Photo Op #4: Take Me Out to the Ball Game

“You don’t realize how easy this game is until you get up in that broadcasting booth.” — Mickey Mantle

A view from above.

A view from above.

Date:   May 4, 2013

Place:  Television Broadcast Booth, Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas.

Occasion:  A visit with longtime Houston Astros TV play-by-play announcer, Bill Brown, on the occasion of the 38th anniversary of Houston Astro Bob Watson scoring Major League Baseball’s 1 millionth run, May 4, 1975.

Explanation:  If you need one, you haven’t been following this blog.   Bill Brown’s memoir, My Baseball Journey, has a chapter on the one millionth run and mentions my roll in its promotion.   Of course, the Astros were playing in the Astrodome in that era, and the millionth run wasn’t even scored there.  They were on the road at the old Candlestick  Park in San Fransisco.   But this is about as close as I will ever come.   Special thanks to Tim Gregg for his role as co-author of the book, and for arranging my visit with Bill.  

Me with Bill Brown.  I'm the funny looking one in the red shirt.

Me with Bill Brown just before game time. I’m the funny looking one in the red shirt.

Enough of this self-serving fluff.  Now on to different self-serving fluff.


  1. That’s awesome! Someday I want to have people get in touch with me for something cool I did in college… looks like I’m running out of time to make my mark 🙂

  2. As an ex-baseball fan I guess I can relate. But I do like the style of your blog.
    There is really something to this spam poetry thing. Baseball is poetry too of course. Whatever happened to Phillipe Alloo-or however his name is spelled. Baseball names is a rich subject to be explored.

  3. You look really happy

  4. I admit I needed the explanation as I missed the post with the historical detour. And I have seen your new cover photo on Facebook, not realizing its relevance. I repent … and now I go liking some random stuff on your blog and FB 🙂
    No, seriously – congrats! I would also like to be remembered for something like that 🙂

    • Wow, I’m surprised you had not read the historical background before, as you seem to have some sort of quantum time-travel loop that allows you to read and like my posts before I publish them. 😀 I’m guessing that baseball, to you, probably looks like a sport that is played on Mars.

      • I am still pondering about geeky aspects of baseball. Probably you can elaborate on that in a future post? But I expect something non-obvious, thus not your typical calculating the trajectories of objects thrown into the air.

      • There are tons of geeky baseball aspects…the physics of it is just one. It is the most statistically saturated and analyzed sport on the planet–this one, not Mars. Nothing else comes close.

      • I should add, the physiology and cognitive psychology of the game has also been studied to death.

    • You will be remembered as the bard of spam poetry! 😉

      • Now as you mention psychology … I recall companies doing serious “network analysis” (who usually scrutize the networks of scientists citing each other, router on the internet, food chains…) analyzing sports… and depicting the interactions between players on the field.

      • It’s more hard science than that actually. There have been many studies on the cognitive and physiological reactions needed to, among other things hit a baseball moving at 90-95 MPH (~150KMPH) with only about 0.4 seconds to react to it out of the pitcher’s hand. Another one sometimes studied is catching a fly ball, particularly long line drives into the outfield, or high infield popups in heavy wind or looking into the sun. Don’t get me started. I may have to start a second blog just on this. I wouldn’t be the first. Too bad I have a day job.

  5. ….not to mention the cognitive/physiological acrobatics used to give the play-by-play. Baseball’s tough — I bet hockey’s even tougher.

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