Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Raining Outside At Astros’ Game

I’m at the Houston Astros’ game right now.

As you see from the picture, it is raining outside.

Inside though, the game goes on.

July 7, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Wanting A Quiet Place To Think, I Went To The Houston Astros Game—The Right Mix Of Factors To Get Some Thinking Done In A Public Place

Wanting a quiet place to think where I could have some space, I attended the Houston Astros game this past Monday evening.

Above you see a picture I took in the second inning.

With the roof open on a warm spring evening, the game was a nice and relaxing spot for contemplation.

There was just the right mix of people around to look at and ponder, while at the same time enough room to have your distance from others. The game and the stadium offered all sorts of things to look at while not breaking your train of thought.

The Astros have in 2012 already had the smallest crowd ever recorded at Minute Maid Park for a game. With this being just April, there is plenty of time for that record to be broken again.

It is great to have a public place where you can think.

When I lived in Cincinnati, I enjoyed going to the River Downs horse track with my father.  There were always some people around, but the track was built for the larger crowds that attended horse racing years ago.

You’d sit off by yourself and look at the people. Across the way there were some hills. This was just as how you can see tall Downtown Houston buildings with the roof open at Minute Maid.

At the race track you would sit there and be peaceful, and every so often some horses would run past.

Below you see a picture I took at River Downs in 2011. There was no racing that day. You could go to clubhouse and place bets on races at other tracks.

That was a fine quiet snowy day.

What I look for in a public place  where I want to get some thinking done is the right combination of action, apathy, things to see such as trees or buildings or horses or a baseball game, and personal space.

I don’t want to be a hermit, but there is only a certain extent to which I want others around.

One to be fully engaged in the world is to make sure that you have some space.

April 12, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

200,000th Major League Baseball Game—Who Knew?

A few hours back I made a post about attending an Astros’ game this evening.

As it turned out, this was the 200,00th Major League Baseball game played since the founding of the National League in 1876.

Who knew?

Well….it seems these nice folks below knew.

Sometimes you just show up someplace and there is a blog post already waiting for you.

The 200,000th game involved the Colorado Rockies defeating the Houston Astros by a score of 4-2 in 13 innings.

Here is a list of the all the major leagues and a number of other historical statistics from Baseball-Reference.com. There have been 6 recognized major leagues in professional baseball history.

A great book to learn the history of Major League Baseball is Koppett’s History of Major League Baseball  by Leonard Koppett.

A strong history of the Negro Leagues is Shades of Glory by Lawrence D. Hogan.

Everything is better when we know what came before. Context gives meaning to events.

Below is a picture from the 200,00th game. This picture features a beer vendor and an outfielder.

September 25, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

End Of Baseball Season

(Blogger’s Note 9/25/11—As it turned out, this game was the 200,00th game in Major League Baseball history.)

I’m attending what may be my final Houston Astros’ game of the season this evening. The regular baseball season ends next week.

I follow baseball but do not often write about in the blog. There is enough sports out there already .

The Astros’ are having the worst season they have ever had since beginning play in 1962.

That does not bother me very much as I simply like to attend the games and not worry about who wins or loses.

I’ve been fortunate to attend a number of baseball games over the years. In 1990, I was able to go to a World Series game in Cincinnati.

I go to between 15 and 20 games each season.

The picture above is of an Astros’ game earlier this season. I picked this picture because I like the patterns on the field made by shadows from the roof above at Minute Maid Park.

I would have voted against the public funds used for the construction of the stadium had I lived in Houston at the time. I did vote against public funds for construction of stadiums in Cincinnati

I voted against  public funds to build the Houston Rockets basketball arena in Downtown Houston. The first public vote failed. Yet the issue was brought before the public a year or so later and it passed the second time.

We just had to have our basketball arena.

The best web site to follow baseball is Baseball-Reference.com. Baseball-Reference.com is in fact one of the best web sites that I have seen of any kind.

September 24, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

Vacation Reading—Taking Rick Perry To Rhode Island

With a plane to catch soon and  time in Rhode Island ahead, it is time to select what book I’ll be reading while on the road.

I’d headed to Rhode Island for a final observance of my father’s life.  He spent much of his life in Rhode Island.

Tony Aquino lived 1930-2011.

I often get a great deal of reading done on airplanes and on vacation.

I’m considering this trip a vaction because I’m certain that this is how dad would have wanted me to imagine the trip.

For this vacation, I’ve picked books relevant to Rhode Island, Cincinnati and Texas—The three places I have lived in life.

