I'm the New Guy

This is actually slightly terrifying.  I'm the new guy.  My name is Stephen, and I'm addicted to baseball, especially the Houston Astros.  I'm a 22 year-old college student at Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX.  I'm originally from Kingwood, where I spent my four years there as ridiculously injury-prone track and cross country runner.  I've got a girlfriend named Laura and black-lab named Carly.

I've been a fan of the Astros since I can remember.  My family always went to Sunday games at the Astrodome and sat in Centerfield next to the cannon -- as I recall they were uber cheap seats.  My dad made it his mission for me to love baseball, but it took awhile for it to fully sink in.  While I've always enjoyed the sport and kept up with the Astros as much possible, it was never something I lived and breathed like it is today.  You'll read more about what got me hooked on baseball to an entirely unhealthy level soon, but before we get into the details of getting to know me, I'd like to get to know you.  Let's start of with this:


My Greatest Astros Game Memory:

To preface, like Evan, my "thing" is statistical and economic analysis, especially of the Astros.  I too will be chiming in, to start off with, with parts of the Baseball Knowledge 101 series.  Now, one of the greatest ideas that was made concrete to me in my inquiry in to sabermetric analysis, was the value of the out.  It's what makes baseball such a unique and beautiful sport.  The game is not over until the final out.  An infinite number of runs can score on any single out in a ball game, if the batting team just doesn't create the out.

Now at the tender age of just shy of 8, I had that lesson played out in front of me -- I just didn't know how to put it into words.  My family and I were at the Astrodome on July 18, 1994.  It was a "kids run the bases" night and believe me, I was stoked.  I wasn't so much after they Cardinals jumped out to an 11-0 lead over the 'Stros after 3 innings.  My parents wanted to leave, becaus who wanted to watch that game?  However my youthful persistence to the fact that:

a) We were going to win the game

and

b) I really really really really wanted to run the bases

won out.  

Now, I'm convinced I engineered our comeback through a series of finger-points and waggles of my fingers that I believe jinxed the Cardinals pitching and boosted our hitters.  My dad, who was annoyed by the somewhat flamboyant exercise, came to believe as well.  Either way, the Astros managed to score 2 in the 4th, 2 in the 5th.  Which lead to the 6th, when I began employee my voodoo fingers, when they put 11 on the board.  In route to a 15-12 victory.  Probability would've told me that the game was pretty much hopeless -- save a few fractions of a percent.  Baseball usually works along the numbers, but it's a game that can defy them more often than not, because it's time clock is the out.  It's the most valuable commodity in baseball.

 

Homework Assignment:

So I shared my favorite Astros' game.  It wasn't an overly important game in any sense, but it taught me a valuable lesson about the game.  The details I provided you didn't come from memory.  If you clicked the link for the date of the game, you discovered that that it took you to www.RetroSheet.org.  They have full play by play data available for every game going back to 1955.  So, introduce yourself to me by finding your favorite Astros game ever on there and linking to it in your comments on this post.  Tell me a little something about it and hopefully all the awkward new guy stuff will just melt away.

 

I'm really looking forward to our future together.  I want to thank 'Stros Bros and Blez for this amazing opportunity.  Like Evan said before me, I'm really looking forward to this opportunity.  I hope that you'll find me worthy of your continual patronage.  I look forward to the rest of the season and to hearing about your favorite Astros game.


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