More News of the 1888 Houston Babies

The Houston Base Ball Club 1889 Primary Tenants Fair Grounds Park Milam @ McGowen Houston, Texas

The 1889 Houston Base Ball Club
(Our Search for a Photo of the 1888 Club Remains a Work-in-Progress)
Primary Tenants
Fair Grounds Park
Milam @ McGowen
Houston, Texas


Bearer of New Houston Babies Uniforms is Almost a Gunslinger *

“G.H. Genslinger, a member of the Texas Base-ball Association, was in the city today on his way from New Orleans to Austin. Mr. Genslinger has in his possession the new uniforms of the Houston “babies”.

~ Galveston Daily News, May 15, 1888, Page 5.

  • New Item Headline Assigned to this Item by The Pecan Park Eagle, 2/19/2016. Unfortunately, no description of the uniforms was included with the social note. What was most important about this news from 5/15/1888 – a full description for history of the uniforms? Or the fact that Mr. Genslinger passed through town with the uniforms in his possession? – That’s right, the newspapers weren’t writing for history, but over time, they are often the only source we have for finding information that was never reported directly or recorded officially. – And that, dear friends, takes in about 95% of the matters we need to resolve by social research. – Years ago we had a description of the original Houston Babies uniforms as being olive green of color with red lettering and red leg stockings. Sadly, we misplaced the citation, but we are reasonably certain that it exists in the early March 1888 reports from the Houston Post. We will attempt to find it again, but we do not possess access to the Houston Post at our “News Archives” Internet newspaper resource.


Rock-a-Bye, Babies! Dallas Hams Dam Houston Pitcher Flood! Ham Makes Babies Sleepy, 7-1 *

“Houston, August 5 (1888) – About 1200 people witnessed the game (at Fair Grounds Park) between (the) Dallas (Hams) and (the) Houston (Babies). As predicted, the visitors won hands down. From the very start Dallas began to pound (Houston pitcher) Flood all over the field, much to the surprise of the average Houstonian, as he has heretofore been very effective against them.

“In the first inning, Hanlon, the umpire, was struck by a quickly pitched ball and injured severely, necessitating his retirement. Godar of Houston and Crothers of Dallas were agreed to by both teams to umpire the game to a close. Several pretty plays were made by both sides, but the maroons proved themselves too strong for the babies, and gently rocked them to sleep by the tune of 7 to 1. …”

~ Galveston Daily News, August 6, 1888, Page 7.

  • The anonymous 1888 reporter for the Galveston Daily News didn’t really need any help from The Eagle in the matter of finding a placement for the “rock-a-bye, baby” metaphor. All we did was move it to the headlines and change the emphasis to sleep being a bi-product also of too much “ham” consumption. “Damming the Flood” was also a sucker punch phrase application in this instance, but it is still fun writing it out here. – Also, I suppose we may presume that the two stand-in player umpires must have done a fair job. There were no further reports of fights or riots after the regular umpire was retired by a “quickly pitched ball.” Those quickly pitched balls are still far more dangerous than the underhand lob pitches our 2016 vintage Houston Babies see in their 1860s rules contests against the Barker Red Sox, the Katy Combine, and the Motor City Strikers, but our modern Houston preservationist players of the classic early base ball game are not all quite as young as these players from the 19th century were in their time. – Our “Blind Tom” umpire and most of our 2016 Houston Babies players are advised to watch out for the high lob pitches too. If a player isn’t careful, he could get hit on top of the head.


Tomorrow, Saturday, February 20, 2016, at 11:00 AM, at the corner of Milam and McGowen, is the time and place we turn out to hear Mike Vance and the local and state historical groups dedicate the memorial plaque to the site of Houston’s first significant base ball park. Please join us. Base ball uniforms and 19th century attire is encouraged, but not required. And it’s free, but the sale of books and art on Houston baseball and important local historical parks will be for sale. The dedication ceremony itself will start promptly at 11 o’clock AM. The actual program will only last for 30 minutes, but there will be some hobnobbing time for those who want to talk local history, I’m sure. You will be out in crisp time to enjoy the rest of Saturday and maybe a lunch in some new or favorite old place in our downtown, midtown, or museum district areas. – We live in a  great city – and the plaque dedication ceremony will be a great way to throw out the first pitch of a beautiful Saturday in the Bayou City.

Hope to see all of you tomorrow!


 eagle-0range Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: