Rock beats scissors, and Ausmus beats Kent. Seriously?

The final results of the season-long Top Moment Bracket Challenge were revealed Monday, and it’s not at all surprising that Craig Biggio’s 3,000th career hit was named the very best moment in Minute Maid Park history. But I have to take issue with how the rest of the top 10 shook out, especially Jeff Kent’s game-winning home run that won Game 5 of the 2004 NLCS. Seventh? Seventh? That’s it?

I have no problem with Chris Burke’s 18th inning home run in ’05 ranking second, but I can’t understand how Biggio’s final game in ’07 ranked higher than Kent’s homer. And I am completely flabbergasted that Brad Ausmus’ home run during his final game as an Astro last year even made the cut. Mike Hampton throws him a cookie in a game between two non-playoff teams and that’s one of the top moments in the history of this ballpark? Really?

Here’s the top 10…agree? Disagree? (My top three, in order: Biggio’s 3,000th hit; Burke’s HR, Kent’s HR. And one more that’s not listed — the 4-6-3 DP turned by Eric Bruntlett and Adam Everett to end Game 4 of the NLCS in ’05.).

1. Craig Biggio’s 3000th career hit.
2. Chris Burke’s 18th-inning HR in the NLDS.
3. Craig Biggio’s final game.
4. Jeff Bagwell’s game-winning single in memory of Darryl Kile.
5. Brad Ausmus’ final game home run.
6. Brad Ausmus’ HR in the NLDS.
7. Jeff Kent’s HR in the NLCS.
8. Lance Berkman’s Grand Slam in the NLDS.
9. 2004 All-Star Home Run Derby.
10. Craig Biggio’s Jersey Retirement.

Brian McTaggart talked to Biggio about his moment being picked No. 1: “Playing 20 years with one organization in a great city, I have had a lot of good things happen to me, but the 3,000th hit was the best night of my professional life,” Biggio said. “To have the fans vote it as the top moment, I am honored. It was a night that I will never forget, because I got to enjoy it with my family and the fans and teammates. And to be able to enjoy the moment with Jeff like it happened on the field was truly special. I liked that the fans acknowledged this moment.”

The Astros will celebrate that top moment before the Aug. 3 game with the Giants. The first 10,000 fans will receive a DVD with the televised broadcast of the Biggio 3000th hit game from June 28, 2007, compliments of the Astros and FS Houston. The night will also include a pregame celebration that will include a special presentation to Biggio.

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It’s Twitter-ific!
I remember just about a year ago sitting in the press box chatting with Astros broadcaster Dave Raymond, who was attempting to explain this new craze called “Twitter.” He must have spent 15 minutes trying to make me understand what it was and why all the kids these days are using it. I checked out the site and, quite frankly, I lost interest pretty quickly.

What a difference 12 months makes. Now I can’t stop Twittering, and I’m not the only one. McTaggart is Twittering. Richard Justice is Twittering. Greg Lucas is Twittering.

You should see us in the clubhouse before batting practice, furiously typing on our iPhones as soon as information oozes from Cecil Cooper/Puma/Ed Wade. Often, it’s the same information, only different. Like today:

4 p.m. CT:
@brianmctaggart: Pudge has changed his jersey number to 77. He wore No. 7 for most career but it is retired here. He had worn 12 before deciding he misses 7.

4:10 p.m. CT:
@alysonfooter: Pudge changes number from 12 to 77. He wore 7 his whole career but obviously can’t have that. So 77 it is.

30 minutes later:
@richardjustice: I’ve learned exclusively that Pudge has changed his jersey to 77.

Pictures from Monday’s action:

Pudge dons his new No. 77. “I have to go back to my seven again,” he said. “I can’t use one seven, so I’ll use two. You’ll see one from the camera on the third base line and you’ll see the other on the first base side.”

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Puma tests his hammy during batting practice and has a quick meeting with Cooper, Wade and head athletic trainer Nate Lucero. The group decides Puma will play that night, but later, it’s revealed he’ll have an MRI.

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The Astros celebrated the 40th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 Lunar landing…seven members from the NASA team that were a critical part of the success of the Apollo program simultaneously threw out the first pitch prior to the game. Astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger sang the national anthem. Read about it here.

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 Astros are on Facebook

Alyson Footer is on Twitter  

Questions? Send to askalyson@astros.com.  

