A Houston Buffs Souvenir Mitt Mystery.

The Souvenir Buffs Mitt is About 5″ Tall. When was it sold at Buff Stadium?

Yesterday an acquaintance got in touch with me about a souvenir Houston Buffs catcher’s mitt he had just acquired from another collector. This person is a solid Houston Buffs and City of Houston history fan, but he wishes to remain anonymous in this matter that he now shares with everybody else. The question we both have is: When, if ever, was this little (pictured above) item sold at Buff Stadium?  My own guesses are only speculative.

I never saw anything along the line of souvenir gloves for sale at Buff Stadium during the Post World II Era. I recall a few miniature bats and pennants for sale, but I never acquired anything like that as a kid. We weren’t thinking about souvenirs when we went to Buff Stadium back in my day and it’s just as well. Remember what I’ve written here many times over. We played in the sandlot with baseballs held together by electrical tape. There was no money for thinking about souvenirs.

Besides, the style of the glove looks older to me, like something from the early 30s. That sort of works against the idea that souvenirs could have been very appealing to the average Buffs Baseball fans of Houston during the Great Depression Era, but who knows? Maybe they were. We simply lack the proof that this item ever sold at Buff Stadium during any period, in spite of what it says broad as all daylight on the souvenir glove itself. I personally believe that it was once a Buff Stadium souvenir. I just can’t prove it.

Fred Ankenman served as President of the Houston Buffs from 1925 through 1942, the beginning of the World War II Texas League shutdown. Allen Russell took over as President of the Buffs in 1946 and served through 1952. I’m fairly convinced that the souvenir glove in question sold at Buff Stadium somewhere during one of these two periods. It’s too antiquated to have sold beyond the Russell Era – and it’s simply a little impractical to think it sold earlier at West End Park. Buff Stadium didn’t open until 1928.

The back side of the souvenir glove appears to have once been stuck to something.

My friend and I both observed that the marketing decision to actually write the word “souvenir” on the mitt seems a little primitive and unsophisticated by today’s marketing standards, but a lot of items could be judged that way in comparison to the promotion of uniform replica and game-authentic sale of ballpark material in 2010. We have to remember that game replica jerseys and caps have only been around as sales items to fans since the early 1980s. (We sold an authentic game jersey to fans at the University of Houston in 1979, but that’s a much longer story about what probably was the first sale of game-style apparel items to the general  public in America.)

The buffalo figure is remindful of the logo used during the late 20s and early 30s.

If you ever saw this featured Buffs item for sale at Buff Stadium, or if you have any of your own theories on when it might have appeared there, please post them below as comments on this article. Like so many other artifacts of baseball history, the Houston Buffs souvenir mitt comes to light raising more questions than it answers.

Hopefully, it will someday find its way into proper public exhibition and not just get stuck in someone else’s attic or closet for another sixty or seventy years.

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2 Responses to “A Houston Buffs Souvenir Mitt Mystery.”

  1. danielle biermann Says:

    I have one of these mitts but it is stamped with the St. Louis Cardinals and Browns logo. I can only imagine it was from when they played against each other in the world series. I would love to know more about this.

  2. Lynnette Brault Says:

    I have 2 souvenir bats Watty Watkins and Hal Epps from Buff Stadium in a shadow box that belonged to my dad! I would love to sale them as I have no reason to keep them

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