L. Yarborough made a lot of money selling coffee for the Nueces
Coffee Company of Corpus
Christi, but he always seemed to be selling coffee wherever
there was a baseball game.
Born in 1893, J. L. Yarborough opened a cleaning business in Hamlin
in1913. In 1914 he married Ruth Owen and moved to Fredericksburg.
Yarborough owned one of the first cleaning and pressing businesses
in the Hill Country.
His store was next to Kolmeier and Klier on Main Street.
A business opportunity brought Yarborough to Fredericksburg.
As a bonus he got to play right field for the Fredericksburg Giants
You see J. L. Yarborough had a gift for business, but baseball was
In 1919 Yarborough sold his cleaning store to Max and Felix Stehling.
He moved to San Antonio
where he became a stockholder in the San Antonio Bears of the Texas
League. He served as secretary of the club and later as vice-president.
In 1927 J. L. Yarborough and his brothers founded the Nueces Coffee
Company in Corpus
Christi. As Yarborough made sales calls he beat the bushes for
Yarborough could spot a baseball player in a crowded theater. The
San Antonio Light called him "Old Sleuth." He was "a born
baseball scout. He may sell coffee, but he talks, thinks, eats and
In 1928 Yarborough saw Joe Moore playing baseball in Crystal
City and signed Moore to a Texas League Contract. Moore played
one year in San Antonio
before moving to the big leagues.
For 12 seasons Joe Moore was an intimidating left-handed leadoff
hitter for the New York Giants. He was a 6-time All- Star.
Moore always said he would make Yarborough a guest if the Giants
ever played in the World Series.
On an October morning in 1933 Yarborough received a telegram asking
him how many tickets to the World Series he wanted. The Giants would
be playing Washington in the Fall Classic. Joe Moore invited Yarbrough
to "come to the series at my expense."
Four days later Yarborough, his wife and young son left San Antonio
for the east coast. They watched the Giants beat Carl Hubbell and
the Senators in 5 games.
In addition to Joe Moore, J. L. Yarborough signed or recommended
infielder Fat Hetherly from Lampasas
(Detroit Tigers), pitcher Joe Vance from Devine
(Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees) and pitcher Hugo Klaerner
(Chicago White Sox).
In the 1930s Yarborough invented point ball - a form of baseball
played by 6 players. Like 6-man football, point ball was meant to
be played in small rural communities that didn't always have 9 players
to field a baseball team.
The point ball field was a triangle instead of a diamond. There
were 3 bases, 90 feet apart. Each team had 2 infielders, 2 outfielders,
a pitcher and a catcher.
The ball was slightly larger and lighter than a regulation baseball.
The bat was shorter.
In point ball the batter was out after the second strike. Three
balls constituted a walk.
Yarborough staged exhibition games all over Texas, including the
He hoped the game would catch on, but baseball fans missed the point.
As a publicity gimmick, J. L. Yarborough staged the All Brothers
Baseball Championship Game between the Deike brothers' team from
Hye, Texas and the Stanczak brothers'
team from Waukegan, Illinois.
According to the Fredericksburg Standard, J. L. Yarborough
"was instrumental in getting the Deike boys interested in playing
in the family tournament."
Yarborough arranged for the Nueces Coffee Company to buy uniforms
for the 9 Deike brothers and pay their expenses to the game in Wichita,
The All Brothers Championship Baseball Game of 1935, won by the
Stanczaks, is part of baseball legend. Carlton Stowers told the
story in his book Oh Brother How They Played the Game.
In the 1940s J. L. Yarborough and his wife retired to a ranch near
but he continued to make business calls in South Texas for the Nueces
It was a good excuse to watch a baseball game.
October 15, 2019 Column
"J. L. Yarborough Succumbs; Rites in San Antonio Tuesday," Fredericksburg
Standard, April 4, 1945.
"National League," Sporting News (St. Louis), October 5,
"Baseball's Brother," Fredericksburg
Standard, November 3, 1928.
"Sports Column," Fredericksburg Standard, September 28, 1933.
"This Week in Sports," Fredericksburg Standard, July 25,
March 15, 1937.