Why I am ready to #TakeItBack – Astros Love Letter
Over the last few weeks you have heard me talk a lot about Houston Astros Baseball. Most people think that I am a little over the top when it comes to my fandom and antics, but for me it is more then a game. It's a life for me.
I can remember Sunday June 5th 1994 as I walked to the entrance of the Astrodome with my Dad like it was yesterday. The Astros were facing the St. Louis Cardinals. My very first baseball game and it was just me and my dad. With a big family this was a rarity to have. My 5 year old eyes were open wide as I walked through the 8th Wonder of the World. We grabbed our popcorn and hot dogs and went to our seats. The majority of the game was a blur because I was just so happy to be there. I remember as some Second Baseman named Craig Biggio made a game saving diving play at second to stop a ball. It excited me so much that I jumped up and spilled my soda on the person in front of me. That guy wasn't mad because we were all excited. The Astros would go on to win the game and I was not only a Craig Biggio fan for life but the Astros were now my team.
Over my childhood I would wake up in the morning and check the box score in our local newspaper. Did the Astros win? Did Biggio hit a double? Pure excitement for me. I didn't get to watch the game on tv so this was the next best thing. When I was about 9 years old my Grandpa introduced me to a rather strange concept to me. The radio! We began a new tradition on Saturday nights of listening to the Astros on the local radio and eating ice cream. When the Astros would face the Dodgers (His Favorite Team) we would eat double the ice cream because it was a good night. He taught me to picture the game in my head and to truly understand what was going on. A few years later my Grandpa would get very sick and I would return to my roots. I would sit in his hospital room and read the box scores as he was in a coma. I know he was listening.
Over the next several years and high school I would continue to watch the Astros as they had great seasons and some bad seasons. My senior year was exciting. The Astros started the year ROUGH in 2005. Any shot of making the playoffs was a no go. Local papers even counted them off as a dead season, but the team didn't think so. They would win the wild card and make it all the way to the World Series for the first time. That was one of the most heart breaking events. Losing in 4 games to the Chicago White Sox hurt. We made it so far but not far enough.
That would be the last excitement for the Astros for a while. I would go on to join the Navy and bring the Astros excitement with me while forward deployed. By this time technology had advanced so I was able to stream the local radio stations all the way in the middle of the Mediterranean. My shipmates looked at me crazy when I was so intently listening to the game instead of playing video games with them. In a time where there was no for sure answers and the ships direction could change in a moments notice, I knew the Astros would be there! Now 2011-2013 were some very dark times for the Astros. Three straight 100 loss seasons. Saying the team was bad might actually have been an understatement. My fandom didn't waiver. I could depend on them to lose. They would lose in the most gut wrenching way. But, they still showed up and gave me some light in a dark time for me.
Now we get to 2017. Houston is underwater. My family is all over town having to leave houses and lose everything. What is one thing that brought a city that was hurting together? Astros baseball. Another time where I could take the focus of the hurt and enjoy the Astros if even just for a moment. They would go on to win the Word Series in 2017. Against who you ask? The Dodgers. I could picture my Grandpa sitting next to me eating ice cream and smiling. As Altuve threw the ball to Gurriel, this grown man had tears come down his face. With the Houston strong patch on their chests the Astros made everything right in the World. Brought the city together.
Here we are in current day. Chaos going on around us and a lots of turmoil everywhere we look. What is the one thing that I can depend on to bring a smile to my face? Houston Astros Baseball!
As I write this, game 7 will be tonight. There is no tomorrow. The Nationals and Astros will do everything in their power to win the game. I can guarantee that it is going to a great game. Its no shocker that I want the Astros to win. I will tell you this if the Nationals I will be so proud for their organization. They were counted out at the beginning of the year but here they are going strong. However, the Astros won 107 games and were the best team in baseball.
At the end of the day I will be happy with outcome. The Astros mean a lot to me for a lot of reasons and I am ready for them to #TakeItBack. Just a reminder, tomorrow morning if the outcome doesn't go the way of your friend please think before you pour salt in that wound. To them it may be more then a game!