To the Editor,
Waxahachie recently lost a true city hero with the passing of Buddy Hosford. Having never lived anywhere else until the age of 18, I didn’t know anything other than Waxahachie. Consequently, you think everywhere else is the same as it is here, that there are Henry Currys, Thomas Robnettes and Buddy Hosfords everywhere. Men that dedicated their lives to making sure we had a place to play ball that was superior to any other. They taught us how to play with sound fundamentals and how to be sportsmen and gentlemen. They spent countless hours with us even though they had no children of their own in the program.
I was fortunate to play peewee football for Buddy when the program first started in Waxahachie. If you were a boy that needed something — from a piece of equipment to a ride home, Buddy made sure you got it. I can remember piling into the back of Buddy’s pickup and him driving us all home after practice. Many times some of us would walk his mail route with him and that usually ended with him buying us a hamburger and Coke at Roy Clonts or Carl Mangans.
Buddy had no biological children but he had lots of kids who loved him. When my age group was 14 Buddy resurrected the American Legion baseball program which goes from age 14-18. Even though we were all 14 and playing against boys much older we were not in awe of them except for the fact that they were shaving and we were not. Buddy found a sponsor and scheduled games — got us there and back and fed us all at his own expense. You would have thought this was his full-time job. I don’t know how he had this much energy. After leaving high school I went on to play college baseball. We cam to Fort Worth to play TCU and as we were warming up I looked up in the stands attempting to find my parents. They hadn’t made it to the game yet but I did see a familiar face, Buddy Hosford. I don’t know how he knew we were playing. Typically when I went over to say hello, the last thing he asked was “do you need anything?”
I have since lived in several small cities and large cities and have had children of my own that have played sports. One thing that I have learned since my boyhood is that there are no other Henry Currys, Thomas Robnettes or Buddy Hosfords and we took them for granted out of ignorance. I can’t tell you how many times I have thought how fortunate I was to have grown up in Waxahachie under the influence of these fine men.
I was fortunate that in 2005 at a reunion of our state championship baseball team I was able to tell Buddy what he had meant to me. He was a great mentor, friend and what a role model is all about.
There are a lot of good citizens in this world because of Buddy’s influence. When he left this world he took a little piece of us with him, but he also left a lot of himself with us.
WHS Class of ‘65