Good morning all, I hope this finds you all well today, especially with end of summer here. It’s been a while since my last entry, and I had hope it would be something different after the one in June regarding the Houston Astros. However, last Friday night’s game forced a change in plan. Last Friday night, I covered the Houston Astros’ series-opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The game already had personal significance for me, as I grew up a fan of the Dodgers, which is weird considering I’ve lived my whole life in Houston. So seeing my favorite team as a youth was exciting, aside from the obvious matter at hand, as both teams led their respective divisions.
The game started out rather slow, but the Astros took an early 2-0 lead after two innings, eventually stretching it to 3-0 after six innings. As the game went on, a discernible buzz grew around the stadium as Astros starting pitcher Mike Fiers hadn’t allowed a hit. Seventh inning comes and goes, still no hits for the Dodgers. When Fiers retired the side in the top of the eighth inning, the roar in Minute Maid Park had grown to a fever pitch, and the crescendo built even louder as the Astros took the field in the top of the 9th (still leading 3-0) and Fiers, whom had never pitched as long or as heavily in his career, retook the mound. And his task to attain the no-hitter was not an easy one, as he faced the top of the Dodgers’ order in Jimmy Rollins, newly-acquired Chase Utley and Justin Turner. Still bringing the heat after 130+ pitches, Fiers’ forced two consecutive fly-outs on Rollins and Utley, setting the stage for, well, history. And it was a moment I’ll never forget, with all the fans cheering and screaming, as Fiers at 9:43p, on his 134th pitch of the game, reached back and rifled a pitch past Turner for strike three, his 10th strikeout of the night, winning the game and securing the no-hitter. Needless to say, it was near pandemonium on the field and in the stands, and understandably so. It’s not every day there’s a no-hitter in Major League Baseball, so to be at one involving your two favorite teams (past and present) and to capture the moment is a humbling yet exciting experience.
The experience became crystallized for me yesterday when I learned that one of my images from the game (mainly the celebration) was printed in this upcoming week’s issue of Sports Illustrated, making it now seven times I’ve been published in S.I. since October 2012, and it’s my first “double-truck” shot of any kind. (In photo-parlay, a double-truck is a shot that extends over two pages of a publication.) And understandably, I am beyond overjoyed to attain an accomplishment like that, especially regarding such a momentous event.
With an uncertain professional future ahead of me, I am starting to cherish the grander and sweeter moments I now experience, moments that make the accomplishments stand out more. And what I’ve achieved is a testament to hard work, passion, respect, determination and dedication. With those things, you’re not guaranteed victory or success, but without them, you won’t get anywhere worthwhile in life. Put your best foot forward and love what you do, that is a start towards great things, and the occasional no-hitter. Anyways, that’s it for now. Thank you all for the support, the kind words, and the encouragement. Until next time, fare thee well.