HARRIS COUNTY - HSA INSIDER

A weekly look at all things Houston sports from the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority: The Houston sports Hall of Fame

A rendering of the Houston Sports Hall of Fame at Green Street downtown. Courtesy Harris County-Houston Sports Authority

The Harris County – Houston Sports Authority Insider will take you inside Houston Sports each Friday because #WeAreHoustonSports!

Back in February, it was the exclamation point to a star-studded night celebrating the best athletes and moments in Houston sports.

With legendary 34s Nolan Ryan, Earl Campbell and Hakeem Olajuwon still taking bows as the event’s headline honorees, emcee Bill Worrell dropped the news about the creation of the Houston Sports Hall of Fame – an announcement a very few people in room – in fact in the entire city – knew was coming.

Fast forward three months to today when the Harris County – Houston Sports Authority, in partnership with Midway and Lionstone, is preparing to break ground on Phase One of the Hall on GreenStreet Promenade.

The event is set for June 4 at 3 p.m. and the actual groundbreaking will be open to the public. Prior to that, the first class of no-last-names-needed inductees – Nolan, Earl and Hakeem – will be presented with their Hall of Fame rings in a private ceremony.

Those rings – the latest bling for these multiple Hall of Famers – all have the No. 34 on them and were designed by Houston’s Fred Cuellar of Diamond Cutters International. Each one is unique to the player, team and sport.

Earl’s with be trimmed with Columbia blue stones for the Houston Oilers’ team colors, while Hakeem’s will be Houston Rockets red and Nolan’s will have Houston Astros orange. Nolan’s and Earl’s will have some gold trim, while Hakeem’s will have platinum. His Muslim faith does not allow him to wear gold.

In case you’re wondering, Hakeem’s long slim fingers mean he has the smallest ring at size 11. Nolan wears a 14 and Earl is a size 20.

Mayor Sylvester Turner and other city officials will be on hand to honor the inaugural inductees and help break ground on the Walk of Fame. Each inductee will have his own plaque along the Walk, which runs from the House of Blues through the GreenStreet Promenade.

"It's incredible what this will mean to all Houstonians,’’ said Harris County-Houston Sports Authority CEO Janis Burke. “This will outlive us all as a way to honor some of the greatest athletes ever to play their respective sports. And the proximity to Minute Maid Park, Toyota Center and the George R. Brown Convention Center will allow visitors from all over the world to honor them as well.''

The Walk is simply the first phase of the new Hall of Fame. Additional phases will have interactive components as well as LED displays.

The final phase will be the an actual interior space for the Hall of Fame and the Hall’s first exhibit will be the 8-foot paintings by Houston’s Opie Otterstad of each member of the inaugural class which were unveiled at the Houston Sports Awards.

 

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Houston is falling down the rankings

Tigers pound Odorizzi, Astros with homers as Houston drops fourth in a row

The Astros have not looked great in their last four games. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After watching their hot start of 6-1 cool down to a 6-4 record with three straight losses, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night, looking to do a better job at home against a beatable Tigers team.

Recent games' woes would continue, though, with Houston's pitching getting blasted by the opposing offense and their own bats primarily quiet.

Final Score: Tigers 8, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-5, tied for second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Matthew Boyd (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (0-1)

Astros score first, then Tigers unload on Odorizzi

Houston looked to have something brewing in the bottom of the second, with three singles in the first four batters of the inning, the third an RBI-single by Myles Straw to put the Astros in front 1-0. However, Matthew Boyd would limit the damage, getting back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.

After two easy innings for Jake Odorizzi in his regular-season debut for his new team, he would allow a game-tying solo homer to Akil Baddoo, his fourth of the year, in the top of the third. Detroit struck again in the top of the fourth, getting a leadoff double to set up a two-run go-ahead home run to jump ahead 3-1.

They didn't stop there, getting another two-run bomb later in the same inning; a frame that would take Odorizzi 31 pitches to get only one out before Houston would bring in Bryan Abreu to get the last two outs. Odorizzi's final line in his debut: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 HR, 0 BB, 4 K, 80 P.


Detroit continues home run parade, Houston loses fourth in a row

Abreu would hope to do what Luis Garcia did the night before, eat up as many innings as possible after a poor outing from Houston's starter. The Tigers would get yet another two-run homer, though, in the top of the fifth, extending their lead to 7-1, with all seven runs coming over a three-inning span. For good measure, they'd knock one more out with two outs in the top of the ninth, making it 8-1.

As far as Houston at the plate, other than their string of hits to bring in a run earlier in the second, they were getting nothing done against Boyd, who would go six and two-thirds innings. Detroit's bullpen would finish things off, despite an all-too-late sac fly by the Astros in the bottom of the ninth, with Houston dropping their fourth-straight game and continuing to lose ground in the division.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set with Detroit will be an hour earlier on Wednesday, getting underway at 6:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will try to maintain his perfect record and improve upon his two five-inning one-run starts for the Astros, going opposite of Michael Fulmer (0-0, 2.57 ERA) for the Tigers.

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