30 years later, alums reflect on 1991 SPC baseball title


Courtesy of Marty Thompson

In 1991, the St. John’s Rebels beat the Episcopal Knights to win the Southwest Preparatory Conference baseball championship.

Frank Hogan (‘93) wound his arm back and hurled the final pitch of the game from 60 feet away. Strike three. The 15 Rebels rushed the field to celebrate their 2-1 SPC victory against the Episcopal Knights. Thirty years later, the team, now called the Mavericks, is seeking to win another title.

In 1985, former Head Coach Don Lewis, his college baseball coach Doug Osburn and benefactor Mary Ralph Lowe founded the program. The first field they built was just south of Skip Lee Field. According to Lewis, it was “the most embarrassing baseball field in Houston.”

“But it didn’t matter what field we were playing on,” Lewis said. “We only needed good and competitive players.”

Most of their players came from local baseball programs, such as the West University and Post Oak Little Leagues. Director of Experiential Education Marty Thompson (‘91) and his best friend Charlie Hermes (‘91) played together in the West U Little League before joining the SJS baseball team in 1988.

Two years later, Hogan joined the team. As a sophomore, Hogan was their star pitcher and played a key role in the team’s SPC victory, according to Lewis. After graduating from St. John’s, Hogan played for Harvard University. During the college baseball playoffs in 1997, he led Harvard to the NCAA regionals where they would beat UCLA.

“Frank was clearly the ace of our staff,” Dan Connally (‘93) said. “He is the guy we looked up to for motivation and advice.”

But it didn’t matter what field we were playing on. We only needed good and competitive players.

— Don Lewis

Between 2004 and 2005, Thompson led the baseball program as Head Varsity Coach. In 2006, Thompson partnered with former science teacher Doug Elliott to create and coach the Middle School baseball team. Without the program, Middle School students who played little league baseball usually switched to lacrosse and would not play on the Upper School baseball team. 

“I love that this school has these incredible baseball facilities for players to push themselves as far as they want,” Thompson said. 

Currently, Hogan’s sons Ryan and Hunter, a senior and a sophomore, play baseball for St. John’s.

Thompson, Connally, Hogan and Lewis remain close friends and keep in touch.