The 1933 Houston Buffs

The 1933 Houston Buffs from an online photo find by John Watkine, SABR

The 1933 Houston Buffs
from an online photo find by
John Watkins, SABR


Thank you, John Watkins, for providing the visual that made this column desirable. Even if the figures appear smaller in the photo size we are forced to use here, we shall begin with your identification of the players and two club executives featured in this picture from old Buff Stadium in Houston:

“1933 Houston Buffs

Front Row, L-R: Mike Cvengros (P), Bill Beckmann (P), Gene Moore (OF), Ernie Parker (OF), Tommy West (C).
Middle Row, L-R: George Payne (P), Ken O’Dea (C), Carey Selph (Manager), Ival Goodman (OF), George Binder (SS), Ed Hock (3B).
Back Row, L-R: Fred Ankenman (President), Stan Keyes (OF), Oscar Fuhr (P), Ed Greer (P), Robert Kalbitz (1B), Albert Fisher (P), Andy French (Secretary).”

– John Watkins, SABR (and great-nephew of Watty Watkins, the famous former Houston Buff and St. Louis Cardinal).


The 1933 Houston Buffs were a nifty little ball club. They simply ran into the Shaughnessy Playoffs and the hazard of losing everything in a short series down period. Ever hear of that happening since 1933?

The ’33 Buffs posted some pretty fair individual marks. Playing manager 2nd baseman Carey Selph played in 149 games, led the Buffs with 184 hits, 40 doubles and a .310 batting average.

Outfielder Gene Moore led the Buffs with 13 homers. His .299 batting average and 38 doubles were second highest on the club among players who were on the roster for most of the season and who regularly played. It was the ’33 Buffs’ pitching, speed and defense, however, plus the do-as-I-do leadership modeling of Manger Selph that propelled the club to a first place finish in the Texas League with a record of 94 wins, 67 losses and a .623 winning percentage.

Their pitching strength included Ed Greer (22-10, 2.75), former Pittsburgh Pirate Mike Cvengros ( 21-11, 2.38), veteran ace George Payne (19-11, 2.56), Bill Beckmann (14-11, 2.75) and Elmer Hanson (8-2, 1.96).

The Buffs were well represented on the postseason 1933 Texas League All Star team: Houston members included: Jimmy O’Dea (.269 BA), one of two catchers; Carey Selph, 2nd Base; George Binder (.235 BA), shortstop; and Ed Greer, pitcher.

Among 1933 Texas League statistical leaders, Ed “Bear Tracks” Greer tied another for most pitching wins with 22, and pitcher Mike Cvengros owned the league’s lowest earned run average at 2.38.

Unfortunately for the 1st place 1932 Houston Buffs, they fell in three games to the 4th place San Antonio Missions in the first round of the post-season playoffs, as the 2nd place Galveston Buccaneers were eliminating the 3rd Dallas Steers, 3 games to 2. San Antonio went on to defeat Galveston, 4 games to 2 in the finals for the 1933 Texas League championship pennant before going on to a six game loss to the New Orleans Saints of the Southern Association in the Dixie Series.


One Response to “The 1933 Houston Buffs”

  1. Bobby Copus Says:

    Bill, we have spoken about our mutual interest in old photos in the past. The players (and others) current life situations and thoughts at the moment the photo was taken is a mystery, but interesting to ponder about. I enjoy them.

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