Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'Texas Flyway Forum' started by AvianQuest, Oct 5, 2017.
June 30, 2014 Edition...
At Friday's Astros playoff game with the Boston RedSox there was a stirring rendition of the National Anthem by Clay Walker while a huge American Flag and smaller Texas Flag was displayed on the field.
Then George Springer ran on the field waving the Texas flag.
But a Boston Herald sports reporter thought the Astros were honoring Puerto Rico by mistaking the two Texas flags for the Puerto Rico flag.
"The Astros' pregame ceremonies included a large Puerto Rican flag draped over the field next to a bigger American flag to honor the United States territory that was devastated recently by a hurricane. George Springer brought the Puerto Rican flag out with him when he was introduced and waved it back and forth to big applause."
What the Puerto Rico flag looks like...
The kid at the Astros Game...
Carson Riley made the TV news by trying to catch Carlos Correa's home run ball as Arron Judge tried to reach over the fence to catch it. Yankee's manager, Joe Girardi, called for a review for fan interference, but the ball was ruled a home run.
End of the story?
Not even close.
"When Amanda Riley arrived at Minute Maid Park for Game 1 of the Astros-Yankees American League Championship Series, she couldn't contain her tears.
"We walk in, and all I'm seeing are families and dads holding their sons up," Riley said. "The whole time all I could think about was that we're there as a family, too, but we're missing one."
Four weeks earlier, 15-year-old Cade Riley - Amanda and Mike Riley's oldest son - died in an all-terrain vehicle accident on a trail near the family's home in Liberty Hill.
Since then, Amanda, Mike and their son Carson had trouble finding the motivation to leave the house as a family.
Mike knew it was time, and he made a decision that put his family directly in the path of a crucial Carlos Correa home run and made their youngest son the center of media attention and the object of Astros players' affection.
When Carson and his dad were watching Game 5 of the Indians-Yankees series last week, Mike realized if the Yankees advanced, that meant the first two games of the ALCS would be in Houston on Friday and Saturday and that would give the still-grieving family an excuse for a short vacation to Houston to watch some baseball.
"It was the first time me or Carson ever rooted for the Yankees, I can promise you that," Mike said.
When the Yankees won, Mike and Carson celebrated. Amanda wasn't so sure.
"It was going to be almost exactly a month since Cade's passing, but they were really wanting to go and I was not," Amanda said. "I felt like I would want to be at home because it was hard to get out of the house and Cade not be with us."
After a family discussion, Mike was able to get tickets near the third-base line for Friday's Game 1, and tickets on the front row in right field for Game 2.
Amanda was overcome with emotion when she walked into the stadium Friday, but once she settled in, it seemed everywhere she looked, there was a sign.
When the Yankees were up to bat, directly in front of the Rileys' seats stood third-base coach Joe Espada, who wears No. 53 on the back of his jersey. That's the same number Cade wore for the Liberty Hill High School football team. Then, when the Astros needed five big outs, the Astros turned to closer Ken Giles, who after making the final batter whiff, banged his fist against his chest three times, then turned his back to the third-base side of the stadium to reveal his jersey number - 53.
Back at the hotel that night, the family casually talked about the eeriness of No. 53 playing a prominent role in their first outing together since losing Cade, but they were stunned with what they saw when they arrived at the ballpark a day later.
When they approached their spot in the front row, there were two young boys who appeared to be brothers standing near the Rileys' seats. They both had baseball hats with their names stitched on the side. Cade. Carson. It was a take-your-breath-away moment. It stopped the family in their tracks enough that Amanda pulled out her camera and snapped a picture.
"I just started crying," Amanda said. "What are the odds? Two boys standing right where we're supposed to be sitting. Side-by-side. Cade and Carson. Cade was the reason we were there. We were trying to get away. It was a good feeling, but it made me miss Cade a lot."
In several trips to Houston to catch Astros games and even more frequent trips to watch the Round Rock Express closer to home, Carson had never caught a ball. Before Saturday's game, it felt like players on the field were drawn to him. His throwback Astros rainbow jersey caught the eye of several players, and the Astros' Jose Altuve and Lance McCullers and the Yankees' Chase Headley all tossed Carson a ball during batting practice.
Then, before the bottom of the fourth inning, Yankees rightfielder Aaron Judge threw a ball to Carson after the outfielders were done warming up.
Minutes later, Carson and Judge came face-to-face again.
When Correa ripped a line drive to right, Carson rose to his feet and stuck out his glove as Judge raced toward him. The ball glanced off Carson's glove and rolled into Amanda's lap and landed at Mike's feet.
Judge looked up at Carson and nodded at him as if to assure him that he did nothing wrong, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi asked for the play to be reviewed to see if Carson had reached over the wall and interfered with the play. After review, the ruling on the field stood - home run and a 1-0 Astros lead. All that was left was a crush of media reporters rushing to the front row of Section 152 to interview the ballpark's newest celebrity.
