How bout them Cowboys
How bout them Cowboys?
Rev. Barry A. Zavah
The signature "06" gates of Kokernot Field herald a third season of family-friendly, now Alpine Cowboys action, in community-oriented independent professional baseball. Opening Day is set for Wednesday, May 11th at 7:05 PM; the first contest of a 4-game opening series against the Carlsbad Bats. Founding teams in the new Pecos League of Professional Baseball League include our Cowboys and their opponent Bats, arch-rival Las Cruces Vaqueros, Roswell Invaders, Ruidoso Osos and White Sands Pupfish.
Gone is the defunct Continental League. Yes, times moved along, but the character and charm of Herb Kokernot, Jr.s beloved ball diamond hasnt. Its a great place to enjoy the game of baseball; which holds more timeless memories than a 160 gig hard drive.
What a difference a year makes! A new league and dedicated local ownership brings enthusiasm as well as pure and simple love of the game back to Kokernot. The Alpine Cowboys Baseball Association; operating as a 501(c) (3) "not-for-profit", is run committed to doing things right. This IS a community effort; whose purpose is more than fielding a pro club. A dedicated board of volunteers aims to keep the tradition of baseball and softball alive in Alpine-Big Bend.
Cheers echoed in the community with the return of pro ball that glorious Sunday in May, 2009. They didnt stop until the former Big Bend Cowboys won the Continental League Ferguson Jenkins championship to close a dramatic 3 game series against the Las Cruces Vaqueros. Last years baseball Cowboys played their competitive hearts out and it showed on the field.
Kokernot gates have already opened for spring training. The start of a new ball season is the promise spring time renewal with hope of championship glory in every locker. Hope springs eternal; but every team starts the new season with a 0-0 record.
Helping Hope along is the return of Coach Ryan Stevens, last years Assistant Coach and Interim Manager. Coach Stevens was at the helm for the championship series. Several from last years squad return, eager for a shot at a second championship.
Welcome back OF fan favorite Darryl Stanfield, Eric Garcia and Justin Lucero. His impossible, but true, catch in the outfield was one of the highlights of the championship series. IF Cody Collins, Javier Arrieta, Cody Jones and James Kono; former Continental League MVP, C Kyle Wells and P Mike Castrignano, Scott Schimek, Stephen Szkotak, Greg Denton and Reid Alfieri round-up the veterans.
Approximately 8 Cowboys moved to a higher level of independent ball documenting the quality of talent showcasing their skill in independent league baseball. A number of new faces vie for a spot on the 25 man roster. Included among them is Sul Ross grad, 1B Bill Tom Milburn.
A new group of sluggers, David Valesente, Mike Marion and Anderson Gardner should highlight the Cowboys infield and add runs to the scoreboard. Pitching prospects include flame thrower Brian Hobbs. Also look for good things to come from rookie prospects Nathan Skeen, Austin Newell and Taylor Getzke.
They and others make for intense competition battling for the final spots on the roster. Among them will be names shared with our children and grand-children, adding lore to that of our recent greats; such as Eric Williams, Cory ONeil, Nick Nacho Ochoa and Andrew Riddick.
When training camp breaks, were but 60+ well-played games away from putting a lasso around the new leagues championship. Do you remember the almost 50 years when that wasnt the way things were?
But now, the grand game of professional baseball has returned at a family-friendly price for a chair-back out of the Texas sun or a bleacher seat in the Texas sun. New concessionaires for food and the Saddle Club for beer promise to enhance our community atmosphere with quality unavailable elsewhere.
There isnt a bad seat in the house. Fans are a short walkway from on top of the action great seats. A Cowboys season ticket guarantees a choice among several prime locations. Ive a particular favorite, high under the covered grandstand along the third baseline.
Purchase some tickets and go on-line for a piece of Alpine-Big Bend baseball tradition. The team has a wonderful package of plans for businesses and the community to promote the team and sponsor a group night. Theyre looking for Host Families, too. Contact Alpine Cowboys at (432) 386-3402 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watching a game at about the lowest level in minor league baseball has been a wonderful experience. I hope it is just as memorable for the enthusiastic young men on the diamond as it is for those of us in the stands.
Were on the edge of our seats; enjoying ourselves and cheering on our Boys of Summer. Theyre on the field playing this game by the edge of their cleats, motivated by the love of something which calls them.
Isnt that how Big Bend called us? It is easy to appreciate why each of us is all the way out here.
See you at the games. Stop by my perch and ask: How bout them Cowboys?
In the Dugout with the Cowboys:
A new broom sweeps clean. Birthed is a new league and a new (old) name for a pro ball team. The Alpine Cowboys welcome the Pecos League to town. Fans are Welcome to the website of the Pecos League of Professional Baseball Clubs. The Pecos League, http://www.pecosleague.com/, is an independent professional baseball league which operates in cities throughout West Texas and Eastern New Mexico. Pecos Teams play in cities that do not have Major or Minor League Baseball teams and is not affiliated with either. The Pecos League is where the Land of Enchantment meets the Lone Star State. The league's high power offenses are fueled by high altitudes and smaller ballparks The league, its member teams and our Cowboys have a state of the art presence on the world-wide web with frequent updates, players stats, roster moves, league standings and a means to order tickets and Alpine Cowboys merchandise Take a look-see at the website of the Cowboys, http://alpine.pecosleague.com/cowboys.asp?page=1
All rights reserved with the permission of the Alpine Cowboys Baseball Association.
For more information visit Pecos League of Professional Baseball Clubs LLC. http://www.PecosLeague.com 575-680-2212