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Friday, June 30, 2017

The Opening Salvo of the Silver Boot Series - Gameday in Houston, Texas


Otherwise known as the Silver Boot Series, the Lone Star Series is a intrastate rivalry between Texas' two Major League Baseball teams, the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros. Basically, the team that has the better record of the seasons games against each other gets a silver boot trophy. Makes the division rivalry a little more interesting to the fans.

Tonight is the first game of the season between these two teams and we've got tickets.



Our hotel, the Homewood Suites in downtown, is almost the closest hotel to the stadium. There is a Four Seasons (that is probably four times the price) between our hotel and Minute Maid Park. It's a wonderful hotel and a two minute walk down the block from the stadium.
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Formerly named Enron Park, the stadium picked up a new sponsor after that company sank in scandal, the stadium is expanded out from the beautifully restored train depot, Union Station. The former transportation hub makes for a grand entrance into the facility. It's also the closest entrance to our hotel, so we enter there.



This puts us in left field so we wind our way around center field, take a little elevator ride, and then end up at our club level seats near the right field foul pole. They are fine seats, very comfortable on a private-feeling deck above the rest of the seats here. The searing sun is upon them, however, so we go indoors to the club level food court directly behind us. It's the end of the day so it will only be 5 or 10 minutes before our seats are in the shade again.



We take this opportunity to see what kinds of foods we have available to us so when I go on a food run later, everyone will know what's available. When we do get food, the foot long hot dogs, carne asada tacos, and popcorn really hit the spot.



A selection of Texas craft brews also keep us hydrated.

Earlier in the day, we'd visited the team's gift shop in the lobby of the old station to prepare for tonight's game. If our team isn't playing, we usually root for the home team. Knowing that before they were the Astros the team was known as the Colt .45's, I was able to get a retro Colt 45's shirt for the game.  A lot of old-timers at the game got it and were appreciative. Suddenly, I'd had a cadre of friends that I could chat baseball with.



The game gets underway and as a Pyrrhic revenge, the Rangers just don't have it tonight. The bats are quiet, Houston's pitchers have their way with them, and the Rangers make a few errors before going down 6 - 2.

I say Pyrrhic because, although it's fun to see the team that defeated ours a week earlier go down in flames, Houston is still the team in first place that the Angels are chasing.



It still is a very fun game in a very good stadium, now our favorite covered stadium.  As the fireworks shoot above the locomotive traveling across the top of the left field wall, celebrating another Astros win, we take a pleasant stroll back to the hotel and call it a night.

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Darryl Musick
Copyright 2017 - All  Rights Reserved

Photos by Letty Musick
Copyright 2017 - All  Rights Reserved

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