Another sign, Amanda insists.
"Just the way the ball physically touched each one of us," Amanda said. "It hit Carson's glove, rolled around in my lap, and then hit Mike's feet. And, the fact that it was Aaron Judge. Cade and Carson both loved baseball, and they were competitive with each other. They both had their players, and they would argue over whose player was better. Cade really liked Aaron Judge, and that was one of his players he always argued was the best."
Mike is the more stoic parent. He went back to his job as an electrical contractor a week after Cade's death, but now back at his home in Liberty Hill days after the Astros trip, even he can't get over the apparent signs from their lost son the entire weekend.
"I think at first - even up until (Sunday) - I was kind of writing it all off, honestly," Mike said. "But I've watched that play at least 20 times today, and that ball came straight toward Carson. If you drew a string on the path that ball took, I promise you that ball did not move three or four feet from the path where Carson was standing. That ball went straight to him. We've hung on to our faith through all of this, and we think that God has a much bigger plan for Cade even after death. As hard as this is to say or even explain - and I wish I had a scientific answer for you or something better - but we just feel like this is still part of God's plan."
Besides the profound feeling that Cade somehow had something to do with their wild weekend, they also laughed the whole way home. While Carson was shy when approached by a throng of reporters shortly after he grabbed Correa's home run ball, they couldn't help but chuckle when thinking about how Cade would have handled the situation.
"You know how Carson kind of got quiet when you all were asking him questions right after the home run?," Mike said. "If that had happened to Cade, you wouldn't have had enough cameras. There wouldn't have been enough reporters for him to talk to."
More than 1,200 people attended Cade's funeral in Liberty Hill last month, and the central Texas town has adopted the entire Riley family. Carson, who plays second base on a competitive select travel team, has been embraced by the high school baseball team with players telling the family they'll be his older brothers now.
Carson also has some fans back in Houston.
After Saturday's win, Correa told the New York Times that Carson is his "favorite fan" and that he'd like to give him a bat or something.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch echoed the sentiment in the postgame press conference: "I love that kid. I want to leave that kid tickets."
The Rileys hadn't heard those comments until they got home, but they feel like they left Houston with everything they needed.
"All the signs showed us we were right where Cade wanted us to be," Amanda said. "The whole experience from the No. 53 on Friday night to the two kids near our seats to the players throwing balls to Carson, to the home run, it felt like Cade was telling us, 'I'm good. Focus on Carson and have a good time.'"
Prayers for this family. A very moving read. Thanks for sharing
Long, Twisting Road from Homeless to the Ring
Evan Gattis, Janitor…
Evan Gattis, World Series Champion…
Evan Gattis, catcher and designated hitter for the World Champion Houston Astros, was born in Forney, Texas and began playing baseball at age six. Gattis played for the Dallas Tigers, a premier amateur team along with Clayton Kershaw, Corey Kluber and Yovani Gallardo.
After high school he was projected to be a MLB draft pick but he opted to go to college passing on a scholarship offer to play first base for Rice University to accept an offer to play catcher at Texas A&M. However anxiety from his parents’ divorce and a growing fear of failing at college baseball lead to alcohol and marijuana addiction and then homelessness. He never showed up at College Station.
Gattis' mother stepped in and took him to two drug rehabilitation facilities.
Gattis found a school that would take a chance on him, Seminole State College, in Oklahoma. He injured his knee at Seminole State, became burned out on baseball, and quit.
Gattis got a job as parking valet in Dallas and then after visiting his sister in Boulder, Colorado he sold his truck and worked in a pizza parlor and as a ski-lift operator.
Depressed, unable to sleep, and contemplating suicide, Gattis entered an inpatient psychiatric ward, where he was diagnosed with clinical depression and an anxiety disorder. He was released into the care of his father.
Moving back to Dallas he worked as a janitor where he met a New Age spiritual advisor and followed her to Taos, New Mexico. There, he lived in a hostel and worked at a ski resort.
Three months later, he moved to California to find more spiritual gurus. Gattis then moved to Wyoming, where he worked at Yellowstone National Park.
Gattis decided to return to baseball in 2010. His step-brother, Drew Kendrick, was a baseball player at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. There the coach remembered Gattis from his high school career, and offered him a spot on the team.
From there he was drafted by the Atlanta Braves and played for several of their farm teams. He became the Braves' primary catcher in 2014, but was traded to the Astros before the 2015 season. Gattis lost approximately 20 pounds during the 2015–16 offseason by focusing on his nutrition and working with a personal trainer.
The rest is history.
Side note to AQ's post. I bet the Boston reporter was actually thinking that was the Chile flag.
No, he clearly said it was the Puerto Rico flag. It was after Puerto Rico had been devastated by a major hurricane. Astro Carlos Beltran has charity that has been providing help for Puerto Rico for a long time and after the hurricane he wrote a personal check for a million bucks.