Archive for the ‘Houston’ Category

Houston Sports Poll: Influence or Expectation?

July 17, 2018

Dashaun Watson is No. 1 Pick in 2018 Poll That Alleges Him To Now Be the Most “Influential” Houston Sports Figure.

DALE ROBERTSON’S 10 MOST INFLUENTIAL 2018 HOUSTON SPORTS PEOPLE

(All of the tabular information shown here, plus all of his previous six year rankings, from 2012 thru 2018 were published in Sunday’s July 15, 2018 Houston Chronicle.) ~

The 2018 List

Rank Name Role Club Level
1 Deshaun Watson QB Texans NFL
2 Jim Crane Owner Astros MLB
3 Jeff Luhnow GM Astros MLB
4 Jose Altuve 2B Astros MLB
5t James Harden MVP Rockets NBA
5t Chris Paul Guard Rockets NBA
5t Daryl Morey GM Rockets NBA
8 Justin Verlander Pitcher Astros MLB
9 J.J. Watt Defense Texans NFL
10 Ed Oliver Defense Cougars NCAA

Impressions

People who control the money and the flow of resources that produce championships ~ and people who devise long-term plans that actually result in championships ~ each share a common bond among fans and the media. Nobody really hangs their hats of hope on requests for patience and time to prove the efficacy of whatever they happen to be doing. Then ~ once in silvery orange-blue moon ~ along comes a logistics savant owner like Jim Crane and a baseball genius like Jeff Luhnow and it’s like the baseball gods left the locks off the doors at their hall of baseball cookie miracles.  ~ The result? ~ Here’s your baseball miracle as promised, Houston! ~ Delivered on time, as promised three years earlier, here are your 2017 World Series Champions!

That isn’t the stuff that gets you the number one spot with Dale Robertson. Robertson is listening to the Houston fan heartbeat for great expectation, and, as much as I hate to say it, but have to admit it, Dale is sniffing football, and mainly NFL football, most of the time at the top spot. In the seven seasons that Dale Robertson has been doing these rankings, he’s picked someone from the Texans five times as his number one ranking figure.

Here’s the tabular rundown on # 1 picks:

ROBERTSON #1 RANKED HOUSTON PEOPLE: 2012-2018 

YEAR RANKED #1 ROLE CLUB LEVEL
2012 Wade Phillips Def. Coach Texans NFL
2013 Dwight Howard Player/Center Rockets NBA
2014 Bill O’Brien Head Coach Texans NFL
2015 J.J. Watt Player/Defense Texans NFL
2016 Brock Osweiler Player/QB Texans NFL
2017 Dallas Keuchel Player/Pitcher Astros MLB
2018 Deshaun Watson Player/QB Texans NFL

 

This movie title in a film featuring an earlier Dale Robertson stands well as a headline in a year following a poll when someone other than a Texan was picked for the top spot.

As a matter of fact, it’s a title that works well pretty much any year for describing the #1 pick as most “influential” sports figure in Houston in July, when the appetites of those awaiting the forthcoming NFL season are frothing at the mouth for a QB who comes along and fulfills the “great expectation” of Houston winning a Super Bowl.

Oh yes, making the world forget about Tom Brady in the process also wouldn’t be frowned upon by Houston Texan movers and shakers and other local NFL Joes. 

  • see the “Editor’s Footnote at the end of this column.

About that seasonal help to the poll when the picks are made in July. Some of Dale’s picks may have been helped by the seasonal impact of when lists were made. By July of each year, Houston basketball fans are usually too busy digesting their still recent disappointments to build any new peak expectations for next year. Although, based upon Dale Robertson’s approach ~ and had the Rockets signed LeBron James, it’s easy to see King James pushing Dr. Watson back to the #2 hole in 2018, with no arguments from anyone, but that’s not what happened. And, here we are, at the time of year when we Houston baseball fans are too busy exchanging our fantasy hope for the reality of watching the defending World Champs play ball.

And that leaves the large legion of Houston football fans, many of whom happen to be crossover all Houston sport team fans, where the bait is still the player who can drag his tail in the water like a silver spoon flipper and lure the masses of football fan fishers in numbers through the stadium game dates in the fall.

This year, the heroic Deshaun Watson is the QB of allure. A couple of years ago, it was the forgettable Brock Osweiler.  Is Watson for real? He could be, but all we know for sure is that he will have to do more than share time with J.J. Watt and “Scott the Marketing Man” ~ making TV commercials for HEB ~ before Houston has its latest great expectation either finally realized or crushed again.

