Craig Cullinan Jr. Colt .45 Collection Donated to Museum
The Texas Sports Hall of Fame has received many significant collections over the years. Recently another one was donated in relation to the beginning of professional baseball in Houston.
The collection was property of Craig Cullinan Jr., the first owner of the Colt .45s and it contains artifacts that date to the 1950s. Robert Reed was given this collection by the Cullinan family after Craig passed away.
Reed is the author of A Six-Gun Salute: An Illustrated History of the Colt .45s. He was a freelance writer for the Houston Astros in the 1990s; when the Astros decided to close down the Astrodome he thought it would be a good time to document the early days of the franchise. Reed was given the collection after Craig Cullinan passed away.
"When I first started to write the book I asked Craig to see the documents he had and he told me he didn’t have anything." Reed said. "After he died his daughter gave me all his records which she found in a box that he must have hid from himself and I decided it would be good to donate it to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame."
The Craig Cullinan Collection includes different records that led up to the beginning of the Colt .45s in Houston. There are letters from then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson talking about what the baseball in Houston would mean to the city and state and there are various letters from some prominent Houstonians thanking Craig Cullinan for his efforts. Also included in the collection is a copy of the National League contract that was signed by the Craig Cullinan and his business members which made it official that the Colt .45s were a member of the National League and a ticket used by Craig Cullinan for the Colt .45s first game.
Reed does not have a favorite piece in the collection but he finds it all to be representative of the struggle of bringing baseball to Houston. "In there is the Houston Sports Syndicate contract, that’s like the Magna Carta of baseball history in Houston, it started the process. There’s also the first instrument that created the Houston Sports Association and a couple of letters from Lyndon Johnson where they talk about getting baseball to Houston and what it would mean to the state. There’s a big bundle of telegrams and things like that shows what this collection represents." Reed said.
Reed hopes that the collection will help people in the future when people write down the history and that it is available for them to use.
The Craig Cullinan Collection is available for research at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.