Houston Astros: Tales of the Long Distance Astros Fans Attending ALDS
Photo by Matt White
One thing that I have learned in my time on Twitter and writing for CTH is that the Houston Astros have a strong following across the United States and abroad. During the offseason, I will reach out to some Twitter personalities from outside of Texas, but for this post I wanted to focus on a few individuals.
The two people I am featuring today are Matt White from Louisiana and Jennifer Alderman from Chicago.
Matt White @wmwhite05
CTH: Why did you start rooting for the Astros?
White: Growing up in Shreveport, Louisiana I didn’t have a hometown team to root for except for the AA Shreveport Captains. Jeff Bagwell (and eventually) the rest of the Killer Bee’s were what pulled me into being an Astros fan. Playing baseball as a child, I even modeled my batting stance to look like Bagwell’s. As I grew up, my attachment to the team strengthened. Watching Bagwell’s shoulder deteriorate and his career end while I was in college, was not easy to accept.
CTH: What is it like rooting for a team that is so far away?
White: The hardest part of being an Astros fan in Northwest Louisiana has been the departure from Fox Sports Southwest. Suddenlink does not offer Root. MLB has me blacked out from watching games because I am still considered geographically too close.
CTH: How do you keep up with the Astros?
White: The Crawfish Boxes, Climbing Tal’s Hill, and What the Heck Bobby have been the best way for me to keep up with the Astros. I also follow Brian McTaggart, Alyson Footer, Evan Drellich, etc. on Twitter. I can’t thank you guys enough this year for the Periscopes from home games. In July, my dad had bypass surgery, and I had to take more responsibilities for our business. I didn’t get to make a regular season game, and you guys made me feel like I was there rooting for them.
CTH: Was it hard as a long distance fan during the Process period?
White: Being 30 years old, I have basically been spoiled with the Astros always being relevant. In 2006, I started to realize that the organization needed a reset. The Process has honestly made me a better fan. I had no idea how fun it could be to watch players develop through the system. In 2013, we made our yearly trip to a game, and I got a Springer signed ball from the silent auction. I got it with the minimum bid b/c people did not know who he was yet.
CTH: How far did you travel?
White: Including the stops, the trip took us around 5 hours to make it down to MMP. It’s about 250 miles from my house.
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CTH: How did you justify the expense to yourself or your significant other?
White: My wife is pretty awesome putting up with my extreme fandom for certain teams. She knew me not being able to make a regular season game was hard for me, and she let me and my dad make the trip down Sunday. My dad would make the same case for my mom letting him go.
CTH: As a long distance fan, what was the experience like being there last night? (Game 3 of ALDS)
White: I had never been to a playoff game before. Words can’t describe how loud and how passionate the fans were Sunday. I left horse from all the cheering, and it is something I didn’t realize how amazing the experience could be. My dad is 69 years old, and he had never been to a postseason game either. I can tell the experience was just as magical for him as it was for me.
CTH: Who is your favorite Astro?
White: My favorite current player is George Springer. With that being said, how can you not pull for this entire team? They always give 100%. They’re always smiling and seem to care genuinely for each other. Seeing all that makes it even easier justifying being a fan of these guys.
Next: Jennifer Alderman