Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?
I did end up going to Houston. I had a friend who wanted to go to some quilt festival thing this weekend. She didn't want to go alone, so I went with her. I figured she'd find some friends and not need me after the first day, and that's how it worked out. The quilts were interesting, actually, but only for about half a day (for me, a non-quilter).
The alumni baseball game was very quiet this time compared to the last time I went. It was apparently the first time they held it in November instead of February, so maybe people didn't know about it. And the last one, in 2012, was rained out, so maybe that discouraged people. Maybe they're intentionally scaling it back. Or maybe people have finally given up hoping that Lance Berkman will show up. :-)
Whatever the reason, it was a much smaller affair. There were a lot fewer people there. Last time there were concessions open and an autograph session with the current Rice team before the game; there was none of that this time.
They did have the scoreboard working, and someone announcing the game, which was nice.
The ever-photogenic Joe Savery was probably the biggest name current player there (that I noticed, anyway).
I was hoping Tony Cingrani would be there, but I didn't see him.
Paul Janish was there. I wanted to ask him if he expected to be back with Atlanta next season, but he was there with his family and I didn't want to bother him.
I also toured Minute Maid Park (which was right across the street from the quilt festival). Man, I'd forgotten the Astros were in the World Series in 2005. It feels like they've been terrible forever.
And I saw the new dinosaur hall at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. (It opened in 2012.) It is much better than the old one. Bigger, with updated exhibits and some stunning paintings that look like photos. I've heard people say it's better than the American Museum of Natural History in New York. I do like the layout; it leads you through time, and the paintings that put flesh on the bone mounts are terrific. And it's not as crowded as the AMNH; the dinosaur halls there are always sardine city. Still, I wouldn't say it's better. The specimens in NY are more spectacular, IMO. (I guess not everything is bigger in Texas.) There are a lot of nice fossils at the HMNS, but no real show-stoppers, like the huge dinosaurs at the AMNH or Carnegie. Definitely worth a look, though - I'm not sorry I went.
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