The perfect ending to a picture perfect day: an Astros win.
Even after all of these years of living in Houston, it still makes me laugh how excited we all get when the weather cools off this time of year.
In most parts of the country, celebrating a 75-degree day with no humidity happens just before the beginning of spring, when the long, cold dreary months of winter are finally over. But here, it’s the opposite — the end of winter means it’s about to get really, really REALLY hot, but the end of the summer means we’re about to enjoy spring-like weather for another month or two.
The weather was all any of us could talk about when we arrived to Minute Maid Park Sunday morning, and with good reason — it was quite possibly the most beautiful day of the 2010 calendar year. Perfect day for a ballgame, as a matter of fact, and a perfect day for the Astros to win — which they did, decidedly, avoiding a three-game sweep by the Cubs. They also avoided fifth place by one game, and although it’s not exactly something to hang our hats on, it’s something.
The postgame clubhouse scene was pretty typical for the last game of the season. Loud music, lots of hugs and handshakes between teammates and coaches, and lots and lots of packing up. As much as Spring Training is like the first day of school, the final game of the season is like the last day — people are a little anxious to get out of there, but they also take a couple extra seconds to say goodbye to their buddies before heading out.
Sunday was all about fan appreciation, beginning with the season ticket-holder photo day with the players before the game and ending with the players tossing out softie baseballs to the fans after. This blog, too, is dedicated to all of you, with my sincere thanks for reading, responding, opining, arguing and laughing along with me as we navigated our way through the season.
I was approached for an interview by a sports web site a few months ago and they asked about how many fans I interact with during games. I responded, “Too many to count. And they always, always keep me laughing.” I meant it then, and I thank you for it now. A tip of the cap to all of you, and be sure to check back throughout the offseason. I’ll be around. As I told a fan earlier today, you can’t get rid of me that easily…
Sights and scenes from game 162 at Minute Maid Park Sunday afternoon…
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