Most fans here are die hards. In fact, most Houston fans that are still paying attention at all are diehards. With a decade of losing teams and three 100-loss seasons in the recent past, it’s hard to remain interested if you aren’t.
Each of us has our unique memories. The Astrodome. The ’86 playoffs. Dierker as a pitcher. Dierker as a broadcaster. Dierker as a manager. The Astrodome scoreboard. The World Series in ’05.
Whether it’s Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Jimmy Wynn, Cesar Cedeno, Bob Watson, Mike Scott, Roger Metzger or even Jeff Kent, Roger Clemens, Andy Pettitte or one of hundreds of others each of us has a player or two or three who holds that special place. For most, there are autographed pictures, score cards, newspaper clippings, videos or even old baseball cards.
The memories for me are many, but here are a few of the top ones.
- My youngest son and I sat the in Crawford Boxes for that infamous 18 inning game when Brad Ausmus homered, Lance Berkman finished on the bench and Clemens pitched in relief. For the last 12 innings. Seems a couple of fans were anxious to “beat the traffic” and we were walking by at just the right time. (see the picture of Destin and Chip in this entry).
- Before they were even born, we came up with the names of all three of our kids during an evening at the Astrodome. Joshua Daniel, Jason Nathaniel and Jonathan Destin.
- Does anyone remember this play? Yep, I was there, with the two oldest boys and my dad.
- Or how ’bout this one? Wasn’t there, but I do know exactly where I was when I heard it on the radio!
- I remember spring training 2001. Surprised my oldest son Josh and took him to Kissimmee. He met Dierker, Bill Brown, several players, got a private tour of the facilities and got to play catch on the field.
- Some of the best Astros’ memories come from my childhood, and I’ve mentioned many before. Listening to Gene Elston and Loel Passe on the ol’ transistor radio as a kid. After I was supposed to be asleep.
There are so many more. I’m obviously leaving out quite a few. Unfortunately, the memories — good ones anyway — have been few and far between since that 18-inning game back in 2005. Surely you have one or two in the time frame, no?
Here’s a quick lightning round for me:
- Best Astros’ moment: The 18-inning game and spring training ’01.
- Favorite player all-time: Hmmm. Okay, I’ll be a kid again: Biggio and Bagwell.
- Favorite manager: Dierker. Can he still manage please?
- Favorite announcers: Elston and Dierker in their primes together would have been awesome.
- Favorite non-star player: Casey Candaele, Denny Walling.
- Favorite playoff team: ’86, hands down.
- Best GM: Gerry Hunsicker. If he could have gotten along with Drayton, the Astros might have had a dynasty.
- That sinking feeling. A tie: When it started to fall apart after 2001 and the dark years with trades of players like Roy Oswalt, Lance Berkman, Hunter Pence et al.
So, as the Astros prepare to embark on what may be one of their better seasons since the ’05 World Series season, what do you remember of the last 50 or so years?