fair Maid Moon close up, hanging low in the sky behind Buff Stadium from its perch above the Fair Maid Bakery, a long two blocks north of the ballpark at the corner of Leeland and Cullen and burning much brighter than its product image on the billboard to its right. The happy face of an old friend, even in a photograph, is a mighty comfort that peels away so much loss over time. I thank you for being there again today, old friend.

Good night again, Fair Maid Moon, wherever you now are. The memory of your fragrance tells us, heaven’s not far. – Buff Stadium and Heaven, they were once and always, and forevermore they remain the same, the place we once both planted and harvested the seeds and fruits of our fondest baseball dreams about hope and possibility in a once more beautiful world.

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4 Responses to “Buff Stadium: The Fair Maid Moon!”

  1. Leona Schroeder Says:

    THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES. PUT ME ON YOUR LIST OF E-MAIL
    MEMORIES ABOUT THE BUFFS.

  2. Leona Schroeder Says:

    I was born & raised in Houston at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
    I have lived in Houston all but three years of my life,
    when I lived in Galveston. Texas while hisband attended
    UT Medical School. Moved back to Houston after he graduated
    He is still practicing as a Family Practice
    physician after 48 years. We both love “Houston” and all three
    of our children & families live here also.

  3. Mike levingston Says:

    I have a buffalos medallion from atop buff stadium. Anyone interested?

  4. Glenda Goehrs Says:

    Thanks for these sweet memories. I’m writing my memoirs and wanted some specifics about the old Fair Maid Bakery sign that hung over Buff Stadium where I first learned to love baseball in 1952. I still have a team photo given to fans one year. A treasure indeed. Still love baseball and have had season tickets to the University of Texas games at Disch Falk Field. It’s the closest I can get to the Buff Stadium experience. I seldom miss a game and sometimes travel with the team.
    Glenda – Milby High School graduate of 1956

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