New Astros Hall of Fame To Open in 2019

 

New Astros Hall of Fame
Coming to Minute Maid Park in 2019

 

ASTROS HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCED

Last weekend, the Houston Astros announced that their new Hall of Fame will open inside the interior structure of Minute Maid Park during the March 25-26, 2019 exhibition series that the team plays against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Text and images of the Hall of Fame plaques will not be revealed until Astros Hall of Fame weekend, Aug. 2-4, 2019.

The Astros revealed full details for the Astros Hall of Fame presented by Houston Methodist at a press conference they held at FanFest in the Diamond Club at Minute Maid Park on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019. Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan officially unveiled the Astros Hall of Fame jacket and renderings for the Astros Hall of Fame Alley. Bill Brown, Jeff Bagwell, Larry Dierker and Mike Acosta (Astros historian) took part in the press conference.

THE 2019 ASTROS HOF INDUCTEES

The inaugural 2019 Astros Hall of Fame induction class features the nine Astros with retired numbers, as well as the members of the Astros Walk of Fame on Texas Ave. In subsequent years, Astros Hall of Fame inductees will be determined by the Astros Hall of Fame Committee.

The 2019 inductees are as follows: Bob Aspromonte, Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Jose Cruz, Larry Dierker, Gene Elston, Milo Hamilton, Joe Morgan, Joe Niekro, Shane Reynolds, J.R. Richard, Nolan Ryan, Mike Scott, Jim Umbricht, Don Wilson and Jimmy Wynn.

HALL OF FAME ALLEY

The Astros Hall of Fame presented by Houston Methodist will be located in the Home Run Alley area of the ballpark, and will be renamed Hall of Fame Alley. The Astros Hall of Fame will be open and ready for fans to enjoy starting with the Astros exhibition games against the Pirates from March 25-26. Text and images of the Hall of Fame plaques will not be revealed until Astros Hall of Fame weekend from Aug. 2-4.

HALL OF FAME WEEKEND

Astros Hall of Fame weekend presented by Houston Methodist will take place from Aug. 2-4. All members of the inaugural class will be inducted in a pregame ceremony prior to the Astros game on Aug. 3 vs. the Seattle Mariners at 6:10 p.m. CT.

In addition, the weekend will consist of gate giveaways each night for 10,000 fans, including a replica Rainbow Shoulder Nolan Ryan Jersey, a replica HOF Plaque Monument, and a replica HOF Jacket Statue, thanks to our partners at Houston Methodist.

Full details about Hall of Fame weekend are available on Astros.com/HOF.

THE ASTROS HOF COMMITTEE

The Astros Hall of Fame Committee will convene each year to determine the members of each subsequent Astros HOF induction class. The members of the committee are Astros President of Business Operations Reid Ryan, Astros Manager of Authentication and Team Historian Mike Acosta, 2019 Astros HOF inductee and Special Assistant to the GM Craig Biggio, Astros Community Outreach Executive and former broadcaster Bill Brown, Astros VP of Communications Gene Dias, 2019 Astros HOF inductee Larry Dierker, President of the Houston / Larry Dierker Chapter of SABR Bob Dorrill, Astros VP of Foundation Development Marian Harper, MLB.com National Correspondent Alyson Footer, MLB.com Astros Beat Writer Brian McTaggart, and baseball and Houston historian Mike Vance.

ONE BROKEN, BUT MENDING HEART

There’s not a person among these emboldened black type names that The Pecan Park Eagle and all that’s within me wouldn’t go to bat for any member of the named above group here,  if some kind of harm ~ or misfortune ~ occurred to them, and, in fact, that already happened here a couple of weeks ago when we publicly jumped on the plight of the Heritage Society.

Today it’s my turn. And all I need to is ventilate.

Those of you who know me best will understand that these remarks have nothing to do with ego ~ or any lingering need I may have ~ at age 81 ~ to prove anything to anybody. ~ For me, dear readers, this was like the loss of a love or abandonment. ~ It hurt so bad.

My heart was broken to learn Saturday that my name was not among those who had been chosen to serve as members of the Astros Hall of Fame Selection Committee that picked this original class of inductees. And, logically, I couldn’t agree more with how those who were asked to serve made their choices well. ~ Please be clear. The Committee didn’t need me to score a “10” for each inductee they selected. They were right on target every time ~ for sometimes variably different reasons ~ with great, great picks.

