It all started when the announcement was made that baseball was coming back to the Coastal Bend.

After the loss of the Corpus Christi Barracudas back in 1995, it wasn't a matter of if we would have a baseball team representing the area, but when.

Eight years later, baseball made its return in Robstown with the debut of the Coastal Bend Aviators.

It looked like a really good idea at first.

Not only was it just a 15-mile drive from Corpus Christi, it gave the communities of Robstown, Calallen and other surroundings areas an opportunity to see professional minor league baseball in their own backyard.

People were flocking to see the Aviators play at the then-called Nueces County Sports Complex.

Two years later, another team invaded the Coastal Bend as a Double-A baseball club affiliated with the Houston Astros invaded Corpus Christi.

The Hooks came in during the 2005 season. Playing at Whataburger Field in downtown Corpus Christi, many people flocked to the new stadium complete with a pool, a playground, a rock climb, suites and a Whataburger.

It was such an amazing sight. I'm not going to lie. I was hooked.

Yes, I am aware that I just did a lame play on words, but I couldn't help it. I liked what I saw. In fact, I like going there a lot.

Plus I'm an Astros fan. I had to see if some of the players had what it took to make the big show in the Major League.

When I started working here almost two years ago, I knew that my focus was going to be the Aviators.

I can honestly say that it was not my cup of tea, but as a sports writer, I have to cover whatever I am given.

When I went to my first Aviators game, I noticed something that was a bit disturbing. I saw a load of empty seats.

As much as I gloat about how much I enjoy Whataburger Field, I was floored to see how bare the seats were at Fairgrounds Field.

I couldn't help but wonder if the community of Robstown was either not a big fan of the Aviators, or were they just flocking to see the Hooks instead.

Sure Fairgrounds Field didn't have the nooks and crannies that Whataburger Field had, but this was the town's local team and it was receiving very little support.

I couldn't help but wonder if this team had any strength to last.

I remember interviewing then-general manager Bob Flanagan and he said that he was not worried about the lack of fans. He just cared about baseball and he appreciated who did show up to the games.

Last year, I covered many Aviators games. It was pretty much the same result that I saw from the year before - very few spectators.

No matter how many promotions they had, it still resulted, for the most part, in having more than have of the seats empty.

After some issues dealing with some money being owed by former owner Horn Chen, the team was in jeopardy of getting the pink slip.

After Chen failed to cough up the $20,000 owed, the team was out.

It had to have been upsetting for the players, owners and other personnel that worked at Fairgrounds Field to know that the team would not be returning for a sixth season.

Was I expecting the Aviators to go under? To be honest, I felt it was coming.

I just thought it would be because of poor attendance, not because of a shady owner.

After the loss of the Aviators, I thought about how sad it was for me when Corpus Christi lost the Barracudas back when I was a teenager. It was a little upsetting.

Losing a baseball team, for me, is almost the same feeling as losing your dog.

I'm not really sure how Robstown reacted to the news. I'm sure there were some fans who were disappointed at the loss of the Aviators.

Writing about the Aviators was a good experience and I thought my summer was going to be shot with no baseball coverage.

Plus, with the Hammerheads on the road until June 21, I was going to literally have nothing to write about except for my columns - which is not necessarily a bad thing. Who can resist me?

OK, enough of my ego trip. Let's get back to the subject at hand.

Lo and behold, we get a nice little silver lining as other independent minor league organizations took interest in adding a brand new team to the vacated baseball field.

When all was said and done, a new baseball team emerged as this weekend we will be introduced to the Corpus Christi Beach Dawgs from the Continental Baseball League.

The league consists of three other teams - the McKinney Blue Thunder, the Texarkana Gunslingers and the Bay Area Toros.

Although it's not much, it still a league.

Whether or not people show up is going to be the question.

Not only that, it would be nice if the team actually stays after a season.

I'm actually excited to see what will become of this team.

Who knows, maybe this team is capable of winning a championship?

Plus, I'm pretty sure the fans will be more than pleased that Thirsty Thursday will resurface.

Although there have been some people that are a little peeved about calling the team Corpus Christi instead of Coastal Bend, Nueces County or even Robstown, there should be some sort of excitement as the Beach Dawgs make their way to the field Sunday night against Bay Area.

Juan Carlos Reyes is a sports reporter for the Record Star. Readers may contact him at 361-387-4511 or via email at