As one who has been reading Dale Robertson since the time he was roughed up by former Oilers QB Dan Pastorini in an interview that ran into sensitive ground at a tough moment in the season a thousand weeks ago, I already believe that he’s a much bigger football and tennis fan than he seems to be of baseball, but he keeps on trying to cover all the bases that go with his job. ~ I give him lots of credit for his durability, even when I do not agree with his conclusions in this set of rankings for the wrong reason.

That being said, I think we disagree mainly because we interpret the word “influence” differently.

“Influence” always translates to me as “power” and, in that regard, there are no others on this list with more “power” over the fortunes of the three Houston big sport teams than Masseurs Crane, Fertitta, and McNair. That is why I personally would have chosen Jim Crane as my #1 pick in 2018. Crane is the guy who used his power to set up the ground for optimal on-term success in Houston baseball.- How did that work out? And how could it have worked at all, had Crane’s ego needed to take more direct credit for all that Jeff Luhnow did? On the other hand, if we are talking about the “specific influence” of one being able to attract fans by great expectation, it is almost always going to be a player or head coach or field manager that takes the #1 spot. And, most of the time, a magical and talented new QB for the Texans is going to stir up our NFL crazy fans to the Great Expectation (GE) of a Super Bowl ride. – Viewed in that hungry light, I would have to agree with Robertson’s pick of Watson for the top spot as the “GE” giant influence upon that large group of Houston crossover sports fans. Only LeBron James could have beaten Deshaun Watson in Houston from this point in 2018 going forward from mid-July.

Hang in there, Dale Robertson. Maybe Deshaun Watson will finally come through as your cash cow pick.

  • Editor’s Foot Note: Thank you, Tom Hunter, for setting in motion the serendipity that spread from your reminder to me that there once was a Grade B movie actor, also named Dale Robertson, that once starred in a movie entitled “Return of the Texan”. Due credit is all yours that it lead me to find the movie poster for that less than august film that served here as a visual guide to the extra comments included  in conjunction with the movie poster’s use here as a result.

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

Memories of Loel Passe

July 16, 2018

“HOT ZIGGITY DOG ~ AND GOOD OLD SASAFRAS TEA! ~ HOLD ON, FOLKS!”

THE BUFFS/COLTS/ASTROS MAY STILL BE DOWN BY 8 IN THE 7TH, BUT….

THAT BUNT SINGLE MAY AS WELL BE A TRUMPET ~ BLOWIN’ CLEAR ….

…. WE AIN’T DEAD YET!!!”

LOEL PASSE
Houston Buffs Radio Broadcaster, 1950-1961;
Houston MLB Broadcaster, 1962-1976.

“NOW YOU GOIN’, GANG!!!!”

Thank You, Darrell Pittman, for finding and submitting this article for note and credit to Jim Bishop and the Victoria Advocate for their earlier publication on July 20, 1997. Large parts of Houston Baseball history would otherwise be lost were it not for writers like Jim Bishop and this also history-energized South Texas newspaper.

Yeah, we know. The print was a little small, but if you knew, or remember Loel as a broadcaster, we hope it will be worth the squint. Loel was one of the lights that filled in the landscape before we even came close to the level that now fills the house of the current World Champions, the 2017 Houston Astros.

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is.

July 11, 2018

Darrell Pittman

The following item was found in the July 19. 1896 edition of the Houston Daily Post by crack baseball researcher Darrell Pittman and donated for our notation and use in The Pecan Park Eagle:

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BUYING A HOME RUN

A Spot Cash Offer with a Quick Delivery of Goods

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There was a great deal of life in the grand stand yesterday. Of course, the people of Houston were interested in the home team and each successive play of advantage made by the Buffaloes was loudly applauded. Kline’s home run raised a howl of delight from them all, but when little Charlie Becker put it over the fence two separate times, the applause was deafening. Everybody went wild. Paris did not seem to have an admirer in a hundred yards of the plate. But they did, nevertheless.

There was a party of traveling men grouped in one corner of the grand stand. The traveler is always on the side of the stranger in a strange town. He is a stranger himself and always believes he gets the worst of it, but he don’t, and so this aggregation of good-natured drummers began to root for the visitors. Every good play made by the Midlands was given a good strong hand.

