Remembering baseball at its best - April Avison

I was one of many who tuned in to watch the playoff games between the Braves and the Houston Astros over the past couple of weeks. I was torn, you see, because I grew up in Texas, a die-hard Astros fan but have lived in Atlanta long enough to establish an allegiance to the Braves.

My family attended dozens of Astros games in the early 1990s. Those were the days when Craig Biggio was a catcher and Nolan Ryan, Mike Scott, Jim Deshaies, Bob Knepper and Danny Darwin rounded out an awesome pitching staff. I still remember the players: Glenn Davis, Bill Doran, Rafael Ramirez, Ken Caminiti, Kevin Bass, Gerald Young, Billy Hatcher.

Of course, things have changed since those days. There's no longer an Astrodome. Biggio plays in the outfield, and Caminiti is dead. Nolan Ryan is better known by this generation for his television commercials. And who knows what happened to the rest of the team?

My family made weekend treks to the Dome. My sister and I knew every word of the Astros jingle "Let's Raise the Roof," and kept score when we weren't busy trading baseball cards and eating ice cream. I've written about these trips before, and to this day, Astros games are one of my favorite childhood memories. A few years ago I went with my friend Michelle to the last series played at the Astrodome. As a child in the seat behind me kicked my chair and whined throughout the game, I found a new respect for my parents and wondered how they endured those car trips on which my sister and I sang over and over again, "Come on everybody, let's bring the runners home. Let's raise the roof right off the Dome."

So I had quite a dilemma watching the Astros play the Braves. I've lived in Atlanta for five years and haven't paid attention to the Astros in about a decade, so I would consider myself a Braves fan.

But I can't help but get a little nostalgic watching the 'Stros. I remember all the good times eating ice cream, keeping score and cheering for our favorite players.

We raised the roof right off the Dome.

April Avison is the city editor of the Daily Herald. Her column appears on Mondays. She can be reached at (770) 957-9161 or via e-mail at aavison@henryherald.com .