Oh Brother, How They Played the Game

The Story of Texas' Greatest All-Brother Baseball Team

978-1-933337-13-5 Cloth
5 x 7 x 0 in
80 pp. 6 B&W Photographs.
Pub Date: 01/23/2007


  • Cloth $14.95
Winner of the 2007 A. C. Greene Award; Featured Author at 2007 Kansas Book Festival
In the middle of the Great Depression, nine brothers from a small town in the Texas Hill Country played a baseball game they would never forget—the All-Brothers Baseball Championship in Wichita, Kansas. The Deike Brothers from Hye, Texas, would take on the Stanczak Brothers from the Chicago suburb of Waukegan, Illinois, in a game staged as a promotion by a coffee company.

Veteran Texas author Carlton Stowers relates the little-known true story of Texas' greatest all-brothers baseball team, a story that includes former President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who sometimes filled in before the ninth Deike brother was big enough to play. LBJ claimed to have mailed his first letter at the post office in Hye and later swore in a Postmaster General there.

But only the brothers were allowed on the field when the Deikes squared off against the Stanczaks. No ringers were allowed, and the brothers had to bring their birth certificates to confirm their identities.

The game itself would be secondary to the thrill of traveling outside Texas for the first time—a week-long trip each way in two Model A Fords; of watching the great Satchel Paige pitch in a semi- pro tournament; and of having real uniforms for the first time. "I think we all grew about a foot taller," recalled Victor Deike, "the first time we put them on."

"The story of the amazing Deike Brothers baseball team," writes Bob St. John, "recalls those pleasant, youthful memories of weekend afternoon games played on makeshift fields."

Texas Heritage Series

Published by State House Press