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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Old Sugar Land Baseball

I had the chance to talk with Peggy Shallock recently and since her grandfather was Bob Storm, baseball was one of our primary topics of discussion.  Bob was an instrumental member of the Sugar Land Blues, a team sponsored by Imperial Sugar around in the WWI era.

There's much more to her grandfather's story than baseball, but we focused on that and left other topics for later discussions.  Peggy brought me excellent copies of photographs I've posted before.  She also identified people in the photos, so I want to repost them now.

The photo below is from the 1915 season and shows 4 players with the team mascot.  Notice that he (or she) is wearing a catcher's mask.  Bob Storm is kneeling by the goat and pointing at the camera.  The player behind is was nicknamed 'Dutch,' but we haven't determined his identity exactly.  He may be E. E. Saeger.  The player directly behind the goat is Peggy's great uncle (Bob's brother) Clif Storm, and the young man on the right is Oral 'Lefty' Craig.


The next photo may also be familiar.  It shows Clif Storm, Lefty Craig, and Bob Storm at the same photo session, whose location must have been a home on The Hill.  It's a superb image of their uniforms.


Lefty Craig's name rang a bell, and after our conversation I remembered seeing his name in a Texas Farm and Industrial News article published in 1921.  Here it is.  (Unfortunately, the end is missing.)  

I found this entry for him in the Baseball Reference Guide.  It logs his minor league career, but leaves out his semi-pro days with the Blues.  Note that it verifies the information in the newspaper article.
This next photo shows E. O. 'Ernie' Guenther in the 1914 season.  Real old timers may well remember Mr. Guenther, but I've included a later photo from 1949 to refresh faded memories.