Editor’s note – This article originally appeared on AstrosConnection.com.
How can I explain what baseball has meant to me so that it will make sense to other people? My mother told me that my dad started rolling a ball to me when I was less than a year old, so I guess I never had a chance. Playing the game was a major part of my life growing up: Little League, Pony League, Austin High School, American Legion, the University of Texas. I was a pitcher, and my dad caught several million pitches from me in our back yard. Dad emphasized control, control, control, and I could hit spots when I was eight years old. My dad, who was a good enough player to be offered a contract by the Detroit Tigers, was my first and best coach. My mom was my biggest fan. My brother played from Little League through his freshman year at UT. We spent most spring and summer afternoons and evenings at one ballpark or another, at my games or my brother’s games or watching UT or the Austin Senators/Braves. My dad and I played catch for years and years, until he was too old to see the ball well enough to play, and I treasured those times with him. He is dead now, and I wish I could bring him back merely by building a baseball field.Read More