Baseball Note from a Simpler Time

Base Ball To Day Beeville, Texas By William O. McCurdy 1 Somewhere in Time

Base Ball To Day
Beeville, Texas
By William O. McCurdy I
Somewhere in Time

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Beeville Has a Club

Beeville, Texas, June 29. – D.B. Soffold, depot agent for the Gulf, Western Texas and Pacific (RR) at this place, organized a Beeville baseball club yesterday. The club will immediately go into training for the purpose of playing a match game at the Port Lavaca base ball park in about three weeks from (this) date. A big excursion will be run from here to Port Lavaca when the game is played, and Beeville expects to win the championship for Southwest Texas.

~ Houston Daily Post, June 30, 1897 (and most probably excerpted from a local news telegraph transfer report from either, my grandfather, William O. McCurdy’s newspaper, The Beeville Bee, established in 1886, or from  news put forth by The Beeville Picayune, the paper started by the McFarland brothers in Beeville in 1890.)

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It was a simpler time, but my birthplace and deep family history in Beeville tells me that our town was good and ready for a local base ball team by 1897. The coastal bend area of South Texas still is home to some ardent baseball fans, ones who will proudly point out that Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan may be claimed by Alvin, Texas, but that nothing will ever change the fact that he came into this world at Refugio, Texas, one of the places the Beeville club may have passed through on their base ball excursion to Port Lavaca.

Without further research, we cannot be sure how all this resolute formation of a Beeville base ball club played out, but we do admire and somewhat envy the simplicity of their championship plans. Forget other regional towns and the problems of keeping a league alive for a full season of league play without all but two or three winning clubs disbanding long before season’s end.  Beeville’s plan, courtesy of depot agent and base ball club organizer D. B. Soffold, was very straightforward and supremely confident: (1) Organize a base ball team from the men who showed up for a meeting to discuss same; (2) Fire them up with rhetoric about their abilities to play winning base ball and how much fun it will be to really stick it to the folks down at Port Lavaca on the bay; (3) Practice for about three weeks after all the livelihood cowboy, farming, and mercantile work was done for the day; (4) Set a game date at Port Lavaca, since their neighbors already had a venue they called a base ball park; (5) Whip up enthusiasm among Beevillians for generating a large excursion of Beeville Base Ball cranks to travel with the club on their road to triumphant destiny in Port Lavaca; (6) Go to Port Lavaca and show them all how the game of base ball is supposed to be played;  (7) After winning at Port Lavaca, declare Beeville to be the undisputed Base Ball Champions of Southwest Texas; (8) Get the word out through the Beeville Bee and Beeville Picayune that other Southwest Texas towns that cared to contest Beeville’s swift ascendancy to the top should make a line to schedule challenge matches; and (9) Cities or towns that wish to join the challenge line that is sure to be there sometime fairly soon after the Beeville @ Port Lavaca match game may do so by telegraphing RR Depot Agent D.B. Soffold in Beeville. And while they are at it, they should inquire of Mr. Soffold about his special Beeville Base Ball Rail Road Excursion rates for parties of 100 or more desiring transportation to Beeville for their town’s turn at the base ball championship challenge.

Nothing could have worked simpler.

And, oh yes! Thanks again to Darrell Pittman for sharing this published news of Beeville’s baseball path with us. The source awakened the muses to the path of presumptuousness that may have taken root from the energy, initiative, and all-out cock-sureness of one small rail road depot clerk who started a late 19th century base ball team in an even smaller town.

eagle

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3 Responses to “Baseball Note from a Simpler Time”

  1. Mike McCroskey Says:

    And further research shows that Beeville won? Lost?

  2. Mark W Says:

    Hey! I repaired that banner!

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