This a story about how real estate agents, Bone Daddy and TNT, would eventually find a buyer for the building and property at 302 E. 6th Street in downtown Austin, Tx…..which would lead to the two realtors opening a sports bar…..as Madison Square Garden, The Sports Place would achieve legendary status from 1976 to 1991…..and become the genesis for our video museum here at ImaSportsphile.
NBA – 1984 To 1993 – Special Highlights – Michael Jordan’s 40 Greatest Plays
What started as a way to share in the purchase of a historic building in downtown Austin….MSG became the “purple gas” that fueled BD’s ability to purchase a great number of the collection pieces shown in our virtual museum and video library….for as I look at what evolved after the idea of The Sports Place became a reality….cuz I have to point to this genesis and development of Madison Square Garden, The Sports Place concept as the jockey that rode this horse known as ImaSportsphile.com to what it is today. The simple fact remains that this entire video and sports memorabilia collection all started with the conception of the sports bar.
MLB – 1961 – Special Highlights – New York Yankees OF Roger Maris Hits HR # 61 To Breaks Babe Ruth’s Single Season Record
Since Sapo (Frog) had grown up on the streets of East Austin during the 1960’s ….with East Austin being east of IH 35 from Town Lake to 45th Street….and the area around downtown from 1st St. to 19th (now Martin Lutherr King Blvd.)….which was a place different from any other in Austin…..where in addition to an obvious “shady and seedy side”….was a vibrant “business underbelly” that churned commerce all over Austin and beyond…..but this commerce wasn’t as obvious as the commerce generated west of IH35. This was the place where Ole Blue, the owner of Soldiers Recreation Pool Hall at 302 E. 6th St. in downtown Austin….who also owned The One Line Bar at the corner of E. 1st Street and Pleasant Valley road…. as Ole Blue was a very successful businessman on the East Side….and he took a liking to BD’s friend Sapo when he was a young boy….while giving him odd jobs around both his businesses, Soldiers Recreation Pool Hall and The One Line….for this was where Sapo learned Ole Blue’s business on a job by job basis. Sapo became like a son to Ole Blue….handling bigger responsibilities of greater value in Ole Blue’s operations….with Blue showing more and more confidence in Sapo as each year passed. By the time Frog had become a man….he had learned just about all there was to know about the many facets of Ole Blue’s business….which reached way beyond what the public saw…..so, Ole Blue had taken “a pup” from the streets and turned him into a well trained confidant.
Comedy – 1979 – Richard Pryor Live In Concert – On Joke About Police Still Applies + Netflix Is A Joke
During the years of apprenticeship as Ole Blue’s pupil…..Sapo learned a whole different microcosm of street businesses….and all of them were “cash cows” for Blue. The greatest lesson provided to the student by the mentor.was that from the general public to his family to his closest friends….they were all on a need to know basis. The truth was that most of them were not in the slightest way aware of what was Ole Blue’s reach in business. Suffice to say….the world would never really know the value of Sapo’s PhD in the “school of street business”….for that is the way that Ole Blue’s world worked….and that is what he was taught Sapo. Simply put….”loose lips sinks ships”.
Music – 1967 – Louis Armstrong – “What A Wonderful World”
Sapo had learned all about Ole Blue’s business interests….from an old man that had a lot of cards up his sleeve….with nothing but respect intended for a street legend who knew how to deal some cards….for he was a significant street powerhouse in downtown Austin….and all over the East Side….as he taught Sapo every trick of the trade….every one of them!! By the time Bone Daddy started running with Sapo as friends….Sapo had become “Ole Blue’s right arm”….entrusted with knowledge of his businesses….his valuable contacts….and his money….which no other HUMAN on Earth had knowledge of or had access too….but he NEVER talked about any of it with Bone Daddy.
Comedy – 1964 – Jonathan Winters Mime Special – “The Baseball Pitcher”
If you hadn’t figured it out by now….a large percentage of HUMANKIND has a hankering for putting a bet down on a sporting event or a card game in Austin, TX in the 1970’s…..and if you were one of those HUMANS….you probably had been to Blue’s place….or at least knew of him. During that time frame….Sapo not only learned the business of running Soldiers Rec….but he also learned the inter workings of all the other businesses that Ole Blue had his fingers in….from numbers board games….to sports booking….to working girls….to distributing liquor….and just about anything that a person could want…all of which has been and will forever be construed by all HUMANS who “live inside the box” to be a bit on the shady side of mainstream commerce.
Boxing – 1974 – World Heavyweight Boxing Championship Highlights – Muhammad Ali Vs George Foreman
Gambling was at the core of Ole Blue’s business….as his nightly poker game in his secret poker room generated more cash than perceived possible…..which is the substance of another of my stories titled “Hidden Card Room & High Stakes Poker With Austin’s Finest” – A Secret Kept Close To The Vest….so, by the time BD was invited to play in the Tuesday night poker game in February of 1975….which was due to a seat coming available at the last minute….which was also kinda helped by the fact that Sapo knew how much Bone Daddy wanted to play in a poker game at Ole Blue’s….at least just once in his life. Sapo was running the poker room games for Ole Blue by then….so he called BD and needless to say….BD got his wish….as he was provided a birds-eye view of a side of life that was not typically publicized in Austin society….but definitely had created a “secretive pulse” in the lifestyle of the power brokers in a city that was just beginning to evolve into a thriving high tech metropolis from a sleepy college town and State Capital.
Music – 1952 – Grand Ole Opry – Hank Williams – “Cold Cold Heart”
I’ll say this about that…..the inside view that Bone Daddy received from playing at the Tuesday night poker game at Blue’s place…. provided him with an understanding that very successful public business could be done very privately….which depended on how well each participant could keep their mouth shut. BD says that it gave him a whole new meaning to “silence is golden”….and that silence starts with you….for there is no room here for ego and spouting one’s accomplishments for self development’s sake.
NFL – 1983 To 1993 – Special Highlights – Hall Of Fame Running Back Eric Dickerson
It was in late April of 1975 when Ole Blue passed away….when in his will, he left the businesses of Soldiers Rec….along with the building it resided in at 302 E. 6th Street to Sapo….plus, The One Line Bar to Sapo….who by then had extended his own business interests into a citywide distribution network of independent dealers supplying all those things that folks could not buy over the counter….and he needed a significant amount of cash to pump up his product inventory in order to stay up with the growing demand of his distributors…so he came to BD and TNT….who were co-workers of his brother Little Mo in the real estate business….to see if they could find a quick buyer for his newly inherited property of Ole Blue’s at 302 E. 6th Street building and all of it’s content. Frog’s asking price for this roughly 11,000 sq ft two story building on East 6th St was $85,000…..a fair price at $16 / sq ft for land and building in downtown Austin in 1975…..and the boys had a buyer. The simple fact remains that Sapo was an astute businessman who saw the dynamics of downtown businesses heading in a direction of depreciation….as Soldiers Rec Pool Hall’s clients were being pushed out of downtown as the economy in Austin was expanding greatly….. thus making his decision to sell the building at 302 E. 6th that much easier….and what transpired after that, led to BD and TNT opening Madison Square Garden, The Sports Place in July of 1976.
Music – 1992 – Robin Williams – Sings “Prince Ali” In Aladdin