So many times I begin writing my column with a blank page and an equally blank mind.
Today I stare at this page and a million topics want to spread across it like so much spilled coffee. There are so many things I want to say and only so many words left to use before I reach my limit. Without knowing where to start, I’ll just dive right in.
On a personal front there are many, many wonderful things going on. I’m bubbling with pride for my middle son, Luke. He will graduate from Terry High School this year. Although we’re still not sure what this summer and fall will bring for him, we do know he wants to be an auto mechanic. In the meantime, he has been hired by the Sugar Land Skeeters to work on their game day staff. I doubt he knows this, but he’s actually following in my footsteps in this regard. Back in 1996, I had a brief stint as a ticket-taker for the Colorado Rockies. It really is a fun job and a great opportunity for Luke.
Another thing that Luke and I will be doing together this summer is going on a short-term mission trip to Honduras with the rest of the high school seniors at First Colony Church of Christ. We’re really excited about it– not only for the adventure of visiting another country, but also for the opportunity to see and participate in what God is doing there through an organization called Mission Lazarus. We will be doing some construction projects as well as service outreach programs.
If you’ll allow me a moment for a small fundraising pitch, our church is holding a missions dinner and auction at the church on Sunday, April 28. If you’d like to attend or make a donation, you can do so by visiting www.firstcolonychurch.org/missions-dinner-tickets.
Getting back to the Skeeters, next week our annual Skeeters Season Preview edition comes out. Having been working on it off and on for the last few weeks has only fueled my enthusiasm for the team and this upcoming season. We have right here at Constellation Field the reigning champions of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball!
The offseason has been exceptionally busy for the Skeeters. In December, team President and General Manager Jay Miller resigned to take a similar job in Wichita, Kansas. That led to the promotion of Tyler Stamm to the general manager position and the hiring of Chris Hill as the president. Hill was the vice president during the formation of the team through the inaugural season in 2012.
Manager Pete Incaviglia has been busy building on a solid foundation to make a team that should be even better than last year’s championship squad. Highlighting the offseason acquisitions is 11-year Major League veteran James Loney.
Loney, 34, was a first-round draft pick (19th overall) in 2002 out of Elkins High School by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He spent seven of his 11 Major League seasons with the Dodgers, and also appeared with the Boston Red Sox (2012), Tampa Bay Rays (2013-15) and New York Mets (2016).
Returning to the Skeeters from last year are Albert Cordero, Alvaro Rondon, Anthony Giansanti, Mitch Talbot, Dallas Beeler, Matt West, and Konner Wade. Former Skeeters returning include Josh Prince and Roy Merritt. I could go on, but I want to save something for the special section.
The bottom line is this club is loaded with talent. The organization is also loaded with fun events and giveaways that are sure to be huge attractions this year. You’ll just have to read about it next week. Trust me, April 25 can’t get here soon enough!
Another thing that can’t get here soon enough is “Avengers: Endgame.” It opens in theaters on the day after the Skeeters’ opening day, so it’ll have to wait. The fourth Avengers movie (actually fifth because “Captain America: Civil War” was essentially an Avengers movie) is supposed to resolve the cliffhanger from “Avengers: Infinity War” which ended (spoiler alert!) with the deaths of half the Avengers and half of all life in the universe when the mad titan Thanos gathered all the infinity stones and snapped his fingers.
This kind of leads into Compicpalooza on May 10-12 in Houston at the George R. Brown Convention Center. Although celebrity guests are still being announced, we already know that Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones, Solo: A Star Wars Story), Grant Gustin (The Flash), Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones), and “Star Trek: The Next Generation” stars Gates McFadden and Michael Dorn are among many guests already announced.
As of this writing, no Avengers stars or actors from “Star Wars: Episode IX” have been announced, but I suspect that will change soon.
That reminds me, I will have to put off seeing the Avengers a little longer than I like because I will be one of the celebrity spaghetti sauce judges on April 26 at the Exchange Club of Sugar Land’s 32nd Annual Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser. It will be held from 5:30-8 p.m. in the Fluor Corporation cafeteria. The fundraiser supports local nonprofit organizations including Child Advocates of Fort Bend, Fort Bend County Women’s Center, Texana Center for Autistic Children, Fort Bend Seniors Meals on Wheels, Fort Bend Council on Substance Abuse, Crime Stoppers, YMCA, ESCAPE Family Resource Center, Literacy Council of Fort Bend and many others. It also supports Exchange Cooperative Community Service Projects like Santa’s Exchange.
This year there will be nine local law enforcement agencies and firefighter teams competing in the Spaghetti Sauce Cook-off. My fellow judges include Patti Kaminski from Fort Bend Focus and Minerva Perez of Latina Voices and formerly of Channel 13.
Tickets and raffle tickets are available online at www.eventbrite.com/e/exchange-club-of-sugar-land-annual-spaghetti-fundraiser-tickets-58546982601, and from Carlos Perez at 281-923-4900 or any Exchange Club member. Tickets are also available from event sponsor Classic Chevrolet.
As you can see, there is a lot going on in the coming weeks. There is one other big thing happening this week, and, by the time you read this, will have already happened. I have accepted a job as the editor of the Sealy News and April 10 will be my first day there. I will continue to work as a sports stringer for the Fort Bend Star but my full-time employment will be back where I came from. I was with the Sealy News for two years before joining the Star three years ago.
This is not a reflection on my love for this community and the people that I work with. Sealy simply made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. It was one of the most gut-wrenching career decisions of my life. I love it here at the Star and my heart says stay, but the economics dictate a new direction. I don’t know what the future will hold, but the door is wide open for a return to the Star someday if that’s in God’s plan for me. Sealy is a great community and the staff at the Sealy News are fun, wonderful people and I look forward to this new adventure.
In the meantime, I’ll still be around, most likely at Constellation Field covering the Skeeters and living the dream. Y’all feel free to come by and say hi, both to me and that tall kid with the long, red hair taking tickets and checking bags.
This, my friends, brings me to the end of my space on this page and my time at the Star. Hopefully our paths will cross again. Until then, may God bless you always!