In almost half a decade of sports writing and covering just about every kind of sporting event, both two-legged and four-legged, in the Chicken Fried Nation and from coast to coast, nothing excited me quite as much as Opening Day, 2004, for the Weatherford Wranglers of the Texas Collegiate Baseball League.
I'd made a living hammering professional sports owners - from Jerry Jones, to Mark Cuban, to Tom Hicks and his predecessors - in the newspaper and on radio. Suddenly, I was about to find out what the hot seat was like from their side of the fence.
I'd brought together a group of baseball lovers, including sports writing colleague Jim Reeves and longtime Rangers' clubhouse manager Joe Macko, to buy a charter team in the TCBL. Our goal was simple: have as much fun as humanly possible while doing what we loved best, watching baseball.
What was somewhat surprising was the quality of the baseball we would see during our four-year adventure in Weatherford. The league attracted premier college players from all over the country, giving them another option from the already established summer leagues, like the famous Cape Cod League.
We loved the Weatherford people and businesses that served us, we loved the players who gave us their summers, we loved the relationships we built with coach Jeff Lightfoot and Weatherford College.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram