Home Runs and Heartaches | Baseball in Texas

Come September, Texans’ thoughts turn to football. Friday night lights, Saturday college campuses and NFL Sundays make football king in the Lone Star State. Yet this fall a different sport is looking to steal football’s crown.

As we head back to work after Labor Day, the Texas Rangers have the best record in baseball’s American League. Pennant fever has erupted across Dallas/Fort Worth with hopes this could be the year the Rangers finally grab that elusive World Series trophy.

Baseball has a rich history in Texas, one which began long before the Texas Rangers’ debut in 1972. The first recorded baseball game in the state was played on April 21, 1867. It was held at the San Jacinto Battlefield on the anniversary of Sam Houston’s victory over Santa Anna.

The “Plano Nine” circa 1898 // photo courtesy of Geneology Center at Plano’s Haggard Library

Baseball’s popularity continued to grow over the years in Texas, and that growth coincided with the expansion of railway transportation in the state. Trains allowed teams, fans and the press to travel to ballparks across Texas. However, for every ball club that found success many others would go bankrupt. Teams like the Texarkana Casketmakers, Paris Midlands, Mexia Gassers and Cleburne Railroaders only existed for a short time.

Discover more about the beginnings of Texas baseball at the Interurban Railway Museum’s exhibit “Home Runs and Heartaches.” The exhibit will be on display from September 8 to November 18, 2016.

Home Runs and Heartaches Exhibit >


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