Ellis man stays involved with city council, BOE, K-18 baseball



By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

He wasn't involved in sports while in high school, but John Walz has been making up for it since.

Walz, who works for the Ellis County Sheriff's Department as a security officer at the Ellis County Courthouse, will be taking some time off this weekend. He will be headed to Omaha, Neb., for the College World Series, where he has had season tickets for the last 20 years.

"That's a great atmosphere; that's a lot of fun," Walz said.

Walz has tickets under the awning down the first-base line at the new stadium, TD Ameritrade Park, where the CWS now is played. But he still misses Rosenblatt Stadium, home of the College World Series from 1950 through 2010.

"I really like the new stadium, but everybody's going to miss Rosenblatt. It was a neat place," Walz said. "Of course, the atmosphere around there, with all the tents, that was neat."

Walz also is involved with youth baseball, serving as West commissioner for K-18 baseball. The regional tournament is in Ellis, where Walz lives.

Walz also is on the Ellis City Council and in April was elected a board member for Ellis USD 388, where his term starts in July.

"That's interesting," he said of serving on the town council. "It's good to see the other side. When you're not on it, you don't understand exactly why things are done."

Walz, a 1973 graduate of Hays High School, grew up in Yocemento. He moved to Ellis in 1988, when he got a job with the Ellis Police Department.

After serving with the Ellis PD for two years, Walz got a job with Fort Hays State University Police, where he served for 23 years until his retirement in 2011.

Walz, 58, stayed retired for all of one month, before he started working as a driver for the Access van in Hays. He did that for six months before he was hired for his position with the Ellis County Sheriff's Department.

"I thought, 'I would like to do that; it would really fit me well,' because I enjoy being around the public," Walz said of his job. "I've kind of done that my whole life."

But this weekend, it's all about baseball.

Walz remembers one year at the CWS when tornado sirens sounded, with twisters spotted near Rosenblatt.

"Being a baseball fan, I joked around, said I couldn't think of a better place to die, if I have to go," Walz said.