The Corpus Christi Beach Dawgs are going to play in the Continental Baseball League championship this year. Oh, you didn't know about that?
Oh you do, you just aren't interested, right?
The fact that an average of 200 people attend Beach Dawgs games every time they play at Fairgrounds Field has been sad.
Owner Ron Baron has put his heart into this team to bring some baseball back to the field where the Coastal Bend Aviators once played. I have had many encounters with Baron throughout the entire season and it has been the same question over and over again.
"What do I need to do get some more people in the stands?" he has said.
I can go out and throw at him every single suggestion in the book, but the only honest answer I can give is: "I don't know."
After the Aviators had the debacle in which they owed rent and got the boot, it seemed like it would be a while for the field to be occupied with a baseball team again.
By February, it was announced that baseball was back at Fairgrounds Field.
Baron was excited with anticipation and he could not wait for this team to take off. It hasn't.
After a mediocre start with attendance, it has all gone downhill from there. How? Why? What gives?
Although I can't really come up with an answer for why the Beach Dawgs have not been getting the love that Baron says they deserve, I can bring up some possibilities on why the fans have just not shown up.
We'll start with the obvious and that is the fact that there is another team in the Coastal Bend with a bigger and better facility.
Whataburger Field is home to the Corpus Christi Hooks. The Double-A affiliate of the Houston Astros has been a staple to downtown Corpus Christi for almost four seasons now.
In 2006, they won the Texas League Championship. That team included Ben Zobrist, Jason Hirsh, Josh Anderson and Hunter Pence, all of which are now in the Big Leagues.
Their stadium can fill close to 8,000 people and they average between 6,500 to 7,500 in attendance per game.
People like to see the stories that could come from these minor league prospects in hopes that one day they will play in the Major Leagues.
Of course there is also a possibility that one of the Beach Dawgs players will be looked at. Isn't that what the minor leagues are all about?
Another reason for the low attendance could be the gas prices.
The purpose of professional baseball in Robstown is to get the people in the surrounding communities to check out baseball near their hometown.
Besides Robstown, areas like Banquete, Alice, Agua Dulce and Kingsville would not have to go all the way to Corpus Christi to see the Hooks, but with the average price of gas in the area at $3.85 a gallon, it makes things a little tougher for people in those areas to actually drive to Fairgrounds Field.
The same can be said for people in the Corpus Christi area.
Depending on where people live, it can be about a 20-mile drive from there to Robstown. It really adds up when you think about it.
Lower gas prices could help out, but at the rate that gas prices are going, it seems unlikely that it will happen anytime soon.
Some people have suggested that the team's name has had something to do with the low Beach Dawgs attendance.
When the arena football team, the Corpus Christi Hammerheads, migrated to the fairgrounds last year, people were actually cool with it. After all, they did play in Corpus Christi's American Bank Center before the move.
The football team continues to be successful and the loyal fan base from Corpus Christi tends to be stable. The Corpus Christi name has not been a problem with the Hammerheads at all.
However, there was somewhat of an uproar about putting Corpus Christi in front of the Beach Dawgs.
There has been a suggestion to change the local name and make it South Texas or Coastal Bend, but that is still up in the air.
Probably the biggest concern with this team, especially of late, is the recent controversy of several players leaving.
Since the recent exposure of the team's dilemma, there have been a few people who have said: "I told you so."
The players are getting paid next to nothing and it has not only caused people and players to break away, but also the team's radio announcer, Don (aka Hoss) Cudd, who left because he felt like the players were being disrespected.
Despite all the drama that has circled around the Beach Dawgs, it has not seemed to phase the players that hardly anybody has shown up for the games. Before their home series this week against the Bay Area Toros, they had the best home record at an impressive 18-4.
Every week, this organization has been hoping to get some more fans in the stands. The team has been through a lot in its first season and the only bright spot is that they have a shot to win the championship.
Who knows if they can have a stable future at Fairgrounds Field?
Baron has poured out his heart for this team and it seems like all of his efforts to better the team have backfired on him.
Like I said earlier, I don't have a true answer why people haven't shown up to the games, but how sad would it look if these guys win the championship in front of 50 people at Fairgrounds Field?
Juan Carlos Reyes is a sports reporter for the Record Star. Readers may contact him at 361-387-4511 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.