LEGENDS WEAR 34

Houston puts a ring on sports legends Olajuwon, Ryan, and Campbell

Houston puts a ring on sports legends Olajuwon, Ryan, and Campbell
Hakeem Olajuwon with his Hall of Fame plaque. Photo by Jules Rice

This story originally appeared on CultureMap/Houston.

There are iconic sports moments etched into Houston's collective sports memory. Hakeem Olajuwon's fluid, perfectly executed Dream Shakeforever humiliated David Robinson (and arguably cemented Olajuwon’s Hall of Fame status).

Speaking of humiliation, Earl Campbell’s ramrod runover of Isiah Robertson is not just a piece of Houston folklore, but a vivid reminder of the NFL’s brutal past.

And Astros fans will never forget when Nolan Ryan threw his fifth no-hitter in the Astrodome, striking out 11 hapless Dodgers hitters, and breaking Sandy Koufax’s seemingly untouchable record.

The three Houston legends recently received honors fit for titans of team sports, when they were awarded Houston Sports Hall of Fame rings during a private ceremony. The trio — each of whom wore the jersey number 34 and are the inaugural Houston Hall of Fame inductees — then unveiled their Houston Hall of Fame signed plaques. Reid Ryan, the popular Astros president, accepting the ring and plaque in his father's honor. 

A little sports trivia for diehards: Olajuwon, in keeping with his devout Muslim faith, did not sign his proper name on plaque, but rather “The Dream.” And which giant has the biggest hands? Olajuwon’s ring size is 11, Ryan’s is 14, while Campbell’s is a massive 20.

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Justin Verlander will start for the Astros on Friday night. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images.

Houston Astros (22-28, third in the AL West) vs. Oakland Athletics (21-31, fourth in the AL West)

Oakland, California; Friday, 9:40 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Astros: Justin Verlander (2-2, 3.97 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 26 strikeouts); Athletics: Ross Stripling (1-8, 5.19 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 32 strikeouts)

BETMGM SPORTSBOOK: LINE Astros -170, Athletics +142; over/under is 8 1/2 runs

BOTTOM LINE: The Oakland Athletics begin a three-game series at home against the Houston Astros on Friday.

Oakland has a 21-31 record overall and a 12-14 record in home games. The Athletics have hit 65 total home runs to rank third in the AL.

Houston is 22-28 overall and 8-13 in road games. The Astros have a 13-4 record in games when they did not allow a home run.

The teams match up Friday for the fifth time this season. The Astros lead the season series 4-0.

TOP PERFORMERS: Brent Rooker has 11 home runs, 17 walks and 32 RBI while hitting .286 for the Athletics. Max Schuemann is 12-for-35 with a double and two RBI over the past 10 games.

Kyle Tucker leads Houston with 17 home runs while slugging .638. Alex Bregman is 9-for-38 with three home runs and six RBI over the last 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Athletics: 2-8, .225 batting average, 5.25 ERA, outscored by 27 runs

Astros: 7-3, .272 batting average, 3.13 ERA, outscored opponents by 20 runs

INJURIES: Athletics: Esteury Ruiz: 10-Day IL (wrist), Darell Hernaiz: 60-Day IL (ankle), Alex Wood: 15-Day IL (rotator cuff), Paul Blackburn: 15-Day IL (foot), Joseph Boyle: 15-Day IL (back), Freddy Tarnok: 60-Day IL (hip), Luis Medina: 60-Day IL (knee), Sean Newcomb: 60-Day IL (knee), Aledmys Diaz: 60-Day IL (calf), Miguel Andujar: 10-Day IL (knee), Ken Waldichuk: 60-Day IL (elbow), Trevor Gott: 60-Day IL (elbow)

Astros: Oliver Ortega: 60-Day IL (elbow), Bennett Sousa: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Penn Murfee: 60-Day IL (elbow), Luis Garcia: 60-Day IL (elbow), Lance McCullers Jr.: 60-Day IL (elbow), Jose Urquidy: 15-Day IL (forearm), Kendall Graveman: 60-Day IL (elbow)

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