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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

March 01, 2015 08:07 GMT

Latest scores; Upcoming games

NBA

Saturday's Game

Washington 99, Detroit 95

Atlanta 93, Miami 91

New York 103, Toronto 98

Memphis 101, Minnesota 97

Brooklyn 104, Dallas 94

San Antonio 101, Phoenix 74

Utah 82, Milwaukee 75

Sunday's Games

L.A. Clippers at Chicago, 1 p.m.

Cleveland at Houston, 3:30 p.m.

Charlotte at Orlando, 6 p.m.

Golden State at Boston, 6 p.m.

Philadelphia at Indiana, 6 p.m.

Portland at Sacramento, 6 p.m.

Oklahoma City at L.A. Lakers, 6:30 p.m.

New Orleans at Denver, 8 p.m.

NHL

Saturday's Games

Florida 5, Buffalo 3

Detroit 4, Nashville 3

Carolina 5, N.Y. Islanders 3

New Jersey 2, Columbus 0

Boston 4, Arizona 1

Montreal 4, Toronto 0

Philadelphia 4, N.Y. Rangers 2

Minnesota 3, Colorado 1

St. Louis 2, Edmonton 1

Ottawa 4, San Jose 2

Sunday's Games

Los Angeles at Winnipeg, 4 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Florida, 5 p.m.

Columbus at Pittsburgh, 5 p.m.

Toronto at Washington, 7 p.m.

Anaheim at Dallas, 8 p.m.

St. Louis at Vancouver, 10 p.m.

TOP-25 MEN'S BASKETBALL

Saturday's Games

( 1) Kentucky 84, (18) Arkansas 67

( 2) Virginia 69, Virginia Tech 57

BYU 73 ( 3) Gonzaga 70

( 4) Duke 73, Syracuse 54

( 6) Villanova 78m Xavier 66

( 7) Arizona 63, (13) Utah 57

( 8) Kansas 69, Texas 64

(11) Wichita State 74, (10) Northern Iowa 60

Kansas State 70, (12) Iowa State 69

(14) Maryland 66, Michigan 56

(15) North Carolina 73, Miami 64

(16) Oklahoma 67, TCU 60

(17) Louisville 81, Florida State 59

(19) Baylor 78, (20) West Virginia 66

Dayton 59, (22) VCU 55

(23) Butler 67, DePaul 53

Boise State 56, (24) San Diego State 46

Sunday's Games

( 5) Wisconsin vs. Michigan State, 4 p.m.

(21) SMU at UConn, 2 p.m.

(25) Providence vs. Marquette, 3:30 p.m.

TOP-25 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

Saturday's Games

( 1) UConn 87, Memphis 24

Iowa State 76, ( 3) Baylor 71

( 7) Oregon State 73, California 55

(14) Princeton 79, Brown 67

(18) Chattanooga 64, ETSU 42

(21) Florida Gulf Coast 78 Jacksonville 47

Sunday's Games

( 2) South Carolina at (13) Kentucky, 5 p.m.

( 4) Notre Dame at N.C. State, 2 p.m.

( 5) Maryland at (25) Northwestern, 1 p.m.

( 6) Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt, 5 p.m.

( 8) Louisville at Virginia, 1 p.m.

( 9) Florida State at Miami, 3 p.m.

(10) Arizona State vs. Colorado, 4 p.m.

(11) Mississippi State vs. Mississippi, 2 p.m.

(12) Texas A&M at LSU, 2 p.m.

(15) North Carolina at (16) Duke, 3 p.m.

(17) Iowa vs. Minnesota, 3 p.m.

(19) Stanford at Oregon, 4 p.m.

(20) Rutgers vs. Indiana, Noon

(22) George Washington vs. George Mason, 2 p.m.

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