CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It’s been a little more than a year since Coastal Bend baseball icon Hector Salinas died from kidney failure.
Salinas is well known around the area, having started the Texas A&M-Kingsville and A&M-Corpus Christi baseball teams, and has a huge role in the history of the Moody High School baseball program.
“We couldn’t go to a baseball park without being stuck there a couple of hours, with I don’t know how many people talking to my dad,” his son, Trey Salinas said. “It was something that I used to get frustrated with, but now I catch myself doing it with my kids, so, I get it.”
Hector Salinas’ influence is still felt with the London baseball program.
Trey is the hitting coach for the Pirates, and his son, Landon, is an infielder and pitcher on the team.
Hector Salinas died during the Pirates’ 2021 playoff run, a historic season that ended with a loss in the state championship game, and the first time the Pirates had ever made the trip to the tournament.
“Baseball helped me out, just not think about him too much,” Landon Salinas said.
Trey Salinas said his father always supported his grandchildren.
“My dad lived for his grandkids and just to go watch them compete, he loved it, he lived it,” he said.
But, he got sick last year when Landon was starting his high school career, so he had to follow his grandson from afar.
“He didn’t really get to watch any of the games, he got to see a lot on the news,” Trey Salinas said. “But, he was definitely part of the process growing up.”
Landon dedicated this season, his sophomore season, to his late grandfather.
“I know he’s there watching me from above,” he said. “I know he’s always with me.”
Landon said when he’s playing, he thinks about his grandfather.
“(I think of) some of the things he told me growing up, simple baseball tactics — keep your head on the ball, don’t get down on yourself — just stuff like that,” he said.
Much like last year, this season has been a magical one for the Pirates.
They are preparing for their second straight trip to the state tournament.
“This year has turned out to be another special year, and I know my dad is right there next to us enjoying the ride with us,” Trey Salinas said.
The Pirates (24-13) will play Gunter (36-1) on Friday at 9:00 a.m. at Dell Diamond in Round Rock. If the Pirates win, they will face the winner of Brock (35-3) and Diboll (38-4) on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. at Dell Diamond.