Tuesday, November 6, 2018

It Was Ten Years Ago Today...

I'm going to guess that it was cold in Upstate New York on November 6, 2008. Summer Upstate is gorgeous - it's the other 49 weeks of the year that really wear on you. I was probably more than a little homesick. After all, Hurricane Ike had just gone through the Houston area and screwed up my hometown as well as the 2008 Astros, and it was evident that the Window for that era of Astros' hopes was slamming shut. We were 1700 miles away from our families, and facing another winter.

I've always wanted to write. It's the best way for me to express myself. It's certainly a way to exorcise some demons. I met a guy who had a blog about the Yankees which gave me an idea to start one about the Astros. It took me about five minutes to come up with the name (it's not "Astros Country" - it's a self-deprecating joke about the size of the Astros' fan base) and the hardest part for me was to figure out a consistent way to write out stats.

When I told my wife about this idea she said, "Look, you can either do this or play video games, but not both." And I got rid of my PlayStation - I don't even remember what version of PlayStation. I think it was a solid call.

This post will be the 12,183rd published post on Astros County. That's insane. Thanks to Astros County, and thanks to you dear readers, I've had some amazing experiences: I've met a number of people - both in-person and online - that I now count as dear friends, all because we like a sports team. And not necessarily the Astros, a number of people I count as friends aren't even Astros fans...we just like baseball, and jokes, and trying not to be so serious about absolutely everything. I got a chance to sit in the Diamond Club. I get paid to write - occasionally - about the Astros for The Athletic (though I'm going through a period of crippling fear and self-doubt when it comes to The Athletic). I've had a chance to be on the radio to talk about the Astros. Tyler White bought me pizza. All of this is crazy to me, but it's also a hell of a lot of fun.

A lot of y'all have been reading as my wife and I moved from New York to Tennessee, endured some of the most horrific pregnancy complications, had a daughter (All-Star Break 2012), moved back to Texas, switched careers, won a World Series. Most every morning is an opportunity to escape a little bit. A lot of you were here when it was more fun to look at Corpus' box scores than Houston's. And I thank you for being there for however many steps along the way.

When I switched careers a little over four years ago it limited my ability to post on this cursed website multiple times a day. I did stop class when the Astros traded for Evan Gattis. Now it's generally a once-a-day thing, and no one really complained, and that's really cool. But of course Astros County is not a solo effort. The following is a list of people who have contributed to the absurd number of posts, and I'll use their profile name (not their real name, unless they used their real name as their profile name, in which case: hahahaha):

*Noralys Pagan
*Flick Nickem (who has bailed me out over the last few months taking over three posts a week)
*The County Mountie
*Jeff Blogwell
*The Masked Marvel
*The Bartender
*Deputy Jason
*UK Astros Fans
*The Batguy
*Brian Arbour
*(Not Hank) Aaron
*John Royal
*A Girl in the South

Earlier this year Astros County almost completely transformed which may have resulted in shutting it down. The details of what almost happened aren't important but I leaned on a number of the above list for advice. I count everyone here as a friend, and I can't thank you enough for reading Astros County for the last ten years.

Here's to ten more. Or not.