CORPUS CHRISTI - The Hooks will honor longtime club executive and president Ken Schrom - who is retiring at season's end - on Sunday, September 1 with a ceremony and bobblehead giveaway to the first 1,500 fans at Whataburger Field to recognize his contributions to Corpus Christi and the game of baseball.
Schrom, 64, announced his intention to retire at the beginning of the 2019 season, his 16th year as a Hooks executive and 11th as president, and his 43rd year in professional baseball. He joined the then-unnamed Corpus Christi franchise in 2003 after 16 years in the front office of the El Paso Diablos, formerly of the Texas League. Schrom was named Texas League Executive of the Year in 2005, the Hooks' inaugural season, and he was inducted into the league's Hall of Fame in 2016.
"It has been an honor to work with Ken," said Reid Ryan, President of Houston Astros Business Operations. "He is a true professional who cares about the game and its fans. He was the driving force behind building the Corpus Christi Hooks organization into what it is today. He has been a fixture at Whataburger Field, greeting fans as they enter and exit the ballpark, and has been a favorite of players and coaches as well. The Houston Astros wish him well in retirement."
To commemorate the occasion, the Hooks will be giving away a first-of-its-kind Ken Schrom Bobblehead to the first 1,500 fans at Whataburger Field for the 2:15 p.m. game on September 1 versus Tulsa, courtesy of ValueBank Texas. The bobblehead models Schrom's likeness from his playing days, including a "real hair" mustache that mimics his signature look from the 1980s. A pregame ceremony will be held to honor Schrom's dedication to the game, which is tentatively scheduled to begin at 1:55 p.m. that day.
"Ken was one of the key influencers on the ground in Corpus Christi from stadium conception to build to full operation," said Hooks General Manager Wes Weigle. "His character, vision and dedication helped shape what this organization and stadium has come to mean to the community, and his influence will continue to resonate in those he has impacted during his tenure. Though his imprint on baseball and the Corpus Christi community can't be measured, we want to give him this parting gift with a celebration of his career at Whataburger Field."
During a seven-year Major League career as a pitcher with the Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians, Schrom notched a 51-51 lifetime record with a 4.81 ERA and 22 complete games in 900.0 innings. In 1983, he was named Twins Pitcher of the Year after posting a 15-8 record and 3.71 ERA. Schrom was Cleveland's Opening Day starter in 1986 and notched a 10-2 record in the first half that season, earning a spot on the American League All-Star team.
"I've known Ken since he came to Corpus and he's one of our advisory directors, so it just fit perfectly," said Scott Heitkamp, president and CEO of ValueBank Texas. "We hate to see him go, but it's a great honor. He's left the Hooks and Corpus Christi a better place since he's been here. I think everybody knows what Ken's done for this community."
Schrom was drafted by the California Angels out of the University of Idaho, where he played football and baseball. In September of 2007, the Vandals honored Ken with induction into their Athletics Hall of Fame. Originally from Grangeville, Idaho, Ken and his wife Cindy, an interior designer, now live in Portland. They have two adult children, Kayla and Jared, and four grandchildren. He and his wife Cindy plan to move to the Dallas-Fort Worth area to be closer to their grandkids.
Tickets for the regular season's penultimate game are on sale at cchooks.com/tickets, at the Whataburger Field Box Office or by phone at 361-561-HOOK (4665). Gates for the 2:15 p.m. start on Sunday, September 1 will open at 12:45 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.