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Houston Buffs
19031961
(1903, 1905, 19071942, 19461958, 19591961)
Houston, Texas
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Team Logo
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Cap Insignia
Class-level
  • Triple-A (1959-1961)
  • Class A (1921-1942), (1946-1958)
  • Class B (1911-1920)
  • Class C (1907-1910)
Minor league affiliations
Major league affiliations
Name
  • Houston Buffs (1959-1961)
  • Houston Buffaloes (1903), (1905), (1907-1942), (1946-1958)
Ballpark
  • Busch Stadium (1953-1958)
  • Buffalo Stadium (1928-1942), (1946-1952)
  • West End Park (1907-1927)
Minor league titles
League titles 1905, 1909, 1910, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1928, 1931, 1940, 1947, 1951, 1954, 1956, 1957

The Houston Buffaloes or Buffs were an American minor league baseball team that played in the Texas League from 1907-58 (excluding 1943-45, when the league suspended operations during World War II) and in the American Association from 1959-61. The team's home was Buff Stadium, built in 1928.

From 1921-58, the Buffaloes were an important farm team of the St. Louis Cardinals at the Class A, A1 and AA levels. During that period, star players such as brothers Dizzy Dean & Daffy Dean, Solly Hemus, Vinegar Bend Mizell, Hal Epps, Don Gutteridge, Al Papai, Joe Medwick, Frank O. Mancuso, Harry Brecheen and Howie Pollet prepped in Houston on their way to the major leagues. In the 1931 season, led by former Cardinals outfielder Joe Schultz, Sr., the Buffaloes' had 108 regular-season victories (in 159 games) and won the Texas League championship. The Buffaloes' most notable period came between 1939-41, when, as a Cardinal farm laden with talent, they won three straight Texas League pennants, winning 97, 105 and 103 regular-season games in the process.

From 1950 until the Buffs' final outing in 1961, veteran radio broadcaster Loel Passe was the "Voice of the Buffs". During the 1959 season, a young television reporter with ABC affiliate KTRK-TV,Dan Rather, sat in with Passe as the play-by-play announcer for the Buffs' radio broadcast. Then in the final season of the Houston Buffaloes, Passe was joined in the booth by Ford Frick Award winner Gene Elston who went on to lead the broadcast for the Colt 45s and Houston Astros from 1962 to 1986. Passe remained with the new Houston major league franchise working alongside Elston as a color commentator until he retired from broadcasting in 1976.

(Rather went on to an illustrious career in TV journalism with CBS after garnering national attention while reporting from the Galveston Seawall as Hurricane Carla threatened Houston and the Texas Gulf Coast in 1961.)

In 1959, the Buffs severed ties with the Cardinals to move up to the AAA level. At the same time, Houston was selected as one of the eight members of a planned "third major league," the Continental League. However, in 1960 the city was granted an expansion franchise in the National League, to begin play in 1962. The Buffs played one last minor league season as the top farm team of the Chicago Cubs in 1961 before being succeeded by the city's NL club, the Colt .45s (known since 1965 as the Houston Astros).

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