Astros Opening Day 2013: Fans Weigh in with Hopes & Opinions on AL Baseball
For as long as I remember, I've been a baseball fan. Which is kinda strange considering I never played Little League, didn't learn how to hold a bat or catch a ball until my best friend taught me in high school, and my father's favorite sports team are fútbol-playing goats (Las Chivas Rayadas de Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico). Yet the sound of a home run cracking off from a Louisville Slugger and the cheers of a home crowd during a rally make me so emotionally content, I have no need for drugs or therapy. Give me my 'Stros, no matter how bad, and I'm good.
When I was a kid, my pops would take me to as many games at the Astrodome as we could afford, which wasn't many, but the experience made a lasting impression. I particularly remember seeing Fernando Valenzuela pitch against Mike Scott under the Dome sometime in the late '80s. Once I reached high school, I got a part-time job and inherited an old Chevy Blazer, which allowed me to visit the Dome many times in those exciting seasons when the 'Stros won the division several years in a row.
When Enron Field opened, I thanked God! A downtown stadium ten minutes from my house in the near Northside was a perfect venue to fuel my support of the team. I became a regular at the "9 Amigos Center Field Bar," making friends with other fans and staff who were as fanatical about the Astros as I was! We made the playoffs, and experienced many highs, lows and heartbreaks. It's been a long and beautiful relationship.
This year, however...things are different. New league, new faces, new ownership and a new coach. What can we expect from my beloved 'Stros this year? I asked a handful of Opening Day fans for their predictions.
Name: Elva (who arrived at the Center Field entrance at noon for last night's 7:05 p.m. start!)
How long have you been an Astros Fan? 20 years
What is your favorite Astros memory?: The Infamous 18-Inning Game, October 9, 2005.
Move to the American League -- hate it or love it? Hate it!
Prediction for this season? Better than last year, but still low in the standings.