This is somewhat of a personal story, but I figured it was something everyone can relate to and tell some of their own. I’ve been close with my best friend for 20+ years and we’ve always had a joking point of contention of Baseball vs Other Sports. Especially once he served multiple tours overseas, he really began to fall in love with Soccer and he always played Rugby, with us joking around taking jabs at each other for our favorite sport.
Since he’s on the other side of the country we struggled to find ways to keep in touch on a regular basis. Till earlier this year, he made the decision to watch the Astros with me. It was simple, we’d each go on xbox, be able to chat over headphones and watch the game together. At first, there was a lot of ribbing including references to things like the time an ENTIRE KENTUCKY DERBY WAS RUN BETWEEN PITCHES!
The Entire 2019 Kentucky Derby & the time between 2 Greinke pitches to Albies, Overlayed. pic.twitter.com/vliOF8wn8A— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 11, 2019
But over time, he started to actually enjoy watching baseball, even persevering through his favorite player being DFA’d (White). He sent me this note the other day which I figured shows a bit about the Astros - and made me happy:
“So I was thinking about the thing that actually separates the Astros from the other twenty nine teams in the league. I came to the conclusion it might not be what you think, it is not a pitching trio that makes you want to vomit, or an offense, which is arguably the best of all time. Simply, it is their spirit that makes them so great.
First things first, as you know I am not a baseball fan. I played some little league; however, baseball moved from first to second, to third, to fourth, to not really on my list when I was introduced to sports where I could legally hit people on a regular basis. Then by being stationed overseas my sport preferences transitioned even further from “America’s game.”
I started watching the Astros this last year because you have been a fan for decades and I wanted to give it a whirl to give us something to do and bond over. I never thought I would come to really love the Astros. So what did they do that made me love them? Simply it is the visible love of the game. It is Altuve making jokes at every turn and defying the odds, as a short guy in the sport. It is Springer who appears to have fun every single game and looks like a guy you just really want to have a beer with, or twenty. It was the great white shark, Tyler White, obviously not in the appropriate shape to play at this level but doing it anyway and grand slamming when you think he should be slamming back pints of Ben and Jerry’s. Mmmm ice cream.
When I look at Gurriel with hair so tall you can see it from near earth orbit, smiling and laughing at every turn. It’s Verlander, ok really it’s Verlander’s wife. It’s Jake from rake farm who kept the benches from clearing after he was the one hit by pitch or hearing WOOO when Reddick comes up to bat. Oh did I mention Verlander’s wife…
Anyway just thought I would share my thoughts about the Astros as a team. It may not be my favorite sport, but don’t be sad, second place ain’t bad.”
He sent this to me out of the blue yesterday, and I asked him why, and he told me he was really frustrated with a case at work yesterday (He’s a lawyer for the courts down south) and he said he was actually excited about getting home and watching the game, so he wrote up a note as a distraction for himself.
I think all of us would echo these sentiments, and I decided to ask you guys - tell me about some of your favorite stories of converting friends/family members and some of the best memories you’ve shared with your loved ones around the Astros!