My Dad and The Astros World Series
The Astros won the 2017 World Series. Something I didn’t think I would ever see you in my life. The last time they were in the World Series was 2005 and got swept by the White Sox. That was the last baseball season my dad got to watch. He passed away in 2006 a few months after the Astros lost. He loved baseball and was a huge Astros fan. He had such great knowledge of the game and all of its ins-and-outs. I tried to see the game like he did and enjoy its every little nuance. I learned how to play sports from him, but I also got my intensity from him. Which is off-putting to most, but that’s one thing that he passed down to me and I’m not ashamed of it. It keeps him close to me.
He was my biggest critic and my biggest fan. He was harder on me than every other player he coached, plus he was harder on me than any of my other coaches. He also praised me more than anyone ever. He would tell me I was the best player on the field every game, but he would let me know every mistake I made. It was a weird dichotomy. Constant compliment sandwiches.
When I went off to college to play football and run track, he cried when he and my mom dropped me off (the first time I had ever seen him cry). He came to every game I played and every track meet I ran, no matter how far away. Seriously, he drove all the way to Memphis, TN to watch me run the 400 meter dash. The race took less than 50 secs and the man wanted to be there for it. Our sports connection was so important to him and me.
We played softball together for years as well. We always had intense arguments during games, but it was so much fun. We played together until his sickness ended his career. I know he would still be playing today if he was around. I miss that so much.
Watching the World Series this year, and watching my wife enjoy every second of it, I couldn’t help but think of how he would be enjoying watching his favorite team win. My wife never got to meet my dad; they would have loved each other and loved talking Astros. We would have watched every pitch together. I know he would have cried just like we did. The Astros didn’t just win for themselves or for the hurricane ravaged areas of Houston and Southeast Texas; they won it for all those people who have watched throughout the years, and gone to games at the Astrodome and Minute Maid Park. But most importantly, in my mind, they won for my dad.