When I think about my childhood in Houston, I hear the sounds of Astros baseball. The crack of the bat. The roar of the fans. The excitement of Milo Hamilton and his HOLY TOLEDO coming though the TV. If the game wasn’t on in the living room, it was being played on the radio. I remember being picked up early from school so we could watch a playoff game in 1986, and then falling asleep in the Astrodome when the game went into the 16th inning.
I am older now, and I have a family of my own. Just like the sounds of my childhood home and the Astros excitement I so clearly remember, I know my kids will have those very same memories one day.
And it is all because of the Astros’ number one fan – my mom.
On Friday night, our Astros advanced to the World Series. My mom was first on my mind. This joy she gets from her favorite team gives me joy. After tremendous loss in our family, it’s the games – on the tv or on the radio – that give us a few hours of a break from the hard stuff. We rally with our team through every single game. Every single run. Every single hit. Every single season. The good AND the bad ones.
We’ve gone to so many games in the ‘Dome and at Minute Maid Park. We’ve loved Jose Cruz, Billy Doran, Mike Scott, Bagwell, and Biggio. We’ve seen big games in person with our new heroes in Correa, Maldonado, Brantley, Breggy, and the mighty might of Altuve. All of these players have taken broken times like Hurricane Harvey and the pandemic and turned them into hope. Just like my mom, I will go down swinging for that hope they give my family and all of Houston.
Next week, the Astros head to the World Series. My mom is already planning to take her grandsons like she did in 2017 and 2019. She will be in a seat watching more Houston history. She will tell them baseball stats, buy them ice cream, and be happy. For a woman who has devoted so much love to this team while dealing with grief and loss, she deserves that happy.
To our home team, we have never stopped believing in your magic. Even when so many others doubted, we saw it. Even when our personal worlds fell apart, we felt it. Even when the days are long and the games even longer, we watched it.
To my mom, thank you for teaching us the love of the game. You have shown us YOUR magic even when you don’t realize it’s there. You have given us, and our kids, the greatest moments by loving your ‘Stros.
It’s all because of you.