Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Kosciusko (Did Somebody Sneeze?)

There's a very interesting article in the Wilson County News - published in Floresville - about the Kosciusko Open Golf tournament, which benefits the Kosciusko Athletic Association. (Kosciusko, by the way, is pronounced "Kah-SHOO-skoe".)

What makes it interesting isn't really the information about the coming golf tournament; it's another small-town fund-raiser. What's interesting is the history of a semi-pro baseball league that used to operate in the Polish communities of this part of Texas, southeast of San Antonio.

The Kosciusko Athletic Association used to field a team in the semi-pro Bluebonnet League.

It seemed to all start in the 1940s. Baseball was the game of choice, and anyone who was anyone played it. The Bluebonnet League, as it was called back then, included teams from Kosciusko, Panna Maria, Karnes City, and Falls City.

“It was a gathering of the community,” former player and manager Albert Pruski said. “It held us all together.”

Like clockwork, every Sunday a game would start at around 3 p.m., and communities from all around would come to watch.

But when World War II broke out, the league fizzled a bit, with all the men overseas. Once the war was over, the Bluebonnet League was replaced with the Flax League (the name later was changed back to the Bluebonnet League).

“We had guys on the team in their mid-30s,” Pruski said. “You played once you were good enough to.”

The league consisted of teams from Stockdale, Nixon, Falls City, Poth, Karnes City, and Kosciusko, among others. Pruski, a resident of Kosciusko, started playing with the league in 1951 and began coaching in 1965.

“It was our only form of entertainment,” Pruski said. “It was a very big deal.”

And this league proved just as popular as the Bluebonnet League, drawing an average of 300-400 people every Sunday.

“It was nothing to get a thousand fans out here on a Sunday,” Pruski said.

It's a lengthy article, but it's a great read. Check it out.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please refrain from using profanity or insulting other commenters your comments. Use common sense; in other words: Play nice! Thanks.