Galveston County News Coverage of Vintage Ball

The Daily News gave front page note to the first page Sports Section story on the vintage game in the upper right hand corner. Robbie Martin of the red-vested Babies and Vince Columbo of the ghostly gray Combine are the poster boys for a new story that gets precedence over results from The Preakness on this same date.

The Daily News gave front page note to the first page Sports Section story on the vintage game in the upper right hand corner. Robbie Martin of the red-vested Babies and Vince Columbo of the ghostly gray Combine are the poster boys for a new story that gets precedence over results from The Preakness on this same date. Callie Mulkey, the 5th place contestant in the bathing suit competition, still got front page coverage over all others on the front page the next day. – How does that work?

On Sunday, May 19. 2013, the Galveston County Daily News gave the Houston Babies and the Katy Combine some monster coverage for their appearance at the Island City Beach Revue and Bathing Beauty Competition the previous day – and they did it for the two clubs’ journey to the Gulf for some good old-fashioned vintage base ball on the seawall drive section that goes right past the playing grounds at the iconic Hotel Galvez.

The Babies and the Combine played out a titanic struggle by the sea, one that only ended after the Houston Babies rallied from an 11-4 deficit at one point to make up a final three-run differential in their last time up to tie the Katy Combine at 14-14 and call it a good place to stop in the presence of fading sunlight.

Alex Hajduk tees off for the Babies. That's Tom Flores of the Combine in the lower section. Tom gave it up for all by serving as the game's "Blind Tom" (umpire).

Alex Hajduk tees off for the Babies. That’s Tom Flores of the Combine in the lower section. Tom gave it up for all by serving as the game’s “Blind Tom” (umpire).

Writer John DeLapp and photographer Kevin M. Cox are responsible for the fine coverage in both words and images, doing a good job of capturing the excitement of the crowd and challenges of the game played on a field that was really too small for the game. As a result, colossal drives to the roof of the two-story parking garage next door were contained by agreement as ground rule singles. Power hitting Babies guy Alex Hajduk jacked three Ruthian swats to the parking lot roof. In fact, that’s one of them shown leaving his bat in the photo featured above on Page One of the Sports Section.

PAST BALL is PLAY BALL. The Astros got a higher placement but our vintage game got the larger headline. That's Vince "The Viper" Columbo of the Combine connecting as Babies catcher Robby Martin looks on with great interest and anticipation.

PAST BALL is PLAY BALL. The Astros got a higher placement but our vintage game got the larger headline. That’s Vince “The Viper” Columbo of the Combine connecting as Babies catcher Robby Martin looks on with great interest and anticipation.

“PAST BALL” IS “PLAY BALL!” Those two words say it all as the best summary on vintage base ball. It is a game that is played in happiness, a game that is both competitive and yet, still joyful – the closest experience to all day sandlot baseball that most of us once knew as kids, a contest taken seriously without grown up rules and interference. We all always understood these two facts: “Three strikes and you’re out. Three outs and the other team bats.” Grasping that much, you get to play a game you love with people you value as brothers and sisters of the baseball soul. – Who could want or ask for anything more, except for a cool breeze every now and then and plenty of water, as long as it didn’t fall from the sky on game day?

That Saturday in Galveston was wonderful. I’ve got a feeling that the next time we travel to the Island, there’s a good chance that we shall run into a new/old club – via the resurrection of the Galveston Sand Crabs.

All of us who do anything to bring vintage base ball to life in the Greater Houston Area want to thank John DeLapp and Kevin M. Cox, the Galveston County News, and the planners of the Beach Revue Weekend for bringing vintage base ball to life on the Island that special weekend. Let’s do it again sometime – and let’s get those Sand Crabs in motion again while the iron of passionate interest is hot!

Have a nice hump day, everybody!

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