HOUSTON - Eleven-year-old Sam Sepulveda was destined to become an Astros fan. Mom, Kandi, was 8 weeks pregnant with Sam when she attended the Astros’ first-ever trip to the World Series in 2005.
Sam’s own fascination with the team started when he was a baby.
“He would sit and watch an entire game on TV when he was only 18 months old,” Kandi remembers. “It was crazy.”
Sam was still in diapers when he could name every player on the team, along with their positions.
“He even knew the name of Kazuo Matsui’s interpreter,” Kandi said.
Sam named all of his stuffed animals after Astros: There was Lance Berkman the polar bear; Miguel Tejada, the teddy bear; and Michael Bourn, the cheetah – because he was so fast.
When the family adopted a Labrador puppy, Sam insisted on calling him – what else? – Astro.
Tejada was Sam’s favorite player in the early days. Now, it’s George Springer.
“He is the funnest guy on the team and makes great plays,” Sam said.
He even got to meet Springer and hang out with him earlier this year.
Sam has attended every Opening Day at Minute Maid Park since he was a baby and dozens of other games through the last 11 seasons. The Sepulvedas also enjoy catching a game when they’re on vacation. Sam has been to more Big League ballparks than most adults -- including Fenway, Wrigley Field, Globe Life Stadium, Petco Park, Angel Stadium and National’s Field.
He has supported the Astros through their toughest seasons, so it’s been a real treat to watch them in the playoffs. Dad, Donnie, scored tickets to playoff games against the Red Sox and the Yankees.
And the whole family will be back at Minute Maid Sunday for Game 5 of the World Series.
Sam is convinced his Astros will win it all.
“Their offense has been amazing and the pitching has gotten better and better,” Sam said. “Also, because in 2014 Sports Illustrated predicted the Astros would win the World Series in 2017.”
Pay attention, baseball fans. When it comes to the Astros, this kid knows his stuff.
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