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About Bill
The Book
Meet Zach

The Book

As the television voice of the Astros since 1987, I've had the best seat in the house to witness the fortunes of Houston's baseball team. I've seen championships won, milestones achieved, and records broken; been privy to behind-the-scenes decisions which have changed the face of the franchise; and have personally witnessed the on- and off-field heartache and triumph which comes with a life lived as a big league ballplayer.

Those who achieve success in their life's calling, even those of us who make our living "making the calls," usually learn the importance of a grounded existence. I was fortunate to be nurtured into manhood by caring parents, and to have found a loving wife, my bride of more than forty years Dianne, who has stood with me in the face of all manner of challenges. Jesus Christ is also, for me, a rock in a sometimes weary land.

Ultimately, my life-like yours-has been a journey, with twists and turns and triumphs and tribulations. At the heart of that journey, baseball has been the constant. Within the pages of this book, I've tried to recount the major events that have shaped my life, from front-yard games of Wiffleball to the battlefields of Southeast Asia, from earning-and then losing-a major league play-by-play job to finding a permanent home in Houston.

In addition, I've singled out individuals who have influenced and inspired me along the way. Some are people you know well. Others are stories of men and women you may be meeting for the first time.

My decision to write this book was inspired by one of the most influential and memorable people I've had the privilege to meet in recent years. Zach Hamm is a go-getter and a do-gooder. I encourage you to get better acquainted with him elsewhere on this Web site.

The past year and a half have been quite a time for those of us who follow the Houston Astros. During the lean times of the Astros' 2011 campaign I was regularly reminded of the words of Hall-of-Fame manager Sparky Anderson, one of the most interesting and charismatic people I've encountered during my time in baseball. I grew to become friends with Sparky during his tenure at the helm of Cincinnati's "Big Red Machine."

Those Reds teams didn't lose a lot-in fact, they won back-to-back World Series championships during my time as a Cincinnati broadcaster. When they did lose, Anderson had a strong conviction about the best way to cope with defeat:

"I cannot get rid of the hurt from losing, but after the last out of every loss, I must accept that there will be a tomorrow. In fact, it's more than there'll be a tomorrow, it's that I want there to be a tomorrow. That's the big difference, I want tomorrow to come."

For Sparky Anderson, waiting until next year was never an option. He looked ahead to tomorrows and in doing so became one of only two managers to win the World Series in both leagues. As for me, this book is a collection of the tomorrows which became my most memorable yesterdays. My desire is that my story and stories of those whom I respect and admire will be of interest, and that you, the reader, will discover inspiration and instruction from My Baseball Journey.

From the Pages of
My Baseball Journey


I was about seventy pages into "The Evolution of Broadcasting Technology" when Tim Gregg suggested I write about something I knew something about. I wasn't sure what that might be until he suggested I tell my own story. Tim, I told you I had little understanding of how this process worked, but thanks to your vision, talents, and patience, I think I get it now. I believed we could whiz through this thing in a matter of weeks, but you insisted we spend a little more time-and effort-than that. You were right and I am grateful for the finished product you helped me put together.

Tim Gregg is a former radio sportscaster and public relations director on the women's tennis tour. A native Oklahoman, Tim lives in Houston where he owns a video production and Web design company. He has previously collaborated on Moon Shots: Reflections of a Baseball Life and Dear Jay, Love Dad: Bud Wilkinson's Letters to His Son. Both Bill and Tim are members of the Larry Dierker Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research.