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1949 state champion Bowie baseball team loses another member

By: Bill Melugin

EL PASO, Texas Another player from Bowie High Schools historical 1949 baseball state championship team has passed away, leaving only four of the original 18 players still alive.

Carlos Macias, a utility catcher for the team, died on Tuesday after battling Alzheimers disease.

 He was great father, grandfather, friend, husband, he was my hero, said Macias son, Carlos Macias Jr. With his passing, my mom just gave me his state championship ring, and that's something I'll treasure for the rest of my life.
Apart from being a great baseball player, Macias Jr. said his dad fought in the Korean War, and taught him everything he knows about baseball.
"He used to have me sliding on the front lawn, once I perfected that, he had me sliding on the asphalt, Macias Jr. said. I was a Jefferson grad, so anytime we used to play against Bowie, he would always tell me you guys better brush yourselves off because they're gonna clean you up.
The 1949 Bowie Bears baseball team won the Texas state championship in the first year of its existence, but they had to overcome racism and adversity along the way.
"It was something else, the things that they had to go through, Macias Jr. said.
Andy Morales, the second baseman for the team and one of the four players still alive told KFOX14 it all started at their first playoff game near Lubbock.
"They didn't have any hotels or anything for us, so they put us in the school gymnasium, Morales said. They'd sit there and as we went by, they'd look at us like Hey, where the hell did these people come from? we've never seen them before."
Morales told KFOX14 it got even worse when the team arrived in Austin for the championship game.
The team was not given a hotel or motel to stay in, and was instead forced to sleep in Army cots underneath a football stadium.
Everywhere we went, we couldn't find a place to eat, we werent welcome anywhere, cause there were signs that said No Mexicans or dogs, Morales said.
Morales knows his team is disappearing quickly, but he is happy with the legacy they will all leave behind.
"Well it's just a fact of life, it all depends on how you live your life, Morales said.  In my case, I have lived a full life, I've done exactly what I've wanted to do."
Macias Jr. told KFOX14 he started missing his father the moment he passed away, and will always remember the man who would sit and watch football on Sundays with him.
My dad was a Dallas Cowboys hater, we used to just watch the Cowboys so we could say bad things about them, Macias Jr. laughed.
Morales told KFOX14 the last time he saw Macias was at the funeral services for another teammate, Gus Sambrano. He doesnt know if the remaining team members, two of whom are in California, will have anymore reunifications.
"We were a bunch of renegade that came together by coincidence, you could call it a team of destiny, Morales said.
It took 60 years for another El Paso team to win the state championship in baseball. Socorro High School, 95 percent Hispanic, defeated Austin Westlake in 2009. According to a Sports Illustrated report, Westlake students at the game chanted, We speak English" pulled out a Confederate flag, and waved their ID cards.