CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Baseball is the sport that Americans recognize as their national pastime.
For most fans when you think of baseball in Corpus Christi, you probably think of Whataburger Field and the Corpus Christi Hooks.
You might also associate baseball with certain high schools around the Coastal Bend.
But have you wondered what happens to that foul ball after it makes its landing?
What many people don't know is that the foul baseballs that come from the Whataburger Field, help student-athletes prepare for the next level.
We asked Hooks fan, Diana Garza, what she thinks happens to these foul balls.
"What goes up must come down," Garza said, after catching a foul ball herself.
"I think they just bounce," says Lane Seymour, but others like 3-year-old Kennedy Patterson may argue.
"Outer space, the ball goes in the things in the things," little Patterson said.
Fortunately. for the Hooks, foul balls don't go to outer space, where they do go, might surprise you.
For many years the Hooks have made it their mission to develop relationships with local high schools across the Coastal Bend.
Last month Whataburger Field hosted two major high school baseball games. One of them bringing in a crowd of nearly 8-thousand people.
"We really enjoy having the high school kids out here and through that, we develop a really good relationship with the athletic programs and different head coaches," said Michael Coffin, Director of Media Relations.
It has to be moments like these. that make the Hooks feel good about their role in helping young athletes.
The foul balls we told you about don't just land on the roof and collect dust, nor do they go to outer space, they are donated to area high school baseball teams for practice.
"We understand how resources are scarce sometimes, and the cost of practice baseball can be really expensive, so it's kind of a little thing we do to help out it's not a super regular thing but any time we have a big badge we try and give that out and spread love you know around the coastal bend for sure," added Coffin.
But the task of collecting the foul balls is not so easy, we tagged along with Eric Suniga, a member of the operations team to check out the process.
It starts with a bucket, rope, and ladder, and Suniga says the hardest part is the ladder and getting over the height.
Besides that, Suniga said his next biggest obstacle is definitely the heat.
Typically, the foul balls are picked up following a home stand series and the Hooks collect an average of 60-70 balls each time they go to the top of the roof.
"It's an awesome feeling honestly, I always appreciate us being able to utilize our assets," Suniga said.
And although it's no easy task. Suniga doesn't mind it because he knows the balls will help student-athletes continue to chase their dreams.
" We go through thousands of baseballs every single season but for us to be able to donate a few of them… to local high schools really helps them out," he said.
And Hooks fans agree.
"I think that it's a great idea, anytime we can support local communities through any of these initiatives, it's great," said Garza.
So the next time you go to a game at Whataburger Field. When you see a foul ball, just look up and smile, because no matter the outcome. someone always wins.
If you would like to attend a game click here.