Kingsville native and author Donavan “Captain D” Lopez is searching for members of the Texas A&I University Los Paisanos Athletic Club to participate in the Howdy Authors Event which coincides with the Ranch Hand Festival taking place on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016.

Lopez will hold a book signing for his The Compromise: The History of the Texas A&I University Los Paisanos Athletic Club. The event is scheduled from 12:45-2:15pm in historic downtown Kingsville.

Lopez intentions are to have the players and members of the Los Paisanos Athletic Club available to sign copies of the book. Lopez said, “We want to get as many members as we can to get them back together again to keep the memories alive, besides I would like for them to sign my book.” Anyone interested in participating can just show up or contact Lopez at (361) 592-1012, or Michelle Smith from the Kingsville Public Library at (361) 592-6381.

The Compromise: The History of The Texas A&I University Los Paisanos Athletic Club is a book about a group of Mexican-American brothers while students at now Texas A&M University-Kingsville defy all odds to bring a college baseball team to a university divulged in a totally football atmosphere which produced some influential NFL players such as Gene Upshaw and Darrell Green.  The Compromise is an oral history of Texas A&I University’s Los Paisanos Athletic Club (LPAC).  By forming a baseball club, the brothers could show the administration what kind of interest there was for baseball at Texas A&I and maybe make it into a varsity sport.

The team played home games at Dick Kleberg Park in Kingsville and Zeke Mora field in Alice and scheduled several teams including, Pan American University (now UT-Rio Grande) in Edinburg, St. Mary’s University, St. Edwards University, Prairie View A&M, Texas Lutheran, Texas Southern, Incarnate Word College, Trinity University, Laredo Jr. College, Southmost College, now the University of Texas-Brownsville, Mary-Hardin Baylor, and Ivy League Dartmouth College. The intent of The Compromise was to shed light on the club’s influence on bringing a baseball program to Texas A&I and illustrate their efforts to force baseball into the administration’s plans for the athletic program. This is the first attempt to relate the history of the Los Paisanos Athletic Club.

The most important sources used to develop this study were oral histories collected by the author.  Other information was obtained through the Kingsville Record, The Texas A&M University-Kingsville South Texan, the Alice Echo-News and the Corpus Christi Caller-Times. The book contains team rosters, schedules, photocopies of newspaper articles and photographs.

Lopez will also have available his second book Practice! Practice! Practice!: The History of the King Ranch Cowboys Baseball Team. The book is set in the 1940’ and 50’s on the King Ranch, the largest working ranch in the world. The characters include a wealthy congressman who runs the ranch and the Mexican-American cowboys who play on the baseball team. The book’s climax is when the King Ranch Cowboys play a barnstorming military team consisting of Major League Baseball All-Stars including Bob Turley and Don Newcombe stationed at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio.  

Kingsville Native Donavan “Captain D” Lopez received a master’s degree from Texas A&M University-Kingsville in 1998.  Donavan Lopez continued playing and coaching for many great local semipro teams and authored two books based on baseball in South Texas.

During the Fall of 1991, when Texas A&I University reinstated the baseball program, Lopez worked out with the Javelina baseball team, but opted to leave the team to focus all his attention on graduating that Spring. Donavan reached the highlight of his playing career in 1998 when he scored the sole run against the triple AAA professional Los Broncos de Reynosa, Mexico, in an exhibition game played in Alice. In 2003, Donavan coached and played against the double AA professional Coastal Bend Aviators, in exhibition games held in Alice at Zeke Mora field and Corpus Christi at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Chapan field. Lopez has four sons, Donavan Paul, Devin, DAllen and Dustin Lopez.