Tom "Texas" Oldham (Photo/Seattle Mariners)
InsidethePark.com has asked me, Tom Oldham, to write up a bi-monthly journal consisting of my experiences throughout the year, but also answering questions from you, the readers. While sharing personal experiences, I want to also be able to answer whatever questions you may have. To make this possible, InsidethePark’s Joe Kaiser and Jason A. Churchill have set me up with an email address for you to send your questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
With Spring Training ending a couple weeks ago, everyone was sent on their way to their respective teams the next morning. Early. We departed our home away from home (Hampton Inn) at around five on Monday morning, but everyone was excited to get going.
With a two hour non-stop flight we were in San Antonio before we knew it. There we met up with Rafee, our team bus driver, who took us to the apartments we’d be at for the next five months (in theory). Once getting there, we figured it would take forever to get situated into our places, but the opposite was true. We had lunch waiting for us along with all our paper work and a Time Warner representative ready to hook us up with TV and internet.
So after we signed on the dotted lines, Jon Huber (my roommate) and I, went to set up our place. Thank God for Super Wal-Marts. Three shopping carts later we finally put food in the fridge and sheets on our bed. By the way, Huber really recommends the Bed-in-a-Bag. Anyway, with all that behind us, we could now just get ready for the season.
We still had two days before Opening Night for practicing and getting settled. After those flew by we finally opened up against the Corpus Christi Hooks. We trailed until the bottom of the ninth when Nelson came up hit a ball that landed a couple days later. Who knew late inning heroics would be needed the next night to get us off to a 2-0 start. Well it was my time in the rotation the next night and we ended up winning 4-0, but without the dramatic ending as the previous nights.
So, with the first outing under my belt I could start preparing for my next start. Little did I know that running the next day would feel like I was breathing under water. Humidity in April? Yes, humidity in April. We ended up sweeping the Hooks in the final game and then it was on to Midland.
Rafee met us at our apartments for the first road trip of the year to Midland, Texas. We stopped at our hotel, which is strategically placed in the middle of nowhere, to find nothing but wild grass, puddle water and a Seven Eleven. Alert the commercial guys: “Thank Heaven for Seven Eleven.”
The first few games have not gone our way against Oakland A’s Double-A affiliate, the Midland RockHounds, as we’ve dropped all three. (San Antonio went on to lose the next two, only to return home and win the two after that)
In my next journal I’ll cover these next games along with whatever questions you send my way. So think of some and email them to email@example.com. And thank you for supporting us throughout the season!