All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Rice Alumni Baseball Game 2010

Reckling Park

Yes, I actually did go to the Rice alumni baseball game. I was staying in a hotel less than a mile from Rice University, so I walked over. It was a beautiful day for a baseball game. Just perfect. Warm and sunny, not a cloud in the sky.

It's a little odd, to find a campus and a baseball field so close to downtown, but it's very nice. I really liked Houston. Lots of interesting neighborhoods, more walkable than I had expected.

The Houston skyline beyond left field.

The current team signed autographs before the game.

A sign by right field, honoring past champions.

The alumni lined up on the field:

The oldest alumnus there was from the class of 1950.

The little boy sitting next to me was hoping Lance Berkman would be there, but he wasn't.

Jeff Niemann was there, however. He was easy to spot, towering over everyone else.

He didn't play, but it seemed like he wanted to. He was fooling around with balls, bats, and gloves the entire time.

The best defensive SS (and worst relief pitcher) in major league baseball, Paul Janish, didn't play either.

Not sure if he's trying to grow a beard or was just too lazy to shave.

I think this is Steven Herce, the guy who organized this shindig.

According to the Baseball Cube, he was drafted by the Pirates but only played one year of affiliated baseball.

I think this is one of the Cruz brothers. Enrique? He hit a triple in the first inning, IIRC.

The game was pretty laid back. They kept forgetting the score, and there was no batting order to speak of.

The catcher missed the ball, so decided to field the runner instead.

I didn't get a lot of game photos, because the alumni were all standing along the left field line, and it was hard to photograph around them. I meant to move around the stands a little, but I was just too comfortable, sitting in the front row, soaking up the sun and listening to the crack of the bat and the cheers of the crowd. It was sheer heaven to be in a ballpark again.

I do have more photos here. If you can help identify any of the subjects, tag or post a comment under the relevant pic. (Since there were no real lineups, no program, and few names on jerseys, it was kind of hard to keep track of who was who.)


posted by BubbaFan, 10:19 PM


I enjoyed seeing lots of the guys I remember watching play at Rice over the past two decades. However, this was the most unorganized affair I've ever been to. I had lost interest in the score after two innings when it became apparent that no one cared about it. Some players tried hard, others wouldn't hustle or played as if it was all a joke. I would rather see lineups for the two teams, with numbers, with last year played at Rice, stuck on jerseys so I could identify them better. each player could be assigned 2-3 innings or whatever. Just something that would appear competitive. Not a pitcher playing 2nd and CF b/c no one wanted to take the field, etc. Pretty day and nice commradarie, but disappointing to fans who aren't involved.
commented by Blogger Unknown, February 11, 2010 3:46 PM  
It's probably too much to expect them all to play hard. They aren't being paid, and no tickets are sold. It's clearly a "just for fun" affair.

Still, perhaps they would consider having a scorekeeper next time, and actually keeping score. They had the scoreboard on, but weren't really using it. Just having the score and the batter's and pitcher's names up there would have helped a lot. If they got umpires, surely they could get a scorekeeper.
commented by Blogger BubbaFan, February 11, 2010 7:29 PM  
I agree, B. Fan. Perhaps I was a little too critical in my earlier comment-- sorry, to Steven H. who may have spent tons more time organizing this affair than I realize.

Suggestion for next year: Assign players to the two teams by positions to play 2-3 innings each. Start with the oldest guys first then work down to the youngest guys-- or visa versa, whichever would create more interest to fans. That would require dividing teams according to equal numbers of old and young guys. Would keep things in perspective as far as fairness in ages. Certainly have different colors for the two teams so players don't cross-over to play for different teams. Keep a few extra players unassigned in a pool so you can use them as utility players for any players who refuse to play or don't show up in order to stick to your pre-arranged line-ups.

All in all, I think it's a great tradition; but to keep it going I think it needs to be better organized in order to do so. I think RBI Club members would be willing to help out more too, if asked. I'll be glad to help out ahead of time next year if you need any extra help.
commented by Blogger Unknown, February 12, 2010 3:23 PM  
I think this is something they only do every two years, so the next one will be in 2012.

I'm sure they'd welcome your offer to help. The game was announced in November, with contact info. Next time, e-mail them with your suggestions.
commented by Blogger BubbaFan, February 13, 2010 12:10 AM  
Thanks for info. I will find out ahead of time before next alum game and volunteer to assist , if my assistance is wanted. Thanks for this site. I'll continue to follow. G.T.
commented by Blogger Unknown, February 13, 2010 1:13 AM  

Add a comment