A man's love for baseball, and his neighborhood, brings the Pelicans to Oak Cliff.
Patty Evans is the Oak Cliff Pelicans baseball club founder-player-manager.
"I feel like I've done my fair share of work for Oak Cliff, as far as cleaning up the neighborhood, doing community service. I'm very attached to Oak Cliff. I've just seen so much change," said Evans.
And that's why the team considers Oak Cliff home. But the group didn't start out as a baseball team.
"We were a co-ed indoor soccer team. All of us guys immediately got the competition thing going. And we said, let's do co-ed softball," said Evans. "Convince the wives to continue with sports, but lets actually go do the sport that we want to play, which is pseudo-baseball. The wives weren't all that baseball athletic, so after trying to turn a double play, and they're not even looking at you, because your wife is playing second base, we all decided on the side that we were going to go play men's softball. In Kiest Park there is a baseball field that's right by all the softball fields. And that's where we would see men playing baseball. Oh, that's the Dallas Mexican-American Baseball League, and we were like, where do we sign up."
Evans says getting guys on the diamond was the easy part. Building a team which could compete in the North Texas Amateur League took longer.
"We had a lot of bad baseball years. I think we won one game, in two years" said Evans.
But his love of the game kept him, and his core players, coming back for more.
"Anybody can come back, at any point in time," said Evans. "I've seen plenty of wacky things. I have to play baseball. I don't know what I would do if I couldn't go play baseball. It's just the smell of the grass, the dirt, the pop of the ball in the mitt, you know, those things."
The team has gone from struggling to win a single game, to playing in seven consecutive championship games, winning four.
"It's my neighborhood, and that's why we're the Oak Cliff Pelicans. Because I belong to it," said Evans.
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