When architectural artist Patrick Lopez signed on to work up some visual renderings of Houston baseball in the 19th century for our current Early Houston Baseball Research Project, the world of our considerable effort virtually tilted on its axis to un expected new perspective on the way things here.
Discovered and recruited by our project’s stalwart knight of all local history, Mike Vance, Patrick Lopez was able to start working immediately from news accounts of the original professional base ball park at Travis and McGowen, the venue known variously as the Houston Base Ball Park, League Park, and the Travis Street Park, to sketch out in water colors how it must have appeared in its days of glory.
These are magnificent, but you will have to wait to see these down the line in conjunction with the publication. We had hoped to reach print by 2013, but that may now extend to 2014, or even 2015, due to the loss of certain researchers and writers to reasons of ill health, family matters, or the universal what-have-you blues.
The key phrase here is: God willing, we will get there – and through the commitment of those who are on board and willing to get it done in the first class way that is our only acceptable standard. When you write for history, nothing is more important than getting your coverage right and grounded as closely as possible to primary referential sources.
Right behind accuracy is the quality of our discoveries and their importance as connecting, dots on the bath of local baseball history – and in our case, from 1861 to 1961. The cream of the crop among our remaining staff of twelve workers is responsible for now moving everything forward.
And finally, our goal is to produce a job of writing and visualization that is first rate as both an educational and entertaining work, the kind you don’t put down until you finish and hand it to your own children so that they may read it and someday hand it to their kids. With dedicated researchers like Mike Vance, internationally respected writers like Mickey Herskowitz, and fine artists like Patrick Lopez painting important pictures, this book will be our SABR legacy to the Houston ages – an essential treatment of Houston’s history that will either get done now or be lost forever, The help of us less well known contributors, but Houstonians all, also kicks into the mix. We are all in.
And we do intend to get it done. Getting lost or bailing out among our surviving volunteer workers is unacceptable.
Patrick Lopez and I share the St. Thomas High School background, but never met while were there. Patrick graduated in 1955 and I finished the following year with the Class of 1956. Funny how that works. I remember seeing Patrick in the halls and lunch in the cafeteria, but it took us over a half century to meet and discover much we have in common.
I am totally blown away by Patrick Lopez’s architectural portfolio. You can tell that he had some exposure to comic books and Buck Rogers stuff as a kid. Get a load at this Lopez sketch of a Houston building that never got built. – It’s incredible. I like it even better than the one now going up as our replacement for the World Trade Center towers in New York.
If you can get your hands on a copy of a special high end glossy trade publication called “Antique Shops & Designers,” check out the story on page 52 called “Back to the Future Patrick Lopez” by Nancy Ehrenkranz. It’s a superb story of Lopez’s life work. As Ehrenkranz reports, Patrick Lopez was honored for the body of his work in 2011 by Architecture Center Houston – and that’s high honor folks, one that only goes to the most deserving members of that field.
Thanks for helping to make our “baseball club” a “winning team,” Patrick Lopez. – When it comes to this kind of visualization, nobody does it better.