Bye Biggio

Disclaimer:  I’m feeling like very under the weather today, thinking a mild case of food poisoning since it started right after lunch, so I apologize in advance for no crochet in this post.  Hopefully, if all if well tomorrow, I’ll have a lot of photos.  I’ve been doing a little research.

Andy and I bought tickets to the last game of the Astros season back in April.  Our feeling was, if the ‘Stros were in the hunt for either the pennant or the wild card, we’d want to be there.  If they weren’t, it still had the possibility of being a fun game.  After Craig Biggio announced his retirement earlier this year, tickets for the last game became a hot commodity in Houston.  The game was sold out, followed quickly by the standing room only tickets.  Through a great turn of events last Thursday, I was able to sell our nosebleed seats and sit instead in my aunt’s tickets behind home plate. 

Andy and I pulled up to our favorite parking lot only to find it full – at 10:30 am.  The game was scheduled to start at 1:05 pm.  After a little drive around the block, we found another spot.  There were lines around the field because the gates weren’t scheduled to open until 11:00 am.  Mind you, we went to Game 4 of the 2005 World Series and had no trouble with parking or with getting inside the field, so I was shocked.  Finally, at noon, we made it through the lines and headed for our seats to rest after an hour and a half in the lovely Houston heat. 

Not too bad after the heat, huh?  I cut my hair again, too.  Mom says it’s too short – pshaw.

Minute Maid Park had a playoff feel to it that normally would not permeate a stadium whose team was destined to finish so far below .500 for the season.  The Houston Astros fans of my childhood were fair weather fans.  There were many games in the 80’s when the Astrodome was noticeably empty.  Not that we minded.  It meant that we could sit closer to the game than in the cheap seats.  And we could almost always get tickets on the side of field that we requested.  I don’t remember a time that my family were not Astros fans.  Did we care that our team did not have a long history nor it have a particularly stellar record?  Not at all.  My earliest memory of a ball game was waiting very impatiently for Jose Cruz to be announced in the lineup so that I could yell, “Cruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuz” with all of the other thousands of fans. 

In 1987, I was in sixth grade.  I had vowed the year before that the New York Mets would be my most despised team ever after they beat us in the 7th game to keep us from our first ever World Series.  I’ve since replaced them as the worst, but twenty years later I can honestly say that I watched the Marlins score on Sunday with glee while at the game.  In 1987, my favorite Astro was Alan Ashby, mostly because we saw him regularly at gymnastic meets.  His two sons were around the same age as my younger brother, who was taking classes at Bela Karolyi’s gym at the time.  I tried not to like the rookie who was slowly, but surely, taking over Ashby’s spot behind the plate, but it was hard not to like Craig Biggio.  I remember the excitement of his first plate appearance, his first hit, and his first home run.  There was youth on the team again for the first time in awhile and I was finally old enough to pay attention to that fact as I became aware that there was more to baseball than whether the team won or lost.  Thank you, Craig Biggio, for twenty wonderful years of baseball.  I look forward to seeing you in the spotlight again in 2012.

Biggio seconds before his 668th, and final, double of his career.

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One thought on “Bye Biggio

  1. Julie October 2, 2007 at 11:35 pm Reply

    Lovely entry Tiff! And that is a great photo of you and Andy, too. :o)

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