About forloveoftheastros

“A losing team has fewer admirers, but their
allegiance endures, year after year. It is a relationship
built upon hope and disappointment. And then, in the spring,
the most romantic season, longing again. Losing teams are
like potboiler novesl, predictable but addictive in their
capacity to sustain the dream that one day the clouds will
part. The relationship between a losing team and its admirers
is more complex and compelling than the simple delight in
conquest enjoyed by the winners’ fans. Winning teams are
grand and heroic, qualities that lack a human dimension. But
losing teams are all too human. They are cursed by chance, by
their own limitations, by failures of will and desire. But
when they win, their victories speak to fans who, having
witnessed so much misery, can draw lessons from those
triumphs.” –Michael Shapiro Okay, so that isn’t exactly my
extended biography. But it might as well be. I have been a
baseball fan, and a Houston Astros fan, from around the time
I learned how to say the word “Astro.” Some of my fondest
early memories are of sitting in those bright orange seats in
the Astrodome with my dad in the 1980s. The years of Nolan
Ryan, Jose Cruz, Alan Ashby, Billy Hatcher, Kevin Bass, Mike
Scott, Billy Doran. The first time I ever knew what true
devastation: 1986, when the Astros fell to the Mets in Game 6
of the NLCS in 16 agonizing innings. I was 8. It was the
first time I ever cried over a baseball game. But it was
certainly not the last. We’ve had our share of heartbreak
over the years. The 2004 playoffs were particularly
wrenching, and the World Series in 2005…. Well. But every
year, I feel like I’m not entirely alive until those pitchers
and catchers report to Spring Training (which I have attended
with my friend Sarah for the past two years and hope to
continue until I am 95 and walking with a walker and the
players call me Grandma). What can I say? I’m an addict.
Other information: I’m 28 years old. I live with my two cats,
Bill and Olivia, in Syracuse, New York, where I am a
first-year graduate student at Syracuse University. It will
be two more years before I can return permanently to Houston
and Minute Maid Park… My last regular season Astros game
was July 28, 2005, three days before I moved to Syracuse. It
was the first time the Astros had hosted the Mets since a
certain $118-million-center-fielder (whose name will never be
written on this blog), and the atmosphere was absolutely
electric. People booed him every time he even got near the
ball in center field, and every time he got up to bat. Rookie
Wandy Rodriguez pitched against Pedro Martinez. The Astros
won 2-1. I left the ballpark (it was so hard to say goodbye!)
and thought with some pride that Houston had finally become a
baseball town.

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