SAN ANTONIO – Baseball has returned to Wolff Stadium in the form of the Texas Collegiate League – a wooden bat league comprised of college players and the Missions are fielding The Flying Chanclas de San Antonio with former local standouts. Ten teams will play thirty regular season games in the TCL with the top two teams from each division partaking in the postseason.
The three months without school or conference-sponsored baseball events has been a difficult challenge for many of the players to navigate and they are grateful for the opportunity to play summer ball. Outfielder Jordan Thompson, a Boerne-Champion alumnus who will be playing for Texas A&M next season, said he was thankful to have the sport to keep himself focused and energized.
“Just having like the feelings of your body, like the rushes of playing a sport with a team – it’s just like I really wanted it and I was so happy for this opportunity and so happy this was going to happen.”
Twenty-five of thirty roster spots are filled by players with either area high school or collegiate connections. Many of the players grew up playing against one another and look forward to suiting up for the same team.
“It’s nice to see guys that, you know, you probably played against in high school or played against some in travel ball in the summer,” former Blanco catcher, Tyler LaRue, said. “It’s nice to see everybody that’s made it into college and made it to the upper levels to come back together and play again for San Antonio.”
Playing for an organization tied to the San Antonio Missions and at Nelson W. Wolff Municipal Stadium holds additional meaning for local players. Mississippi State outfielder and former Antonian standout, Kyte McDonald, remembers attending games as a child.
“I remember coming here every birthday – because my birthday is like in the summer – so in the middle of summer we’d come to a night game here,” McDonald said. “We get to run like across the infield and everything so it’s good to actually be playing here again instead of just running the bases.”
Porter Brown – who plays outfield at TCU after a stellar Reagan high school career – is fulfilling a dream he’s had for years.
“Ever since I was a little kid, I’d always watch the San Antonio Missions and Chanclas and everything and I’d always dreamed about being on this field and playing in a professional atmosphere and everything,” Porter said. “It’s great to be out here and get the chance to do that.”
The Chanclas open TCL action on the road against the Amarillo Sod Squad on Tuesday, June 30.