In the fifth inning, Payne and Mulkey were on bases (for Houston). Van Dresser had struck out and Cathey came to the stick. “Five dollars for a home run,” called out one of the drummers. Cathey tried to make it, but he only hit to Kline. He got first, however, filling the bases.

When Zeis walked up to the plate, stick in hand, the drummer raised his bet: “Seven dollars for a home run.” It looked like it would be a safe proposition as Zeis had two strikes on him but he got an easy one. He caught on the nose and lifted it above the heads of the scattered ballplayers Barker went back to the fence to pull it in, but he couldn’t. It lifted a little, made a down shoot, and dropped just without the enclosure.

Zeis had called the bet.

He had an easy walk around and then went to the grand stand. Of course, the drummers put up. They made the proposition and when they were called, showed their hands. They “went south”, as the expression goes and “dug up the coin.” It was unexpected to them. They were trying to enthuse matters. They did.

After the home run they quieted down and mentally figured the profits as Ivory soap and groceries from Marlin and Galveston. Will Richards, a prominent traveling man who makes Houston his headquarters and roots for the Buffaloes then went after them. He brought about forty small boys into the grand stand and they made life miserable for those (Houston-foreign) drummers.

There probably will be no more cash offers for spot home runs. The delivery is too sudden.

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

Pin Ball Baseball Was Great 4th of July Fun

July 4, 2018

 

During the summer of 1950, this little pin ball baseball game was my “heat of the day” companion during the 12 noon to 3 pm time that we were all forced inside from the so-called polio vulnerable period of Houston’s worst heat, and probably with good reason prior to the polio vaccine of 1957. In the summer of 1950 alone, over 500 Houston kids came down with polio from mild to fatal effect.

 

POOSH M UP, JR. had 4 games you could play on the same field, but baseball was the only one that held my interest from the start. My actual copy of the game was discarded by my dad years ago. He would do that with our things once we seemed to have “outgrown” them. ~ Sometime in the late 1980s, My brother John found this replica of my original game from our Pecan Park Eagle days and gifted it to me. For one evening, at least, I reacted like an addict who had not snorted a line of cocaine for several decades. Then I found a place for it on my wall of memories and have since settled thereafter for its now-quiet presence as a fond reminder of a very happy early time in my life.

 

Under the lower left side, the part that’s covered by the glove in the first photo, there is a lever you pull that propels the little pin balls, one at a time, up the release channel and onto the field. Pulled at full strength, the ball shoots fast on an arc around the top and then bounces off a metal piece that is designed to carry it bouncing all over the place. ~ Over time, you learn what it takes to reach that tiny space between the two large “U” spaces above that are marked here as “single” and “walk”. Get into the narrow slot between these and it counts as a “home run.” I did reach a point as a kid with my perseverating play time with the game in which back-to-backs were not uncommon. No brag. Any kid with finger dexterity and my capacity for obsession could also do it.

 

 

Happy Fourth of July, everybody! ~ Stay cool! Let Love & Peace rule! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

Bill Gilbert: A June 2018 Report

July 3, 2018

Evan Gattis (L) and Alex Bregman were among the Astro hitters to smile this past month and they had good reason to shake on their common ground. ~ They each banged home 30 RBI in June 2018, a new calendar month record in Houston MLB franchise history.

 

Astros Led the Pack in June 

By Bill Gilbert

The Houston Astros had the best record n the major leagues in June (19-8), building a 1.5-game lead over the Seattle Mariners in the American League West Division. They took advantage of a soft spot in the schedule by sweeping a 10-game road trip against three non-contending teams (Texas, Oakland and Kansas City.)

June was the month that the hitting finally picked up. The team batted .275 in June, raising the season average to .263, while scoring 5.33 runs per game. The pitching remained strong but not at the April=May level. The staff ERA was 3.17 in June compared to 2.68 in the first two months. For the season through June, the Astros are scoring an average of 5.07 runs per game and allowing 3.06.

As usual, Jose Altuve led the offense in June with an average of 3.54. Four other Astros batted over .300 for the month – Josh Reddick .333, Yuli Gurriel .330, Tony Kemp .327 and Alex Bregman .306. Bregman and Evan Gattis each had 30 RBIs to supply the power. Bregman had 11 home runs and Gattis had 8.

