A Day at the Ole Ballpark

I freely admit it. I love baseball, and have since I was a child and my Dad used to take me to see the Greensboro Yankees. That was a long time ago in the late 50s and early 60s. I collected baseball cards, and watch ole Dizzy Dean sing the Wabash Cannonball on the Game of the Week on Saturdays, back in the day when ballparks had fences that were 500 feet from home plate, and home runs were really home runs. Back in the day when baseball really was our pastime and national game, rather than much more brutal and violent games like pro football. So it was with special delight that while I was in Houston a few weekends back to do a lecture at Houston Baptist, and preach at West UMC that I finally got to go and see Minute Maid Park, built where the old train station was (hence the train and track hovering over and beyond the center field fence). This is one of the more impressive of the newer stadiums and it has a retractable roof which allows it also to have real grass (hooray) as opposed to the travesty of ‘astro-turf’ in Tampa and elsewhere. It really is a beautiful ballpark. Here’s me with Dr. David Capes in full Stro regalia, and my former student the Right Rev. J. Seaton, at the ballpark…

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And we strolled around the concourses before the game and watched Albert Pujols hit some practice Taters while admiring the field of dreams….
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One of the more ‘unique’ features of Minute Maid Park is the fowl poles….. yes I do mean fowl poles which are sponsored by Chick-Fil-a. See what you think…
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Of course now a days any new stadium has a giant Jumbo-Tron screen or two, and it is interesting that this ballpark, like Fenway also has a Citgo sign (though at Fenway it’s not in the ballpark). stro8stro7
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As usual there were some previous Astro saints signing autographs, in this case Larry Derker and Jimmy ‘toy cannon’ Winn…..
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What I had not realized until I visited this ballpark was that my friend and colleague Bill Arnold has been beatified in Houston…..
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Oh yes, the Stros shut out the Angels, Trout went fishing one too many times, and a good time was had by all.

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