Anyone that loves this game can point to very specific experiences and moments in time that have helped cement that affection. I am coming to realize, this list is essentially a collection of those moments. The summer of 2000 was one of those experiences and Keith Ginter played a huge role.
Sunday April 16th, 2000 was opening day form the inaugural season for the "AA" Round Rock Express. I had longed dreamed of living close enough to a professional baseball franchise to own season tickets and commit to a season long adventure of live baseball. The pregame ceremonies & the top of the first inning flew by in a blur. The bottom of the first saw Express second baseman Keith Ginter blast the first home run in Dell Diamond history. It was the first of many exhilarating moments that first season.
Ginter batted over .400 for 2 months of the season and led the first year franchise to the Texas League championship. He was named the league's MVP and immediately after the final game, in the middle of the championship celebration he received the news that he and teammate Morgan Ensberg had gotten a September call-up to the Houston Astros.
On September 30th Keith Ginter got his first start as a member of the Houston Astros. He had seen action in three other games in the 10 days he was on the Astros bench, including collecting his first major league RBI in his first major league at bat with a sacrifice fly to left off Cardinals pitcher Rick Ankiel.
With his team ahead 4-2 of the Brewers in the bottom of the sixth inning Keith Ginter took a Jimmy Haynes 3-2 fastball deep over the left center field wall at (called at the time) Enron Field for his first major league hit.