Friday, June 6, 2008

An Evening at Minute Maid Park

Cardinals 1, Astros 6 . . . but a great evening anyway!

I have been a fan of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team since I was 12 years old and cheered them as they beat the Milwaukee Brewers in the World Series. The "Wizard of Oz" made me a fan of the Cardinals, and my love affair with them has only strengthened in the 26 years since.

Tonight, I accomplished another of my life's goals . . . watch the St. Louis Cardinals in person. I am in Houston and the Astros opened a home series tonight against the Cardinals. I had great seats . . . 21 rows behind home plate. Unfortunately, the Cardinals got beat and didn't play very well. Even Albert Pujols, the greatest baseball player in the nation, had an off day . . . he went 0 for 4, the first time he has done that against the Astros. But, it was a thrill to see him play in person and to see Tony La Russa. Plus, the Astros have been a favorite over the years (my #4 team after the Dodgers, Rockies, and tied with the Diamond Backs). I especially like Lance Berkman and Hunter Pence.

This was my first visit to Minute Maid Park. Impressive! I like it better than The Ballpark in Arlington and Coors Field (I've attended games at both of these). I now have watched games at the Astrodome and Minute Maid, and old Arlington Stadium and The Ballpark. My visit to the Astrodome came when I was a sophomore in high school . . . we sat in the upper deck, a long ways from the field. I remember an old Vida Blue pitched for the San Francisco Giants against the Astros. The Astros won.

Ten summers ago, I watched Ken Griffey Jr. play against the Rangers in Arlington. He was then in his prime, and at the time the greatest player in the game. Today, I watched Albert Pujols, the greatest in the game, today (sorry, A-Rod).
(In the interest of full disclosure, I borrowed the photo of Minute Maid Park from the Internet. I only had my camera phone at the the game, and it takes lousy photos. I took one of Albert Pujols and Tony La Russa talking at batting practice, but it did not come out very well.)