Say, Matthew McConaughey, You Got a Rangers Jersey? It'd Be a Lot Cooler If You Did.

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Photos by Patrick Michels
Turns out, Matthew McConaughey's got a pretty good arm.
If you'd been in one particular basement in Arlington a little more than an hour ago, you would've stood square in the middle of a fairly strange scene: Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa standing around, cheerful and well-dressed in a light gray suit, a few feet from American League MVP Josh Hamilton, who was taking a few swings off a tee.

Both men were largely ignored by a passel of cameramen, though, whose focus was trained instead on Texas legenduder Matthew McConaughey, as he got a few tips on his curveball from the Rangers' Colby Lewis. (The actor will, after all, also toss out the ceremonial first pitch before tonight's match-up with the New York Yankees.)

Of course, if you'd read Robert's preview of the event Wednesday, all of this made perfect sense: McConaughey's j. k. livin' foundation -- as in, "Just keep livin, L-I-V-I-N" -- announced a partnership with the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation to fund after-school programs in Dallas (at L.G. Pinkston High School), Arlington (Sam Houston High School) and Fort Worth (Diamond Hill-Jarvis High School).

"This is really exciting for us," Hinojosa told Unfair Park after the announcement, while Derek Holland caught pitches from McConaughey in a Rangers batting cage.

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Here, courtesy the DISD, is the unlikeliest pairing of the day: Nolan Ryan and Michael Hinojosa
The super said DISD worked with the foundations to bring the program to Pinkston, where an especially dedicated principal, a police officer and a Teach for America teacher helped get the program off the ground, and where the school could most definitely use a healthy living program. "We looked at seminal places where there is a need," Hinojosa said. Oh -- and his favorite McConaughey movie is A Time To Kill, he told us, though he hasn't seen The Lincoln Lawyer yet.

McConaughey, along with Camila Alves -- his partner in life and charitable giving -- founded their group to set up afterschool programs in schools in low-income neighborhoods, focusing on fitness and wellness.

It's easy for students to head in the wrong direction once they've graduated, he said at the press conference, and by then, "your line in life is already gonna be written -- and it may be in the wrong way. So let's catch 'em when they still have the chance to get it right."

Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz also stepped up to contribute to the programs.

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7 comments
Dave_little
Dave_little

I went to a Hillcrest baseball game. Even though my next door neighbor is on the team, those players are some of the poorest sports I've ever seen, with Hinojosa's son being at the top of the list.

Amy S.
Amy S.

Mr. Ryan could do worse than recruit Dr. Hinojosa as an assistant coach, I believe his contract with DISD expires in 2012? And eligible for full retirement in the education system? Field of Dreams.

LaceyB
LaceyB

Good thing L-I-V-I-N is focused on fitness, not on academics/spelling. If I were McConaughey, I would be wearing clothes by j.k. livin, pull the first ball out of wifey Alves's purse from her purse line, pitch, then yell, "Go Rangers!"

Gotta look out for #1, first, baby.

Amy S.
Amy S.

I fail to understand why Dr. Hinojosa and Nolan Ryan would be an unlikely pair when they both coach, and share a love of, baseball. Dr. H. certainly left this party for the real one - Hillcrest HS playoffs! Go Panthers!

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Meanwhile, it seems that campus principals have officially been told how many teachers to cut due to financial mismanagement of DISD.

As of June 5, hundreds of teachers will join the ranks of the unemployed.

Class sizes in middle schools and high schools will swell.Many rooms are already physically at the limit of the number of students they can fit.

The soon-to-be-cut teachers don't know who they are; no one has been warned.

But at least Michael Hinojosa is enjoying himself and looking forward to his pension based on a ridiculously bloated salary that comes at the expense of smaller classes for the neediest kids.

Patrick Michels
Patrick Michels

Good call! Didn't occur to me at the time, but it'd explain why he was clearly itching to get into the batting cage.

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