Monday, April 03, 2006
I'm in love with twenty-five guys.
The twenty-five guys who wear the uniform of the Houston Astros, that is. ;)
In addition to being a huge football fan I love watching baseball. I played Little League ball as a kid and still attend games on a regular basis.
The 2006 Major League baseball season starts tonight and the 'Stros open their National League title defense and 45th season at Minute Maid Park versus the Florida Marlins.
The Astros started play as the Houston Colt .45's three weeks before I born and changed the nickname to Astros in 1965 to coincide with the opening of the Astrodome. It took them 44 years to get to the World Series and I have been watching every frustrating high and low with this franchise as we both grew up in Houston together.
It's been a bumpy ride. Watching them blow a 10.5 game NL West lead in 1979 and getting overtaken by the Reds for the division title. Winning that one game playoff to capture the National League West over the Dodgers in 1980 only to fall to the Phillies in the NLCS in a Game 5 that went extra innings.
In the 1986 NLCS against their expansion cousins the New York Mets, they lost the series in a dramatic Game 6 that lasted sixteen nerve racking innings. They won three straight National League Central titles from 1997-99 only to fall short of the World Series each time courtesy of the Atlanta Braves (twice) and the San Diego Padres. They were six outs away from the World Series in 2004 against St. Louis in the 2004 NLCS with homeboy Roger Clemens on the mound only to lose Game 7.
Then there's last year. Having a 15-30 record on May 31 and being officially declared out of contention by a Houston Chronicle sportswriter. They've always had a history of being a second half ballclub but they outdid themselves in 2005. They put together a monster finishing kick that led to them capturing the NL wild card playoff berth and parlaying that into the 'Stros first National League title.
They FINALLY made it to the World Series only to be swept by the White Sox in a series so close it was decided by a mere six runs.
Oh well. New year, new season. Go 'Stros!