Alma Morgan, Baytown’s golf celebrity | Opinion

A petite brunet, while taking another golf swing, graced the June 1947 cover of the Humble Bee, a magazine published by Humble Oil & Refining Co., now ExxonMobil.

Her name: Alma Morgan. Her latest accomplishment: Winner of the 14th annual Texas Women’s Public Links Golf Association tournament in Austin.

Among the fans watching her victory was husband Maurice W. Morgan of the industrial relations department at the Baytown Refinery. Most likely, he helped her load their car for the trip back home to Baytown – a load made heavier by a big trophy engraved with Alma’s new state title.

The tournament drew 68 of the leading women golfers in the state. Describing Alma as a “good sport,” the Humble Bee article said she “endeared herself to sportswriters, her opponents and fans with her personality and her amazing putting ability.”

Alma started playing golf in 1938 but cast aside the golf sticks during World War II when she and her husband worked for HORC at its Ingleside location. After they returned to Baytown, Alma picked up where she left off at the Baytown Country Club golf course near the refinery docks. HORC sponsored the golf course and country club to fill a need in the community prior to the creation of the Goose Creek Country Club and golf course. The Baytown Country Club headquartered in a historical house next to the golf course off Bayway Drive.

The winner of numerous tournaments held by the Baytown Country Club, in 1947 Alma was the defending champion of the Beaumont CC Invitation Tourney. In 1941, prior to the start of World War II, she won the

Trans-Mississippi tournament on the River Oaks links in Houston.

Alma’s up-close photo on the Humble Bee cover 73 years ago was stunning, as were nearly all photos on the covers and inside pages of the magazine. There’s no credit line for Alma’s photo, but the work of company photographers appeared regularly in the Humble Bee and later in the refinery newspaper, the Baytown Briefs. Among the camera clickers – those that I recall — were R.B. Jacobs, Hottie Bailey, Glenn Cisco and Tito Zamora.

On the same page with the Humble Bee article about Alma’s golf titles was another success story in sports. Remember the Humble Oilers semi-pro baseball team?  The headline said it all: “Humble Oilers win 16 consecutive baseball games.”

The record of 16 straight wins topped the Oilers’ record of 13 in a row in 1938, the year they also handed the national semi-pro champions, the Halliburton Cementers, a couple of shutouts, 1-0 and 5-0.

Dang, they were good. As the article about the 16 straight wins was going to press in June 1947, the Oilers were preparing to launch their local tournament in which 12 teams would compete. They always timed the local tournament to provide plenty of good baseball in Baytown before the Houston Post tournament began.  In the previous year, the Humble Oilers won the Post tournament championship.

In ’47 Clarence Pillow was listed as manager and pitcher, and players were former major league star Heinie Schuble and his brother Tommie Schuble, Buck Bonds, Lefty Frazier, Al Simmons, Al Bynum, Dave Alsobrook, A.S. “Buddy” Didriksen (brother of golf celebrity Babe Zaharias), E.R. Wells, Joyce Rawe, Jess Burch, Red Biggers, Ernie Hunt and A.J. Luguette.

 

Wanda Orton is a retired managing editor of The Sun. She can be reached at viewpoints@baytownsun.com, Attention: Wanda Orton.

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