The Stafford Municipal School District dedicated its high school baseball field on Saturday to Coach Michael Mesa, a Class of 2008 Stafford MSD graduate who returned to teach and coach in the district.
Mesa was the youngest Class 4A head baseball coach in Texas when he unexpectedly passed away at age 26 just days after the end of the 2016 season. The district retired Mesa’s number 11 jersey and presented a jersey to his 5-year-old son, Leandro. The other number 11 jersey will be displayed inside the Stafford High School competition gym’s trophy case.
At the end of the ceremony, Leandro threw out the first pitch to his grandfather (and Coach Mesa’s father), Raul Mesa. Stafford MSD also unveiled a plaque in Mesa’s honor.
Mission4Mike, a non-profit started in Mesa’s memory, donated a windscreen to Stafford MSD. On the windscreen, the baseball program’s first retired number (11) is displayed. Gracie Martinez, president and co-founder of Mission4Mike, was the master of ceremonies for the event.
Several dignitaries spoke at the dedication, including Stafford MSD Superintendent Dr. Robert Bostic, Stafford MSD Trustees Christopher Caldwell, Xavier Herrera, Alicia Lacy-Castille, Manuel Hinojosa, Greg Holsapple and Auturo Jackson. All six were on the board when Mesa passed away. Stafford Mayor Leonard Scarcella spoke, as did Councilmember A.J. Honore. Councilmembers Wen Guerra, Don Jones and Ken Mathew were in attendance.
SMSD Deputy Superintendent Marva Rasberry spoke at the event. Rasberry was Stafford Middle School’s principal when Mesa was a student there between 2002-04.
Angel Maldonado, who graduated from Stafford with Mesa in 2008 and worked alongside him at the district, spoke about the coach.
The current group of Stafford High senior baseball players were freshmen when Mesa passed away. They spoke about what Mesa meant to them. The Stafford Elementary choir performed an a cappella version of “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.”
Prior to the dedication ceremony, the current Stafford baseball team played the Stafford alumni in an alumni game. The current players won 5-0. The alumni team included current Trustee Manuel Hinojosa, a Stafford High graduate who played alongside his sons, Manny and Raul Hinojosa – both of whom graduated from Stafford last spring.
Stafford second-year head baseball coach Donald Allen invited those in attendance to the first game at Michael Mesa Field, which was scheduled to be played at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday against Marshall.