This is an open letter to Mr. Crane. The new owner of my beloved baseball team, the Houston Astros.
I have followed this team since I was a kid. I was only 4 years old when they lost to the Mets in 1986 when they were a game away from making the World Series so I do not have a memory of that. However, my very first memory of the Astros was meeting Glenn Davis, their star slugging first baseman at a mall in Sugar Land who was signing autographs. I remember being in awe, of those rainbow colored jerseys, and my hero behind a table signing baseballs for fans. I fell in love with the team. I was a member of the Coca-Cola Astros buddies club. I watched my heroes play in the Astrodome and on TV whenever I could. Biggio, Caminiti, Bagwell, these were my heroes. I remember how excited I was in school the day I heard the Astros had made a trade to acquire fireballer Randy Johnson from the Mariners. I also remember countless playoff losses to the Braves and wondered if we would ever succeed in the playoffs. I remember the rivalry with the Cardinals, Pujols's homerun off of Lidge, Oswalt's dominance over the Cardinals. I attended Game 4 of the World Series in 2005. Although we were swept by the White Sox, I still get chills from that game. The crowd, all the cameras going off. The chants of "Houston!" ...pause..."Astros!" We may have ultimately fell short but nothing is guaranteed. The Astros are my team. Win or lose.
2011 was a rough year. Rebuilding, the Astros lost a franchise worst 106 games. We all knew this day was coming. Biggio and Bagwell can't last forever. And Oswalt, Berkman, Pence were all gone as well. Despite the team struggling, the Astros STILL drew over 2 million fans out to Minute Maid Park. Houston is a great sports town. We love our Rockets, we loved our Oilers, we love our Texans, and we LOVE our Astros.
Please, do not take my team away from me. The Astros will always be the Astros. Do not change the name.