In 2014 on a beautiful May day, Cobra founder Will Thomson decided he wanted to play some baseball. In his own words, Will describes his inspiration as follows:
“I had just finished watching Ken Burns Baseball the night before, and woke up all hungover* and weepy about the nostalgia the documentary had instilled in me (* I was hungover as hell because hard liquor is the only way to keep Ken Burns’ siren baseball song from putting you straight to sleep). In my blurry state that morning, I decided that if those goofy bankers and firefighters in 1790 Manhattan could muster the energy to find teammates, and a field across the Hudson River in New Jersey's Elysian fields to play a children's ball game; then I could drag my happy ass over to Play-it-Again Sports, score some catcher gear, post a selfie on Facebook inviting all comers, and go scope out the field across the Colorado River I'd had my eyes on the last couple years.”
Will actually bought two bats, catcher’s gear, a bucket (named Byron), a baker’s dozen of baseballs, and a couple cases of beer. The people who came out that first day did not come out for games or glory – they came out for the love of baseball (and, to be honest, the beer). At that time, the idea to form a legitimate team had not even been entertained, players met on Sundays for good times, Sunday Sandlots, and a couple beers. Will had no idea that his fondness towards baseball and willingness to get out there would eventually result in the Cap City Cobras.
Then on one fateful day, a member of the East Austin Jardineros’ front office walked into Will’s workplace, The Grackle, for a cocktail or two, and proceeded to inform him that Austin had two sandlot teams, the East Austin Jardineros and Texas Playboys. The Jardineros were gracious enough to scrimmage and have a couple mashups with our crew of misfits – denim cutoffs, chain wallets, and all. It is safe to say that Cobras would not be here without the Jardineros’ help and guidance. At this time the Cobras were known as Arena Domingo (aka Sunday Sandlot), but this became confusing as the squad often played on Sunday. So the team set out to find a new name. Around the time (aka July of 2015) the search for the new name began, the Austin Cobra emerged and in his spirit the Capital “Cap” City Cobras were born.
Finally on July 10th, 2015 still under the name of Arena Domingo, the team had their first official game against the East Austin Jardineros at Govalle the Good. Playing about once a month for the remainder of the 2015 season, we did not record a win, but did secure a beer sponsor (PRIORITIES). During this inaugural season, Will laid out the team’s 3-part philosophical approach: 1) Show Up; 2) Play Well; and 3) Have Fun. Our poor play, and winless record, did nothing to deter our spirits. In fact, we were more excited than ever to be emerging as Austin's third sandlot team.
As the 2016 season rolled around, the team had shed the Arena Domingo moniker, and officially became the Capital “Cap” City Cobras. With our new name, we decided to change beer sponsors and played under the banner (and influence) of Pabst Blue Ribbon. 2016 was the turning point in Cobras’ history. We recorded our first wins, named Seth Kessler the first team captain, started to develop a fan base, found a couple cornerstone players, and, with renewed dreams, began to look towards the future. While we did not have a winning record, we knew we were building an organization – one we hope will be around for many years to come.
Riding high from 2016’s successes, the Cobras solidified their brand and committed to the Cobra C and the beloved black and white. The team developed a partnership with a couple favorite, local watering holes, Workhorse Bar and Backlot, and changed our beer sponsor to the Big Bend Brewing Company. Furthermore, we began to play much better baseball. 2017 saw our first legitimate win streak, and we finished the season with a 10-5 record. This was quite the accomplishment, considering the Cobras’ history of losing. However, tragedy stuck when our founder, Will, left the team. he did not die or anything, he just moved away from Austin. Upon his departure, team captain, Seth Kessler, bought the team for $37.00, and immediately named Thomas Wesley King to assistant manager. While Will's departure was a bitter pill, he had set the Cobras up for success, and the team answered the call. 2017 was, at that point, the Cobras best season – both on and off the field.
Prior to the 2018 season, the team renovated their beloved practice field. Prior to these renovations, the field was more like a pasture than a baseball field. the Cobras, along with some community partners, donated some blood, sweat, tears, dirt, and Cobra Cash (our own funds) to built a batter's box and a mound, installed bases, and built sliding pits. 2018 was already off to a banner start, and the team could not wait to get in between the white lines.