Hooks named Texas League organization of the year

Posted at 3:53 PM, Sep 20, 2018

The Texas League of Professional Baseball Clubs has named the Corpus Christi Hooks its 2018 Organization of the Year.

League President Tim Purpura made the announcement at the circuit’s annual postseason meeting.

The Hooks were also recognized with this award in 2009 and 2015.

“The Texas League is proud to have chosen the Corpus Christi Hooks as our Organization of the Year for 2018,” Purpura said. “The Hooks have shown a commitment to excellence this year both on and off the field.  Ken Schrom, Wes Weigle, and their staff have created an outstanding environment for their fans at Whataburger Field, by creating numerous activities and programs that have enriched the fan experience. They have fostered an environment where families can come out to experience the staples of Minor League Baseball, namely safe and affordable family fun.”

The 2018 campaign began with the Hooks reaching out to Coastal Bend communities devastated by Hurricane Harvey. Courtesy of the #CoastalBendStrong initiative and Minor League Baseball, the Hooks distributed $113,000 to Little League and youth programs in Rockport, Port Aransas, Refugio, Ingleside, and Aransas Pass.

These donations aided the funding of scholarships, new scoreboards, and a spring break camp hosted by the Port Aransas Parks and Recreation Department.

“We have the best staff in baseball and I am extremely proud of the work they did this year,” Hooks President Ken Schrom said. “From all the volunteer hours clearing brush and downed trees last fall to delivering our fans an elite experience this summer, our crew really stepped up. We want to thank our TL colleagues for recognizing us with this award.”

The Hooks honored the 75th anniversary of the commissioning of the USS Lexington CV-16 by taking the field as the Corpus Christi Blue Ghosts during a weekend in late-June. As part of the festivities, the team took batting practice on the flight deck of the famed aircraft carrier. The spectacle was covered by MLB Network, ESPN SportsCenter, and ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.

The team established a new single-game attendance record as a crowd of 10,446 gathered at Whataburger Field on June 24. All fans that night received an Official Astros World Series Ring, courtesy of AutoNation.

As part of Minor League Baseball’s inaugural “Copa de la Diversión,” or “Fun Cup” series, the Hooks rebranded the club as the Corpus Christi Raspas July 5-7. The celebration of our beloved South Texas snow cones consisted of raspas on the concourse, specialty menu items, and technicolored merchandise. Raspas cap sales finished within the top five of MiLB’s 33 Copa Series teams. Fans also took home game-worn Raspas jerseys via an online auction. Proceeds benefited the Westside Business Association and Communities in Schools – Coastal Bend.

“This award speaks to the quality of our staff, our first-class sponsors, and amazing fans,” Hooks General Manager Wes Weigle said. “Our mission is to provide unique and memorable experiences to the Coastal Bend community, as well as deliver value to our fans, sponsors, and investors. We want to thank everyone for helping to make this happen, especially the Houston Astros who provide us with a tremendous amount of support, not to mention a topflight team.”

For the second time in club history, the Hooks swept both halves in the Texas League South Division. Corpus Christi led the 30 Double-A teams with an 82-56 (.594) record. It also stands as the third-best mark in the Hooks’ 14-year tenure.

Led by Texas League Manager of the Year Omar Lopez, Corpus Christi boasted 15 players who were promoted to Triple-A, and four who made their Major League debut with the defending World Series Champion Houston Astros. Hooks hitting coach Troy Snitker was also named the 2018 Mike Coolbaugh Texas League Coach of the Year.

Corpus Christi has owned the circuit’s best record in five of the last seven seasons.