Aviators
Eddie Larkan and Ron Wrob listen as Del Rio Mayor Roberto “Bobby” Fernandez speaks during Tuesday’s council meeting regarding the Aviators Baseball team.

The Del Rio City Council has determined that Roosevelt Park will not be able to host a professional baseball team.

A special meeting was held Tuesday night in council chambers to discuss the Del Rio Aviators' request to use the baseball park for league games.

The special meeting was called to further discuss and resolve scheduling conflicts between the professional team and the Del Rio Babe Ruth baseball league.

Mayor Roberto "Bobby" Fernandez called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. "If scheduling issues could be resolved, then the next items to be discussed would be the fees, liability, the concession and several other items," Fernandez stated.

Representatives from the city, Del Rio Aviators, Del Rio Babe Ruth Baseball and the Del Rio High School Rams baseball program, met Nov. 30 to discuss scheduling conflicts.

During the two-and-a-half hour meeting, school district representatives offered to allow the Babe Ruth League to use the Rams practice field for day games.

Babe Ruth representatives announced the team could not guarantee which days, if any, the team may need in July, if the city was named as the site for a state or regional tournament.

The Nov. 30 meeting concluded without reaching a suitable final agreement for all parties involved.

During Tuesday's meeting, City Manager Robert A. Eads explained the conflict to council members and others in attendance.

"In the July month, we do have quite a few games the Aviators would play..." Eads said. "The July issue, where we ran into a roadblock...was a couple items. One in particular was the All Star games...the games from what I understand, were a five game all-star series, broken up into the different weeks."

Tony Reyes, who stated he has been associated with the Babe Ruth League for 29 years, addressed the council.

"I'm for baseball, I believe baseball...there are quite a few of you here whom I've coached," he said.

"What really bothers me...Babe Ruth has done so much for that ballpark, I don't know if you are all aware, but we've had other teams come by and look at the fields, and you know what they've told us? It was a cow pasture, and yeah it was. But five years ago, we made an effort with the help of Mr. Bill Jewell, we took a project, and we raised over $40,000 with the help of the citizens of Del Rio, the businesses... I cannot see where somebody is going to benefit from what Babe Ruth and the city of Del Rio has done," Reyes stated.

Councilman Al Arreola asked Reyes if he had ever asked the previous council or new mayor for a new stadium. Fernandez responded to the proposed question.

"We hear that Eagle Pass does this, Eagle Pass does that, well we were 15 years ahead of Eagle Pass, 15 years ago...members sitting in this council proposed a multipurpose sports complex. With the resources being what they are, they proposed a bond issue, which was defeated three to one, the community said no," Fernandez declared.

"It's a shame that we only have one baseball field in our community. It's admirable that everyone is willing to make room for another league," he said, "I think that runs, in our blood, of being baseball fans, and baseball supporters," he said.

Fernandez concluded the discussion for the evening before bringing the meeting to a close.

"The truth to the matter is, we've got to protect our kids and their playing area. We've got to provide the farm club to the Del Rio Rams, because there is no junior high program, and we've got to do something to bring the other leagues, the professional leagues in here. There's room for all of us here, but not under that field right now."

After the meeting, Ron Wrob, the primary financial backer for the proposed Del Rio Aviators franchise, commented on the decision.

"They were dead set on preventing a professional team. They had no intention of moving the Del Rio baseball team out of there," he stated. "We were going to rebuild the bleachers, which are falling apart and hazardous. We were going to field half the cost to get the field up to standard...We called a meeting and we didn't even get to talk," Wrob said.

"Ball teams don't become available all the time...there was a time limit. I got involved because the city couldn't commit on $18,000, much less the amount that was involved in getting this team here," he added.

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(12) comments

Well there you have it Del Rio, No pro baseball again. The old time good old boy system prevail, Nothing against this kids, I am all for it but as a public park it also has to become available to any other outside venture as well. Now that Mayor Fernandez is aware that at one point the city did want to build a multi purpose complex and it got shot down. Okay will no more excuse Mr. Fernandez, You and the council can now get to work to bring a multi-purpose complex referendum back for a vote, Our if you can apply for some time of government recreational grants to cover the cost even Better.

toochi

Great, same old D.R. BS. Unless Mr. Reyes personally wrote a check for 40K, his opinion should carry no more weight than anybody else's. The Babe Ruth League benefits monetarily from the use of the park , tournaments etc. , registration fees, concessions and so on. That park is not theirs, it is All of Del Rio's. I think the real problem is that none of " them " has a role in it and therefore do not support it. If one lives in a rental house for years and puts money into it , painting , maintenance etc., does at the end of the lease, the renter get to keep the property or decide who can or can't live there ? The " right people " don't have their hand in the cookie jar, let's re-work this , get a bond for a complex , and have our compadres win a " fair " bid & all of a sudden all will be right with this venture. Mr. Reyes & "his " League come off as selfish , arrogant entities, fully supported and backed by our City Council !

