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.)
Labels: Paul Janish