Looking good

During a July 9 meeting of the Nueces County Commissioners Court, the Calallen Wildcats' baseball team was honored by county leaders with a proclamation for winning the 2008 Class 4A Baseball Championship in June.

Before handing out certificates of achievement to 16 members of the team, Coach Steve Chapman said he was proud of his team's accomplishment, as well as his coaching staff.

County Judge Loyd Neal looked out at the players sitting in front of the court and decided to tease Chapman just a bit.

"An 18-0 pitcher makes a coach look awfully good," Neal said in jest, referring to recent graduate Logan Verrett, who was also recently named 4A Player of the Year.

Chapman, ever the good sport, leaned into the microphone with a grin and said: "You're right."

The response drew laughter from those in attendance, as well as a good-humored shake of the head from the county judge.

Honoring TR

Precinct 1 Commissioner Peggy Banales spoke briefly during the team's ceremony about the late Tony Reyes, who was an avid supporter of Calallen High School athletics and former contributor to the Nueces County Record Star.

Reyes graduated from Calallen High School in 1956, and took pride in being the school's first Hispanic graduate. His devotion to all Calallen sports was unwavering, with Reyes even running a Web site devoted to the accomplishments of students who participated in Calallen sports, as well as taking photos at numerous athletic events for the newspaper and the Web site, before his death Feb. 29 at the age of 71.

The Wildcats' baseball team dedicated its 2008 season to Reyes, with the letters "T.R." stitched into their hats.

Forgot one

After Chapman finished handing out certificates of achievement to members of the baseball team in attendance, members of the commissioners court began to individually congratulate the Wildcats on their championship win.

However, Chapman realized that he had forgotten someone's certificate, that of Calallen Independent School District Superintendent Arturo Almendarez, and briefly spoke up to rectify the situation.

While Almendarez walked up to the front, he began to joke with the coach about his mistake.

"I'm the reason they won," Almendarez said good-naturedly.

"Are you coming back, too?" Neal asked in response while some of the players laughed.

Quick with his response, the Calallen superintendent looked back at the county judge and answered with a grin.

"I'll be the starting pitcher," Almendarez said.

Grab that mic

Precinct 3 Commissioner Oscar Ortiz, an alum of the Robstown Independent School District, congratulated the Wildcats as well, but not before he was tempted to break into song.

"After seeing all these ballplayers here, I feel like singing the National Anthem," Ortiz said with his familiar chuckle. "Maybe throw out the first pitch."

Love the juice

The Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network made a stop July 9 in Robstown, one of many on the network's nationwide Road to the White House Tour, for a Rotary Club of Corpus Christi Northwest luncheon.

During a presentation on the network's three different stations - C-SPAN, C-SPAN 2 and C-SPAN 3 - production specialist Steve Devoney showed a slide referring to the Congressional hearings that took place three years ago dealing with the use of steroids in baseball.

The hearings were shown in their entirety on C-SPAN 3 and were used by other networks, Devoney said, to show players from Major League Baseball squirming as Congress bombarded them with questions.

"If we had ratings, this hearing would have been off the charts," said Doug Hemmig, community outreach specialist for C-SPAN, who was also speaking at the event.

The network, he added, does not keep track of ratings for its programming.

"It really beat out the agricultural subsidy hearing, hands down," Devoney quipped back as the room laughed and applauded.

"Off the Wall" is compiled from various public meetings from around Nueces County. News Editor Tim Olmeda contributed to this report.