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Sunday, August 27, 2017

Morales Family Donations to SLHF

In 2014, the Morales family, long-time residents of Sugar Land, donated two historic jerseys to the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation. A ceremony highlighting the donation occurred at a Turn Back The Clock Night at Constellation Field before the start of a Skeeters game.

The jerseys were worn by George Morales, Sr. who played for the Imperials, a Hispanic team sponsored by the Imperial Sugar Company for many years. These jerseys date to the mid-1950s. You can see examples in the two photos below.

Sugar Land Imperials, mid-1950s.

 Manager Joaquin Mora wearing the same uniform.

In early August, the Morales family made another visit to the SLHF to donate a jersey from another team sponsored by Imperial. This one is an Imperial Pirates jersey. Here's an old team photo from the 1970s, showing the jersey.

Imperial Pirates in the 1970s.
The next photos show the Morales family displaying the Imperials and Pirates jerseys during their recent visit. The SLHF is very pleased to have these jerseys, which commemorate the tradition of Hispanic baseball in old Sugar Land.
Joe Morales with Imperials jersey and George Morales, Jr. with Pirates jersey.

The Morales family, long-time Sugar Landers and generous donors to the Sugar Land Heritage Foundation.

The visit included a surprise. Notice the black-and-white photo of the young boys in the background.  Here's a clearer view of it.

Four young SL baseball fans in the mid-1950s. Clockwise from lower left: George Morales, Jr., Julian Astorga, Fred Mora, and Mike Mora.
George Morales, Jr. saw it as we gathered in the museum and said, "That's me!"

George Morales, Jr. then and now.
The old photo was part of Sugar Land's 2016 FotoFest exhibit. When we put it together, we liked the photo and decided to use it, but had no idea who the boys were. There was no annotation on the back to give us a clue.

George said, "I heard all over town that people had seen my picture, but I never saw it. I'm glad to see it now!" 

The photo was taken for an article that appeared in The Imperial Crown, the monthly bulletin for employees, but it wasn't used. George supplied the identities for us. He's kneeling on the left. Behind him is Julian Astorga. Standing on the right is Fred Mora. Kneeling on the right is Mike Mora.

One last item to mention. We learned recently of an Arcadia book on Hispanic baseball.  It's Mexican American Baseball in Houston and Southeast Texas. There's a chapter devoted to Sugar Land, which is very good. I enjoyed it.