Pulling out the Astros jersey and an awesome bat for Opening Day

When I asked Kay to take a photo of me with my freebie Alex Bregman jersey and Nolan Ryan autographed bat before heading for work on Opening Day, I figured she’d laugh. But even though she’s been allergy-sick for almost 2 weeks, she cheerfully indulged me. 🙂

Opening Day brought out the crazy in me, I guess. (Doesn’t it do that to all baseball nuts?) Decided at the last minute I’d wear my team colors to work today – although I did leave the Astros ballcap at home after the still-ill but beautiful Kay shot this photo in our Arlington backyard this morning. I texted it to Crys and Terry, my birth sibs in Colorado, and Crys responded: “You look like a real baseball player.” My reply: “A real OLD baseball player!!” His comeback: “If you’re old, I’m prehistoric.” At 75, Crys may be 17 years  older than his long-lost little brother, but he’s definitely not prehistoric!

The many of you who, like me, are Astros fanatics have probably seen their slogan for this season: Take It Back. They won it all in ’17, then lost to the champion Red Sox in the ALCS last year, so it’s definitely time to Take. It. Back. I’m eager to see how the year plays out, considering the makeover of the 3-4-5 spots in the Astros’ rotation and some of the other off-season changes to the roster. I feel confident about the ’Stros winning the AL West, but I think it’ll be competitive with the A’s and Angels (sorry, Rangers fans). As for the playoffs, I know it’ll be a dogfight with the Yankees, Red Sox, Indians and probably even the Rays – who just happen to be the Astros’ season-opening road foe in a 4-game series that started with a 5-1 win by the Great Guys today in Tampa.

BTW, the bat I’m holding has a story: It’s a Nolan Ryan-autographed keepsake with the details of his seventh no-hitter, which he twirled almost 28 years ago on May 1, 1991, against the Blue Jays at the old Arlington Stadium – striking out 16 at age 44! (No, I wasn’t there, but dear friend and former TAMU roomie Gerald Gummelt and I had centerfield seats for Nolan’s 5,000th strikeout in August ’89.) Some of you may remember my longtime girlfriend Carolyn (who’s been Dr. Scott for many years now). We actually broke up a month after that no-hitter, but she was sweet and bought the bat for me on the Home Shopping Network anyway. (Thank you, Carolyn!)

We really do need to find a spot to display this treasure. Since we took it down from a wall in our son’s room a few years ago, it’s been sitting on a dusty shelf in our closet.

More bat-story: When we were readying the baby nursery before Will was born in 2001, we decided on a baseball theme. This bat, which came with a plastic case, was displayed for years above the windows in his room, along with the baseball-themed ceiling fan I installed, baseball drawer handles on his dresser, and a baseball quilt that the amazing Susan Corbett made for him. Alas, Will has never liked baseball – or any sports. But it was nice to have a baseball room in the house for a while.

All I can say is … PLAY BALL! And, of course, GO ASTROS!

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