Nolan Ryan, one of the greatest pitchers of all time, owns a minor league team: the Round Rock Express. It's the AA affiliate of the Houston Astros (and will be a AAA team next year). Last week when Paulette & Gray & I were visiting family in Texas, my brother Keith and his son Luke took my mother and me to see an Express game --- the first baseball that I've been privileged to watch this year. But first, a recipe from the experience:
Coming back to Earth (while waiting for the arteries to unclog): the game was a fine one, though it didn't start out that way for the home team. Play commenced shortly after 7pm on a warm spring evening, with a first-quarter moon hanging high overhead. The second batter for the visiting San Antonio Missions, Hunter Brown, homered to knock in his predecessor who had walked to first base. Another San Antonio run followed in the third inning, and two more in the fifth. At that point several spectators near us left, perhaps figuring that the Round Rock seven-game winning streak was about to be broken.
That's when the Express began to roll. They batted completely around plus one, scoring six runs thanks to sharp play including a perfectly executed bunt by bottom-of-the-lineup center fielder Charlton Jimerson. When the dust from sliding into the various bases had settled Round Rock was in the lead; the team added another run to its total in the seventh. San Antonio had no luck during the final four innings, in spite of some sharply hit balls --- including a line drive by John Lindsey in the eighth, caught brilliantly by Express third baseman Junior Zamora.
And meanwhile, besides Fried Twinkies we entertained ourselves with peanuts, funnel cake, pizza, sandwiches, sodas, and a shave ice (aka snow cone). Ah, baseball season has begun ...
(see also KeysToTheKingdom (1 Jul 2001), TboltMonkeysOnMyBack (19 Jul 2002), SummerBall2002 (3 Sep 2002), KeepingScore (13 Jun 2003), MoreTboltSnapshots (12 Jul 2003), TboltSignoff2003 (3 Aug 2003), TricountyLeague (14 Aug 2003),FrederickKeysBaseball2003 (7 Sep 2003), ... )