In the winter months of 1936, Henry Curry sponsored the Trinity Pharmacy Cubs basketball team, which was composed of Waxahachie High School students, none of whom had ever played for the high school team.
The Cubs and the Waxahachie High School basketball teams combined under the name of WHS to enter the Ellis County Interscholastic League Tournament, which the team won but, in a district meet, lost to Terrell.
WHS did not field a baseball team in 1936 but the Ellis County Junior Baseball league operated with the Trinity Pharmacy Cubs, Milford, Hamrock, Forreston, Byrd, Rankin, Maypearl, Avalon, Howard, Red Oak, Ennis, Ferris and Palmer.
The Cubs, with all of its players of high school age, played in addition to league teams Ferris, Palmer and Adamson of Dallas.
WHS was invited to participate in an Austin baseball tournament but no WHS team existed. With the Cubs operating with high school boys, the Cubs were entered in the tournament as the WHS entry. The school board ordered uniforms for the tournament (WHS planned to resume baseball in 1937) but there were no funds for the trip, so local citizens were asked to underwrite the cost of the trip not covered by gate receipts from the game. The coach and sponsor of this team representing WHS was Henry Curry. WHS lost to Austin 3-0.
During the summer months of 1936, the Cubs, composed of boys 11-12 years of age, practiced all summer and played the Oak Cliff Tigers at Jungle Park on Labor Day.
The Cubs participated in the Ellis County Basketball League but WHS did not take part in it. In late November, the WHS team lost to the Cubs. By late December, the Trinity Pharmacy team disbanded and WHS took its place in the Ellis County Basketball League.
In 1937, Trinity Pharmacy sponsored an independent basketball team, which played WHS at Trinity University’s gym.
In the spring, WHS, coached by Curry, participated in the Ellis County Baseball League in the National League Division with home games at Jungle Park.
There is an absence of information regarding a Curry boys team in the summer or a Junior American Legion team. Most probably, this Ellis County Baseball League continued to function in 1938 and 1939 but there is a lack of evidence on the Cubs as well as for Junior American Legion baseball, except in July 1939, when there was reference to an American Legion team. A recreation league did operate in the summer but there is no evidence of Curry having a part in it.
In 1940, the Ellis County High School League operated with WHS coached by Jimmy LeBlond but the Cubs did not participate. A Junior City League operated with four to five teams, with local high school boys as coaches. There were no reports of Curry teams or of a Junior American League team.
During World War II, organized league baseball activity was not in evidence; however, local boys organized their own teams of the sandlot variety and devised playing sites in the city. Jungle Park fell into disrepair and became a pasture.
With the return of baseball to WHS in 1945, led by coach Logan Stollenwerck, the Old-Timers Game at Indian Field in April and the heroics of Paul Richards in the 1945 World Series resulted in efforts to provide a good baseball park in which to play baseball in Waxahachie.
By February 1946, a baseball committee was formed that resulted in a Baseball Jamboree Dinner sponsored by Paul Richards.
Curry and Richards spearheaded the campaign for the dinner and a new ball park. Among others, Curry sold tickets to the event and was selected as chairman of the committee and served as treasurer and custodian of the fundraising. Others serving on the baseball committee were Richards, Brown Chiles, Judge Bruce Allen, Jim O’Neal, Homer Robnett, Bill Howard and Odell Whitesell.
This committee decided to form a nonprofit to operate the baseball park at the site of Jungle Park.
To be continued in the Wednesday, Oct. 16, issue of the Sun.
Billy R. Hancock is a retired educator and local historian. His books are available for purchase at the Ellis County Museum, 201 S. College St., Waxahachie, and benefit the museum.