Greeneville Astros - August 2016
Photo by Jayne Hansen
This will be my seventh season covering the Astros minor league teams and, although I've come close to hanging it up a couple of times over the years, I keep plugging away. Why? Sometimes it's a hug from a player who made it to the bigs and wants to thank me for my support. Sometimes it's the excitement of a player who sees his interview posted. Sometimes it's just the smiles and laughter of the players in the pre-game dugout mugging for the camera. Sometimes it's the gratitude I receive from a mom or dad who appreciates my attention to their son, particularly if their son isn't one of those top prospects and is flying under the radar. Sometimes it's my readers, simply thanking me for keeping them abreast of things. Sometimes it's a former player who I watch go on to succeed as a coach or playing for another franchise.
But most of all, it's just getting to know some of these players. Before I started doing this, I was in awe of those star players I would see on the field from my seats in the stand. But then I started getting to know them, Knowing what really good, kind and mostly assuming people they are. They may be stars, but now I just see them as "my guys." They are, by turn, funny, smart, silly, outgoing, serious, quiet, studious, outrageous or even a little crazy. They are just like you and me; they're just really good at what they do.
So I will keep on keeping on for now. Because I know how much I've enjoyed getting to know these players, their WAGs and their families, and I don't want to miss the opportunity to meet the next generation of Astros minor-leaguers as they make their way through the maze of life and this crazy game we all love.