The five pitchers in the starting rotation have started all 85 games through June. However, only Lance McCullers had an ERA under 3.00 for the month (2.81). The bullpen had an outstanding month with five relievers posting an ERA under 1.00 – Chris Devenski, Brad Peacock, Collin McHugh, Hector Rondon and Tony Sipp. Devenski did not allow an earned run in June and the other four each allowed only one earned run.   Closer, Ken Giles converted his only save opportunity but was replaced in his role by Rondon, who converted 5 out of 5.

While the Astros had great success in June, the month didn’t end well. They lost their last two games in the month and scored only 7 runs in the 4-game series with Tampa Bay. Carlos Correa and George Springer are out with minor injuries and Justin Verlander has been roughed up in the early innings of his last two starts. Meanwhile, Seattle is enjoying a 7-game winning streak. The July schedule doesn’t look too tough, so the Astros have time to increase their lead before a series in Seattle at the end of the month.

Bill Gilbert

   7/2/2018

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curt Walker: A Timeline into Father’s Day

June 17, 2018

Happy Father’s Day 2018, Everyone!

16.5 years after the fact, Rob Zimmerman (R) receives the induction plaque awarded to his great-grandfather, Curt Walker, by the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in December 2001.
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Photo by Bob Dorrill

If they asked me, I could write a book. But they didn’t ask. So, we will settle for a small column on the rich subject of Curt Walker as a timeline into the even taller topic of how culturally bound up the game of baseball was to so many of us when it came down to having a good father figure available when it came down to having a working father figure present in our lives — in some form, or forms — during our critical early time as innocent, but loving-needful boys and girls.

I had to look no further than my own father and his childhood experience to see the waves of paternal need placed into motion in my dad’s life by the loss of his own father early in life. In May 1913, at the age of 2 1/2, and as the 3rd oldest of four children born to William and Elizabeth McCurdy of Beeville, Texas — and only boy — my grandfather William McCurdy died of TB, leaving his family in the hands of my very strong grandmother, but without his presence as a model paternal presence. Grandad was the founder. publisher, editor, and principal writer of The Beeville Bee, the town’s first newspaper.

As a result, Dad got shipped off to boarding school almost as soon as his school age days began. It was there that he discovered his skill and affinity for baseball, a game he also played on the sandlots of Beeville every summer that he was home. It was an interest among the boys of Beeville that found strong reenforcement in the fact that three other slightly older town boys had played their ways to the big leagues by 1925.

Melvin Bert Gallia (YOB: 1891; MLB: 1912-1920), Curt Walker (YOB: 1896; MLB: 1919-1930), and Lefty Lloyd Brown (YOB: 1904; MLB: 1925, 1928-1937, 1940) were the native Beeville trailblazers to big league ball. Because of his own enjoyment of hitting, and also influenced by the fact that he shared the same BL/TR outfield post, easily converted Dad into becoming a big fan of Curt Walker, a condition which apparently worked fine for Walker, who became something of a 14 years older big brother figure to Dad as the two men’s friendship grew over time.

The presence of baseball gave Curt Walker and my dad the basis for a relationship that would last a lifetime. From the late 1920s summer times of Dad and his buddies going down to the Western Union or the Beeville Bee-Picayune offices to get the late afternoon scores for the Cincinnati Reds because that was Curt Walker’s team — to all the cups of coffee they shared later as grown men regular customers of the American Cafe — baseball was healing cultural water that brought new strength to areas of life that could hurt so bad.

Rob and Stacy Zimmerman of Charleston, SC included Houston on their family roots tour of South Texas to participate in the induction materials luncheon ceremony at the Jax Bar and Grill on Shepherd, held as part of our June SABR meeting.
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Photo by The Pecan Park Eagle

We owe a debt of gratitude this Father’s Day to Rob and Stacy Zimmerman of Charleston, South Carolina. Had Rob’s pursuit of information, lost and found, about Curt Walker, the man who turned out to be his great-grandfather, we may have lost the opportunity forever to have been reminded of why baseball is so important to the strength and structure of American culture. Had Stacy not been the patient life partner to Rob that she very obviously is, he might have been inclined to have abandoned the pursuit after we almost got together for a transfer of these awards to him years ago.

To that, I must say this about our newly found brother and sister, with a salute to the service they have each put forth in commitment to the rest of us:

“Nothing can stop the U.S. Air Force ~ especially when its aims are supported by patience and resilience!”

A tight framed 8×10 bust of Curt Walker from this September 1919 photo of his brief stay with the Yankees at the tail end of his rookie season was also presented to the SC couple during the ceremony, along with a few other historical goodies and a round of Curt Walker stories. – Photo compliments of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library Collection, Cooperstown.