I have The Cultural Life of the American Colonies by Louis B. Wright.  This book was published in 1957.

I don’t much about this book, but it is just the type of stuff that I often read.

Another book I have is The President Makers 1896-1919—The Culture of Politics & Leadership In An Age of Enlightenment by Matthew Josephson. This book is from 1940.

This is the 2nd book I’ve read by Mr. Josephson.  He wrote about the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era. In the President Makers I’m currently on the chapters involved the Presidency of Cincinnati’s William Howard Taft.

The final book I’ll bring along is Fed Up!–Our Fight To Save America From Washington by Texas Governor Rick Perry. This great work was published in 2010.

Fed Up! may provide me with a few quick blog posts while I’m traveling.  Also, since I’ll be wearing a Houston Astros’ baseball hat for much of the trip, maybe I’ll read the book while wearing the cap and make loud comments about seccession and bitching about how George W. Bush was not conservative enough.

It’s going to be a great trip and I’ll be posting from Rhode Island. Thanks to everybody for reading Texas Liberal.

August 3, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Stone Which Has Been Rejected Will Become The Cornerstone

At the Houston Astros’ game this weekend, I saw these two stones outside the stadium.

It reminded me of Psalm 118 in the Bible where it says--depending on which translation you read—“The stone that has been rejected will become the cornerstone.”

Those stones may seem discarded, but I bet they have some useful purpose.

Everybody has some purpose.

Sometimes the person who seems furthest away from what the mainstream of society is doing, or from what people who hold power want us to believe , is the person who in the end proves to have been speaking the truth all along.

The things we need to interpret the world and to communicate what we see in the world are all around us.

Some stones lying around. A camera phone. A measure of imagination and effort.

That’s all it takes. Just about anybody can do it. Folks often have much more ability than they realize.

April 11, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

I Follow Our Laws And I Follow Baseball—Fight back And Take Charge

As I’ve stated before, I carry a copy of our U.S. Constitution with me at all times.

This is in case I am randomly accosted by somebody asserting that Health Care Reform has no basis in the Constitution.

I’ll tell these crazies—“I got you commerce clause right here.

Click this link to see all that Health Care Reform will do for you and the American people.  Do you want to go back the days were you could be kicked off your insurance for getting sick and where there are lifetime caps on policies?

These reforms are just the start of Health Care Reform’s benefits for the American people.

Above you see the Constitution with a baseball I bought at the Houston Astros’ game a few days ago.

It seems that the Astros ripped off the Obama logo to design that ball.

I am all-American. I follow our laws and I follow baseball.

Don’t let right-wing extremists define our laws and our  nation.

Fight back and take charge of our future.

October 6, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Hamburger Wearing An Astros’ Hat Spending Day With Gulf Of Mexico Oil-Free Turtle—Good Friends Help In Difficult Times

Two close friends  of mine are Hamburger Wearing An Astros’ Hat and Gulf Of Mexico Oil-Free Turtle.

These two are hanging out over the holiday weekend.

Hamburger says that the Astros’ season so far this year is a disaster. But Oil-Free Turtle says that the oil spill is an even bigger disaster.

No matter—When good friends get together they are able to leave their problems behind.

May 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

The Black Guy Is Jimmy Wynn

The guy in the yellow shirt— the black guy—is Jimmy Wynn. Mr. Wynn was a very good player in the 60’s and 70’s for the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

I don’t know who the white guy is.

I’m at the Astros game this evening. I’m blogging with my iPhone instead of watching the game.

Update—Back home now from the game. I did not know how lousy that picture would turn out.

Below is a 1973 baseball card of Jimmy Wynn. Here is a link to Mr. Wynn’s career statistics. Notice the high number of walks and the decent number of home runs in a time where home runs were often hard to come by.

Jimmy Wynn was a good player.

April 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Houston Astros Only Baseball Team Not To Allow Food Or Drink In Stadium


(Blogger’s Note 3/14/12—This policy has now been changed! You can now bring food and drink into Astros games.)

USA Today reports that the Houston Astros are the only team in Major League Baseball that does not allow fans to bring either food or water into the stadium. You have to buy the overpriced and often yucky stadium food.

( Above–None of these good-for-you apples would be permitted at the Houston Astros game.  Here are many facts about apples. )

This despite the fact that the stadium the Astros play in was built in large part with taxpayer dollars.

( Below– A traditional  Easter meal of Slovakia. Easter ends with the  first pitch at the Astros game. Who has ever heard of Easter nachos? Please click here to learn about Slovakia.

