This was my first game at Minute Maid Park this season. I was pretty pumped. I got to the home Plate entrance at 9:30 even though the gates opened at 11:30. I saw a couple of players arrive in a taxi. I couldn’t identify them so I didn’t ask for autographs. I think one of them was LaTroy Hawkins. I asked the guy at the door what time the gates would be opening and he told me 10:30. My first reaction was WHAT? my second reaction was YEEEESS!!!. The website clearly stated that the gates would open an hour and a half before the game started and this was 2 1/2 hrs. before the game. I was the first in line and when the gates opened 5 minutes late some old ladies behind me started complaining. “I’m going to tell Drayton Mclane about this.” “Why do these dumbasses keep locking the door.” ” It’s hot out here.” I was like “SHUTUP!” When the door finally opened I immediatley rushed down to the Brewers dugout. I was comfused when nobody followed me. I turned around and saw the old ladies blocking the door looking really confused.
After seeing the Astros come out for Batting Practice I ran to their dugout. A nice usher tried to redirect me to the 1st baseline, but i told him I wasn’t there for autographs. When Humberto Quintero finished throwing, I made my move. “Humberto!”, he turned around.
“No, yours. Happy Birthday!” He smiled, but no ball. He held his glove up and motioned for me to toss my ball (the one i caught at the phillies game.) and the pen I was holding. An autograph was good enough for me. He threw the ball back and refused all other requests for autographs. HA, I’m special. It shows that a little research can go a long way. I yelled out a quick thanks and he descended into the dugout. Jason Castro and Jason Michaels both came out and signed my ball. That was pretty cool, considering the fact that Michaels would go on to hit a grandslam in this game. Jeff Bagwell was back as the Astros’ Hitting coach. I was excited because Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio had been my heroes for a long time, but he refused autographs as well. ” I’m sorry guys. I-I can’t.” He then pointed at his styrofoam cup and fled to the dugout. Well spoken Jeff.
Back to the Brewers side. Along the 3rd baseline Manny Parra was working with his coach. I asked his coach if I could have the ball when he was done, but he said that conditioning could take a long time. I didn’t get the ball. Just when I started to get worried, an usher yelled, “heads up!”
A ball clanged into the seats in front of me. I leaped over a couple of chairs with a few other people hot on my heels. I leaned over another chair and grabbed it while at the same time yelling, “I got it, I got it.”, to fend off the other ball hawks. It was a practice ball.
Zach Braddock, the Brewers closer started to sign autographs. When he got to me, he started to whistle what I thought was the Star wars theme song, but then a few seconds later I realized that is was the theme song for The Office. It was obviously a reference to the Dunder Mifflin t-shirt I was wearing. “oh, The Office!” I said
“Hahaha yeah… Cool shirt. Where did you get it?”
“I was in New york and Philadelphia this summer.”
“Whoa, I lived in Philadelphia.”
“No way! I was born there!”
“In Bryn Mawr. It’s a town close to Philli.”
Zach is officially my knew favorite player, along with Humberto Quintero. Quintero will never be as good as Ausmus, but he’s still pretty awesome. As Zach was heading to the dugout, I waved him over for a photo-op, to which he gladly obliged… and then he started signing autographs again!
As for the game, It was pretty awesome. Anything that could ever happen at an Astros game happened. Jason Michaels hit a grandslam off of Zack Braddock (crap) to give the Astros the lead. Hunter Pence hit Randy Wolf in the arm. There was a broken bat. Hunter Pence was awarded a run off an error. 5-2 Astros.