Thursday, September 3, 2009

Hey, That Guy's an Astros Fan! Volume 2

Click the link for Volume 1 of "Hey, That Guy's An Astros Fan!" with SportsCenter anchor Robert Flores.

Today we bring you an off-day treat while we wait for someone to get canned for this season - a second volume of "Hey, That Guy's an Astros Fan!" That Guy in question is Brad Horn, Senior Director of Communications and Education at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. They're not all Yankees/Mets/Red Sox fans up there.

Brad, prior to his position at the Hall of Fame, spent six years with the Texas Rangers, including the 1999-2000 seasons as assistant director of public relations. A native of Houston and a TCU graduate, Brad Horn - most importantly - is an Astros fan.

AC: What's your favorite Astros memory as a fan?

BH: Billy Hatcher's home run in the 14th inning of Game Six of the 1986 NLCS to tie the game at 4-4. I remember coming home from school to catch the game, starting in about the 7th inning. I thought for sure we were going to win it at that point, and with Mike Scott set to go in Game 7, I was ready for the World Series. Jesse Orosco had other ideas.

AC: Tell us your coolest Hall-of-Fame-related Astro story.

BH: Meeting Shaun Dean in 2005. Fan who caught two home run baseballs in the Astros' 18th inning playoff game, including Chris Burke's game-winner. Then, he is gracious enough to donate them to the Hall of Fame. Meeting him in Houston and then being able to share his excitement when he came to Cooperstown later that off-season.

AC: What's the best aspect of working at the HOF?

BH: The people and the stories. Baseball captures us and ignites the emotions unlike anything else in our society. To see people of all walks of life beam at experiencing part of baseball history, or being a part of the game, from Hall of Famers to major leaguers to regular fans, makes all of the efforts worthwhile.

AC: Which Astro would bring the biggest crowd for an Induction - Biggio or Bagwell?

BH: That's like asking a parent which is his favorite child. You can't separate Biggio and Bagwell. They go together like Hall and Oates, Captain and Tenille, Mexican food and Margaritas. Let's just hope that the voters feel as passionately about their Hall of Fame chances as Astros fans do.

AC: Who is the nicest Hall of Famer you have encountered?

BH: We are fortunate to have so many "good" people who are involved with the Hall of Fame and are who Hall of Famers. I have many, many favorites among our 65 living Hall of Famers, but they don't come any nicer than Harmon Killebrew, Ozzie Smith, Hank Aaron, Monte Irvin, Bruce Sutter, Goose Gossage. The list goes on and on.

AC: Who is your favorite all-time Astro?

BH: Alan Ashby. In a landslide. I don't personally collect any baseball memories or autographs, but I have one prized possession, and it is in my office in the Hall of Fame. An Alan Ashby bat lamp, circa 1983, made from a Alan Ashby Big Stick personal model bat barrel, with an orange plastic "lamp shade" shaped like an Astros helmet. I turn it on the mornings after an Astros win in my office, it stays dark after an Astros loss.

Captip to Brad for answering some questions about his citizenship in Astros County, and I bet Brad is working in the dark a lot lately...

Know someone who's an Astros fan for Volume Three? Email