Written by Dennis Grubbs
Attached are photos to add to Charles Hall’s most enjoyable Little League stories. They comprise photos of Garrett-Brown Park (formerly known as Holly Park) and the home to the Western Little League. The league was made up of (4) teams..The Macs (Red Uniforms)The Sports (Blue Uniforms)The Sheriff’s Posse (Navy & Gray Uniforms)The Pirates (Green uniforms)Photos included the Corner Street Sign, the “now” Park sign, The “Original Backstop”, The Home Base Plate, and the view of the backstop from the Pitchers Mound.
I, on the other hand (and as a 9 year old), was first a member of the Sheriff’s Posse “B” Team, which as Charles stated, played on the field that was located at the other end of that huge park. And yep..we had a backstop, but No Grandstand Bleachers and No Fence. A bummer for sure!! I felt Charles’ initial pain.
To make things worse for me, when I turned 10, the next year, instead of being moved up to the Sheriff’s Posse “A” Team, they SPLIT the city boundaries and formed a New League, which became the Northwestern League. Those players that were already on the Western League’s “A”Teams got to remain with their respective teams. Those of us that were on the “B” Teams of the Western League were the thrown into a “player pool” (depending on what new boundary you lived within) and forced to do “tryouts” for the teams of the new league. I was really miffed as I was going to the Sheriff’s Posse “A” Team and ALL of my friends were within the Western League.Be that as it may, I was drafted and became an “A” Team member of the Zapata Drilling Company Giants (which BTW was a company owned by former President George H.W. Bush). We were the Green Team of our league, and like the Western League, had (4) teams with the same color schemes as the Western League. We also won our Northwestern League Championship two years in a row.
Without a doubt, the Western League was by far the better league,along with the better players. And as luck would have it for me, I became a 1st Baseman All-Star for the Northwestern League and became the League’s Home Run Leader with (5) home runs for the season (2 in one game). We began the playoffs, and of course, had to face the Western League. We lost the playoff game to them 10-3, but to my credit (lol) I scored all (3) of the Northwestern runs…..and still fuming that I wasn’t a part of the league where all of my friends were.
But life in baseball goes on! When we all became 13 ++, we were eligible to play in the Midland Pony League, which was BIG TIME! Playing night games under the lights at Redfern Field, (which was located within the Hogan Park complex). We had a big wooden fence and definitely bigger bleachers, dugouts and even a score box, along with an announcer. We all thought we had died and gone to baseball heaven. Tryouts took place and I ended up with the Gulf Oil Company Oilers, ironically wearing the same uniform color scheme as the Western League’ Sheriff’s Posse…except we wore Gold Baseball Caps to top it off and set us apart from others. And THAT WE DID……we had huge talent on that team. Not only did we win the Midland City Championship, but also the Texas Pony Division Championship and eventually the State Pony Championship. A first and incredible feat for a Midland Pony League Team. I played Center Field my entire Pony League career and ALL of those team members were so very talented. Everyone of them played for either the Midland High Bulldogs or Lee Rebels the next several years. In 1964, those former Pony League team members, that played for the Lee Rebels, Won the District 5-4A Crown and went on to play for the Texas State High School Championship,coached by Ernie Johnson, but ended up losing the final game to Bridgeport, and if I recall, 3-1.
In 1963, I ended my youth baseball playing career and began following my dream of playing in a good Rock ‘n ‘Roll band. And again, as luck would have it…I became the youngest member of “The Mystics”. Not only were we a good rock band, we won our own Championship by winning the 1963 Texas State Battle of the Bands, and became the #1 Rock N’ Roll Band in Texas. (and that Photo is displayed on here as well). So, Batter Up and Rock On!MY BEST TO EVERYONE!
DENNIS “WEMUS” GRUBB