Darling of the diamond could ‘talk’ good game


In the Valley, residents and visitors are blessed to awaken to the many sounds of nature. The sounds heard every morning depends on what part of the city one lives in. In Brownsville, the distinct sounds of the animals from Gladys Porter Zoo can be heard from long distances.

From other areas, the cries from the kitchen coop are still as vivid today as they were in the early days. The sounds of stray dogs and cats will likely never go away either.

The coyotes that frequent the “montes” (brush area) of Brownsville, specifically behind the Titan Tire warehouse, remind locals of the call of the wild. But more common than any other sound comes from the variety of birds that make their home in this region.

There is no place in this city that is absent from the sounds of wild parrots that came here after a freeze, liked it, found a home in the Valley, and stayed. But one parrot that gets the trophy for being Brownsville’s first was Polly, the baseball parrot.

It was in 1879 that Brownsville, a young and wild city then, hosted a glamorous wedding in which Miss Caroline Browne married Henry San Roman. Perhaps one of the most unusual things that happened that evening was the presence of a feathery creature, a parrot. And no, it was not dancing around the stage, but instead, was a wedding gift for the bride. Today, to prevent such gifts, we have the “Bridal Registry.”

The newest immigrant to the city had made its way from Soto La Marina, Mexico to Brownsville and was fluent in Spanish, but did not murmur a word that evening. After years of living in this city, the bird had a change of address. By the early 1920s, Polly resided with Judge Albert and Marie Browne at 1028 W. Washington St. The real age of the bird is unknown, but the Browne family had her for 60 years until her death.

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