Sunday, September 15, 2013

Sentimental Sunday: Charles Guokas Jr. & Members of the Interurban Buffet Baseball Team, Houston, Texas, about 1920*

The young man not in a baseball uniform kneeling at left in the photo at left is my maternal grandfather, Charles Peter Guokas Jr. (1903-1967).  His older cousin Adam Lawrence Guokas (1901-1966), played baseball for a local team, but I'm not sure if he is in this photo.  Not until I scanned and enlarged it did I notice the young man on the ground, peering between the legs of the other team members!

My grandfather looks to be around 20 at most in this photo, so I believe it was taken in the early 1920s.

Based on the letters on the jerseys, I think the team is sponsored by Interurban Buffet.  Sure enough, there was such an institution in Houston, at least from 1921 through 1931, according to these ads and news stories I found.

The Interurban Buffet was located at 1001 Texas Avenue at Main Street in downtown Houston.

Above and below: Ads from the Rice University Thresher - April 8, 1921, page 6 (above) and April 22, 1921, page 3 (below), both via the Portal to Texas History.

from Galveston [TX] Daily News, December 23, 1931,
page 6, via

This was the location of the Binz & Settegast Building, Houston's first "skyscraper," a six-story building across the street from the Rice Hotel.  It was constructed in 1898.  Today, it doesn't look anything like the picture below and in the ad linked to above, as it was completely rebuilt in 1982.

(ca. 1900). Texas Avenue corner view from Fannin Street.
Historic Houston Photographs. Special Collections,
University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from

copyright © Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

[*ETA on March 19, 2015:  I found a reference to an article in the March 23, 1920, Houston Post, on page 13, about a game the team played:  "BUFFET BEATS SUNSET. The Interurban Buffet team defeated the Sunset Heights team on the Sunset diamond Sunday by the score of 17 to 0. The batting of the Buffet team was the feature of the game....The Buffet team is open for games with any team in Texas. For games, address B. Anderson, 2005 Hickory."]

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