In addition to the 2001 Curt Walker Induction plaque from the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame. Rob Zimmerman accepted possession on Saturday, June 16, 2018, of an 8×10″ tightly framed facial profile of 23 year old Curt Walker dressed out as a 1919 New York Yankee. He also received a replica copy of Curt Walker’s 1926 Cincinnati Reds cap, a signed copy of Curt Walker’s Louisville Slugger bat, and a few books to read on Houston baseball history.

December 15, 2001. The Curt Walker Louisville Slugger bat was signed by Will Clark and all the other living fellow inductees from 2001, plus MLB stars likes Bobby Brown and Texas League icon Bobby Bragan. (Photo by Bob Dorrill.)

The room of our Saturday meeting overflowed with love, appreciation, and good feelings yesterday. And that’s as it should be. Today, Ron and Stacy are in Beeville, where my brother John McCurdy will show them where Curt Walker once lived – and then take them to Glenwood Cemetery to see where Curt Walker is buried.

Baseball is the great uniter of different people, even rivals, who are bound together – even in difference – to the importance of historic connectivity – and our shared commitment to the great game of baseball as the saving grace of us all.

Peace. Love. And Play Ball!

And Happy Father’s Day too!

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

A Brewster McCloud Review by Wayne R. Roberts

June 12, 2018

Brewster McCloud Soars Again
In the Astrodome, 1970.

A Brewster McCloud Review

By Wayne R. Roberts

Thank you, Wayne, for including me as a recipient of an e-mail that was really an Astrodome and Houston history column that cried out loudly for publication. ~ i.e., Welcome to The Pecan Park Eagle as another fine contributing author! ~ Bill McCurdy, Publisher.

I’ve been waiting for 12 years to get Brewster McCloud from Netflix but for some reason they haven’t carried it.  I was tipped that it is now available on Amazon in a new remastered DVD and ordered it.

In the event you haven’t seen it I’ll spare telling the plot of this surrealistic film made in Houston in 1970 by legendary director Robert Altman.  Never his most popular flick, it apparently was done immediately after MASH and uses many actors that appear  over ad over in Altman movies: Bud Cort, Sally Kellerman, Michael Murphy, John Schuck, and Stacey Keach and introduces Shelley Duvall who Altman discovered in early film preparation when she was a clerk in the Greenspoint Mall Foley’s.  It also includes Margaret Hamilton who was the wicked witch in, yes, The Wizard of Oz.

Not particularly politically correct (was Altman ever?), it is a must for those who lived in Houston at that time.  For me, the shots in Astroworld are breathtaking—made in the area in which I groundskept, though not when I was there.

Quickly, here’s what I took away in this first viewing in 20 years, in no particular order:

  • Houston skyline, whoa, was it different
  • The Medical Center sure was smaller
  • Chase scenes occur in the South Main, Loop 610, OST area and the cow pastures and fields are shocking
  • Brewster lives in the bomb shelter in the Dome
  • Incredible behind the scenes shots of the Dome
  • On the radio: Hudson & Harrigan and KILT news
  • 1970 Houston Chronicle
  • Drive along South Main includes Ye Olde College Inn
  • North Main includes the old M&M Cotton Exchange (now UH-Downtown)
  • Love Street/Allen’s Landing
  • Astroworld Hotel exterior and rooms
  • Astrodome gift shop, Domeskeller, The Countdown Cafeteria
  • Houston Zoo
  • Game shots of the Astros from the screen where you passed to go from the outfield bleachers to the Mezzanine (or tried to sneak through)
  • Weingarten’s in Montrose
  • Mecom Fountain
  • Pre rehab buildings along Montrose Blvd
  • Uncrowded freeways—many many driving scenes of downtown and SW Houston, OST-Fannin area chase scenes
  • Humble and Esso gas stations
  • Brays Bayou
  • Allen Parkway at early Tranquility Park (I think that’s its name)

For us old-timers, this is a must watch.

This is worth a more elaborate McCurdy report after you see it!