jmartinez463

Professional baseball in Del Rio would be great for the community and would bring in revenue from people coming in from out of town. Del Rio is so far behind in era our elected officials could make the impossible, possible and a reality for our community if they wanted to. There are other options that the city council and mayor could look at but unfortunately they aren’t looking are the full blown picture and the future of our city. Unlike or some of the streets of Del Rio that haven’t been worked on since the 70’s….. Come on council and mayor get your act together and see what you can do to make Del Rio a better place to live in. You’re all elected officials and you promised the citizens of Del Rio lots of things during your election so put your money with your mouth is and get with the program.

baseball21

well now that sucks!! I was really looking forward into seeing this professional team playing here but all that is now down the drain!! I'm really upset cause this would have opened many doors for us and the city of del rio! Now i hope ya'll learn from this and maybe make a complex with more baseball fields for the kids! and maybe one big baseball stadium which maybe that team can come back and play at!

ksdem02

Baseball21 how could have the professional team opend doors in Del Rio? Don't get me wrong, I am for having a professional team in Del Rio, but Roosevelt Park doesn't have the facilities to hold a professional team. 1st of all the park is small, and 2nd the restrooms are not up to code. I feel the city council and the mayor made the right call. Del Rio needs another baseball field, but most important the city of Del Rio needs a sports complex.

gotjc2

I agree with Ksdem this town is not ready for any pro sports team,first we need a good sports complex to accomadate such a team,dont get me wrong i would really like to have pro baseball in this town but lets be realistic.I say we start som...e type of rally cry for a sports complex and lets not compare it to Eagle Pass or Laredo one,there are other far superior complexes around Tx. Lets think out of the box and make this happen. and while were at it build a nice football stadium as well,that could be owned by the city and leased out to the school district.See More

lambertblanche

I've been to Del Rio only a handful of times. For a small town, it has incredible potential. But, it is, number one, pedestrian unfriendly, bicyclist unfriendly, jogging or walking unfriendly. There is really nothing for someone coming there to do. Just reading about the possiblity of having a baseball team there brings to the mind the fact that there is a very successful sports family in Del Rio, all of which seem to be completely ignored by the town itself. Can't believe the town wouldn't want to build a new sports facility, bring a team to town, and build off of the rich sports heritage it has. Of course I am speaking about the Blanks family. Like I said, Del Rio has the potential, but to an outsider looking in, all I can say is B-O-R-I-N-G!!!

corndog7_11

Can't you see the city doesn't have the funds because they are making streets without drainage that they will have to fix again after it rains!!!! There are potholes as big as a stadium though maybe they can start there. And this town is not B-O-R-I-N-G, just the other day some guy got arrested for biting his girlfriend!

DRocks

Very dissapointed with the greed involved by the Babe Ruth. Their was a way for the league and the Pro Team to coexist. The Pro Team was only going to help encourage our youth into playing baseball. I'm sorry, but the City should have stepped in and taken control and made a decision. The Babe Ruth does not own the facility. I'm sure the Babe Ruth could go one year without hosting a State or Regional Tournament. The kids would probably have enjoyed traveling to play instead of playing here. The funds generated by the Pro team could and probably would have been used for improvements to Roosevelt or a new field. This is just another example of how divided this community is. Until we come together for the betterment of the community, this town will always be 15 years behind everyone else.

I had the pleasure to work with Mr. Wrob to try and get a baseball team here. I’m disappointed we did not succeed but content that things have a way of working out for the best. There are a number of issues with the stadium that did not make it a long term solution for professional baseball but we developed a plan to repair the bleachers and provide temporary toilets. There were still a number of issues to resolve but are not important anymore. Unfortunately, the opportunity for professional baseball was now and may not exist in the future.
I have no hard feelings toward the Babe Ruth League or Mayor Fernandez. I am confident both were doing what they thought was best. I hope the city will rally behind the Babe Ruth League, Del Rio High School, and all the little leaguers of Del Rio. Ultimately, for professional baseball to do well here, all of the junior baseball leagues must be supported. Perhaps the future will offer another opportunity, so I encourage all to support baseball at every level in Del Rio.

ksdem02

DRocks, I am just as disappointed as you are because Del Rio was not able to bring in a pro team. Do you know how much time goes into running a professional team? Also, you mentioned that Babe Ruth doesn’t own the facility, well you are right. Babe Ruth does not own the facility, but Babe Ruth does its job to take care of Roosevelt Park as best as they can. When was the last time you went Roosevelt Park to watch a baseball game? Sounds like you have not been to the park lately because if you have, you would understand how much Roosevelt Park needs be improved in order to have a pro team.

dfraz14

I have been to Del Rio several times and must admit that DR is one of the worst dumps I have ever encountered. It doesn't surprise me that there will be no pro ball given the overall lack of foresight by this inept mayor and council. This group, as well as previous members, have shown a total lack of foresight and vision for DR. The state of Texas should be embarrassed that you call yourselves Texans.

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