More info on Colt .45s jerseys on sale to the public, plus thoughts on old ballparks: Charming? Or a “dump”?
Many of you have asked about the availability of the Colt .45s jerseys and caps for purchase. Here’s the skinny:
* Both are available in the Astros Team Store at Minute Maid Park and will be sold throughout the season. Originally the plan was to sell them only in April, but the response has been tremendous, prompting the merchandise folks to extend the availability for the remainder of the season.
* Throwback jerseys and caps are available at the Team Store only. They will not be sold online.
* The Colt .45s items are not the only throwbacks being sold. Also available currently are the Shooting Star jerseys and caps and the Rainbow jerseys and caps. The white jersey with the gold star is not yet in the store but will be in the near future.
* The prices vary. Jerseys will start at around $250. The caps will range from $35 to $40.
* Game-worn throwback jerseys/caps will be sold at the Astros Authentics kiosk on the main concourse, behind the home plate area. They will be sold, obviously, after the final game that the team wears the items. The Colt .45s items — sold together as a jersey/cap package – will be sold starting April 21. The prices for those will be higher than non-game worn uniforms. Each item will be authenticated by Major League Baseball. Throwback helmets are also being produced, and those will be sold separately.
* The Astros will wear the same Colt .45s uniforms on April 20 as they wore last week on the big anniversary day. If you missed it the first time, here’s the link for tickets to the next one.
I had to chuckle a little when I read former Astros outfielder Luke Scott again made headlines with seemingly controversial comments on topics sensitive to certain sections of baseball’s fanbase.
Rather than discussing guns and politics, this time, Scott — now a member of the Rays — had some interesting observations about Fenway Park, the old and famed home of the Boston Red Sox.
Scott doesn’t much care for the ballpark, referring to it as a “dump” with less-than-desirable working conditions.
“As a baseball player, going there to work, it’s a dump,” Scott said to MLB.com. “I mean, it’s old. It does have a great feel and nostalgia, but at the end of the day, I’d rather be at a good facility where I can get my work in. A place where I can go hit the cage, where I have space and it’s a little more comfortable to come to work.
“You’re packed in like sardines there. It’s hard to get your work in. …You have to go to their weight room if you want to lift. From a fan’s perspective, it’s probably pretty cool to go see a game at a historic park. But from a player’s point of view, it’s not a place where you want to go to work.”
While this stuff is music to the ears of reporters always looking for tidbits that will give them an edge over the colleagues they compete with daily, in reality, what Scott said isn’t all that controversial. For one thing, he’s right.
From a fan’s standpoint, the old ballparks are nostalgic and wonderful. But for those who make a living in baseball — the players, managers, coaches, athletic training staffs, reporters, and on and on — old and nostalgic and wonderful usually translates to one word: inconvenient.
That’s not a complaint necessarily. It’s just reality. For example, there is no place in baseball I love more than Wrigley Field. It’s baseball heaven. The scenery. The atmosphere. The neighborhood setting. There’s no Jumbotron, no between-inning gimmicks, no Kiss Cam, no t-shirt tosses. It’s just, plain and simple, baseball, in the most traditional sense.
But working there? Well…
As a visitor, you figure out how to make it work. You climb endless ramps to the very tip-top to get to the press box. (There’s one elevator, somewhere, but it’s far away and no one uses it.) The quarters are cramped. The broadcasts booths are teeny tiny. The press box area is a decent size, but it’s normally packed and you have to listen to radio reporters screaming in-game updates back to their stations every 30 minutes.
If you want to have any chance at all to get to the clubhouse in time for it to open postgame, you have to start the journey before the game is over — at the top of the ninth when your team is losing, and at the bottom if your team is winning. If you don’t get a head start, you will be stuck in ramp traffic for a good 20 minutes and will miss the manager’s session.
Hardships? Nah. It’s still a great place to be. Inconvenient? You bet.
Scott’s word choice — sardines — has been uttered by just about every player who has ever passed through the visiting clubhouses at both Fenway and Wrigley. Mobility does not exist. The weight room is in the home clubhouse. Reporters have to be careful when they’re interviewing players in the far corner, so as to not end up in the bathroom, standing near someone who might be utilizing the facilities.
(When the Astros played at Fenway in 2003, Jimy Williams held a team meeting in the shower area. Truly.)
I know what you’re thinking B-O-O H-O-O. Yea, I hear you. Rough life. Really, it’s not. Any day you’re working at Wrigley, or Fenway, or anywhere in Major League Baseball, it’s a very, very good day. We love it. That’s why we do it.
But what’s sometimes hard for fans to understand is that this is very much a job. Ballplayers go to the park every day with a list of things they need to do, just like anyone in the working world. And as much appreciation as they have for the old, historic ballparks, and as much as they enjoy the experience once the first pitch is thrown, the work day, as a whole, is challenging. They’re happy to be there, but prefer to be elsewhere.
What you see on TV is, in fact, wonderful. Behind the scenes can be something entirely different.
Life on the road sounds glamorous, but when you do this long enough, you learn to appreciate the simple things. My ideal criteria while traveling:
1. A place nearby to get a good cup of coffee in the morning
2. Wireless access that actually works.
3. A short walk to the ballpark.
4. A place nearby that stays open late enough after games to get a beverage tastier and more effective than, say, Mountain Dew.
1. A convenient path to the press box and clubhouse.
2. Wireless access that actually works.
3. A decent meal in the media dining room that does not include fried foods, old deli meat or things cooked in lard.
4. A spacious press box that allows for a decent amount of space between and McTaggart and yours truly.
That is it. That is why I look forward to the trips to Pittsburgh and Milwaukee and a few other cities that normally wouldn’t seem like destination spots. Great restaurants and hip nightlife? No thanks. I just want to be able to get online and enjoy a hot cup o’ Joe.