CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — John Joslin had been a diehard Corpus Christi Hooks fan since the team threw out its first pitch at Whataburger Field in 2005.
"You know, he just really enjoyed it," his wife Joan said. "He liked going to the games and stuff."
From that very first inning, Joslin, a season-ticket holder, attended every game.
The Vietnam veteran, who served two tours of duty, never willingly missed a game until he became sick and eventually succumbed to cancer in July 2021.
Former Hooks usher Joe Martinez was one of the last people who saw Joslin alive. Martinez last visited Joslin at the hospital a few days before he passed away.
"John was a tremendous person," Martinez said. "He was loved by everybody."
Martinez met the Purple Heart recipient more than a decade ago when Martinez was first starting out as a team employee. He remembers Joslin's advice when he was assigned to Section 119 — Joslin's section.
"John more or less took my hand and he said 'Don't be nervous. Stay cool, stay calm,' " Martinez said.
Their bond went beyond the field.
"Oh he just liked Joe,' Joan said. "And his wife would come, too, and (John would) talk to her."
When Joslin attended Hooks games, he sat right behind home plate: Section 119, row 18, seat 24.
Joan admitted it's the best seat in the house.
"It's in the shade, and it's close to the beer and the bathroom," she said. "What more do you need?"
For a second year, Joslin's legacy as Hook's No. 1 fan is being remembered with a nominating campaign.
The team, along with Andrews Distributing Company, Miller Lite and H-E-B, are giving other veterans a chance to be a guest in Joslin's "Seats of Honor."
Soon, you will be able to nominate a veteran to sit in the purple seat — a salute to Joslin's service, and the Purple Heart he received.
Each nomination asks for the name of the veteran, their branch of service, years of service and any special awards or decorations received during their time of service.
The chosen veteran will be contacted by the Hooks. They can choose the game they want to attend and will receive a custom cap at the game.
They will also receive special recognition during the game.
More Veterans In Focus stories are available here, along with resources for local veterans. Contact Veterans In Focus reporters: Greg Chandler at firstname.lastname@example.org and Pat Simon at email@example.com