The Houston Astros took home their first ever World Series title last night, after a nail-biting, dramatic 7 game series against the Dodgers. I’ve been an Astros fan for as long as I can remember, and am so thrilled for this Team of Destiny and our whole city. This morning, I’ve been feeling nostalgic about the Astros, and making a list of my favorite Astros memories, most of them from the late 80s and 90s.
- In the 1980s, the Astros had a program for kids called Astros Buddies. We got a duffle bag and maybe a plastic helmet (my memories are fuzzy) at the beginning of the season along with tickets to a a few games. I remember being so proud that I was an Astros Buddy, and loved game days at the Dome. I think most of the games were on Sundays, and my dad and my two oldest brothers would leave after church and drive to the Astrodome. We’d eat ham and cheese sandwiches and drink juice boxes in the backseat of my dad’s white Mazda and then go to the game.
- My dad loves baseball, and loves the details of the game. He would bring his own scorebook to the games and score the entire game, teaching me his own method. He’d also sometimes listen to the announcer on the radio while we were actually at the games. We always loved counting the Ks.
- We listened to the Astros A LOT on the radio. In the car, and in the kitchen after dinner while my dad did dishes and swept the floor. I can still hear Milo Hamilton’s voice.
- My dad definitely instilled in me a love for the game, and especially for pitching. I started playing softball in 1st grade, and always wanted to be a pitcher and be like my favorites, Nolan Ryan and Mike Scott. I even (indirectly) named my 3rd child after Nolan Ryan, because my dad nicknamed me “Nolan” when I started striking batters out. I loved seeing Nolan behind home plate this week, watching the organization that made him a legend make history.
- The huge scoreboard in the Astrodome- I can still see the fireworks and the Cruuuuuuuuuuuz in lights as the crowd cheered for Jose Cruuuuuuuuuuuuz.
- When I was an Astros Buddy, I memorized the Astros roster and each player’s number. I still remember a few: Billy Hatcher #28, Kevin Bass #17, Gerald Young #2 and of course my beloved #34.
- I was at the first game Ken Caminiti played as an Astro (July 16, 1987- yes, I looked it up). I was so sad when he died so tragically in 2004.
- Ryan and I were married by former Astro Craig Reynolds, who is now a pastor. I played softball with his daughter in high school, and count her as a dear friend.
- The only professional sports game Grayson has ever attended was a Houston Astros game a few years ago.
- My parents bought 2 seats from the Astrodome and they are now in their game room at the ranch. They are old and stained, but full of history.
- I’ve never been to a World Series game, but did have tickets to Game 5 of the 2005 WS. The Astros lost in 4 that year. I was heartbroken, and I think it’s why it took me a little longer to jump on the bandwagon of excitement this year. But I’m so glad I did- what a week.
Congratulations ‘Stros. And thank you for a lifetime of memories.