Saturday, April 28, 2012

First Ward Cubs, Houston, Texas, 1922-1923

Two interesting pictures in my mother's collection are from a football team her father, my grandfather, Charles Peter Guokas Jr. (1903-1967, pictured above), was a member of around 1922.  The name of the team (at left) was First Ward Cubs.  We didn't know much about the pictures beyond that.

The week before last, I was in Houston for the Texas Library Association annual conference, and I used that opportunity to do some research at the Houston Public Library, specifically at the Clayton Library for Genealogical Research, and the Houston Metropolitan Research Center.  One of the databases the library subscribes to (that you can only access with a library card, within the library) is the Access NewspaperARCHIVE.  I've encountered this database before in Internet searches, but it requires a fee to use, so I was excited to find it in the library.  I entered the last name Guokas and turned up over 50 articles!

Three of the articles were from the 1923 Galveston [TX] Daily News, December 1, 2, and 8.  The articles talk about a game between the Galveston Hurricanes and Houston's First Ward Cubs, "who claim the 145 pound amateur championship of Houston." The "Cubs at all times, win or lose, play a clean game of football, never having been cautioned by the referee as to unnecessary roughness, etc."

"The Cub football team is composed of young men between the ages of 16 and 20 years.  All of them are well known in Houston amateur sports."  Apparently their record going into this game was 2-2-1, where "the games the Cubs lost were won by much heavier teams."  They had "a large following of loyal rooters and supporters."

My mother and I were amused to see that her father/my grandfather, who played left halfback, was known as "Goat" Guokas on this team.  He was described as "a good broken field runner and once he gets by the secondary defense it takes a fast man to overtake him."  He and the rest of the backfield "appeared on the local gridiron before and showed speed and driving power"and "are a hard combination to beat at their own weight."

I also thought it was quite interesting that the team practiced at night, probably because the men all had jobs or school during the day.  "The ball has a coating of white calcimine, which enables the back field men to handle the ball with ease on moonless nights."  I didn't find an article that indicated who won this game.

I turned up one more article of interest in the same newspaper (at right), from the May 2, 1921 edition.  It refers to a baseball game between the Alvin [TX] Jasmine Buds and the "Patterson & Crawford Nine" of Houston.  Patterson & Crawford was apparently a company that, in 1922, had a location on Main Street in Houston "handling Diamond and Goodrich tires and tubes," according to page 748 of Automobile Topics, Volume 67.  A Guokas was apparently a catcher for the team, although this could also have been my grandfather's first cousin, Adam Lawrence Guokas (1901-1966).

© Amanda Pape - 2012 - click here to e-mail me.

1 comment:

  1. GREAT research! And I love the football photo!