I have always been a big believer that people need to learn from their own mistakes. I myself have committed more than a few mistakes in my lifetime and will probably see a few more in the future.
My biggest one thus far was offering to help a family member financially and saying, "Just pay me back when you can." It's been about seven years and counting.
Recently, I had the privilege of watching Nueces County Commissioners Court approve a deal that would bring baseball back to the city of Robstown. After all, it was just a few months ago that the county was left with a tenant that owed about $20,000 for using Fairgrounds Field. By the way, that lawsuit is still pending.
It was somewhat embarrassing to see that a team who had been given a 20-year deal by the county kicked out after only five years into the agreement. I've heard residents blame everyone from the county to the Robstown City Council for the team's demise. One woman even insinuated this was somehow the fault of Roberto Garcia, the superintendent of the Robstown Independent School District.
As far-fetched as that accusation may be, the reality lies just underneath all the gossip. Many of the gossipers seem to be unaware that it was the city as a whole, residents, in fact, who are ultimately responsible for the team's demise.
Argue all you want about the team not being any good, but when I first arrived at the Nueces County Record Star in 2006, I was shocked at the attitude that seemed to be prevalent throughout the area. In fact, it was almost similar to the attitude some Robstonians seem to have about their high school football team when they don't do well.
"It's just the way it's always been."
I attended quite a few of the Coastal Bend Aviators' games before the end of last season. I have to say, the product being offered was not bad at all. What were bad were the rows and rows of empty seats. Ater all, what player would want to play in an empty stadium?
True fans don't turn their back on a team when it's not playing well. That's one thing I've learned from my uncles after numerous heartbreaks from our respective professional sports teams.
In the case of the Aviators, a lack of support and a horrendous lack of marketing and competent management doomed the franchise to failure.
What I've seen thus far with the Continental Baseball League is a great sense of excitement. What's most thrilling is the county seems to have learned from its mistakes with the Aviators and not gone into a long-term deal. In addition, the new team will be sharing some of its revenue from ticket sales with the county to help offset costs, something that didn't exist in the Aviators' contract.
Precinct 3 Commissioner Oscar Ortiz once compared the process to when we all first learn to walk, and I couldn't agree more. Business is something that requires you to fall a few times before you realize what it takes to stand upright.
But my point is this - the county seems to have learned from its earlier mistakes, and hopefully, the CBL will not follow in the footsteps of its predecessor. My only concern is if the new team struggles out of the gate, as most new teams do, will the fans have learned enough not to turn their backs?
Tim Olmeda is the news editor for the Nueces County Record Star. Readers may contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org