Anatomy of a Buffs Scorecard

Official Scorecard of the 1951 Houston Buffs

The Norman Rockwell-like scene selected for the cover of the four-page 1951 Houston Buffs scorecard came courtesy of the ELks magazine. As the program also notes, the original piece of this work was then hanging in the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown.

What else can we learn from this small artifact from local baseball history? The items we are about to see pretty much speak for themselves about who advertised, the availability and cost of baseball food and other mild altering products, plus lineups, rosters, and the Buffs 1951 game schedule. For the most part from here, I just want to get out of the wy and let the pictures speak for themselves. These all came from the four pages of the one-piece folding scorecard that once sold golden memories for ten cents a copy.

As a Buffs supporter, Finger Furniture came early and stayed late. The memory of the Buffs is now immortalized, we hope, at the Houston Sports Museum inside the Finger Furniture Store that still operates on the site of Buff Stadium on the Gulf Freeway in Houston.

I stand corrected by own better memory this morning. Aubrey, Orval, & Mac NEVER said "less overhead in LaPorte." That one belonged to the bald-headed Les Felzer (sp) and his dealership.

Taking in a burlesque show after a Buffs baseball game was never part of my early baseball memories, but I guess old Bozo St. Clair must have pulled in a few fans along the way.

Wild Man Rex Barney, outfielder Gino Cimoli, and manager Bobby Bragan stand out as famous names on the '51 Fort Worth Cats roster.

Check out the # 5 and # 6 holes for Larry Miggins & Jerry Witte, the power of the '51 Buffs. Miggins had 28 HR on the season; Witte had 38.

Hope you can read the prices. Fans did not have to mortgage the ranch to buy good ballpark food and drink at old Buff Stadium, but also note the absence of souvenirs for sale. Baseball had yet to catch on to replica jerseys and caps as an important revenue stream - and maybe we didn't have the excess spending cash in those days, anyway.

Buff Stadium Concession Stand Prices: "Oh, say! Can you see?" Burgers were 25 cents; hot dogs were 20 cents; a fried chicken dinner with fries hung as the big spender food item at 75 cents; soft drinks cost 10 cents; Grand Prize and Southern Select beers were 25 cents; Schlitz Beer set you back 35 cents and, WHOA!, a pack of cigarettes could be yours for a mere 25 cents. Ice cream stopped on a dime, as did peanuts pop corn, and snow cones. They did have a souvenir bat for a whopping 75 cents.

A Buff homer won some "lucky" fan a ten dollar account credit at Grant's for holding the right number in the instant drawing that then occurred at Buff Stadium.

It was also a "given" at Grant's that you could fill in this little coupon, cut it out of your beautiful historical game program, and drop it in the slot at Gran;s in person to have a chance at their next drawing for a "free" Motorola TV. The catch is - you had to go all the way downtown to Grant's to enter. Mail entries were thrown away.

I was a kid in 1951 so this ad did nothing for me, but I don't recall my hardworking dad running out to buy life insurance as result of this George P. Montgomery softball pitch.

Rupley fixed brakes. Gimme a "break," - what do you suppose he gave away during those drawings that got his name mentioned over the PA system at Buff Stadium?

Venetian windows and blinds were really big in the early 1950s, but I could not have told you that this company ever existed had I not read of it closely doing this dissection of the scorecard..

How To Order Tickets By Mail & Another Drawing: This time fans had a chance to win a "gold-filled" watch band from Levit's Jewelry any time a player for either team hit a triple.

W.T. Grant also pushed work clothes and portable radios. "Take one everywhere ... enjoy extra pleasure. See them at Grant's Department Store."

Gaidos. Good then. Good now. (In Galveston only these days.)

At 25 cents a local beer at Buff Stadium, some Buff fans with ten bucks, a thirst, and not much appetite could probably experience a not so sober end to their evening at the Baseball Bar on Cullen and then try driving home drunk. Some things are better today. The drunk driving numbers were much higher in the old days. They just don't show up in the arrest stats because drunk drivers once got away with it unless they caused a wreck or fatality.

I don't recall this pretty girl ever taking my order at the Buff Stadium Concession Stand. Most of the attendants who waited on me were old guys with a two-day beard growth and a Camel cigarette dangling from their lips as they dipped the mustard for the hot dogs.

Some Final Advertisers: These nine additional local sponsors once supported the Buffs with their advertising dollars. For that contribution, those of us who care about the preservation of local baseball history need to express our gratitude.

Well, that’s it. Four pages of the printed word with pictures and cartoons have survived in this fold-over piece of light cardboard paper like a little time capsule on the way things were in Houston during the middle of the twentieth century. I hope you’ve enjoyed this operation as much as I have enjoyed looking with you for all the little specific messages it contains from back in the day.

Most of these little scorecards never made it out of the ballpark back in 1951. When the game was over, they ended up as trash in the stands to be collected and burned. This one just happened to end up in the hands of a thirteen year old kid who rarely threw anything away, especially if it had something to do with baseball and the Houston Buffs.

Have a nice weekend, everybody!

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3 Responses to “Anatomy of a Buffs Scorecard”

  1. Wayne Roberts Says:

    I’d like to try that 75 cent fried chicken with fries………….I wouldn’t touch that combo in a park today. And wash it down with a 35 cent Schlitz.

  2. Leona Schifani Schroeder Says:

    What a great memento to send. I really enjoyed seeing it,
    after all these years.

  3. CHARLES LEWIS GOVAN Says:

    would like to talk to someone about the april 51 scorecard i have

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