October 2005

Look what I found

Brandi poses with the baseballs.

The Trash-Can Lid

Me and my “trash-can lid” glove from high school.

Father and Son

Mom takes a picture of us with the baseballs.

My Pics

Here are some pictures from our day at the ballpark with the Astros

Chris Burke steps up again

ASTROS WIN!!!

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Every so often, a player comes in and steps up at crunch time. Someone who has always been a good player, but they take it to another level when it counts the most. Chris Burke is certainly doing it for the Astros this post-season. Watching Chris these last few games was like watching Josh Beckett of the Florida Marlins in 2003 and the performance he put up in the World Series. It is just amazing to see someone take it to the next level, especially when it is for the home team. I think it is a tribute to the Astros front office and farm system, which is one of the best in baseball.

As for me and my family, we will be going to Minute Maid Park today to present, together with the Astros, the Berkman and Burke home-run balls to the Baseball Hall of Fame and watch the team workout.

GO ASTROS!!!

Stayin’ Hot appearance

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Right before Game 1 of the American League Championship Series tonight, I followed Dusty Baker as a guest on "Stayin’ Hot" with Seth Everett and Darryl Hamilton. Here is the video if you missed it. Go Astros.

 

More news about the balls

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I wrote a first-person story for MLB.com about that incredible Sunday at Minute Maid Park, and now here’s another story in today’s Houston Chronicle about what’s happening.

Here was a FoxSports.com account. And this is the on-air script that was available on the website of the WB in Houston:

ASTROS FEVER AND THE GUY WITH THE AMAZING CATCHES—THAT
18 INNING MARATHON STILL HAS HOUSTON AND THE REST OF THE COUNTRY
TALKING. BUT AS THE ASTROS CONTINUE THEIR REMARKABLE RUN TO THE WORLD
SERIES, ONE REMARKABLE FAN HAS MADE A REMARKABLE DECISION AFTER NOT ONE
BUT TWO REMARKABLE CATCHES YESTERDAY. WHAT WILL HE DO WITH THEM? THE WB
‘S STEVE SIMON MET THE GUY TODAY AND STEVE IS HERE WITH SOME ANSWERS.
—–

SHAUN DEAN HAS BEEN TO ASTROS GAMES ALL HIS LIFE BUT YESTERDAY THE GAME
CAME TO HIM, NOT ONCE BUT TWICE. THE DAY AFTER THIS; THE TALK ISN’T
ABOUT GETTING HARD TO GET TICKETS TO THE GAMES AGAINST ST. LOUIS.
PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE GUY WEARING THE ROGER CLEMONS JERSEY
SITTING IN THE SECOND ROW OF THE CRAWFORD BOXES. SHAUN DEAN CATCHES TWO
PIECES OF BASEBALL HISTORY, LANCE BERKMAN’S 8TH INNING GRAND SLAM BALL;
HIS HIGH SCHOOL GLOVE HELPING OUT, AND TEN INNINGS LATER, CHRIS BURKE’S
MIRACLE BECOMES SHAUN DEAN’S GIFT.

AWESOME BECAUSE WELCOME TO SHAUN’S 15 MINUTES OF FAME. WHILE WE TALK TO
HIM, THEY TALK ABOUT HIM ON ESPN. AND THEN THERE’RE PHONE INTERVIEWS
WITH WGN-RADIO IN CHICAGO. HE CAUGHT TWO HOMERUN BALLS THAT COULD BE
WORTH A FEW THOUSAND DOLLARS BUT THIS IS NO FINDERS KEEPERS STORY. DEAN
IS GIVING THESE BACK TO THE ASTROS. THE BALLS WILL LIKELY GO BACK TO
THE ASTROS ON FRIDAY. THE TEAM HAS INVITED DEAN TO WATCH A WORKOUT. HE
ALSO WAS GIVEN TICKETS TO SATURDAY’S GAME. THE ODDS OF CATHING A BALL
ACCORDING TO ESPN, ONE IN 5000. THAT’S HOW MANY FANS HAVE A CHANCE TO
CATCH SOMETHING.

Luckiest day of my life

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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
game ever.

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, BerkmanBurkehr 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
it.

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.

Click here for the full account.

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