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

Astrodome Historical Marker Now In Place

May 31, 2018

 

The Astrodome Plaque Awaits Introduction
May 29, 2018
(Photo by Bob Dorrill)

Aptly Guarded By Two Historical Centurions,
Mike Acosta (L) of the Houston Astros
and
Mike Vance of the Harris County Historical Commission
(Photo by Bob Dorrill)

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett
Was Present to Preside Over a Moment
That His Leadership Helped Make Happen.
(Photo by Mike McCroskey)

Dene Hofheinz and Larry Dierker
Two Astrodome Icons in Their Own Rights
Made the Day Even Brighter.
(Photo by Bob Dorrill)

The Astrodome was a place where dreams gave birth to bigger worlds. Tal and Johnie Smith were both a big part of that condition of great hope that was Houston when it entered the big leagues in 1962 and the Astrodome in 1965.
(Photo by Bob Dorrill)

Dene Hofheinz, Daughter of Judge Roy Hofheinz, takes a turn to speak at the unveiled plaque at “the 8th wonder of the world”.
(Photo by Wayne Chandler)

Smiles and happy faces prevail!
(Photo by Mike McCroskey)

Hail! Hail! The SABR Gang’s All Here! ….
In Spirit at Least!
(Photo by Mike McCroskey)

Two of the Iconic Astrodome’s Greatest Early Franchise Legends,
Tal Smith and Larry Dierker,
Finish the Pictorial Part of our Report with Big and Knowing Smiles.
What better way to end this beautiful picture flow of the big day!
Now stay tuned below for the written report by Bob Dorrill.
(Photo by Wayne Chandler)

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Astrodome Historical Marker Now In Place

By Bob Dorrill

Tuesday afternoon, May 29, 2018, a State Historical Marker provided by the Houston Astros honoring the location of the Houston Astrodome was unveiled by Judge Ed Emmett, Dene Hofheinz, daughter of Judge Roy Hofheinz, who had the original vision for the Astrodome, Larry Dierker, former Astros player, manager, and broadcaster, early dome stadium team construction advisor and administrative magnate Tal Smith, and several others. Mike Vance of the Harris County Historical Commission and Mike Acosta, Astros’ team historian, acted as emcees.

Approximately 100 stalwart fans, including 12 members of the Larry Dierker Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) attended the ceremony where several proclamations were read, stories told and memories relived prior to the unveiling of the marker so craftily worded by Messrs. Vance and Acosta.

On a hot baseball day in Houston we were all so thankful that “The Eighth Wonder of the World” had been built to provide air conditioned comfort for the many venues that were to use the facility over the years. Ironically, our shared memories of the Astrodome’s AC system were of no use to us on this typically hot Houston summer weather day.

The deed has now been done. And even the torrid parking lot heat could not override the smiles of joy that now kicked in over the fact that Houston’s world class contribution to both architecture and the still unfolding history of sporting venue comfort all really started on April 9, 1965, when Houston opened the door to incredible change with an exhibition baseball game played between the newly re-christened Houston Astros and the venerable champions of earlier times, the New York Yankees.

It’s too bad the late Neil Armstrong could not have been with us this Tuesday, May 29, 2018. Perhaps, he may have been able to further anoint today’s event as “one small step for local politics; one giant leap for Houston’s historical respect.”

Mind if we borrow the essence of your spirit, Mr. Armstrong? We’re pretty darn proud of what these people, and others of their “preservationist” minds and voices have done to make this historical marker dedication happen.

The Astrodome is now declared to be a state Antiquities Landmark, and it is now listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. As Judge Emmett said about the Dome, “Let’s not leave here today thinking just about the history, but about how generations to come will use it – and how it will be part of their lives.

Long Live the Dome!

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

Rest In Peace, Patrick Lopez

April 16, 2018

Rest in Peace, Patrick Lopez!
Your Devotion to Family, Your Love of Life, and Your Artistic Always Growing Gifts to the World Are Your Ongoing Legacy!

Patrick George Lopez
1937-2018

Patrick George Lopez died on Wednesday, April 11, 2018 after a brief stay in hospice. He was born in Houston on January 7, 1937 to Manuel and Carmen Lopez.

He married Barbara Jean Holman in 1961. Survivors include his wife of 57 years, his children (Claudia, Patrick, and Sarah), his grandchildren (Patrick Joey and Justin), and his brother (John David).

As an architectural delineator, he worked with some of the most important national and local architects and architectural firms of the post WWII era, including Skidmore Owings and Merrill, Johnson Burgee, and Helmut Jahn.

He loved his family, his lifelong home of Houston, his pets (Oso!), baseball, the Astros, art, buildings, music (he was a lifelong piano player), fishing, plants (he grew orchids, bromeliads, succulents), and a good meal.

