March 13, 2018

Spring Break and Astros Baseball

Spring break.  What a glorious time of year!  Our family never scheduled much of a spring break trip since Curt always had baseball.  But one of my favorite spring breaks before high school started was to Kissimme, Florida to watch the Astros during Spring Training.  This year I think all of Houston has a renewed interest in Spring Training.  At one of the games Larry Anderson (1986-90) leaned on the fence and signed baseballs and talked to the kids.  Players such as Alan Ashby, Bill Doran, Phil Garner, Billy Hatcher, Charlie Kerfeld, Terry Puhl, Mike Scott and Nolan Ryan are remembered with fond memories.  I even have a photograph of Nolan Ryan pitching a no-hitter taken by a sports photographer that I traded portraits for.  Why does baseball evoke such fond memories?

Fast forward to Spring Break, 2018.  Both son and daughter are married.  First grandson is one of two seventh graders that just made the 8th grade baseball team.  Can you say BMOC?  I sure can.  BMOC plays the position of pitcher (just like his dad) (righty and not lefty) short stop and catcher.  His dad had a wicked throw to first to pick the runner off.  But I digress.  I do find those days on the bleachers full of memories.

Grandson Number 2 has started his baseball career and insists on only answering to Altuve.  He can demonstrate a slide that he has perfected and randomly blackens his eyes.  This year daughter’s family went to spring training in West Palm Beach.  I bet years later Grandson #2 will fondly remember Jose Altuve, Bregman, Correa, Gattis, Keuchel, Reddick, Verlander and Springer and they will still bring a smile to his face as a grown up.

As Billy Crystal use to say in a recurring Saturday Night Live skit  “Baseball has been very, very good to me.”  This year I find myself with renewed and intense interest as I ponder that statement.  I fondly remember my son, I eagerly look forward to watching BMOC and anxiously wait to watch five year old grandson progress.  He appears to be quite athletic.

But this last season added a new memory.  I had the pleasure of photographing on the field at Minute Maid.  Sitting in the dugout with the trophy produced a new high.  Looking out from home plate was quite a sight and a thrill.

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