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Ruben "Jelly" Samuel

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I have had the privilege to know "Jelly" Samuel for more than 14 years, but I remember seeing him for many years before that at Panther games, A/C basketball, youth football and baseball games, all the way back to when I was a kid. He is the most dedicated Panther football fan I know and make double sure to look for him at every Pack game because he is always there. He just recently had to give up playing golf because of a bad knee. Most of us can only hope we will retain our eyesight and mobility at 90, much less make it through 62 years of Panther games till that age.

There is more history behind this man. he worked for Angelina hardwood for more than 47 years, working until he was nearly 80 years old. You can also find his picture in the Temple History Museum in Diboll, Texas, when he was playing baseball in the old Negro Leagues of East Texas. They played all over Texas and Jelly played against the likes of Satchel Page and Jackie Robinson during those years. In fact Ruben was a top notch baseball player in his day.

Mr. Samuel's is the grandfather of Ju and Terrance Parks, so maybe you can see where their athletic talent was derived.

Also, his wife bakes the best Tea cakes you will ever eat. God bless you Jelly, I look forward to seeing you at the next Panther game.

Jelly passed away in 2015 at the age of 96.



Eagles Baseball Team (1949)

The Eagles were Diboll's semi-pro Negro League baseball team. They pose in 1949, shortly after changing their name from the Dragons. From left, standing, are Amos Randolph, Freddie Randolph Jr., M. Lee Overstreet, Jeff Sibley, Herbert Brown, Herbert Allen, Willie Trimble, Smoky Barnes, and Otis Spikes. Kneeling are Archie Robert Nash, Orea Hubbard, George Hodges, and Reuben "Jelly" Samuel.

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