Meet the legendary Gene Elston

added 3/24/2006 by James Anderson

For anyone who grew up in and around Houston with the early Houston Colt .45's and the Houston Astros for the first 25 years of the franchise there is one name that was synonymous with the team and that name is Gene Elston. Ballplayers came and went. Owners came and went. Broadcasters came and went. including the likes of Harry Kalas ("And that's and Astros orbit! - Kalas would cry each time one of the hometeam hit a home run), Jerry Trupiano, Dewayne Staats, Bob Prince and of course the legendary - "Now you chunkin' in there!" Loel Passe.

But, Gene was always there as our voice of baseball from the time we were young kids to adulthood and on into parenthood. Gene defined baseball for three generations of fans in the southwest and he did it in a way that made each and everyone of else proud to be Astros fans even though most of our teams during those times were bad to worse because Gene never wavered from his brilliant professionalism and astute analysis of the game during those bad times. Even though we seldom had a lot to cheer about, we became educated fans and grounded in the history of the game during those times and therefore because of his style and his constant stable presentation of the game, Gene made us proud just to be fans of the game itself.

I highly recommend to anyone who has not had the privilege to meet Gene Elston to make some time to meet him. I especially recommend to any Astros fan or any baseball fan to make the time to meet this gentleman of the game. He is not only one of the most highly respected individuals among his peers, he is also one of the kindest and unassuming people you will ever have the privilege to meet. A gentleman indeed.

Gene Elston is making two public appearances within the next week to promote his new book The Wild World of Sports. He is appearing this Saturday, March 25th at the grand opening of a new baseball museum in the Woodlands called "Cranks - Rooters and Fans" located in the Sam's Boat Center in Oak Ridge North in the Woodlands from 12 noon to 1 pm. I have been told that the word "cranks" was a term used for baseball fans back in the 1880's in and around the Boston area during that time in the early history of the sport.

Next Wednesday, Gene will be appearing at the River Oaks Bookstore on March 29th and that location is 3270 Westheimer Rd in Houston from 5pm to 7pm.

Don't think that you are required to purchase anything to talk to the man. Gene loves to talk baseball with fans. He likely would forget that one may be there to purchase a book once he get's into his favorite subject with you - baseball. So, anyone who has wanted to see the man in person especially all of you who grew up listening to Gene call baseball on radio and tv, I highly recommend to make it a point to go meet him. You will not be disappointed.

Gene is supposed to be planning other book signings this year but that part of his itinerary has not been set as yet.