Houston ML Baseball No Immaculate Conception

Marty Marion & Bill McCurdy (2003)
Even later in life, Marty didn’t talk much about his 1960 negotiations with Judge Roy Hofheinz.

The expansion of major league baseball into Houston as a decision back in 1960 proved to be anything but an immaculate conception as the gestation period into the city’s first 1962 season bogged down in something as more than a pillow fight between MLB owner Judge Roy Hofheinz and the Houston Sports Association and President Marty Marion of the Houston Buffs over the former’s purchase of the latter’s minor league territorial ownership rights in the Houston area.

The following side-bar column by iconic Houston writer Clark Nealon in the November 9, 1960 edition of The Sporting News nails the salient issues of disagreement in a beautiful exercise in word economy. If you need to hear it expressed any shorter and more simply, just keep in mind the familiar lead actors in this all so common tale. Their Names are Ego, Power, and Money. How simple is that prescription for any safe predictions on the outcomes? This play of fortune was about as mysterious as the unfolding of a contemporary Dwayne Johnson action figure hero movie.

As a result of the acrimony that evolved between Hofheinz and Marion, any plans to use Buff Stadium as the temporary home of the new NL club until the domed stadium were completed ~ and any long-range plan to keep “Buffalos/Buffs” as the mascot of Houston in the big leagues ~ were both destroyed ~ even if Judge Roy Hofheinz’s ego never seriously intended to pass on this opportunity to put his own original imprint upon them in the first place. Now he simply had new cause to abandon that veiled salute to the sixty plus years old Houston “Buffs” tradition.

 

 

******************************

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

 

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