12 Comments

1. Chris Burke’s 18th-inning HR in the NLDS.
2. Craig Biggio’s 3000th career hit.
3. Brad Ausmus’ HR in the NLDS.
4. Jeff Kent’s HR in the NLCS.
5. Lance Berkman’s Grand Slam in the NLDS.
6. Craig Biggio’s final game.
7. Brad Ausmus’ final game home run.
8. Jeff Bagwell’s game-winning single in memory of Darryl Kile.
9. 2004 All-Star Home Run Derby.
10. Craig Biggio’s Jersey Retirement.

That’s how it should have been. Burke’s playoff series-winning shot in the bottom of the 18th to advance? I mean, are you kidding me? When in HISTORY will that EVER happen again to ANY team? 100 years? Maybe never? Easily the greatest single moment in franchise history. EASILY.

The Jeff Kent home run is 7th because although it was a game winner the memory of it is Jeff Kent holding up one finger and saying “one more”. Then the Astros lose the next two games, the series, and the season was over.

2004 was a great year and it should have been more even though I doubt the Astros would of fared much better against the Boston team. I think that’s what sticks in a lot of fans minds, if the Astros win that series I think that moment is viewed differntly.

Good call on the DP to end Game 4 of the NLCS in 2005, I can remember the call. “A grounder hit to second, looks like the Cardinals have tie…no wait they’re trying for two! They got the double play!”

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding Kent’s homerun in game 5, that is by far and away the best GAME every played at Minute Maid Park (and my number 1 moment, but I digress). Backe’s 8 one-hit innings, Beltran’s catch, and finally the Kent bomb – absolutely the best baseball game I’ve ever seen. That was the second loudest I’ve ever heard that stadium (next to the seconds leading up to the Pujols homer) and just incredible to experience first hand.

Why was the first World Series in Texas not even mentioned? Just because we lost? I think that’s unfortunate.
I think a lot of this has to do with if you were at the specific event or not. I’d like to take a poll of people who were at Game 5 in 2004 and see where they rank that. I was IN the stadium for 8 of the 10 events (missed Biggio’s and Ausmus’ final games), and my top 5 look like this:

1. Kent HR in 2004 NLCS
2. Biggio 3000 Hit
3. Burke HR in 2005 NLDS
4. Berkman Grand Slam in 2005 NLDS
5. 2004 Home Run Derby

If the Astros would of beat the Cards in 04 Kents Home Run would of been # 1

Disappointing not to see a single defensive play on the list. I agree with Alyson about the Bruntlett/Everett double play. Could have also used a Bruntlett diving catch, or Biggio tumbling up Tal’s hill, to catch a deep fly, back when he played center – esp. since the Hill is such a major feature of the Park.
http://www.swimthedeepend.wordpress.com/

Ausmus HR in the NLDS is the best to me. You want to talk about a clutch HR from someone without power? If he doesn’t hit that there is no Burke walkoff.
The Biggio thing is more of a lifetime achievement award, but it was actually kind of lame because he got thrown out at 2nd trying to create some weird stat thing with some special amount of doubles, I really think he didn’t think Taveras would throw him out since it was his 3000th hit.
The Bruntlett/Everett DP was also up there, but as far as significance. I agree with kdows the best GAME ever played was probably the Kent HR, I was at that game and everytime I think about it I get chills… The 18 inning game doesn’t qualify because who wants to sit in a stadium chair for 18 innings :P

Ok, on June 11, 2003 the Houston Astros accomplished something against the N.Y. “Steinbrenner’s Pocketbook” Yankees that has never been and mostly likely not again. Roy Oswalt, Peter Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner no-hit the Yankees! I would place this second after Craig’s 3000th.

The no-no-no-no-no-no against the Yanks was great, but this is top 10 moments in Minute Maid Park history, not Astros history.

Alyson…….did Chris Sampson’s wife have her baby?
When??? Thanks!

I don’t really like the list. It should be two lists. The greatest GAME: Game 5 of the 2004 NLDS (Backe and Kent) no argument there.
The greatest MOMENT: Albert Puhols’ home run off Lidge, like it or not. I was there, and if you were, too, you know what I mean. One second I can’t hear myself screaming, the next second I can hear the ball strike the rafters out by the Conoco sign. And I was sittin’ up in the nosebleeds down the RIGHT field line. If not for that homer, the greatest moment might just come from the same game: Lance Berkman’s three run shot in the seventh that put us up 4-2. Funny how no one remembers that.

i agree
everyone loves ausmus but come on…
you cant beat a game winning homerun in october.

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