The greatest baseball player in history!
I declare Scoot(27) in gratitude to the genius of José Altuve, the greatest baseball player to ever play the game.
José is our hero. His story is the story of the impossible, made possible by a dream. The only size that matters is the size of your dream. That is the story of José Altuve.
We’ve been blessed with great heroes in Houston. The Dream, whose life is too good to be true. José Altuve whose dream was impossible, and then he just made it happen. When other cities boo my hero, I take it personally. I got something to say. Don’t Mess with Texas.
The ancients edited this part out of The Book of Samuel, so the Philistines wouldn’t seem like such a pathetic enemy. After Goliath fell, he moaned his last word, “Cheater,” before David cut his head off. The only thing José Altuve ever cheated was fate.
The scoot unit shall be known as Altuve, which consists of 27 subunits of José. That’s because you can go to the Hall of Fame and dig up nine each of the greatest Dodgers, Yankees and Red Sox, combined they wouldn’t equal the genius of one José Altuve.
When José walks up to the plate, I want him to hear one message. What shall we say, with one voice, to our hero?
Let us unite with a chant that represents what our hero means to us. Post your content on social media with the hashtag #scoot27 or @genuisandvanity
We will award scoot for contributions.
|Award||scoot(27) – Altuve|
- Content contributions will be curated by Brandon and his mom
- Apreciación Gigante will be awarded upon a verified show of appreciation by Queen BK from Texas
Content Block 1 – 8/17/2022
Excerpt from Brandon Awbrey’s asimov:
I grew up around baseball, but it never really took when I was young. I saw Phi Slamma Jamma on television and I was hooked on basketball. Baseball was so simple yet so complicated and slow, I just didn’t have the attention span for it. Competitive baseball was usually outside in the summer months. Ideal baseball weather in Houston was about three weeks in January. Nikola Tesla, and not Michael Jordan, should be the patron saint of basketball, at least for ballers who grew up on the Gulf Coast. Tesla’s genius benevolence of Air Conditioning, Hakeem Olajuwon, José Altuve and putting a man on the moon are what we value in Houston.
One common adage of parenthood is, “you don’t know how good you got it.” I like to bring this up when talking to my kids about the general suckage of the pandemic, and I know I’m right. The pandemic lockdowns would have sucked way worse for young people in the 1980s.
I remember I was about twelve or thirteen and I was bitching to my grandpa about my summer job, working for my Uncle Clay. Uncle Clay drove around Clear Lake in a hatchback towing a trailer, mowing lawns for astronauts. Uncle Clay did this on his four days off from working in a chemical refinery, having retired as a Chief Master Sergeant from the Air Force. In the summer, it was exactly like being in a sauna, but it wasn’t like I was cutting the grass with a machete, my uncle had riding mowers and top-end gear. I’d mow as fast as I could, but it didn’t get me out of the heat, because no matter how fast I’d mow, Uncle Clay had to stop and talk to somebody for twenty minutes. He was probably talking to Neil Armstrong or Buzz Aldrin, or even more likely, their wives, but I was too stupefied from the broiled brains to know it, even if he told me. By 10 a.m. every day I was praying for rain, and prayers worked about half the time. I guess I’m semi-holy.
“I picked cotton when I was your age,” my grandpa said.
I knew where my grandpa grew up. It wasn’t quite as humid as Clear Lake, but still Southeast Texas and even hotter.
“You drove a tractor?”
“Tractor?” he laughed. “I picked it with my hands.”
I lost total congruence with my grandpa’s childhood. What I knew about my Grandpa Marsene was as a kid, he was the baseball badass of five counties. He was like the super-jock of Bellville, Texas. I knew baseball super-jocks at my middle-school. They didn’t have to mow lawns because their parents sent them to baseball camp, somewhere with cooler weather like Connecticut or Dallas.
“I was hungry. Hungry people picked cotton.” In hindsight, I clearly interpret from his tone his true meaning, which was, You think I picked cotton for fun?
My grandpa was the coolest dude. He was a small-town country boy, super smart and the best ball player ever to come out of Austin County. He played farm ball in the Depression, and was drafted by the White Sox, but war and family derailed those dreams. He lived in Bellville most of his life, knew everybody in town and everybody loved him. I have no idea what he really thought of his suburban grandson who’d been indulged by air conditioning his whole life. He took long walks with his metal detector and went looking for treasure and dinosaur bones, fished, played golf, and watched baseball. The long walks and looking for treasure took, but I wasn’t much for golf or fishing. Marsene Crawford was good at everything he did.
I spent many a summer watching baseball with my grandpa. I played T-ball and Little League and was a pretty good runner and could catch a fly ball. I understood baseball, like I understand chess. I can play the game and usually beat a six-year-old. There’s always another layer with baseball.
Watching the Astros with my grandpa was always an education. He always knew exactly what was going to happen. I don’t mean he could predict the future or tell if somebody was going to get a hit on a particular pitch. He’d give you the two or three possibilities on each at bat, and then point out what each player needed to focus on, and he knew what every position player should be looking out for. I don’t know if I was just too young, but I never got it like he did, I couldn’t see the bigger picture, the management of arms and bats. Most of the time I had no idea what he was talking about. Today, even with the digital enhanced flight path we have on each pitch on television, I can’t tell a slider from a sinker, but grandpa knew every pitch the millisecond it left the pitcher’s hand in 1970s before the television had any of that.
I’ve been watching playoff baseball since around 2001, in the wake of 9/11, nothing more American than baseball. I stuck with it just for something to do in October. It’s always slow, and except for the 9th inning in a close game, I was easily distracted. I would usually work on my computer, and I might look up and see the replay if there was a home run or great play. I could never really stick there and give it my full attention for the four plus hours it takes to watch a playoff game. The end of games, though…. Playoff ball in the late innings you can see the stress grow on the players faces and totally empathize with them. There is a congruence that grows through the home crowd that aligns with the players and I think it’s really the only sport where the fans can influence the game, because there is so much time between action, the fans can imagine, and if that aligns with belief, it’s powerful when multiplied. The action is so fast in basketball, fans don’t have time to align on anything or figure out what is really going on in the minds of the players. I guess that’s why baseball fans are so crazy, they all share a dream or a delusion.
That all changed during the 2017 post season. When I watched José Altuve bat, I could see exactly what was going to happen, and I believed it would happen, and it would. I could see things the way my grandpa saw them. When José kicked off a rally, and got on base, then I could see it for the other players as well. This ability lasted the entire post-season, and I still got that power, at least for the past five Octobers.
When José is at bat, and the game is on the line, just close your eyes for a moment and imagine. I promise you, something good is going to happen.
My grandpa died in April of 2005. He’d watched the Astros during their entire existence faithfully, yet never got to see them go to the World Series. In October of 2005, the Astros went to the World Series for the first time, where they ended the 86-year Curse of The Black Sox – the greatest myth in baseball. Say Ain’t So, Joe. The Astros were swept by the Chicago White Sox, the team that once drafted my grandfather.
I regret my grandpa never got to see the Astros in the World Series. What I really wish is that he’d gotten to see José Altuve play. I think we could have enjoyed being on the same wavelength and watching a genius at work. I fondly remember watching Rockets games with him. We both knew what was going to happen – The Dream was going to dominate, every time he touched the ball. I never got to enjoy a baseball game in the same way with him. We never aligned our dreams or our delusions on baseball, but we did on The Dream. That was nice.
I value baseball now, but I wouldn’t have valued it when I was twenty. The musicians, writers, inventors, and heroes I admired in my youth have changed, though a few have been with me most of my life.
The only values that have really stayed with me through my life didn’t come from any writers or musicians or historical figures. They came from my family.
I’ve been blessed. I have great parents and a great family. Not everybody is so lucky. You don’t get to pick your parents – that’s an inequality I don’t think we can solve in a systematic way without some real sci-fi weirdness. I’ll let the Squid Games people sketch that one out.
We can choose who we remember.
We can choose our digital ancestors, and fully commit to their ideas, not because we share blood with them, but because we share their dreams.
Many of these geniuses who have left us, left family behind. How will they feel about the quantification of the value of their loved one’s ideas? Should we use this technology as a memorial for all our loved ones?
I think this is something that families must decide for themselves. I’m not suggesting we put QR codes on tombstones, but it cost so little to remember, it seems neglectful that all we record in stone is dates of birth and death. With a scoot-chain, we can record what we want to remember and keep it for eternity.
My children are hardworking and creative problem solvers, I’m very proud of them. When confronted with their problems with material wealth, I’m sometimes amused.
I’ve told them about the hungriest I’d ever been. I was eighteen, living with two friends in Hollywood, and none of us had much money. One afternoon, me and my friend spent over an hour looking for change around the apartment, came up with fifty-three cents. We went to 7-Eleven, where we bought a hot-dog, carefully measuring three times, we used a plastic knife to cut the hot dog exactly in half. My kids know, I don’t even like hot-dogs.
Part of the craft of legend making is what you leave out. I usually leave out that one of us had used our actual last dollar bill to rent a movie. We couldn’t contemplate watching ninety minutes of whatever while craving meat. We weren’t starving, or even out of food, we had ramen, spaghetti, and potatoes, we’d just run out of meat. Being two eighteen-year-old boys from Texas, being out of meat was the main problem.
My parent’s tale of destitution was a little more dire. My dad was drafted, and my mom followed him to Hawaii for training before he ultimately shipped out to Vietnam. They lived in an apartment over a bar, and my mom worked but neither of them made much, they’d often run out of money a few days before payday. They’d survive on what my dad could bring back home from KP duty until payday, and then they’d probably overspend for a few days. After all, they were young and in Hawaii.
I don’t know what my grandpa meant by, “Hungry people picked cotton.” He was an extremely honest man, but Texan to the bone, so embellishment certainly is possible. His father worked for the railroad, and the family had five children. It was the depression, but I don’t think they were destitute. I imagine it was more like, he was an athletic teenager who spent all his extra time playing baseball, and while there was probably enough food to avoid starvation, there wasn’t enough excess calories to cover all the of base stealing in the sweltering heat.
