Pearland Oiler Baseball: History




1980 News Coverage 

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BY JOHN D. "MICKEY" MARK, Hall of Fame Inductee 2002, Class of 1948

Pearland has always been a baseball town.  There are pictures of Pearland "town" teams dating back to the early 1900's.  When I moved to Pearland in 1940, there was a fine baseball park on the corner of Galveston and 518, the present site of the Pearland Schools Administration Building.  The Park had a covered grandstand with dressing rooms under the stands.  Pearland had a very strong amateur team.  A hurricane in the fall of 1941 destroyed the park, blowing away the grandstand and all of the fence.  Then, when the war started in December of 41, baseball was suspended for the duration.  The war ended late in the baseball season of 1945; but in 1946 it again returned as the returning Pearland veterans again put together a "town" amateur team.  Lloyd Yost was the man who organized and managed the team.  I was a 16 year old who knew every player in the major leagues at that time and who pitched to my brother for hours on end.  Lloyd took me under his wing and taught me many lessons about how to pitch baseball.  He had been an ace pitcher prior to the war, pitched for Camp Hulen during the war and injured his arm so he was unable to throw with any velocity; but he had a great knowledge of the game.  When Lloyd formed the town team, he convinced me that I could pitch in that kind of competition and so for the Summer of 46, I pitched for the Pearland town team.  Three others in my class at school played some for the town team-catcher Ed Olin, 3rd baseman Carl Talbot and infielder Bob Burkett.  We really got hooked on playing baseball.

Pearland High School had one coach who coached all sports, which at that time meant six-man football and basketball.  Coach Lloyd Hawkins returned to Pearland from the Navy in the spring of 46 and resumed his coaching reins.  High school baseball in Texas has been suspended during the war; but play began again in the Spring of '46. When school started in the fal of '46, we four who had played ball that summer pestered Coach Hawkins to start a baseball program at PHS, which he did.  When the season started in the spring of  '47, we were in  a district with Texas City, Alvin, Deer Park, and Sweeny.  We had 10 players report for baseball practice.  Since we had no uniforms, we wore our football jerseys with blue jeans as our uniforms.

Our first game was a district game at Texas City.  We were nervous and awe struck.  Texas City had played baseball in '46 and had more players suited up than we had boys in high school.  We lost that game 6-2; but the important thing was we realized that the guys with the uniforms were no better than we were and we went on to win 13 straight games and the bi-district championship beating Crosby and putting the first baseball trophy in the PHS trophy case.  In 1948, we lost only 2 games but unfortunately they were both district games and Deer Park won the district.  The Oilers again won a district championship in 1950 but lost the bi-district game to Sheridan and to a fireballing sidearm pitcher who was later a star at TCU.  I am not sure of the year but sometime around 1956, Pearland dropped baseball because of lack of interest amoung the boys.  At that time, I talked with Coach "Jug" Backhaus and he and I agreed to try to start a summer Pearland baseball program to try to get an interest in baseball going again at PHS.  The Pearland Lions Club gave us $100 and some of the merchants contributed money also.  Again, I am not sure if it was 1957 or 1958 but we started summer youth baseball program with 44 boys ages 9-12.  We were having problems getting the school administration to re-establish baseball at PHS.  We went to the school board and made the plea that then with over 300 boys playing summer ball, it was a shame not to have baseball in High School.  The school board agreed and we had baseball again.

I have many great fond memories from that initial year of 1947.  Our second game was against Alvin.  They had really fine looking white uniforms with an orange A on the chest and we got some jeering and hooting about our football jerseys and the blue jeans.  It gave us a lot of satisfaction when we beat them 3-2 and later on our field beat them 1-0.  The program at PHS has come a long way from those days, but the fact is Pearland has always been a good baseball town.