SMA Alumni Athletic Hall of Fame
Benjamin Boyd "Jelly" SoRelle, Class of 1932


Benjamin Boyd 'Jelly' SoRelle, Class of 1932

Benjamin SoRelle ’32, The name Jelly SoRelle was a well-known name to baseball fans in the late 30’s and 40’s. Benjamin Boyd "Jelly" SoRelle was truly one of the Academy’s most outstanding athletes. The nickname "Jelly" was given to him when he was a mascot for one of the Southwest Texas athletic teams. The name followed him the rest of his life. Jelly enrolled at SMA in 1929 and remained at the Academy until his graduation in 1932. During those three years, Jelly lettered in football, basketball, and baseball. In 1929-30 he was the quarterback in football, leading scorer in basketball, and both pitcher and shortstop in baseball. The next year, his junior year, he was co-captain on the football team and was named to the All City team. That year he was also basketball captain, high point man and named to the All City team. During that junior year he continued to shine as pitcher. Then in 1931-32, he again lettered in all three sports and was co-captain of the football team. It is no wonder that he was named as Outstanding Athlete during these years.

After graduation Jelly enrolled in Baylor University where he lettered in baseball for three years, basketball for two years, was captain in his senior year of both baseball and basketball, and was named to the All-Southwest Conference teams in both sports. It is not a surprise that Baylor University inducted him into their Baylor Hall of Fame in 1981.

In 1937, Jelly signed a baseball contract with the Chicago White Sox. He played for the Dallas Rebels, a farm team of the White Sox; the Toledo Club, which was a Triple A team with the St. Louis Browns; and then later with the San Antonio Missions. During the 40’s he served as a naval equipment officer and coach of the naval station baseball teams and left the service with the rank of Lt. Commander. It was then that Jelly returned to Baylor University as head baseball coach and business manager of athletics in 1954. Under his leadership, SoRelle’s Baylor baseball teams placed second in 1954, third in 1955 and second in 1956.

At the time of his death on December 7, 1957, a former fellow athlete, Dr. W.J. Wimpee, Baylor chaplain said Jelly had the ability to win with humility and to lose with honor. Many said that Jelly was a fine gentleman in athletics.

Source: induction ceremony speech excerpt