A public memorial will be held in the future at an as-yet undetermined date.

Published in Houston Chronicle on Apr. 15, 2018

Title: “Buffalo Walking” or “Travis Street Park” By Patrick Lopez (at Fair Grounds Base Ball Park), One of Several Works that Patrick did for the 2014 “Early Houston” Baseball History Book researched and written by members of the Larry Dierker Chapter of SABR and published in 2014.

Patrick Lopez finished a year ahead of me at St. Thomas High School in 1955. Although we never really knew each other at St. Thomas, Patrick always impressed me then as a very nice and thoughtful person. He could often be seen staring across the front lawn during classroom breaks, looking far to the south, beyond Buffalo Bayou. We never actually met until the Houston Early Baseball book project arose, nearly 55 years later, but it was only then that the question clarified about this true 21st century Renaissance man came to roost. — He could have been thinking about anything much earlier in life — as long as it was artistic, giving of itself in part to some greater whole idea, then it probably was getting the attention of the naturally artistic Patrick Lopez.

When our team member Mike Vance, with some independent discovery work help from Darrell Pittman, finally found that the Travis Street Ballpark was our best bet as Houston’s first true organized baseball park, we had no pictures of the same, but we did possess some very detailed newspaper writing on the construction of the place.

Patrick Lopez was able to let his creative mind go to bed with all these black worn sentences on fading white paper and put together for our eyes — and the whole world — to see — how it was meant to be seen. The watercolor work featured here is only one of the many he did that gave us all a vision into how the typical game day looked to Houstonians back in the 19th century. If you can hear the sound of horse hooves making a steady beat up and down Travis — and if you can hear the thud of a bat and ball joyously, or sorrowfully, interrupting every now and then, you may actually be able to allow your own mind to travel back to the corner of Travis and McGowan at many spring afternoons of those late 19th century years and actually experience the presence of old time Houston for yourself. And, if you get there, try to remember — the now late Patrick Lopez probably helped you make the trip.

Patrick Lopez
1937-2018

Thank you, Patrick Lopez! All of us are the richer for having known you even a smidgen’s amount of eternity’s time.

And God Bless you too, Barbara! Patrick was lucky to have found and never lost you. That doesn’t always happen.

Sincerely,

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

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Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

Glad You Be Dead, Harvey

September 1, 2017

houston flood

 

Glad You Be Dead, Harvey

(Sung to the old blues song, “You Rascal You”)

By Bill McCurdy

We be glad when you dead, you rascal, you!
We be glad when you dead, you rascal, you!
When you dead and in your grave,
No more houses will you crave.
We be glad when you dead, you rascal, you!

I don’t trust you near my home, you rascal, you.
I don’t trust you near my home, you rascal, you.
I don’t trust you near my home,
You wouldn’t leave my stuff alone.
I be glad when you dead, you rascal, you!

We just heard you headed east, you rascal, you.
We just heard you headed east, you rascal, you.
Time to see your ugly fall,
So we can get your ashes hauled.
We be glad, so damn glad, you rascal, you!

You tried to drown our town, you rascal, you.
You tried to drown out town, you rascal, you.
You dropped oceans on our toes
Tried to drown us, goodness knows.
You tried to drown our town, you rascal, you!

You know you done us wrong, you rascal, you.
You know you done us wrong, you rascal, you.
You know you done us wrong,
But we did not stay down long.
We just glad you be dead, you rascal, you!

We rose up and took you on, you rascal, you!
We rose up and took you on, you rascal, you!
You tried to put us down,
But you don’t do that to H Town.
We make sure you stay dead, you rascal, you!

We learn hard from what you do, you rascal, you!
We learn hard from what you do, you rascal, you!
We now use you as our teacher,
Building dams that have no breacher.
We learn strong, from what you do, you rascal, you!

Ain’t no use to run, you rascal, you.
Ain’t no use to run, you rascal, you.
Ain’t no use to run,
Now that you have had your fun.
Ain’t no use to run, you rascal, you!

You picked the wrong town to hit, you dumb ass, you!
You picked the wrong town to hit, you dumb ass, you!
Watching you die is going to be fun;
Buzzards gonna have you when we done.
You picked the wrong town to hit, you dumb ass, you!

You done messing with our lives, you rascal, you!
You done messing with our lives, you rascal, you!
Houston thrives on building stronger,
Texas fights to live well longer!
We all glad, you be dead, you rascal, you!

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

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle