"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice


Not for nothing, but allow me to be a fashion snob for a minute. For years, I thought it would be cool to find an old Astros jersey. I wasn’t going to mess with e-bay and spend tons of money though. I have cousins who live in Houston and I thought maybe I can visit them and then poke around the used clothing shops and Salvation Army stores down there.

Then of course, throwback gear became all the rage, and now you can find one of those ridiculous Astros jerseys for about $300. OK, first of all, I would never spend $150 on any piece of gear let alone three bills, but that is besides the point. The fact is, kids who rock throwback jerseys are trying to be cooler than cool at all costs. That’s fine too.

Usually the jerseys have no names on the back, but if an Astros jersey does have one, it would be that of Nolan Ryan. I don’t mean to take anything away from Ryan, but if you really wanted to be down, really wanted to be hip, wouldn’t you want a J.R. Richard joint?

That’s what I asked an unsuspecting kid who happened to be wearing an Astros jersey a few months ago. I caught him standing on Broadway and 231rst street on my way to the subway and I just had to open my mouth. Needless to say he didn’t know who J.R. was. Fair enough, the kid wasn’t even born when J.R. collapsed on the mound, his career ended prematurely by a stroke. I explained to the kid who J.R. was, how imposing and nasty he was, and the little dude looked at me like I was out of my bird.

Which may be true, but still, I know what is cool, and I’m not crazy enough to shell out hundreds of dollars for a retro Astros jersey. Especially if I don’t see J.R. Richard’s name on the back. Now this kid had an excuse, but what about all the rap stars who are old enough to know better?

Come back to me now.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver