I’m a diehard Philadelphia Phillies fan so after last year’s World Series lost, the Astros aren’t so high on my favorites list, but it would be a lie to say I didn’t grow up with a soft spot for many of Houston’s players.
It’s hard not to like Craig Biggio, Jeff Bagwell, Lance Berkman, and Justin Verlander, plus you add in Brad Lidge, who helped the Phillies win the 2008 World Series, and Roy Oswalt, who was on some teams that should have won it all, and you’ve got yourself a group of guys you just want to root for.
Also, as a short guy myself, I was a big Jose Altuve fan until the story broke that they were cheating their asses off, so now he’s pretty much public enemy number one.
All of that to say, I still keep an eye on Astros stuff when it comes across my feed, and this story that Lance Berkman recently told about Roy Oswalt to 108 Performance’s Eugene Bleecker absolutely blew me away.
Oswalt was drafted by the Astros in the 23rd round of the 1996 draft, but began showing promise as a top prospect shortly after, but here was just one problem.
Oswalt was having shoulder problems during the 1999 season while playing Class A ball. Even after the season ended, he was still in pain a month into the offseason and had decided to go get it looked at.
But before he could get to the doctor, something insane happened.
Lance tells it like this.
“I’ll never forget it.. We showed up at instructs and we became friends… He shows up in this old, like ’78 Chevy pickup, you know that he had just bought, and you know this thing, loud and he was always fiddling with it.
He kept saying “Man my arm, something just doesn’t feel right, my arm is bothering me” and they were trying to be careful with him … they considered him a good prospect.
So we leave instructs and come back to Spring Training the next year and we’re like “Dude, how’s your arm?” … he goes “Man, you’re not going to believe this… I was working on my truck, it was running” and I’m not a mechanic but apparently he grabbed the distributor cap or there was some electrical system he was working on and he happened to grab a bare wire with his right hand. And he goes, “When I tell you that thing sent about four *zoomp zoomp* as that motor was turning over I couldn’t let go.
Finally, I was like able to like, get off of it, and I kinda fell to the ground and when I got up I kind did my arm like that and it felt amazing and it never bothered me since!”
Roy had previously told this to ESPN.com and it was the exact same story, so we’ve got to believe it really happened, right?
I mean, I don’t think you’d recommend this to anyone with shoulder pain, but if it works it works…
Things turned out quite good for Oswalt, going on to be called up to the Big Leagues in 2001 and staying for 13 years with the Astros, Phillies, Rangers, and Rockies, amassing 163 wins, two 20 win seasons, striking out 1852 batters, being voted to 3 All-Star games, and ending his career with a very respectable 3.36 ERA.
So if anyone is having some shoulder pain, maybe it’s time you start tinkering with an old truck.