Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 1, January, 1992 Page: 37
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Home Games Tuesday and Friday Nights: Five Years of the Herder Truckers
Ben Tompkins (Attorney and National Football League Referee): After playing baseball
in Weimar for the Herder Truckers during the summers of 1949 and 1950, and following
completion of hte 1950 football season at the University of Texas, I signed a professional
baseball contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. My start in professional baseball was
delayed by a two-year tour of duty in the service. Thereafter, I played seven years of
professional baseball and managed for one year. Five of those years were spent playing
for the Phillies Triple-A International League team.
In 1953 I enrolled at Texas Wesleyan College in Fort Worth. I completed my
BS degree in 1957 and my master's in 1961. I then enrolled in Southern Methodist Uni-
versity's law school in 1962, and completed my law degree in 1966. I have been
engaged in the practice of law since 1966, initially as a felony prosecutor in the Tarrant
County District Attorney's office and presently as a defense attorney handling various
types of insurance claims. In addition to practicing law, I have been officiating football
for 36 years and will begin my twentieth season in the National Football league this fall.
My fondest recollections of the summers of 1949 and 1950 center around
how great the people of Weimar were in accepting the players into the community with
enthusiasm and support. Attendance at Weimar was roughly equivalent to the total
population of the community. Even road games were enthusiastically attended by the
Herder Trucker supporters, especially when the teams travelled to Conroe. The team
was always a part of any social activity in Weimar.
Great semiprofessional baseball was played in Texas during this period, and
the Herder Truckers were right at the top. Charlie Herder can take pride in having
assembled a group of players from around the state and providing the winning
atmosphere in which they performed. Charlie and John Miksch exhibited great tolerance
and understanding in dealing with the exuberant and youthful men who played for the
I recall my days in Weimar, Texas, as being very special. It is with a great
deal of pride that I can state that I once was a Herder Trucker, that my life was greatly
enriched by having been a part of the Weimar community for two short summers, and
that the people of Weimar, and especially Charlie Herder, gave me far more than I could
ever return. I am forever proud and grateful to have once been a Herder Trucker.
Riley Verdine (Real Estate Agent) written by his wife, Mary Lou: Riley still doesn't like
to write letters so I decided to rescue him and write for him. He was born in Beaumont,
but moved to Austin when he was four and attended school there, graduating from
Austin High School in 1950. He then went on to the University of Texas until the Korean
War interrupted his ball playing and beer drinking career.
After two years in the service, Riley moved back to Austin and then on to
Houston where he pursued a sales career in various fields over the next thirty years. This
was interrupted by a four year fishing trip to the Florida Keys. He has already retired once
and gone back to work again! However, he always comes back to Houston. He's living
and working, selling real estate in the Galleria area.
Riley has three children, all of whom are good looking over achievers.
Michelle is 32, and is a registered nurse attending Baylor College of Medicine's CRNA
program to become a nurse anesthetist. Rene is 31 and has her master's degree
and some hours toward her administrative certification. She teaches special education
in Center, Texas. Jason is 27 and has his master's degree from SMU in English. He is
waiting tables in New York City until he becomes a famous writer.
Riley has two beautiful granddaughters, Mallory, 6, and Jordan, 2. He has
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 2, Number 1, January, 1992, periodical, January 1992; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151384/m1/37/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed May 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.