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Official Review by Paul Derrick, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
In 2004, Ryan-Sanders Baseball, decided to relocate their Texas League team to beautiful Corpus Christi. Built on an old cotton farm, Whataburger Field has a new ballpark feel, while still keeping some old Corpus tradition with a few cotton farm buildings in left field.
Whataburger is a huge Texas burger franchise that was started in Corpus Christi in the early fifties. Due to Corpus Christi being right on the coast you can see a vast array of Tankers and other ships in the background of the stadium on any given night, which makes this a very scenic and unique park.
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The Hooks offer a little bit of everything as far as food & beverages. It being Whataburger Field there is a full Whataburger to order from, as well as nearby picnic tables to enjoy them. Nolan Ryan's BBQ offers some great BBQ options for anyone looking for some tasty Texas Que.
There are many other food and drink vendors offering all the ballpark regulars such as popcorn, hot dogs and peanuts. There are also plenty of beer options (bottle and draft) for the average beer price. The Margaritaville stand is probably your best bet for alcoholic options, as they carry many draft options as well as mixed drinks.
Corpus Christi is an amazing port city and a great city for baseball. From the moment you pull up to the stadium, you notice the excitement in the faces of the fans. The field includes a wide variety of concession stands, plenty of space in the outfield to observe the game (including behind see-through bullpens), kids play areas, and, of course, a fair number of luxury suites on the second level. The fixed seating capacity was limited to just over five thousand in order to produce a more intimate setting for spectators.
The PA Announcer and mascots (Sammie the Seagull and Rusty the Hook) really keep the fans into the game. There are many mid-inning games to keep the fans engaged. Most of the games were Whataburger oriented, such as a large fry toss and a game where fans had to try and throw large slices of cheese on a distant burger.
There are a couple of interesting things to the park, such as the background view and old objects represented at the park. In the background of the park you can see the port as well as view the Harbor Bridge which adds a unique nostalgia to the stadium. Since the ballpark was built on an old cotton warehouse, there are some old remnants of this located in the outfield.
There are plenty of entertainment options for kids in the outfield, with a bungee jump, a wall climb and a full playground set. Tickets are pretty fairly priced at $12 for reserved seating and $5 for berm and general admission. The older kids can get their fun in with a game of baseball at the little league field behind the right field wall, the Hooks run a game here one hour before gametime. Overall Whataburger Field is a great family atmosphere as it provides entertainment for kids and adults.
Corpus Christi is the second most popular vacation spot in the State of Texas and has much to offer the tourists. You will find beautiful scenery and plenty to do in Corpus Christi. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, Corpus Christi offers boating, swimming, sunbathing, fishing and more.
Corpus Christi has all kinds of restaurants, but the seafood is extra special. Some restaurants have waterfront locations with great views of the water, birds, and boating activity while you dine. Joe's Crab Shack and Landry's Seafood are just two of the restaurants to enjoy.
For any tourists, you definitely should check out the U.S.S. Lexington, which is a battleship museum on the bay and rated one of the top ten attractions in Texas. Padre Island National Seashore is also a definite must see as it is the largest undeveloped barrier island in the continental United States. Corpus Christi definitely has something for everybody.
Whataburger Field seats 5,050 fans and those seats weren't filled, but the fans that were there were there for a reason. The fans are knowledgeable of the game and do their share of good ole heckling of the opposing team. With the fans that I spoke with, the majority of them knew quite a bit about the team as well as the entire Astros farm system organization. Some of the best minor league fans I have seen.
Access to the stadium is not the easiest. There isn't any type of public transportation to the stadium, and parking will run you about $4. The road going into the stadium right now is under some pretty heavy construction so when you're not going down a one way lane you feel like you're doing a Baja offroad trail.
Corpus Christi is a beautiful tourist spot for anyone who loves the coast. The Hooks have brought an excitement for baseball that is shown throughout the city. For anyone looking to visit Texas, I would highly recommend Corpus Christi and would tell you to make sure to catch a game at Whataburger Field. You will not be disappointed.
One noticeable thing that caught my attention when looking at the schedule for the Hooks is the massive amount of promotional days. The Hooks make sure to give out some freebies if you are going to be coming to the park, which for any fan is greatly appreciated.
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