WACO — Tim Jackson and the Round Rock Express have opened their doors to some central Texas Baseball talent as a temporary expansion team in the Texas Collegiate League, named the Round Rock Hairy Men.
Jackson a former baseball player at McLennan and Baylor also played his summer ball in the TCL, and he is looking forward to giving players, that were once in his shoes, a chance to play close to home during a difficult summer.
“I think a lot of rosters will be constructed like ours,” he said of the 10 teams in the TCL. “There are a lot of local kids — it made a lot of sense for kids who are at home from a safety protocol but also from a, ‘let’s get this thing going’ and kids aren’t having to travel from across the country.”
WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW BY CLICKING BELOW
In his normal role as the Round Rock Express General Manager Jackson doesn’t have much say on the make-up of the roster because that is controlled by their big league club, The Houston Astros. With the Hairy Men he has been able to have a big say on the roster make-up and he doesn’t have to go far to fill it with talent.
“It’s kind of been neat to lean on the people I know,” Jackson said. “Mitch Thompson, obviously was my assistant coach at Baylor. He recruited me to Baylor so to be able to ping him and say ‘Hey coach if you got any arms any players that might need a place to play, we’re happy to take that on.’ We ping Coach Rod and do the same. And we’re even branching out beyond that.”
Safety is top of mind in the world today and the Hairy Men are doing everything they can to make sure the players stay safe on and off the diamond.
“There’s a daily checklist they have to submit kind of a self screening before they ever come in,” Jackson said. “They wear a mask when they’re on the bus or wear a mask in the dugout. For guys that aren’t starting, they’re going to stay home they’re not going to travel the team, They’re not going to come to the ballpark.”
The crowds will also be limited with protocols in place to make sure those who come to the park can socially distance. For more information or tickets, click here.