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Old 04-18-2016, 01:20 PM   #1
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Daily Craig: Best Opener Ever

We are through the first home stand of the Astros season and I wanted to spin a yarn about the best Opening Day First Pitch ever. The 1991 season was about to start. A former bat boy for the Astros was a Lance Corporal in the Marine's 2nd Light Armored Recon unit in Iraq. The war was declared to be over in late February, but he was still in the desert. The young guy was a neighbor of mine named Ricky Floyd. Before he left for IRAQ I gave him an old KA-BAR for good luck. That is a knife issued to Marines beginning in 1942. I was told it was no longed issued and I didn't want him to have to buy one. My dad had that knife in the Pacific in 1943 and I had it in the USMC in 1967. 1 knife, 3 wars.

While sitting at my desk at ch. 2 I figured how cool it would be if Ricky could throw out the first pitch of the coming season. I called the Marines at the San Jacinto Recruiting station and told a Major my plan. I later guessed the plan would end with that call. I was wrong. In a good way. Ricky was sitting in the desert cleaning gas masks when a Sgt. told him to pack his gear. It seemed the Marines had another plan for him.

He flew back to Houston to throw out the first pitch. He gave ch. 2 and me a really nice exclusive interview and he saw his family all teared up as they should have been. I remember the Dome rocking when he stepped out in his uniform to throw that pitch. Craig Biggio caught it. Ricky gave me the KA BAR back and it is now framed and hanging in the USMC offices on San Jacinto St. That was my memory of the best first pitch ever. Semper Fi.

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