Wednesday afternoon, Houston Astros fans had to go through something that has become all too familiar. Each season, at the trading deadline, fans frantically check the internet and television for news of their favorite player being traded away for minor league prospects that they know nothing about. Yesterday, it was fan favorite Bud Norris‘ turn to go.
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Norris was called up to Houston in July of 2009. During Norris’ tenure in Houston, he represented what a Houston Astros player should be. He was a hard worker, an intense competitor and very friendly to fans. Despite playing on some awful teams, Bud had some memorable moments in Houston. Here are four of my favorite Bud Norris moments:
- August 2, 2009:In Norris’ first MLB start, he faced the St. Louis Cardinals and would start a trend versus them that would cause Cards’ fans to curse Bud’s name for his entire Astros’ career. Norris took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and ended up throwing seven shutout innings to record the first win of his career.
- June 8, 2011: Bud took another no-hitter into the seventh inning versus the Cardinals before former Astro Lance Berkman ruined it with a solo homerun. Norris would allow just the one hit in eight innings, and ended up getting a 4-1 win.
- The 2011 season: During the midst of what would end up being the worst Astros season in franchise history (to that point), Bud Norris helped to lighten up the broadcasts on his off days. During the games, Greg Lucas would ask Bill Brown and Jim Deshaies a trivia question and when they would get the question right, Lucas would ring a little bell. Bud Norris spent his time in the dugout coming up with ways to steal the bell and mess with Greg Lucas. Since I never really cared much for Lucas, I always appreciated it.
- March 29, 2013: Bud Norris would get his first Opening Day start, and it would take place on national TV against the Texas Rangers. In what was arguably the highest pressure game of his career, Norris kept the Rangers grounded for 5.2 innings. He allowed just two runs on five hits while striking out five.
Bud Norris will be taking the next big step of his career on Thursday when he makes his Orioles debut against the Astros. I’m sure Houston fans will have mixed emotions about seeing Norris in the Baltimore black and orange, but this Astros fan will be pulling for the O’s the rest of this season. I hope to watch Bud celebrate a World Series title, much like Brad Lidge, Lance Berkman and Hunter Pence have done since leaving. But if he can’t get a ring in 2013, then screw it because this is the last time I’m cheering for a former Astro!