It doesn’t matter. It’s relative. In middle school, I wasn’t mowing astronaut lawns with my crazy workaholic uncle for food. I had two main expenses in those days: books, and blank cassette tapes.
In two generations, hunger has been eliminated from my family. I don’t think what my parents went through was hunger. In truth, it happened in one generation.
The elimination of hunger from my family is true generational wealth.
This is the metric of genius. This is what we will measure.
Truces and Curses
Canada, I’m not exactly talking forgiveness here, but a permanent cease fire. I like Canada. It’s a beautiful country, the people are nice, and I’ve always enjoyed visiting. I’ve been civil, I haven’t smacked down any of modern-day Canadian heroes. It was challenging, as there are so many easy targets.
You stole The Dream from Houston, but that was a long time ago, and he came back home.
Canada, I’ll make you a deal. I’ll lay off the Canadian trash-talk, all you got to do is send George Springer back home, we really miss him. I know he went there voluntarily, but he’s young, he can always come back home, just like Olajuwon.
George, Whataburger will give you some gravy to go with your fries, all you got do I ask. Only explanation I could think of.
Yankee fans, you may be wondering, why am I so angry at you guys, when all New York has ever done for me as a sports fan is lose on the biggest stages to the Rockets and Astros?
I’ll tell you.
On Friday October 20, 2017 during game six of the American League Championship series at Minute Maid park in Houston, some New York jackasses sitting near section 406 row 21 were rude around my mother.
When a billionaire Yankee fan is lamenting his bad fortune, he should just call the Astros ticket office and use some of his property-wealth to bribe somebody and get the names of those jackasses. Should be easy since we’re all cheaters down here in Houston.
Dodgers, Dodgers, Dodgers. You want an asterisk; I’ll give you an asterisk.
When it comes to heroes of the mythology, in five hundred years, Babe and Shoeless Joe will be but bit players. There will be one hero the world will remember. All the future will remember about the cities the hero conquered was that those were places of sin and the worst kind of excess, unsustainable property-based lifestyles, and rude behavior. I think baseball might thrive for another five hundred years because of this legend, and all the Dodgers will be remembered for is somebody the hero had to stand up to.
Baseball just went through decades of teaching the world’s children that the way to achieve your dreams was by being big and strong, if not naturally, then by shooting yourself up with steroids. Along comes this kid – the smallest player in professional baseball in forty years – who grew up under very meager circumstances but with fantastic parents who challenged him to dream an impossible dream and go for it. When José Altuve signed a contract with the Astros in 2007 as a 16-year-old for $15,000, it was already like climbing Mount Everest without oxygen. What José has achieved in his career was not too good to be true. It was impossible. A kid from Venezuela with nothing but great parents. A kid who had a dream. Not the largest, or strongest, or fastest, but the greatest MVP in American League history. A baseball genius.
Hollywood, the asterisk is this: You will always be the villain in the greatest hero story of the history of sports. And yes, my evil plan is to trick Hollywood into putting up a counter effort in the genius economy to nullify my story of genius with one of their own. There’s no story better, and Hollywood is so vain, you’ll stick to your fantasy while a real legend of impossible triumph passes you by. Somebody in Venezuela has already written the screenplay.
José Altuve is no cheater.
If you just watched, really watched, José Altuve bat, you’d know nobody ever told this man what pitch he needed to swing at. He had that power my grandpa had, he just saw what was going to happen, and then made it happen. He swings because he’s in control. It don’t matter what the pitcher throws, José is the one making dreams happen. Easy for a kid who came from nothing. His generational wealth was dreams and inspiration fostered by loving parents. The right way to wealth, for us all.
Keep on booin’ Dodgers fans, it only adds to the legend.
The Curse of the Asterisk
There’s no Curse of the Altuve. José is a nice guy. When he hears the boos, he has nothing but compassion for the poor, downtrodden fans of the Yankees and Dodgers.
Instead, I cast the Curse of the Asterisk. The curse is simple. How long it lasts, depends how long those fans keep on living like they ain’t got no mamas.
The Curse of the Asterisk is directed at the fans at who feign to value the Dodgers and the Yankees, who booed the greatest baseball player of all time and were rude around my mother. It doesn’t affect how many games the Yankees and the Dodgers may win, how many series they might advance, or even how many rings they wear.
The Curse of The Asterisk is no matter how much money they spend on players, or how many hats and jersey they might sell, no matter what movie stars show up at their games, the Yankees and the Dodgers will never be as valuable in the genius economy as the Astros.
And even though I’ve spelled out how I am going to implement the curse, I don’t think the Dodgers and Yankee fans will be able to figure it out. I guess I’ll get a reputation as a cheater.
You know what? I’ll be in some good company.
 If you build it, and name it after a bunch of financial tricksters, then rename after orange juice, he will come. From Venezuela.
 I’ve not once taken the names of Bieber, Drake or Reynolds in vain. This was perhaps the biggest challenge of all.
 Mom, if he comes back, it’s on you to show George where to eat. Them Connecticut Yankees got sensitive tummies, what I hear.
 Where is the Love? by Black Eyed Peas