Go Stros!

OK folks, this might take a while…

I was born the same year as the Houston Astros and have been a fan for my entire life. Since the Astros were the closest team to Baton Rouge when I was growing up they were the team of my childhood.

I remember listening to Gene Elston and Loel Passe on my brother’s transistor radio in the bedroom we shared in Baton Rouge (now you’re chunkin’, Larry Dierker!). I remember when Loel retired and Dewayne Staats joined the booth, and I remember when Dewayne was “traded” to the Cubs for Milo Hamilton.

I loved Jimmy Wynn, Joe Morgan and Rusty Staub and cried when each of them was traded. I loved Denis Menke and Doug Rader and Cesar Cedeno and I cried when Don Wilson died. I loved Jose’ Cruz and JR Richard and I couldn’t believe it when we got Nolan Ryan!

I watched Roger Metzger and Joe Morgan turn double plays, I watched Dickie Thon and Phil Garner turn double plays, and I watched Craig Biggio and a thousand shortstops turn double plays. I watched Larry Dierker pitch, I listened to Larry Dierker on the radio and I watched Larry Dierker manage the team — and be great at all of them.

I loved the orange and blue, I put up with the blue and gold, I hated the brick red and I rejoiced when the orange and blue returned. I loved the Astros from afar, and then I moved to Houston for sixteen years and loved them from nearby.

I watched the Killer B’s and I died a little when Randy couldn’t get us over the hump — it hurt even worse because one of our boys starred for the other team in that series. I cheered for Roger and Andy and just couldn’t believe the steroid talk. I loved Jeff Bagwell, and yes, I cried again when Ken Caminiti died.

That background information might help explain some of what I am feeling tonight. I was a season ticket holder when this core of awesome young men was losing 324 games in three years, but I could see the future coming!

Besides events and dates involving my blood family, November 1 will now join January 4, 2004 and February 7, 2010 as one of my happiest memories.

Thank you, boys, for making 55 years of waiting worth the wait.

Geaux Astros!

Go ‘Stros!

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