Fair Grounds Park Marker Goes Up With Smiles

Fair Grounds Park Milam at McGowen Houston Texas 1st Local Home of Professional Baseball 1888-1904

Fair Grounds Base Ball Park
Milam at McGowen
Houston Texas
1st Local Home of Professional Baseball
1888-1904

Behind the efforts of Houston historian/Master of Ceremonies Mike Vance, the Harris County Historical Commission, and the Texas Historical Commission, the plaque that memorializes Fair Grounds Park, at the block bordered north and south by Milam to the west and Travis to the east, and east west at its northern boundary by McGowen in the Midtown area of Houston, is now done. The featured plaque shown above went up as planned on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 11:00 AM before a small and genteel crowd of avid preservationists and baseball history fans.

 

The local and state historical groups appropriately covered the new plaque behind the Texas Flag until it was time for the presentation.

The local and state historical groups appropriately covered the new plaque behind the Texas Flag until it was time for the presentation.

 

 

This beautiful rendition of Fair Grounds Base Ball Park was painted and copy righted by incredible SABR artist Patrick Lopez in 2014.A very limited number of prints are still available for $25 from SABR thru local chapter President Bob Dorrill by e-mail at BDorrill@aol.com

This beautiful rendition of Fair Grounds Base Ball Park was painted and copyrighted by incredible SABR artist Patrick Lopez in 2014. A limited number of prints are available for $25 from SABR thru local chapter President Bob Dorrill by e-mail at BDorrill@aol.com

 

Mike Vance and Harris County Historical Commission member Debra Sloan with the new historical plaque.

Mike Vance and Debra Sloan of the Harris County Historical Commission survey the first few moments of the new Fair Grounds Base Ball Park plaque’s public exhibition at Milam and McGowen.

 

Chris Varela of the HCCC also joined Mike Vance for a photo of the City of Houston's Proclamation of support for the marker. Gayle Davies and Will Howard of the HCCC also were present for the dedication, but we missed our opportunity for getting their photos too. Sorry, folks.

Chris Varela of the HCCC joined Mike Vance for a photo of the City of Houston’s Proclamation of support for the marker. Gayle Davies and Will Howard of the HCCC also were present for the dedication, but we missed our opportunity for getting their photos too. ~ Sorry, folks.

 

According to Mike Vance, seven individual proclamations were received in support of the marker dedication: Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Governor Greg Abbott, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Senator Ted Cruz, State Senator John Whitmire and State Representative Garnett Coleman all sent notices of support that today, Saturday 20, 2016, was dedicated by them all as “Fair Grounds Base Ball Park Day in Houston and the State of Texas.” And, as Mike Vance also notes on his Facebook page, this was a united show of 4 Democrats and 3 Republicans. It was almost enough to revive our hope for a system that once got things done by cooperation.

 

Debra Jaynes of the HCHC also joined Mike Vance for the letters of and declarations of support for the Fair Grounds Base Ball Park plaque.

Debra Sloan of the Harris County Historical Commission also joined Mike Vance to help announce the letters and declarations of support for the Fair Grounds Base Ball Park plaque.

 

Our vintage base ball folks showed up dressed for the occasion. (L>R) Robert Pena and Joe Thompson of the Houston Babies; Janeen Schneider and Tony Cavender of SABR; Bob Dorrill of the Babies; and Bob Copus of the Barker Red Sox. AFter the ceremony, our uniformed guests quickly exited through the time warp weep holes from which they came.

Our vintage base ball folks showed up dressed for the occasion. (L>R) Robert Pena and Joe Thompson of the Houston Babies; Janeen Schneider and Tony Cavender of SABR; Bob Dorrill of the Babies; and Bob Copus of the Barker Red Sox. After the ceremony, our 1860s era uniformed guests quickly exited through the time warp weep holes from which they came.

 

Bill McCurdy and Bob Copus Old friendships are link an ancient oak tree. They possess the power to branch into all kinds of growth directions - especially when one of those limbs is vintage base ball and another is the history of "God's Game".

Bill McCurdy and Bob Copus
Old friendships are like an ancient oak tree. They possess the power to branch into all kinds of growth direction – especially when one of those limbs is vintage base ball and another is the history of “God’s Game”. ~ The Pecan Park Eagle.

 

Janeen Schneider and Sarah Smith, both of SABR, share a moment together. They probably are discussing the many names these grounds claimed over the years, including the 1896 season in which they may have been the first base ball in the world to have sold the naming rights to their place when they allowed the old and long defunct Houston Herald dub their grounds for that season as "Herald Park".

Janeen Schneider and Sarah Smith, both of SABR, share a moment together. They probably are discussing the many names these grounds claimed over the years, including the year in which they may have been the first base ball park in the world to have its naming rights sold to either the highest or only bidder. In 1895, the grounds were named for the short-lived and long ago defunct local newspaper, the Houston Herald. As a result, the place officially was known as “Herald Park” for a single season.

 

Mike Vance and his wife, Mary Vance, are both bright and passionate historians whose apparent support for each other is obvious. And we, the people of Houston, are the beneficiaries. ~ You are both "jolly good" at what you do. - Thanks for a great day in Houston.

Mike Vance and his wife, Anne Vance, are both bright and passionate historians whose apparent support for each other is obvious. And we, the people of Houston, are the beneficiaries. ~ You are both “jolly good” at what you do. – Thanks for a great day in Houston.

 

And thanks too to Mr. Greg Jacobsen, the owner of the property that now occupies and uses the land that once hosted the Fair Grounds Base Ball Park for more contemporary commercial purposes. Without your supportive permission to the premises installment of the historical marker today, this beautiful moment in time could not have happened. Beyond the “thanks too” we offered initially, let’s amend that expression to “Thanks Forever.” Because that’s what today was all about. Now and Forever. That’s the way real love works. And that’s the way all really passionate love for history works. And that’s what happened today.

_____________________

 eagle-0range Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas

https://bill37mccurdy.com/

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One Response to “Fair Grounds Park Marker Goes Up With Smiles”

  1. Bob Copus Says:

    What a wonderful way to spend a few hours on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Such a wonderful experience and an opportunity to honor the great game of base ball (and baseball). Thanks again.

    bob

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