Rice Institute Owls football player John "Leche" Sylvester
Black and white photograph of Rice Institute Owls football player John "Leche" Sylvester, headlining his achievement into the Rice Athletic Hall of Fame. Captions reads: A fine gridiron talent as an end, “Leche” Sylvester was an Owl 3 – letterman who made All-Southwest Conference in 1934 and 1935, and won Honorable Mention for All-America, with a Card of Merit from the Christy Walsh All-America Board of Football. The rugged Sylvester played in the famed Shrine East-West All-Star game in 1936 when that was a particular honor before the proliferation of post-season games. He also played two games in Hawaii with a U.S. All-Star team in January of 1936. Sylvester was one of many exceptional Rice Institute grid stars of the golden era of Owl football in the mid-thirties. Among his teammates were such stars as Bill Wallace (National Football Hall of Fame in 1979), John McCauley, retired Rice athletic director “Red” Bale, retired University of Houston athletic director Harry Fouke, and many more. The greatest thrill, perhaps, was to be a member of the first Rice team to win a Southwest Conference football title under Jimmy Kitts in 1934. After his gridiron days at Rice, Sylvester went to work for Humble Oil & Refining Company at Baytown in February of 1936. He retired in 1972 as Employee Relations Manager of Exxon Chemical’s Baytown plant after 36½ years of service. Included in that period was two years duty with Esso Eastern’s Vietnam and Cambodia Division plants in Saigon during the Vietnam War. Since retirement from Exxon, Sylvester has been very active in civic service as Executive Director of the Baytown United Way, on the board of directors of the Baytown Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the Urban Rehabilitation Committee. He was treasurer of Exxon Baytown Credit Union, and president of the Houston Personnel Association. He is active in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Little League Baseball, Kiwanis, and the Goose Creek Country Club. The man just does not know how to slow down. The Sylvester family is Rice all the way. Wife Lilian is Class of ’35 of Rice. Son John, Jr. was All-SWC end in the 1960’s. Mrs. Sylvester, Jr. is a former Sweetheart of the University of Texas! Daughter Lynn is now Mrs. James a Mashburn of Midland. There are five Sylvester, Sr. grandchildren.
Rice Athletic Hall of Fame (poor quality image)
Citable link to this pagehttps://hdl.handle.net/1911/64119
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