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Adam's Blog: Dome Grown Memories

Updated: Wednesday, November 6 2013, 09:25 PM CST

The majority of my youth was spent in Houston. I moved to the Bayou City in 1983 and my parents still reside there. Prior to going away for college, the only years I spent away from H-town was a stretch starting in 1986 during which I lived in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Yes, THAT Plymouth. Trust me though, that rock is wicked anticlimactic.

Plymouth is where I played my first organized sports. I tried nearly all of 'em: baseball, soccer, and yes - even hockey. No doubt, baseball was my first love. We returned to Houston shortly after I started second grade. During our family's first trip back to the northeast in 2001, we spent a few days in Boston. On a trip through Plymouth, we drove past the park in which I played my first tee-ball seasons. There was a problem, though. We couldn't find the field.

On the grounds that once housed a baseball diamond, backstop, benches, and bleachers now sat a skate park. Concrete everywhere. Those ramps and rails not only buried a baseball field, it covered up some of my oldest and fondest memories of the greatest sport on the planet.

If you've made it this far (bless you), perhaps you're asking yourself why I'm writing about my little league baseball field being turned into a skate park? Because, as the venerable Yogi Berra famously said, "it's deja vu all over again."

Tuesday, Harris County voters shot down a $217 million plan that would have revitalized the Astrodome and turned the once-legendary facility into an event/convention space. The 53 percent-to-47 percent margin means The Dome is destined for demolition. Within months (certainly well before Houston hosts the 2017 Super Bowl), the world's first air-conditioned domed stadium will be torn down.

When the election results were final Tuesday night, my younger brother Ross tweeted the following:

"Sad day for all Houstonians with the Astrodome likely facing demolition. I'll remember it as the place where I fell in love with baseball."

I could not have said it better. To my family and me, the Astrodome is so much more than just the Eighth Wonder of the World.

My brother and I are six and a half years apart. We never attended the same school at the same time. We never played on the same athletic team. Our baseball memories were formed watching our favorite team play our favorite sport from those rainbow seats inside the Astrodome. Ross was born in 1988. We moved back to Houston in 1989. The Dome hosted its last game in 1999. I left for college in 2000. Our glory years overlapped with the final days of the Dome.

Not only did my passion and appreciation for the game evolve summer after summer inside those Astrodome walls, but my love for nachos, pennants and Craig Biggio grew as well.

My parents threw countless birthday parties (I was born in July) for me there. I still remember how excited I was when I caught my first foul ball off the bat of James Mouton. I received an early lesson in manners when my Dad instructed me to say "Mister", "please" and  "thank you" when asking for autographs. To this day, my penmanship isn't great, but it would be much worse had I not learned how to write clearly with a number two pencil while keeping a (correct) scorecard at a young age in the Dome.

I will never forget waiting in line for hours on Beanie Baby ("Derby" the horse) giveaway day or Run the Bases day. I used to think it was so dang cool to skin my elbow or knee sliding around on the rough AstroTurf while I was supposed to be paying attention during Kodak photo days or pregame Astros Buddies clinics. The Loge, Killer B's, Orbit, and General Admission's cannon might be foreign jargon to many, but they are terms ingrained in my mind from years spent attending games in the Astrodome.

Sure, I caught a few Oilers games at the Dome and saw some great concerts at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (Clay Walker was probably the best), but my lasting memories of the Eighth Wonder of the World will be for what it was originally constructed: baseball.

I still get nostalgic when networks show an aerial shot of Reliant Stadium during a Texans broadcast and the Dome, although dilapidated and empty, is visible next door. However, within months, the only pictures we'll have of the Astrodome are in albums and our memory banks. 

On that day demolition occurs and the iconic structure crumbles, I'll pray that my incredible memories will last longer than the Astrodome itself. But that's only after I pray they don't build a skate park on the vacant land.

by Adam WinklerAdam's Blog: Dome Grown Memories


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Scores & Schedules

October 22, 2014 07:13 GMT

Latest scores, upcoming games

WORLD SERIES

Tuesday - Game 1

San Francisco 7, Kansas City 1

Wednesday - Game 2

San Francisco (Peavy 6-4) at Kansas City (Ventura 14-10), 8:07 p.m.

NHL

Tuesday's Games

Nashville 4, Arizona 3, SO

Boston 5, San Jose 3

N.Y. Rangers 4, New Jersey 3, OT

Toronto 5, N.Y. Islanders 2

Montreal 2, Detroit 1, OT

Winnipeg 3, Carolina 1

Chicago 4, Philadelphia 0

Dallas 6, Vancouver 3

Florida 4, Colorado 3, OT

Tampa Bay 2, Calgary 1, OT

Wednesday's Games

Toronto at Ottawa, 7 p.m.

Philadelphia at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m.

Washington at Edmonton, 9:30 p.m.

Buffalo at Anaheim, 10:30 p.m.

NBA PRESEASON

Tuesday's Games

Minnesota 107, Indiana 89

Utah 105, Oklahoma City 91

Miami 90, Houston 85

Portland 93, Denver 75

Phoenix 114, L.A. Lakers 108

Golden State 125, L.A. Clippers 107

Wednesday's Games

Houston at Orlando, 7 p.m.

Brooklyn at Boston, 7:30 p.m.

Washington at New York, 7:30 p.m.

Cleveland at Memphis, 8 p.m.

Minnesota at Milwaukee, 8 p.m.

Atlanta at San Antonio, 8:30 p.m.

Portland vs. L.A. Lakers at Ontario, CA, 10 p.m.

Phoenix at L.A. Clippers, 10:30 p.m.

MLS

Tuesday

No games scheduled

Wednesday

Chivas USA at Real Salt Lake, 9:30 p.m.

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