Rice Baseball, circa 1978

I had quite a bit of fun today. Someone asked me this morning if I could find a photo of  Edgar O. Edwards, who taught for years in the Economics Department. I could indeed, and in fact I found a whole contact sheet full of head shots of him. Whoever took the pictures took almost a whole roll of film. At the end of the sheet were four photos of something else, probably random shots he took so he could go get the film developed right away. I couldn’t tell what it was–they were too small–so out of purely idle curiosity I scanned them and blew them up.

They were pictures of a Rice baseball game, probably played in or around 1978. Or, more accurately, it was the “crowd” at a Rice baseball game, plus a view of some improvements being made to the facility (such as it was). Things have really changed.


There being no more to see here, the photographer turned, walked a bit, and took the last picture in the roll: Here’s roughly the same view of the Med Center as in the second picture. I took it this summer. Sorry about the soccer net–I didn’t know it would be in the way:

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10 Responses to Rice Baseball, circa 1978

  1. Grungy says:

    Coats? They’re wearing coats?
    After the summer we’ve just had it seems so improbable during “baseball season”.

    • Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT says:

      In the Spring, when a young man’s fancy turned to baseball, it was frequently cold — to Texicans.
      I can remember northern teams, like Minnesota, visiting us to play. While we OWLS snuggled down into our jackets from the cold, the third base visiting team members would be luxuriating in the Sunshine — often with their shirts removed.

  2. Barney L. McCoy says:

    In the 60s, the old baseball field was closest to Hanszen and Weiss (now demolished. One of my fondest memories was hitting the Aggie baseball coach with a waterballoon launched by the Hanszen Artillery slingshot from the top of the Hanszen Tower. Barney L. McCoy Hanszen “67”

    • Kathy says:

      My husband was a Hanszen Tower resident a bit after you and also fondly remembers launching water balloons toward the old field. We recently visited the new field and were astounded by the changes in the area.

      • Henry '72.5 says:

        Yes, we could just about reach home plate from the Old Tower. I recall a player from the Longhorns dugout reaching out and having the balloon explode in his glove. Don’t know if that was the same year the Owls swept the 3-game series, but it would have been within a year or two.

  3. Bryan Domning says:

    Yes! It was still there in the early 70s as the first picture depicts. I used to watch the games from my room in the old tower of Hanzen. I’m sure someone will mention the great Owl victory over the Longhorns on that field around 1972-3! They even brought in some extra bleachers for that series!

    • Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT says:

      In our day (1952-1956), “extra bleachers” were NOT brought in.
      ALL the bleachers were brought in.
      NOTHING was left up after baseball season except the batting backstop, and the dinky little scoreboard out there in right center in the tree line.
      The hurricane fencing and bleachers were all removed.
      One of MIssy’s early pictures on this blog shows the absence of those structures.

      I also think that the Freshmen and Varsity baseball teams played games on the same field, but I am hazy on that. Perhaps some other early baseballer can refresh my memory.
      (John Wolda, are you there?)

      • John Wolda '56 says:

        In the ’50s freshmen were not eligible to play varsity ball. Yes we both played on the same field. Back then we didn’t have an outfield fence. In 1953 Joe Wylie hit a line drive down the right field line that rolled almost all the way to Autry. It was measured at 510 feet. In 1953, a sportswriter wrote “Baseball facilities have certialy improved at Rice this year with the addition of a press box, a wire fence to separate the players from the spectators,a scoreboard in center field with ball and strike indicator. All of which prompted a fan to remark one day: “Rice is improving everything in baseball except its team” “

      • Francis Eugene "Gene" PRATT says:

        John Wolda,
        I don’t remember a “press box”.
        Do you?

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