The thought of baseball season is depressing for some people, primarily because the Astros are going to be so damn bad. But that doesn't bother me. I'm a baseball addict, and while the Astros will be bad, it's not really going to matter because I'll be watching baseball -- and thanks to Comcast SportsNet Houston, I won't be able to see the Astros play anyway.
And as a baseball addict, I've created a mental baseball bucket list, things I want to see at a baseball game, things I want to experience, to do. Over the years, I've been able to cross some of these things off the list while adding more to it. I'm sure most baseball fans also have such a list.
So without further ado, here's my baseball bucket list.
15. I want to see a no-hitter in person. The closest I got was on April 27, 1988, when Nolan Ryan pitched a no-hitter for 8.1 innings before Mike Schmidt broke it up with a solid single to center field. And though I worked on the Astros video crew through the 2001 season, I missed Darryl Kile's 1993 no-hitter because I was in Europe working on my master's.
14. I did, finally, after years and years, witness a triple-play when the Minnesota Twins pulled one off against the Seattle Mariners on a late May Saturday in 2007 at the old Metrodome.
13. I would like to take one summer and travel the country and see a game in every major league ballpark. I've actually been to a game at 17 of the MLB ballparks -- the count was at 20 at one point, but the Mets, Yankees and Twins all now play in new stadiums.
12. I would like to be present for a historic event, like a 3,000th hit, a 3,000th strikeout, a 300th win, the Astros winning more than 60 games in a season. I mistimed Craig Biggio's 3,000th hit, and was there two nights after he hit the mark. I was, however, at Enron Park the night that Barry Bonds tied Mark McGwire's single-season home-run record. I think most people now refuse to acknowledge that accomplishment, however.
11. I would like to be in St. Louis for a Cubs/Cardinals game, and I would like to be in Chicago when the two teams play. I would also like to be at Fenway when the Yankees and Red Sox play. I was at Yankee Stadium on July 7, 2003, to see the Yankees and Red Sox play.
10. I want to attend a World Series game. Preferably a Game Seven. I was in attendance for every playoff game played in Houston from 1997 through 2001. Most of those were losses.
9. I want to see the Astros win a World Series, and I want to see the Astros win the World Series before the Rangers.
8. I want to see Bud Selig actually retire. He's been promising this for years, but I doubt that it's ever going to happen.
7. I want to throw out a first pitch at a major league baseball game.
6. I've been to Cooperstown to visit the Hall of Fame. But I'd like to go there again after Jeff Bagwell has been inducted.
5. I want to be at Minute Maid Park on the night that the Astros finally get around to retiring the number of J.R. Richard. 4. My friend Ria attempted to be the first female to make the majors as an umpire. She got as far as AA, and worked a spring game, but was let go not long afterwards. I know this, though: I've seen Angel Hernandez call a game, and there's no way you will ever convince me that he was a better umpire than Ria. I did get to see her mask in Cooperstown, however, so I can say that I know someone who is part of the Hall of Fame.
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3. I would like to be a spotter for Vin Scully because I had a friend do this once when Scully was calling a game in Houston. My friend says this was one of the most entertaining games he ever attended, and all he did was sit and listen to Scully tell stories. I have, however, interviewed Gene Elston, and I used to talk literature with Larry Dierker when he was a broadcaster and we would be in the press dining room eating dinner.
2. I want MLB to unblock MLB.TV so that I can watch the Astros.