UH Honors Alumnus Richard Coselli and Others.

UH Grads Mary Jo & Richard Coselli, At Home in Chappell Hill.

For five years, 2004 to 2009, it was my great pleasure to work along side attorney Richard Coselli as volunteers in service to the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame. As Board President from 2004 to 2008, and as President Emeritus through the crack of doom since 2008, but now retired from active service, it remains my fondest hope that the TBHOF will still someday find its home in the form of a physical presence that Houstonians and fellow Texans will be proud to embrace as worthy of its fully stated mission statement for preserving Texas baseball history.

Mr. Richard Coselli was the major person who helped us organize this effort as a legal entity from 2004 through 2009, even providing us with the use of his own office board room for our periodic meetings. We could not have done it all without him. Richard Coselli just happened to have been the exact person we needed during our transitional years in Houston. He was a native Houstonian and a man who loved baseball. Put that all in the basket with his intellect, experience, wisdom, and senses of balance and humor, and we could not have found a better counsel of service to a cause that remains to this day – one that shall always be larger than the whims, aims, needs, or desires of any single person at the helm of leadership. Although Richard Coselli, yours truly, and most others of us from our original formative group are now gone from direct connection to the TBHOF, I think I speak for us all when I say that we still hope for the best and that the organization will survive these hard economic times and find a way to flourish and grow in the future along lines that are governed by integrity of purpose and stable financial support.

Richard Coselli is no newcomer in service to this community. I could not begin to list all the things that both he and his wife, Mary Jo Coselli, have done for Houston, but the two University of Houston graduates continue to do a great many things.

I first became acquainted with Richard Coselli’s contributions while we both were students at UH more than a half century ago. Richard was slightly older than me back then – and still is, for that matter. Funny how that works. – Anyway, we never met back in the 1950s, but I was very aware of his work in organizing the original Frontier Fiesta at UH, the largest campus college show on earth, one that grew big enough to gain a write-up in Life Magazine – a publication from back in the day that spread the good word  in those primitive pre-Internet times that something big was happening in Houston. Ironically, even though I worked on the Frontier Fiesta myself, Richard Coselli and I never met until we both fell into involvement with the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame move to Houston in 2004. I had been a volunteer member of the TBHOF’s selection committee since 2001, but I didn’t wade into the deep water of its work until 2004, when Greg Lucas of Fox Sports and I agreed to head up a move of the organization’s headquarters from Dallas to Houston. Richard Coselli soon came on deck as our legal advisor.

Last Friday night, April 23, 2010, the University of Houston honored Richard Coselli (BS ’55, JD ’58) as one of eleven distinguished alumni who have made enormous contributions to the benefit of UH over the years. The occasion was marked by a formal dinner party, hosted by the UH Alumni Association and addressed by UH Chancellor and President Renu Khator.

President Renu Khator & Jim Parsons (BS '96) of TV's Big Bang Theory.

Richard Coselli was denied the opportunity of being the funniest man on the dais Friday by the presence of fellow honoree Jim Parsons. A 1996 UH graduate, Parsons is having a pretty good run these days on television as the star of the hit comedy show called “The Big Bang Theory,” but that is OK too. Our UH people come in all ages, shapes, and sizes across a diverse line of differential talent.

Richard Coselli simply brings a quartet of elements to the table of any enterprise that money cannot buy. Their names are intelligence, loyalty, honesty, and integrity.

Congratulations, Richard! It’s good to know that our university has now officially recognized what a lot of your friends have known for years. You are the kind of person that has made the University of Houston and the City of Houston the great places they each are.

“In Time” is our UH motto. In time, UH has now finally recognized one of its own for all he has done in service to the greater good of the university community. Congratulations again, my friend. You deserve every ounce and inch of credit that flows from this much larger measure.

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