While spending the off day in Denver on Tuesday I happened to check out the new Colorado History Museum. Only open for about a month the building houses displays and artifacts from the history of the whole state. I didn't stay nearly as long as I could have to take advantage of the videos and interactive aspects of the facility. (Well, I did try the simulated Nordic ski jump with apparently poor form since the video had me practically duplicating the famed "agony of defeat" from the old Wild World of Sports TV shows.)
It wasn't long while walking through that I thought a Texas History Museum could be the answer to finding a main tenant for the Astrodome in a new life. With the size of the building and its own history part of the story is already in place. With a solid effort the old girl could be turned into not just an historical edifice itself but the primary home for the grandest Texas History Museum in the whole state.
No matter what now exists elsewhere an Astrodome based major scale museum could be a real showplace and another reason for people from all over the state to make trips into the city. There would be room for anything one desired from a wing for the history of Texas Sportsto the biggest news eventsto Mexican and settlers history far deeper than just the battles of the Alamo and San Jacinto.
In the Denver museum everything from the history of mining (with a simulated silver mine) to a reproduction of the housing constructed for those of Japanese ancestry who were placed in camps during World War II are represented.
The Museum pulls no punches. A video display offers quotes from the leader of Mexico of which much of Colorado was included that outlines the problems the region had keeping illegal immigrants (Americans) out . Another display tells the story of a brutal U.S. military slaughter of innocent Native Americans.
Just touring this museum by students and older folks alike is one of the best ways to learn Colorado history in a memorable way.
Just think of the story Texas could tell. We already have a great place for it to be told too. All it needs is organization and some big monetary support.
Now to Something Completely Different, but Back on Track
Since this is essentially a sports column some thoughts about two developments of late bear mentioning. The fact that the Texas Longhorns won't be in the NCAA Baseball regionals is noteworthy since they almost always have been and the fact that the Baylor Bears are playing with a good shot at the College World Series is another.
Before the season began Texas was one of the favorites to win the Big 12 as usual. Baylor was picked fifth. But once they started playing games the Bears won their first 18 conference games and at one point were ranked 1 in the whole country.
They could not keep that pace up, but still finished 20-4 in the league. They just could not beat Oklahoma. The Sooners ended Baylor's unbeaten league season by sweeping them. Then when both teams battled in the conference tournament beat them two more times.
As for Texas they did not finish well and were bounced out in the first two games of the conference meet. That was the killer to the Longhorns getting a bid. In nearly every other year Texas didn't need to have much success in the Big 12 Tournament to get a bid. This year they didand they didn't get it done.
Give the Golden Yo-Yo to Jordan Lyles
By being sent back down to Oklahoma after his start of Monday Jordan Lyles has already clinched the not so coveted Houston Astro "Golden Yo-Yo". There actually isn't such a thing, but it has been mythically awarded to Jeff Fulchino and Wesley Wright in the past. Both had seasons in which they spent more time going between the minors and majors than sticking around in one spot.
During a major league player's career he can only be optioned to the minor leagues during three seasons. But there is no limit how many times in one of those seasons he can be moved either way. Because of the nature of the sport it almost always involves pitchers. Lyles is the unlucky traveler this time. And it is not over. He will surely be back again and then
One Final Thing
As the Wizard said when Toto pulled back the curtain, "Disregard what you see back there. Pay no attention to that man." The same should apply to baseball games played in Denver at Coor's Field. It is not always the same baseball we see elsewhere.
The Astros helped beat themselves with sloppy play and errors during Monday's
doubleheader, but bloop hits and very long onesboth not seen as much at other places-- had a lot to do with it as well. When the wind is blowing out, it is a pitcher's nightmare. No matter what takes place in the last two games of the series fans should not make anything more out of it as just four more games off the schedule. Baseball will return as it is played most places when the club returns home Friday.