Luckiest day of my life
102-2-15: Numbers that I will always remember.
They’re the section, row and seat where I was sitting (and standing)
for my most memorable moments in Astros history — catching the ball
Lance Berkman hit for a grand slam, and catching the ball Chris Burke
hit in the bottom of the 18th inning to end maybe the greatest baseball
We watched all 18 innings from our seats, and we were standing more
than sitting. It was a baseball atmosphere like none other I had ever
experienced. The Houston Chronicle
wrote that the roof was closed to make it much louder and more intense,
but you don’t get the full effect until you’re there at the game.
With the Astros trailing, 6-1, in the eighth, we had not given up hope.
We had talked about leaving after the eighth inning if the ‘Stros were
still down by five runs. Then, as many times before in Astros history,
they dug down deep and rallied. With the bases loaded, Berkman hit a
line-drive grand slam into the Crawford Boxes. We were sitting in the
second row. The line drive came in low toward the first row. The fan
sitting in front of me, who had been wearing his rally hat since the
Braves took the lead, stuck out his gloveless hand to catch it. I
reached down and snagged the home run. I was so excited and called my
wife, Brandi, who had seen the home run, but did not know I had caught
Chris Burke’s game-winning home run was momentous. It, like Berkman’s,
was a line drive. It came in higher than Berkman’s and to my right. My
father-in-law ducked out of the way and I snagged it. Everyone around
us was giving high-fives and celebrating. Several people wanted
pictures of the balls. After the game, an usher directed us to members
of Astros staff, who took us down toward the clubhouse. While we didn’t
get to go in the clubhouse due to the celebration, the Astros staff
took my information and promised that they would contact me. It was
still pretty neat being down there near the clubhouse. We got to meet
team broadcaster Jim Deshaies, who I had watched pitch for the ‘Stros
as a kid, and GM Tim Purpura.
I am going to the ballpark on Friday after the Astros return to Houston
from Game 2 in St. Louis, and I’ll meet the team and present the two
baseballs. It’s my understanding that one or both of the balls are
going to Cooperstown. I am happy to be a little part of that and help
the players see that happen.
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