Houston Buffaloes pitcher shares memories from pre-Astros era

- Passionate, proud and a real professional -- Jack Shultea can talk about baseball for hours. He has more than just memorabilia and newspaper clippings from the 1950s, but also stories about his days as a pitcher.

"There were no drafts back then, you sign with whoever you wanted to sign with and so they assigned me to the Houston Buffs," describes Shultea.

The Buffaloes, known commonly as the Buffs, was a team owned by the St. Louis Cardinals and the first minor league team based in Houston. 

Shultea signed with the team after graduating from University of Houston and Reagan High School before that. He had hoped to continue his track record.

It was a dream come true, but the reality was that Shultea was dealing with a painful injury. 

"In 1954, I won 36 ball games, which is a lot of pitching, so much that when I signed pro with St. Louis, my arm hurt."

"People would ask me, 'Well, what are you going to do?' I would say, 'I'm going to be a baseball player,' so when suddenly I wasn't able to do that, it was pretty devastating," says Shultea.

Eventually, Shultea recovered and went on to play for the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Buffs were dissolved when Houston welcomed the Colt 45s.As for Shultea, after his arm healed, he found himself teaching more than playing, and still today, it's what he does.

"My ego takes place here," says Shultea. "I am a good coach, I know the game and I've studied it my whole life." It runs in his family too.

Shultea's two sons also went on to pitch in the minor leagues.

You can bet, if he's not on the field he's out cheering on the home team.

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