As for me? I didn’t even know until this past week that the Astros Hall of Fame work had progressed this far. I had spoken with Astros historian Mike Acosta a couple of years ago, but we had never ventured too far into what that kind of work my voluntary participation would involve. ~ Maybe I should not have been so presumptuous that Mike Acosta knew anything about my heart, mind, soul, and background for induction work. Perhaps I should have sent him my resume:

  • Unreconstructed member of the east end Houston sandlot baseball club, The Pecan Park Eagles (1948-52);
  • Knothole Gang Member and devoted fan of the Houston Buffs (1945-61);
  • Rag-tag outfielder-pitcher for the St. Christopher Kids in parochial and city league baseball (1951-56);
  • Devoted fan of the Houston Colt .45s (1962-64) and Astros (1965-2019);
  • Board Chair/Executive Director, Texas Baseball Hall of Fame (2004-2008);
  • Member, Larry Dierker Chapter, SABR (1992-2019 ongoing);
  • Publisher, Editor, Principal Writer, The Pecan Park Eagle (2009-2019 ongoing).

Where did I go wrong? From 72 straight years of Houston baseball, the entire history of our Houston MLB club, four years of hard work at the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame, getting several of our great Astros inducted there while I was on the job, ~ and then writing close to 3,300 columns on baseball ~ and mostly Astros topics ~ on the WorldWideWeb-read Pecan Park Eagle, I apparently still didn’t do enough to merit membership on the new Houston Astros Hall of Fame Committee.

Here’s how my reaction has changed in the three days that have passed since I got the news.

Saturday, 1/26/19, I was actually flattened. It scared me. It was like the fan belt that runs all my inner soul parts had burst at one time.

“What’s the point?” I thought on Saturday. And I deleted a pretty good story I was working on. And then I could not even write my name. “If writing is my life,” I thought, “then what’s this all about?”

I literally couldn’t write a damn thing. Nor did I seem to have any further desire to do so.

Never been here before. Writing always has been something that poured through me like water through a fountain. It was the adult version of my childhood sandlot ~ the place I ran to barefoot each day for play and happier, cathartic, deeper inhaled breathing. It was the same kind of breathing I get today from writing ~ the kind that springs the muses loose from their moorings in our collective unconscious ~ about anything and everything.

And here I was ~ taking a sneaky sidearm pitch of “piece-of-crap” news ~ like a stinger to the heart ~ and allowing it to then get into my head like somebody had just built a wall of steel around all sides of my once sacred sandlot place we knew best as either Eagle Field ~ or “the lot” ~ for short.

Tuesday, 1/29/2019 is now here ~ and it feels different.

My feelings are better three days later, especially now that I’m writing this piece. ~ My writing is back. ~ My spirit never surrenders. ~ And my soul never dies.

I may have wanted this very special Committee experience as my ride into the sunset, but it obviously wasn’t meant to be. One of life’s favorite lessons makes one of its routinely destined appearances: “Expectation is the eager set up shot for painful disappointment.”

Good luck to the Astros and the Selection Committee. I forgive you too, Astros, for either forgetting me, overlooking me, discounting me, or consciously ignoring me as a media source, even though The Pecan Park Eagle reaches the whole world too. You don’t have anything to prove to me ~ and I don’t have anything to prove to you. ~ I am still an Astros fan ~ no matter what ~ and always will be.

In the future, when the selection work gets a little harder than pulling “can’t miss” names out of a hat, let me know if you run across the names of Frank Veselka, Jack Henderson, Popeye Berry, Kenny Kern, Randall Hunt, Billy Sanders, Lloyd Kern, Jerry Stovall, Jack Lipscomb, Linton Lipscomb, James Don Ward, Charles Willis, Jackie Perkins, James Blake Snelling, Eileen Disch, or Johnny McCurdy.

If any of those names and files appear, just send them on to me. Those fierce battlers were older influences and actual members of the Pecan Park Eagles. Just send their file records to us here at The Pecan Park Eagle of 2019, and we’ll take care of them from there.

Have a great Tuesday, Everybody!

 

********************

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Response to “New Astros Hall of Fame To Open in 2019”

  1. Patrick Callahan '56 Says:

    BILL: You just keep on doing what you’re doing; your fans and followers are proud of you and your good work….

    Patrick Callahan
    STHS ’56

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