The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

ers, who were there season after season. ("Everything's Jake with Atz,"
a headline in the Sporting News once read.) A very few Panthers went on
to the major leagues; most-"Possum" Moore, Joe Pate, Paul Wachtel,
Dugan Phelan, "Buzzer Bill" Whitaker, Gus Johns, Clarence O. ("Big
Boy") Kraft, others-were back each year and were genuine local he-
roes who kept the grandstands well populated. This kind of experi-
enced player, for whom minor-league baseball was a career, is missing
today. Without the Snipe Conleys, Paul Easterlings, Homer Peels, Joe
Martinas, and Arch Tanners, minor-league ball has long since become
a temporary way station for youths who will either make it to the
majors in a couple of more seasons or else be told to pursue other
vocations.
Building on William B. Ruggles's 1951 league history, O'Neal has
done a prodigious amount of research. He describes the play for each
season and provides a franchise-by-franchise summary for every team
that ever played as much as a season in the Texas League. There is also
an extensive listing of pennant winners, play-off results, batting cham-
pions, pitching leaders, year-by-year league standings, and the like.
The Texas League is long on facts and short on interpretation, and
only passing notice is taken of the working agreements with major-
league clubs that were so consequential for so long. The St. Louis Car-
dinal-owned players who helped make Houston the dominant club
during the 193os and 1940s, the Detroit Tigers' strong ties with Beau-
mont, and the steady stream of future Brooklyn and then Los Angeles
Dodgers to Fort Worth in the 194os and 1950s-these arrangements
were central to the success of the Texas clubs. Ultimately the majors
took over full proprietorship, in a way that would have made the late
Kennesaw Mountain Landis's sparse white locks stand on end. The ma-
jors were interested only in developing players, not in winning pen-
nants with experienced players willing and able to make a career in
minor-league baseball, and the identity of the Texas League, like that
of every other surviving minor league, has just about disappeared.
For those who are familiar with and interested in the history of the
Texas League, O'Neal has provided an invaluable historical record.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hzll Louis D. RUBIN, JR.
The Mexzcan Republic: The First Decade, 1823- 1 832. By Stanley C. Green.
(Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1987.) Pp. x+314. Ac-
knowledgments, introduction, illustrations, epilogue, notes, glos-
sary, bibliography, index. $31.95.)
Stanley C. Green's The Mexican Republic: The First Decade, 1823-1832
is an impressive attempt to explain the chaotic early years of indepen-

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101212/. Accessed September 16, 2014.