My name is Eric Huysman, and I am pleased to be joining The Crawfish Boxes as a writer/contributor. I have been a lifelong Houston Astros fan who discovered Twitter about ten years ago, and I got addicted. At first, it was to look up all the juicy Astros rumors out there. My wife, who is a converted Braves fan, would listen to me go on and on about what I read on Social Media. I needed another outlet.
As a teacher, I teach Algebra 1 to ninth graders, communication is essential. My written communication skills were not good, so I wanted to find a way to work on it. I saw on Twitter that Climbing Tal’s Hill needed contributors and I jumped on that. I was more of a follower type of person before I started writing, but I never thought people would be interested in what I had to say.
That changed quickly as I learned all I know from Jason Burke and David Hill, who were the editors at the time. I quickly raised up the ranks and became a co-editor, then I became the sole editor for a while there. Then Cody Poage came aboard, and we were a good team. After writing so many articles a month/year, I hit a wall and stepped down at CTH. It was a good three years, but another opportunity presented itself with Jayson Braddock and Houston Preeminence. I took a leap of faith.
The birth of Talking Stros.
Hold up. I buried the lead. Early in my CTH career, I was contacted by Chris Roth of Texas Sports Review asking if I wanted to have an Astros radio show. At first, I was a little apprehensive because I have never liked the sound of my voice. Similar to George Springer, I have a very mild stuttering problem that I think can be linked to my migraines, but I’m not a doctor. I’m a math teacher.
Once again, I knew if I wanted to improve as a school leader, I needed to work on my communication skills. I meet up with Chris at a restaurant in Kemah for a Texans broadcast, and he allowed me to jump on the air and talk Texans a little, but mostly Astros because that was and is my strong suit. I had a blast, and I just needed to come up with a show name and find a co-host.
I initially asked a pretty big name in Astros Twitter to be my co-host, but it didn’t work out. Plus, he didn’t like the name Talking Stros. Someone who did was one of my CTH writers who would send me articles via email and could never find time to write as a busy lawyer, but he knew his stuff. He told me if option A didn’t work, he would love to do a show with me. That was where Talking Stros was born thanks to Brandon Del Castillo’s desire to get on the radio.
It didn’t come as natural to me as it did for Brandon as he is a theater nerd with a great radio voice. The things that I brought to the table were my passion, my baseball knowledge, and my list of players I have come in contact with through CTH. The first show we had Lance McCullers on and many more during the 2015-16 seasons. Our all-time favorite interviews have to be Billy Wagner, Alex Bregman, and A.J. Hinch. Yes, that was an excellent example of name dropping.
Talking Stros on SportsTalk 790.
Before the 2017 season, I was in contact with Chris Gordy over at SportsTalk 790 and another AM station to carry the show. After going back and forth, it made sense to go with the flagship of the Houston Astros right? During the 2017 season, you probably Talking Stros on Sunday’s on 790 after the tenth inning show. We even got to broadcast after most of the playoff games, late at night. Someday you can buy me a beer, and I tell you some of the late night drunk calls we got.
After we participated in our second straight Fanfest broadcast on 790, they told us because of budget reasons. They couldn’t carry our show any longer. They wanted us back on the air, but it just didn’t work out. For those of you who followed me for a while, I took that hard and my passion for writing/podcasting suffered a little despite winning the first World Series in franchise history. I appreciate everything that SportsTalk 790 did for us, they took a chance on us.
Chris Roth welcomed us back to KTXF with open arms, where Brandon and I continue to broadcast till this day. While the name of the station momentarily changed, we have always had the control of the show. Even though I was still technically active at CTH, I didn’t have the same desire to write, and life has gotten busier.
I am Locked On the Houston Astros.
I was contacted by David Locke of the Locked On Podcast Network at being the host of the Locked On Astros Podcast. It’s a daily, Monday - Friday, 14-minute podcast. I have done two-hour Talking Stros with Brandon, but adjusting to being a solo host was a challenge for me. I know there are many options for podcasts out there, including Talking Stros, but please give Locked on Astros a listen.
I needed a change, so I got in contact with The Crawfish Boxes editor, Bill, about possibly writing for the summer. As a longtime CTH writer/expert, we saw The Crawfish Boxes as our blogging rivals. The “thinking fan site” label was a little annoying, but I focused on what I could control. After a lot of thought, I thought joining this community could be a way for me to get motivated to write again. I still think I’m a better writer than a podcaster. It just takes me longer to write than the average blogger. I’m excited to join the Crawfish Boxes.
My personal life.
A little about my family life: I have been married to my beautiful wife for 15 years. As people on Twitter have stated, I out-kicked my coverage. We have two beautiful kids. My son is 12 years old getting ready to start intermediate school next year. My daughter was a 28-week preemie, so we are nervous about her teen years with how she had to fight early in life. She is now nine years old and thriving.
When I’m not talking, watching, and writing about the Astros, I’m probably running my kids around to their activities or watching Star Trek, comic book movies, and paranormal shows. My favorite band of all time is Linkin Park, so it was hard when Chester Bennington took his life. People think I’m younger than I am, but I am officially over the hill at the age of 40.
All-time, my favorite Astro is Jeff Bagwell, but I am currently all about the current roster, specifically George Springer. During the process, Springer was the bright light at the end of the tunnel. Even though I think other Astros are better players, Springer plays with this passion that not many can duplicate.
What will I bring to The Crawfish Boxes?
When I write, I always ask myself a question. Then I spend the whole article trying to answer that question. I use stats to look at how a player or the team is performing, but how comfortable the player looks during the game also matters. July and the offseason are my favorites as a blogger because of all the rumors and speculation. I will also write articles such as Yordan Alvarez will not be called up soon.
One thing that I’m bringing to the site is my podcasting expertise. The plan is to get The Crawfish Boxes writers on Talking Stros regularly. Brandon is coming with me on this new journey, but you can listen to the show live on Sunday’s from 6-8pm on the TuneIn App by searching KTXF. You can also call or text the show to be part of the broadcast and ask us questions. Don’t forget about Locked on Astros as well.