1963: Houston’s 3rd MLB Dinner

DUSTY BOGGESS 1963 WINNER BILL KLEM AWARD

DUSTY BOGGESS
1963 WINNER
BILL KLEM AWARD

Born in the era when baseball’s greatest stars were still available for honors without first asking “how much am I going to get paid for this appearance?”, the 3rd annual Houston Baseball Dinner was taking place for the third consecutive year at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel in Houston on Tuesday, January 22, 1963. In all due respects to the fact that we no longer may be able to afford such a banquet lineup without price-gouging the heart of baseball support, the average fans that most of us are, totally out of the picture, these times remain a part of the history that brought baseball to Houston.

It’s too bad that some social conditions cannot live forever. As a changing society, we continue to kill off all the sandlot connecting elements of our American culture that once bonded older generations to baseball as our national pastime. We should not be surprised that the day may be coming when baseball loses the tenuous hold that it still enjoys with some elements of the younger generations. And, if the game finally dies in response to the same old faces of greed that we see in its owners and players that we see everywhere else, its demise may not be mourned by younger generations who grew up knowing nothing else but situations in which 18 year old first round draft choices get hosed out of 1.5 million dollars in their promised signing bonuses to the point that they couldn’t possibly think of signing for a mere 5 million bucks. – Try selling that hard-luck story to those of us who were sandlotters and members of our local club’s “knothole gang.”

For history alone, here’s a brief account of the third annual Houston MLB dinner in 1963. The Pecan Park Eagle isn’t sure that there is even enough interest in this subject to continue beyond today, but we shall think about it. Let us know if the subject holds any interest for you.

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(3rd Annual MLB) Houston Baseball Dinner (January 22, 1963)

YOGI BERRA 1963 WINNER TRIS SPEAKER AWARD

YOGI BERRA
1963 WINNER
TRIS SPEAKER AWARD

Houston keeps the baseball spark alive during the off-season when the Houston Sports Assn. and the Houston Chapter of the Baseball Writers Assn. stage the third annual dinner Tuesday night (tonight, January 22, 1963).

Fast becoming a major attraction of the “hot stove league,” the fete will honor such outstanding baseballers as Yogi Berra of the New York Yankees, Don Drysdale of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Dick Groat of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Berra will be the recipient of the Tris Speaker Award – given for long service to baseball. Drysdale will be awarded the Dickie Kerr Award, as the outstanding pitcher in the major leagues for 1962, and Groat will receive the Eddie Dyer Award for hustle and courage.

DON DRYSDALE 1963 WINNER DICKIE KERR AWARD

DON DRYSDALE
1963 WINNER
DICKIE KERR AWARD

DICK GROAT 1963 WINNER EDDIE DYER AWARD

DICK GROAT
1963 WINNER
EDDIE DYER AWARD

BOB LILLIS 1ST HOUSTON CLUB MVP 1963 AWARD FOR 1962 SEASON

BOB LILLIS
1ST HOUSTON CLUB MVP
1963 AWARD
FOR 1962 SEASON

GLENN VAUGHAN 1963 WINNER TEXAS-BORN MINOR LEAGUE PLAYER OF YEAR

GLENN VAUGHAN
1963 WINNER
TEXAS-BORN
MINOR LEAGUE
PLAYER OF YEAR

Others to be be honored are Dusty Boggess (the recipient of the Bill Klem Award) as the outstanding umpire in the major leagues, Bob Lillis as the most valuable (Houston) Colt .45 for the past season, and Glenn Vaughan as the outstanding Texan is the minor leagues during 1962.

The fete will get away in the Emerald Room of the Shamrock Hilton at 7 p.m. and a sellout crowd of 1,000 is expected although a few tickets (at $10 a piece) were still available Tuesday morning.

~ Galveston Tribune, Tuesday, January 22, 1963, Page 7.

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Boggess Retires at Houston Dinner

After receiving the Bill Klem Award, the native Texan with a 22-season umpiring career who spent the past 19 of those years in service to the National League, arbiter deluxe Dusty Boggess surprised everyone by announcing his retirement from the podium, after first making sure that everyone understood his gratitude for the Klem Award.:

On the Klem Award: “My friends – if I have any  this is the happiest moment of my life.” – Dusty Boggess.

On Retirement: “Tonight I’m retiring from the National League. My eyes are growing old and my legs are getting tired. I’d rather go out when I’m on top, and have you say, ‘he is a pretty good umpire,’ than have you say, ‘he used to be.’ ” – Dusty Boggess.

(Lyndon Ross) Dusty Boggess, 59, graduated from high school in Waco, Tex. and broke into pro baseball as an infielder in 1921.

~ Auburn (NY) Citizen Advertiser, Wednesday, January 23, 1963, Page 18.

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6 Responses to “1963: Houston’s 3rd MLB Dinner”

  1. Bobby Copus Says:

    Bill, I find the subject interesting. Thanks.

  2. Rick B. Says:

    Bill,
    The subject is of interest to me. As you stated today, and as I mentioned in my post yesterday, the days gone by were kinder to fans than the present. I love reading the tales of yesteryear – keep them coming, please.

  3. Raeann R. Says:

    Bill, Read your piece about the Buffs. My dad, tried out for the St. Louis Cardinals at Buff Stadium. No he didn’t make the team, but he had three days of fun during the process.

    He watched many games at Buff Stadium as a young boy. Several years ago, he asked me to find out the cost of a season ticket to the Buffs for the Hole in the Wall Gang. If you have any info about the ticket price and the Gang, I would love to hear it. My Dad’s 91st birthday is August 7, 2014. That would be a nice surprise for him.

    • Bill McCurdy Says:

      Raeann, – As a member of the Knothole Gang in Buff Stadium in 1951, you just had to be a kid (I forget the top age), sign up with the Buffs and get a card. That Knothole Gang membership card got you into any Buffs regular season game for a quarter to sit in the Knothole Gang section stands down the far left field line. We were located in front of the Buffs clubhouse and could see the up close coming and going of the Buffs team – who were almost always nice and friendly to all of us, For another quarter, we could feed ourselves with a hot dog, coke, and pop corn. One time I tried to catch a foul ball with a hot dog in my left glove hand. I lost the hot dog and the yellowed baseball to another kid as it popped out of my hand and rolled into the easy reach of another kid. I’ll never forget my disappointment – nor have I ever forgotten the other kid’s smirking smile. – Say hello to your dad for me!

      • Raeann Says:

        Thanks, Bill. Dad will be thrilled to hear your story. He has it in his head that there was a season ticket for the Gang, but maybe that was never the case.

        I’ll print out your story and insert it in his birthday card.

        Many thanks.

  4. Emmett McAuliffe Says:

    In ’63 the Colt .45s had a youth movement. 6 of the 7 youngest players in MLB that year were Colts. http://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/NL/1963-other-leaders.shtml

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