Fair Grounds Base Ball Park’s Last Game

Fair Grounds Base Ball Park By Patrick Lopez ~ As advertised earlier this year for the February 20, 2016 dedication of the old park's location as an historical Houston site.

Fair Grounds Base Ball Park
By Patrick Lopez
~ As advertised earlier this year for the February 20, 2016 dedication of the old park’s location as a historical Houston site.

 

Fair Grounds Base Ball Park’s Last Game

Here’s how the Galveston Daily News reported a now more appreciated iconic moment in Houston baseball history with only a mild notation and no fanfare on July 2, 1904. Historical appreciation for the importance of the moment, especially by our fifty-miles-away neighboring Galveston media, simply wasn’t present beyond the minimal allowance that this “was the last game at the park”:

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ANOTHER GAME FORFEITED.

Houston Won the Game Played with Beaumont.

Special to The News.

Houston, Tex., July 1. – Houston this afternoon took another game forfeited by Beaumont under the decision of Secretary Farrell. The Beaumont club did not appear at the park and the decision went to Houston. The other game was played, and was won by Houston on the good work of Sorrell in the box. The visitors got only one hit off him. The team gave him strong support. This was the last game at the park.

~ Galveston Daily News, July 2, 1904

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Houston defeated Beaumont in the actual last game played on July 1, 1904, with pitcher Sorrell of Houston throwing a complete game, 1-hit, 3-0 shutout of Beaumont. The actual appearance of the above scripted article, complete with the box score, follows this notation. Thanks again to Darrell Pittman for providing the Pecan Park Eagle with this classic reminder that the significance of most detail matters in history serves best over the low flame grill of time. Even today, details are not so microwavably  apparent in the moment that some would hope to have us believe they should be. Maybe some things of far greater frame, like the assassinations of Lincoln or JFK, the tragedy of “911”, and, in sports, even the last night incredible comeback of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals are obviously significant in the near moment of their occurrences, but little nuts and bolts matters that hold together the history fabric of a long-time process, like the growth and development of baseball in Houston, are much slower to relish appreciation for their less obvious contributions, if at all.

The variably referenced ball park at the corner of Travis and McGowen, south of downtown Houston, was formally dedicated by the name “Fair Grounds Base Ball Park” as a historical site on February 20, 2016. A permanent plaque was installed at the SE corner of the Milam and McGowen intersection. Mike Vance of the Harris County Historical Commission served as Master of Ceremonies for the Saturday morning ceremony that also represented support from the State of Texas Historical Commission. It was nicely attended by a good showing of local baseball history supporters.

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"Buffalo Walking" (at Fair Grounds Base Ball Park) ~ a more lyrical view of the venue By Patrick Lopez

“Buffalo Walking”
(at Fair Grounds Base Ball Park)
~ a more lyrical view of the venue
By Patrick Lopez

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eagle-0range
Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas

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5 Responses to “Fair Grounds Base Ball Park’s Last Game”

  1. materene Says:

    I wish we all could snap our fingers and pick a period in the past we could be born into, I think 1904 would have been grand living in Houston and surrounding area. Just think how much less strife and stress there was and entertainment was more on this personal level like baseball. The world is spinning too fast and has too many people on one side causing a terrible imbalance ;0)

  2. gregclucas Says:

    Materene, no air conditioning in 1904. That would NOT be a good time to be living around here during summer! THEY didn’t know any better, but anyone from this time being transported back sure would!

    • materene Says:

      Ha, true .. but I don;t think it was as hot then as now. Number one in 1904 there wasn’t 100 square miles of concrete and asphalt to store up all that daytime sun. Number two they didn’t have those millions of cars heating up the lower atmosphere. I was in the Army for two years before I actually lived in a rented place that had air conditioning. One little house I rented in Cleburne Tx had a water cooler of all things, that was my first time seeing and using one of those and I thought to myself man this is great, first night there I woke up soaking wet and thought I was camped in a rain forest .. Every little house we rented when I was a kid growing up had one of those central hallway attic fans and we kids would love to stand there under the mechanical vent when it was turned on because it would pick us up off our feet and make us hover for just a second.

  3. Tom Hunter Says:

    I live in Denver and the people here are so spoiled that a common refrain in summer is “Oh my god, it’s muggy! What is it? Thirty or forty percent humidity?” That’s right, 30 or 40 percent humidity is considered oppressive.

    I have air conditioning, but seldom turn it on because having grown up in Pearland, I would feel guilty cranking up the A/C unless it’s extremely hot and still.

    On the other hand, you can get burned more easily at this altitude if you stay out in the sun too long.

    • materene Says:

      I lived 65 miles north of Vegas in high desert for 11 years and enjoyed it very much. It was usually about 115 this time of year but totally different with no humidity and using the water coolers was efficient and cheap , you can leave doors open with water coolers running it actually helps cool the house . Only thing I did miss was an occasional rain and you only get that in winter time and fall, now Vegas is very dangerous that time of year with sudden downpours and flooding. It was built in a river bottom like a lot of our large cities, San Diego comes to mind as one that was also built or established in a river bottom that dumped into the ocean . One shopping center next to the old Jack Murphy stadium once had 2 feet of water in it ;0) Living in San Diego was really nice in fall and winter when those Pacific storms came in, you would get those gentle slow rains all night and a little light breeze with it, had to open that window next to the bed to feel that fresh clean air and listen to that slow rain. Now that’s living !

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