Hi. My name is Josh Sippie, and as can be presumed, I’m a huge Houston Astros fan, and have been for as long as I’ve had the power of cognitive thought. It started with Craig Biggio, as it did for so many others. A dirty jersey and two decades at the same club is the easiest way to win a fan over.
And playing the game since I was 3, I only ever wanted to be like Biggio. The problem was that, in the span of my four years in high school, I broke my wrists/hands/arms eight times, officially calling my baseball career to a close. I do still rank No. 1 in the St. Louis area for batting average in 2008 though. I batted 1.000, going 1 for 1 with an RBI before breaking both wrists at the same time on that one hit and missing the entire season.
Being raised in St. Louis, I was that guy, who went with my Cardinal-loving friends to Busch Stadium and taunted all the people like them, who were assigned their favorite team based on where they were born, whereas me, a freedom-loving American, chose mine.
My writing life didn’t start until after high school, at which point it caught up in a hurry. I’ve been writing about various things at FanSided for years and still hold down the post of Expert at Pain in the Arsenal, where I’ve written over 6,000 articles across six years in charge. It’s been a hell of a journey, and as I always tell people, if you’re writing about something you love, it’s worth it. No matter what.
I’m constantly writing. Literally. I joking say “when not writing, I can be found figuring out why I’m not writing.” But it’s not really a joke. Because I’m pursuing my dreams of writing middle grade children’s books, placing comedy articles across the interwebs, nonfiction pieces here and there, and of course, more Arsenal articles.
My love of the Astros never diminished, and it began to take on a a deeper level when Jim Crane took over, because Jim went to my high school and my college. I felt like, in some way, I therefore owned a part of the Houston Astros too.
After suffering through so many 100 loss seasons, I thought I was emotionally dead. But in 2013, I told all my fraternity brothers that the Astros would win the World Series in 2017. Not long after, Sports Illustrated made the same call. To this day, they still tell me I should have gone to Vegas with my prediction.
For whatever reason, my writing life and my love of the Astros rarely coincided. It felt like I loved the Astros too much to put into words, and the conflicted love/hate of their 100 loss seasons left me... flustered. I did used to run my own Astros blog, where I’d post a picture of a dead horse (cartoon, of course (poorly drawn, of course)) every time Carlos Lee would pop out with runs in scoring position and less than two outs. I ran out of ways to make horses look unique.
But I officially broke when they won the 2017 World Series. I’ve never cried in sports. But when they won, I cried. Not like, sobbing cried, but there were tears, and it felt weird.
What ended up happening is this essay I wrote, called “Congratulate Me, Too.” It was the first thing I’d written about the Astros in years. I felt connected to them on such a deep level.
Things got even more surreal when, on a birthday trip to Boston this past April, I ran into AJ Hinch on the second floor of Nordstrom Rack while I was wearing a vibrant orange Astros jacket. He pointed at my jacket, I pointed at him, and “How ya doin?” was all I could say.
Currently, I live in New York City and work as the Director of Contests and Conferences at Gotham Writers Workshop, while continuing to write about Arsenal. I was always reading content from Crawfish Boxes and poking around on FanGraphs, and one day it just dawned on me that it was time to marry two of my favorite things: Writing, and the Houston Astros.
So here I am, with things to say. You’ll find me writing about pitching more times than not (I was a pitcher), and reminiscing about Roy Oswalt’s tractor and 12-6 curveball. You’ll find that I often compare things to Lord of the Rings, probably more than I should.