January 1961 to January 2018


Victoria (TX) Advocate
January 6, 1961
Submitted by Darrell Pittman

In the first of two historic newspaper columns from January 1961 that we received from Darrell Pittman this evening, the creation of the Tristram E.  Speaker Award is discussed along with plans for its initial presentation at the first annual major league dinner sponsored in a few days hence by the Houston Sports Association and the new Houston Chapter of the Baseball Writers of America.

Warren C. Giles, President of the National League, will be the principal speaker at the dinner for 800 people.

Plans for a nationwide contest to select a nickname for the new Houston NL club also were summarized.

Victoria (TX) Advocate
January 11, 1961
Submitted by Darrell Pittman

The second article reports on the actual dinner, which we believe took place on January 10, 1961.

By January 1961, Houston was several months deep into its new identity as one of the two new expansion club members of the National League. Like its separated at birth partner, New York, the two clubs awaited details of the leagues plan still unfolding plan to stock themselves with players.

Also meanwhile, in the winter of 1961, Houston had one final year left to play in 1961 as the minor league Houston Buffs of the AAA American Association.

It’s interesting to read NL President Giles’ dinner remarks as he hedges on the specific plans for stocking the new Houston and New York franchise clubs with credible competitive talent. Did that immediate talent parity ever happen, anyway?

No. And nobody expected it to happen overnight. We just thought the wait for a Houston championship would be shorter than the 55 years that actually lapsed between our 1962 first season start and our 2017 most recent (out-of-this-world) incredible season finish.

Sure was sweet when it finally got here.

Ever will be too.

– Thanks, Darrell Pittman, for these wonderful contributions.



Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle


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