San Antonio's Vista Brewing to hold Sunday crawfish boil to launch sandlot baseball season

The sandlot phenomenon has seen a resurgence in recent years, much to the delight of hobbyist knuckleballers.

Matt Dixon manages the San Antonio location of Austin-based Vista Brewing, as well as SA’s newest sandlot baseball team, the Texas Dingers. - Instagram / mad_rittr
Instagram / mad_rittr
Matt Dixon manages the San Antonio location of Austin-based Vista Brewing, as well as SA’s newest sandlot baseball team, the Texas Dingers.

The terms “summertime” and “baseball” are nearly synonymous, and local taproom manager Matt Dixon aims to bring the two together — along with crawfish and a healthy dose of beer.

Dixon manages the Alamo City location of Austin-based Vista Brewing, as well as new SA sandlot baseball team the Texas Dingers. Proceeds from Vista's Sunday, March 28 crawfish boil will go towards helping the Dingers afford team expenses this season, which begins Saturday, April 9 with an away game in Austin.

Sandlot baseball follows the basic rules of the regulation version of the sport, just less organized and structured — after all, the term “sandlot” alludes to a makeshift field or empty lot where it's played. According to Dixon, the phenomenon has seen a resurgence over the past decade, much to the delight of hobbyist knuckleballers.

“We’ve seen so much interest that I’m having a hard time keeping up,” Dixon told the Current. “Soon, we’ll probably see three or four teams here in San Antonio alone.”

There are now more than a dozen teams in Texas, Dixon added. Most of the players on SA’s sole team are food and beverage industry workers. 
Dixon wants to add a charitable aspect to every local sandlot event.  So, moving forward, each home game — played at Pittman-Sullivan Park, a spot brimming with baseball history in its own right — will also act as a fundraiser for an area nonprofit. While the Dingers haven't lined up all of the benefitting organizations yet, Dixon said one partnership has solidified since he launched the team last October.

“The work that the Saint City Culinary Foundation does for foodservice workers is so important to me,” he said. “When I found out [founder] Joel Rivas was a huge baseball fan, it just made sense to reach out to him to see if we could organize a baseball program as part of the organization’s offerings.”

The crawfish boil will take place at Vista Brewing's taproom inside mixed-use artist space Warehouse 5 at 1333 Buena Vista St. The boil starts at 2 p.m. and will run until the mudbugs run out.

Texas Dingers merch also will be available for purchase, as will pre-sale tickets for the Dingers' Saturday, April 23 home opener.

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Nina Rangel

Nina Rangel uses nearly 20 years of experience in the foodservice industry to tell the stories of movers and shakers in the food scene in San Antonio. As the Food + Nightlife Editor for the San Antonio Current, she showcases her passion for the Alamo City’s culinary community by promoting local flavors, uncovering...

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