Good Pitching and Club Spirit Won for Buffs

(This article was produced by Associated Press nearly 70 years ago. Here’s how it appeared in the Corpus Christi Times, on Page 19, on September 25, 1947, the day following the last Texas League Playoff game for the Houston Buffs on their way to the Texas League pennant and in readiness for yet another victory over Mobile for the Dixie Series Championship.)



Johnny Keane ~ Field Manager ~ 1947 Houston Buffs

Good Pitching and Club Spirit Won for Buffs

Houston, Sept. 25 (AP) — In the words of Johnny Keane: “I’ve never seen anything like this ball club.”

He was speaking of his Houston Buffaloes who last night defeated the defending champion Dallas Rebels, 1-0, to take the 1947 Texas League pennant and the right to represent the circuit in the Dixie Series, opening here Friday night, with Mobile’s Bears, the champions of the Southern Association.

The Buffs have had Keane, fans, and sports writers guessing all season. for, despite a noticeable absence of heavy hitters, a siege of injuries and only three “frontline” hurlers, they monopolized first place throughout most of the league’s regular schedule, defeated Tulsa four straight in the first round of of the playoff, and overcame terrific odds in the Dallas round.

But repeated analysis had indicated two things: The Buffs hit when hits count and they are firm believers in the old adage that the game is not over until the last out is recorded.

The first point is illustrated with Houston’s ranking fifth during most of the season in club batting but first in runs batted in.

And Tuesday night’s game at Dallas is proof of the second point, for it was then the Buffs, trailing by six runs and held hitless for six innings, broke loose for eight runs and 11 hits in the last three innings to take an 8-6 decision that placed them in the driver’s seat in the Rebel Series.

Only two of Keane’s crew (Hal Epps and Johnny Hernandez) finished above .300 in batting but every man in the lineup has been at one time or another a hero by knocking in winning runs.

Clarence Beers, who began his baseball career as a catcher, is the mainstay of the pitching staff, having recorded his 28th victory as against eight defeats. The only other steady winner is knuckleballer Al Papai, who finished with a 23-11 record.

The third hurler is Jack Creel (15-11), who, nursing an arm ailment, has his on and off nights.

As relief men, Keane has two right handers, Roman Brunswick (12-8) and Charlie Sproull (6-5) and two southpaws, Pete Mazar (5-6) and veteran Herb Moore (5-2).

Houston’s starting lineup, with final batting averages for the regular season, normally includes:

Solly Hemus (.277) at second, Billy Costa (.232) at short, Eddie Knoblauch (.275) at left, Johnny Hernandez (.301) at first base, Hal Epps (.302) at center, Vaughn Hazen (.280) or Stan Benjamin (.280) at right, Tommy Glaviano (.245) at third, and Gerald Burmeister (.210) catching.

The all-around utility man who has done everything except catch and pitch is Jack Angle (.251), while the reserve catchers are Doc Greene (.217) and Joe Niedson (.212).


TPPE Note: Note some of the stats, especially for pitchers, are slightly at variance from the data that Baseball Reference.Com now carries for the t947 Houston Buffs.. This appears to be because the data reported in this article included playoff game data with regular season data. That may explain why Buffs pitcher Clarence Beers is credited here with 28 season wins against 8 defeats – and records Beers with three less wins and a 25-8 record at Houston in 1947. Further study of the discrepancy is needed.


Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle







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