Houston Nearer Major Leagues (Feb 1960)

Bob Smith and Roy Hofheinz are the first 2 men on the far left;
George Kirksey and Craig Cullinan are the last 2 men in dark suits on the far right;
County Judge Bill Elliott is the short fellow in the center.

This Associated Press article from the February 11, 1960 edition of the Corpus Christi Times helps to fill in most of the money blanks on how difficult the money differences between the Houston Buffs and the Houston Sports Association came to be over their territorial rights settlement and any hope that the local new big league club might come to rebirth in either the newly proposed Continental League ~ or the established National League ~ by their anciently powerful Houston Buffaloes identity. Although not mentioned here, Judge Roy Hofheinz of the HSA would see to it that the Buffs and Buff Stadium would be reduced to less than a stone upon a stone within the next three years. With the gathering steam of support, for and from within the established NL in favor of Houston and Hofheinz’s pledge that this city was set to bring futuristic change to baseball venue construction , the embryonic Continental League would soon enough be aborted as real plans for the world’s first covered baseball stadium were born and brought to fruition on that same patch of land that’s referenced here in the following piece.

On October 17, 1960, at the annual Major League Baseball owners meetings in Chicago, Houston and New York were awarded expansion club franchises as members of the National League. Judge Hofheinz and His HSA crew were there to receive the news in person and later pose for the featured photo shown here. The two new teams would begin play in 1962 as the Houston Colt .45s and the New York Mets.

Where has the time gone?

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Houston Nearer Major Leagues *

Houston (AP) ~ Houston moved closer to major league baseball yesterday with (the) selection of site for the stadium and an offer by backers of the Continental League to buy or merge with the Houston member of the American Association.

One of the five founders of the Continental Baseball League, the Houston Sports Association offered to buy control of the Houston Buffs for $184,000.

But Russell Rowles, Buff board chairman, indicated the cash offer would be unsatisfactory.

He said, however, he would recommend that stockholders give study to an alternative proposal submitted by Continental backers that the two groups be merged.

Two weeks ago Buff officers offered to sell for $262,500. Marty Marion, Buff President, earlier set a sales price of $492,500 for the club. The price included Marion’s $25,000 five-year contract.

The alternate proposal would have the Continental group and Buff stockholders name committees to work out ways to work out an equitable merger of the groups, said Craig Cullinan Jr., chairman of the syndicate that holds Houston’s Continental franchise.

The offer to purchase the Buffs expires at 5:00 pm Monday.

The offer came only a few hours after county officials announced commitments on a 300-acre site for a huge county sports center with major league baseball and professional football facilities.

The proposed site is in Houston on Highway 59 south and about eight miles south of the downtown area.

Bill Elliott, County Judge, said the county is in position to seek prospective tenants for the stadium.

Cullinan said, “It is clearly apparent to all baseball fans of this area (that) the Continental League is Houston’s best and only way to reach major league status. The Houston Sports Association is doing everything in its power to clear all obstacles immediately so that Houston can present a combined effort in achieving its long sought goal.”

He said that ~ “In the event the Houston Buffs reject both proposals, the Houston Sports Association will continue to develop its program for the opening of the Continental League season here in 1961.

Rowles said current stockholders agreed to sell to the Continental group for $262,500 ~ the exact price paid for the stock last year.

 

* Headline Article, Page 12, by AP, Corpus Christi Times, Thursday, February 11, 1960

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

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