File:Slovak easter food.jpg

From USA Today—

“Most teams don’t publicize it, but at least 21 of 30 major league clubs allow fans to bring some food and drink items to ballparks, according to a review of team websites. Another eight allows fans to bring their own bottled water. One, the Houston Astros, prohibits all outside food and drink.”

Please click here for the full story. The section about food and drink at stadiums is at the bottom.

(Below–Please consume your dried squid before attending the game.)

File:Jrb 20061121 dried squid 001.JPG

The price of food is high at the Astros’ games. Something like $4 for a water. $5 for a hot dog. You get the idea.

The Astros are the only team that can’t even allow you to bring in a bottle of water? They took the taxpayer money to build the stadium.

It would be very fan-friendly if the Astros would make some concession on the issue of concessions in this time of recession.

( Below–Deep fried giant water bugs are eaten in Thailand. You’ll have to finish that snack before your  ticket is taken at an Astros game. Here is information about water bugs.)

File:Giant water bugs on plate.png

May 13, 2009 Posted by | Houston | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Please Forgive A Sports Post, But Brad Ausmus Is Terrible And Yet Never Goes Away

I follow baseball, but rarely post on the subject. I feel we have enough sports in our society already.

But I feel compelled to voice my frustration that Brad Ausmus is again the starting catcher for the Houston Astros.

The Astros’ might reply that they tried to make Mr. Ausmus the back-up this year, but his intended replacement played poorly.

I don’t care. Mr. Ausmus has been a terrible offensive performer for many years now. Nothing he does behind the plate as catcher makes up for how horrible he is as a hitter.

If so motivated, you can click this link to see Mr. Ausmus’ terrible record.

When will we be rid of Brad Ausmus?

Above is a picture of the great catcher Gabby Hartnett. I feature him because this Hall of Fame player is , as I am, from Southern New England. He was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

Mr. Hartnett is somewhat forgotten today. Yet he may have been as good as Yogi Berra or Johnny Bench.

Mr. Hartnett played between 1922 and 1941.

About Hartnett from BaseballLibrary.com

Hartnett was the oldest of 14 children. His father Fred was a semi-pro catcher who had an exceptional throwing arm. Millville, MA, oldtimers still talk about “the Hartnett arm” – Fred’s, four of his sons’, and three of his five daughters’ who barnstormed with a women’s team.

Gabby broke his arm as a child. It didn’t knit properly, and his mother insisted he carry a pail of stones or sand wherever he went, to exercise it. His father held backyard baseball clinics for four sons, all of whom played amateur or semi-pro ball. Chickie, a catcher, once signed a pro contract, but was homesick and returned to Millville before ever playing. Gabby completed eight years of schooling, went to work in the U.S. Rubber shop, and caught for the plant nine and any other team his father could get him on. He spent a year and a half at a junior college, and in 1921 signed with the Eastern League’s Worcester Boosters. He batted .264, and was purchased by Chicago for $2,500. As a shy rookie, his reticent personality led to his ironic nickname.    

June 18, 2008 Posted by | Houston | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Houston Astros Mark World Food Crisis With All You Can Eat Thursdays

The Houston Astros baseball team has introduced all you can eat Thursdays.

On Thursday home games you can pay $35 and, in addition to a seat, get unlimited hot dogs, nachos, peanuts, popcorn, soda and water.

Maybe this is being done in response to concern by the team that the rise in gas prices will hurt attendance this year.

Another option the Astros could consider is allowing fans to bring their own food in the stadium. This would lower the cost of going to a game. Other teams allow outside food.

In any case, this new offer is disgusting.

And meanwhile, much of the world is being impacted by increases in the price of food.

I’m not suggesting we poison the world with stadium food. Or that a person eating a meal of four hot dogs and three trays of nachos is denying a hungry person in Cameroon a meal of hot dogs and nachos.    

But what if the Astros donated $1 from each ticket on All You Can Eat Day to world food relief efforts? 

This would at least acknowledge that some people don’t have access to things like All You Can Eat Thursdays.

Above you see a picture of the world’s longest hot dog. Maybe instead of many hot dogs, All You Can Eat customers could be served a four or five foot long hot dog.   

Below is a picture of Zam Zam Cola. This brand is produced in Canada and is popular in Iran and in parts of the Arab world. I will have a Zam Zam with my five foot hot dog.    

May 14, 2008 Posted by | Houston, Texas | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments