London ball

Coastal Bend baseball legend’s legacy runs strong with state-linked London team

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — It’s been just over a year since Coastal Bend baseball icon Hector Salinas died of kidney failure.

Salinas is well known in the area, having started the Texas A&M-Kingsville and A&M-Corpus Christi baseball teams, and has a huge role in the history of the Moody High School baseball program.

“We couldn’t go to a baseball park without being stuck there for a few hours, with I don’t know how many people talking to my dad,” his son, Trey Salinas, said. “It was something that frustrated me before, but now I find myself doing it with my kids, so I get it.”

Hector Salinas’ influence is still felt with the London baseball program.

Trey is the Pirates’ batting coach and his son, Landon, is an infielder and pitcher on the team.

Hector Salinas died during the Pirates’ 2021 playoffs, a historic season that ended in a loss in the state championship game, and the first time the Pirates made it to the tournament.

“Baseball helped me, but don’t think about it too much,” Landon Salinas said.

Trey Salinas said his father has always been supportive of his grandchildren.

“My dad lived for his grandkids and just to go watch them compete, he loved it, he lived it,” he said.

But, he fell ill last year when Landon started his career in high school, so he had to follow his grandson from afar.

“He couldn’t really watch the games, he saw a lot of them on the news,” Trey Salinas said. “But, he was definitely part of the growing process.”

Landon dedicated this season, his second season, to his late grandfather.

“I know he’s there looking down on me,” he said. “I know he is always with me.”

Landon said that when he plays, he thinks of his grandfather.

“(I think of) some of the things he said to me growing up, simple baseball tactics – keep your head on the ball, don’t put yourself down – just stuff like that,” he said. .

Just like last year, this season has been magical for the Pirates.

They are preparing for their second straight trip to the state tournament.

“This year turned out to be another special year, and I know my dad is right next to us enjoying the ride with us,” Trey Salinas said.

The Pirates (24-13) will face Gunter (36-1) Friday at 9:00 a.m. at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock. If the Pirates win, they will face the winner of Brock (35-3) and Diboll (38-4) Saturday at 9:00 a.m. at the Dell Diamond.