Giving back to the game they love

By Larry Tucker
Posted 3/25/21

A pair of former Mineola High School athletes who each went on to excel in their sport at a higher level is opening a unique academy concentrating on baseball and softball skills. 

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Giving back to the game they love


A pair of former Mineola High School athletes who each went on to excel in their sport at a higher level is opening a unique academy concentrating on baseball and softball skills. 

Recently retired professional baseball player Adam Moore and successful collegiate softball player Ali Galaz have opened A&A Academy, which is the newest baseball/softball indoor hitting and training facility in East Texas. They are hoping to be in their building by early May, but the pair is already giving lessons.

It is just east of Mineola in the Loop 564 and Highway 80 area, and they welcome athletes of all ages in surrounding areas to come experience a positive and encouraging baseball/softball training environment.

When their academy building is complete, they will have five batting cages in a 6,400-square-foot facility with turf. The couple have known each other for years and connected in their love for playing and teaching the game of softball and baseball. 

They will teach hitting and work on defense and can be position specific. They will also work with young players on all facets of the game, including health and mental aspects of softball/baseball.

A&A Academy will offer instruction to any age of ball player. Galaz will be instructing hitting and defense. Moore’s expertise is the all around game, from hitting to coaching catching and fundamental defensive baseball.

Why are they doing this in Mineola? “We want to give back to this community. It is also something that is needed. Ultimately we plan to have this going for a long time and hope it doesn’t die out, but we don’t think it will. Ever since we were younger we would have killed for something like this,” Galaz said. “We hope and plan to have a lot of people, not just Mineola, but all of East Texas. We want to give everyone a place to go so they don‘t have to drive to Tyler or Dallas.”

Galaz, a 2013 MHS graduate, was part of the Mineola team that went to the state finals. That was the team which was down by 10 runs in the final inning but scored nine runs with two outs before losing by just one run in one of the most remarkable comebacks in the state playoff history.

She started her collegiate career at Texas Woman’s University in Denton but moved to Division I Louisiana Tech until she graduated.

“I went to Texas Woman’s University for two years. I tore my ACL, but I was determined to play Division I and took a leap of faith and went to Louisiana Tech,” Galaz said. 

Galaz said she had great experiences from playing softball. “At Louisiana Tech we made the super regional tournament at Alabama, who was hosting it. My greatest memory about playing in Mineola was the fan base. My dad was the guy with the big softball head. We had another guy, Neal Warnick, who would dress up in an orange suit,” Galaz commented. “The main thing was our fans; they just kept us going every time we played.”

Since her graduation, Galaz has been giving softball instruction and coaching travel teams. She coaches a travel team based in Gilmer filled with players from all over northeast Texas.  

Moore graduated from MHS in 2002 and attended Northeast Texas Community College for two years before becoming an all-conference catcher at UT Arlington where he was Newcomer of the Year as a junior. Moore has played for six major league teams and made it to the top the hard way, spending time in the minor leagues from a short season Class A rookie team all the way to Triple A and then to the majors.

At Mineola High School, Moore hit .517 his senior season with 18 home runs and 63 RBI. He was an all-state catcher three times and district MVP as a junior and senior. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers after attending Northeast CC, but chose to go to UT Arlington instead. While at Mineola, one of the pitchers he caught was Mineola superintendent Cody Mize. 

Moore signed with Seattle after being drafted by the Mariners in the sixth round. He was called up to the major league team in 2009, and his first stop was in Arlington to play the Rangers. That moment is one his favorite memories.

“I was playing for Tacoma and just played in Sacramento when I got the call I was being brought up. My aunt and uncle picked me up and took me to the stadium. I walked in super early, like 8 a.m. for an afternoon game,” Moore said. “The only one there was the manager and as soon as I turned the corner I saw Ken Griffey Jr. laying on a couch. He introduced himself and said he wanted to be there for my first day before everybody else got there. He talked to me about being a big leaguer and more about the dos and don’ts, an ears open, mouth shut type thing. He was a true professional.” 

Moore added something that was important to him in high school: “At Mineola, we always had great fans follow us. Having Coach Hayland Hardy is one of my favorite memories. He was a great baseball mind, a great baseball coach. He told me a lot about the game and a lot about the Lord too,” Moore remembered. “He was a big part of my life and still is. Coach Hardy was big for me. He taught me about being a man, not just a baseball player.”  

Galaz is the daughter of Oscar Galaz and Jane Carnes. Moore’s folks are Laura and Harold Moore. For information about A&A Academy and lessons call 903-830-5568.