CORPUS CHRISTI - The Hooks, joined by four active duty military members, are sure to make a big splash this weekend as approximately 150 baseballs will be swatted off the deck of the world-famous USS Lexington CV-16 during live batting practice on Saturday, May 25.In one of the marquee events
CORPUS CHRISTI - The Hooks, joined by four active duty military members, are sure to make a big splash this weekend as approximately 150 baseballs will be swatted off the deck of the world-famous USS Lexington CV-16 during live batting practice on Saturday, May 25.
In one of the marquee events of Memorial Day Weekend, the Hooks will play as the Corpus Christi Blue Ghosts from May 23-25 in a nod to the Lexington's nickname. The entire team will take the deck beginning at about 11:30 a.m. to kick off Saturday's festivities.
Batting practice will take place approximately 60 feet from the stern of the ship facing North Beach. The baseballs will be hit into Corpus Christi Bay and will be retrieved by volunteers on jet skis, kayaks, standup paddleboards and small boats stationed in the loading zone. Kayakers and paddleboarders are asked to load via the beach along N Shoreline Boulevard, north of the USS Lexington.
Hooks players will be joined by ENS Sean Kamhoot, USN, who hit the longest fly ball in a military-only home run derby held at Whataburger Field on May 11. ENS Tyler Vasconez, USN, ENS Michael Pahissa, USN and SSG Stephen Gillespie, USA, were randomly selected from the participants to also take batting practice on the Lex.
Fans are invited to watch batting practice for the price of admission to the USS Lexington Museum; for adults at $16.95, seniors and military at $14.95 and children at $11.95. Hooks season members and fans who present Hooks ticket stubs from May 23-24 receive a $3 discount. Those who attend batting practice on the Lexington may present their ticket stub at the Whataburger Field Box Office to receive a $3 discount to the Hooks games on May 25-26.
MLB Network on-air host and Houston native Robert Flores will emcee the event. Flores will subsequently throw the ceremonially first pitch before Saturday's 7:15 p.m. game between the Blue Ghosts and Frisco RoughRiders.
Flores currently co-hosts MLB Network's weekday morning show, MLB Central. He previously worked at ESPN, where he anchored SportsCenter and other shows including Baseball Tonight. Flores attended J. Frank Dobie High School in Houston and earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Houston in 1992.
Media interested in covering batting practice aboard the Lexington must receive approval by Friday, May 24 at 5 p.m. Please send your request to Dan Reiner at [email protected] with the name(s), email(s) and outlet of those planning to report. Flores, select players and the four active duty military members may be made available for interview upon request only.
Commissioned by the United States Navy in 1943, the USS Lexington served the Fifth Fleet during World War II. The famed aircraft carrier was engaged in nearly every operation in the Pacific Theater and spent 21 months in combat. The Japanese reported the Lexington sunk no less than four times, earning her the nickname "The Blue Ghost."
The Blue Ghosts, among the monikers considered for the Corpus Christi Baseball Club prior to its 2005 arrival to the Texas League, return their signature sailor tattoo-inspired logos and word marks with a refreshed gray and blue color scheme to match the vessel and many of the aircraft she carries.
As part of the USS Lexington-inspired weekend coinciding with Memorial Day festivities at Whataburger Field, the first 2,000 fans on Thursday, May 23 will receive a Blue Ghosts Stainless Steel Tumbler presented by AutoNation and enjoy Bud Light Friday Fireworks on May 24. On Saturday, May 25, the first 4,000 fans will receive a Blue Ghosts DriFit shirt from Hilliard, Martinez, Gonzales.
Fans can take home the game-worn Blue Ghosts jerseys via a silent auction by visiting cchooks.com/auction. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the USS Lexington Museum on the Bay and the USO of South Texas.
For more information about the USS Lexington, visit usslexington.com.
For more information about Blue Ghosts Weekend 2019, visit cchooks.com/blueghosts.