Baseball is a lifelong game. As some of you know, I grew up an LSU fan. My favorite two days of the year were college baseball opening day and the first home football game of the season. Damn near 40 years later, that story is unchanged: I can’t wait for first pitch. Now, first pitch for me happens on the corner of Cullen and Elgin.
Baseball is a numbers game. Today will be my 21st-straight UH opening day to attend. I’ve seen the Scarlet & White open the season in Austin, in Malibu, California, at Enron Field, Astros Field, Minute Maid Park, at Cougar Field, and now at Schroeder Park. This is the 12th year in a row we’ve opened at home and 14th in a row we’ve opened in the city.
Baseball is a quirky game. Holy Cross won the Patriot League Tournament last year despite a 24-29 record. It was their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 40 years. The Crusaders were sent 3,000 miles across the continent to Corvallis, Oregon, to face #1 overall seed Oregon State. Holy Cross actually won a game in the regional, eliminating Nebraska. It was their first win over a Big Ten school in 65 years.
Baseball is a quirky game. Today’s opponent, Holy Cross, will not play a home game until March 18. That day, UH will play their 15th game in the city (and 12th at home). Last year, the Crusaders did not play at home until April 8th.
Baseball is a numbers game. Holy Cross has played baseball since 1876. They have played at their current stadium, Fitton Field, since 1905. Fitton hosted a crowd of more than 22,000 in 1923 to see Holy Cross phenom Owen “Ownie” Carroll throw a five-hitter against Boston College. Carroll posted a remarkable 50-2 college record in just 54 career appearances. Some baseball historians consider him the greatest college pitcher ever.
Baseball is a lifelong game. Ownie pitched his last game at Holy Cross on June 13, 1925. A week later, he made his MLB debut his Detroit Tigers visited Fenway Park, just 43 miles away from Fitton Field. After 9 years in the Bigs and coaching for 25 years at Seton Hall, Carroll died in 1975. It was the weekend of his 50th Holy Cross reunion.
Baseball is a game of poetry.
GoCoogs.com Baseball Preview:
Monday: Baseball Sees Big Changes Ahead of 2018 Season
Tuesday: A Look Back At The 2017 Baseball Season
Wednesday: Analyzing The 2018 Baseball Schedule
Thursday: Previewing The 2018 Cougar Baseball Team
Friday: It’s Opening Day! Houston vs. Holy Cross