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Catching up with former Astros announcer, Vince Cotroneo

17 year veteran of the Athletics booth broke into the big leagues with the Astros in 1991.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels
Vince Cotroneo, former Astros announcer and current voice of the Athletics
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

With the defending World Champions in Oakland, I thought this would be the perfect time to catch up with a former voice of the Astros, Vince Cotroneo. Vince has been a fixture in the A’s radio booth alongside Ken Korach for 17 years now, having made his debut in 2006 when he was hired following the passing of Bay Area legend and Hall of Fame broadcaster, Bill King. The Astros were his first major league gig, from 1991-1997, where he called the action alongside another Hall of Famer, Milo Hamilton.

The Crawfish Boxes: Astros fans will remember you from your time with the club. What fond memories do you have of your time in Houston?

Vince Cotroneo: I have plenty of great memories of my seven years in Houston. Opening day 1991 at Riverfront in Cincinnati was a blur watching Mike Scott pitch against the defending World Series champions. Watching the debut of Jeff Bagwell and seeing that career blossom. Enjoying the booth with Brownie and Dierk, and eventually, JD, as they taught me so much about the game. Our first two children, Dominic and Olivia, were born in Houston. Former catcher Scott Servais, who I first met at the 88 Olympics and later at AAA in Tucson, and his wife Jill are godparents to Olivia. Standing behind home plate waiting to go on the field following the no-hitter by Darryl Kile. And then being devastated when I heard of his passing in 2002. Watching the team grow and eventually get back to the playoffs in 1997 while the night the Astros clinched was on the live episode of NBC’s ER. We made lifelong friends and Houston will always be special.

The Crawfish Boxes: The A’s pitching has struggled mightily, but they gave a decent account of themselves in Houston. Do you think they can do so again in this series?

Vince Cotroneo: Young pitching is unpredictable. When a staff kicks in together, it is a special ride, as Astros fans have enjoyed with Valdez, Javier, and Urquidy. In Oakland, it was Catfish, Vida and Blue Moon to Stew and Eck to Hudson, Mulder, and Zito and beyond. The franchise has a pitching-rich history. Hopefully, some of the young arms can find their way.

The Crawfish Boxes: Houston fans are concerned with their lineups hitting and, in particular, the form of Jose Altuve. Do you think they have serious cause for concern with either?

Vince Cotroneo: I never have concerns about a lineup that has been to the ALCS six consecutive years. They know how to turn it on when it matters. Sure, some of the players might be a bit off previous numbers, but I don’t count them out. And for me, they have the league’s most feared slugger in Yordan Alvarez. I watched it for years with Atlanta in the 90’s.

The Crawfish Boxes: The A’s have a .192 winning percentage right now. What bright spots on their roster can you share that pose a threat to the champs in this series?

Vince Cotroneo: It starts with Esteury Ruiz, the most exciting A’s player since Coco Crisp. He has a legitimate chance to set a new AL rookie record for stolen bases, which is 66. He has a solid routine and quiet confidence as he learns centerfield. Brent Rooker has been on the leaderboard in several offensive categories and getting his first real chance to be an everyday player.

The Crawfish Boxes: Lastly, thoughts on seeing Dusty Baker back in the bay with his team?

Vince Cotroneo: Dusty is always fun to be around. Great stories, unexpected guests and a Bay Area sports icon. So much knowledge from decades in the game comes to life when you spend time around him.

The Crawfish Boxes really appreciates Vince taking time out from preparing for Friday night's game to catch up with us! We wish him and the A’s the best of luck with the rest of the season, except when they face the ‘Stros!