Larry Dierker: Houston Student Meets Idol at Astros' 50th Anniversary Game

Honor Warren Wells TheTorch@dbintayaelSenior Writer IIApril 18, 2012

Francisco Salinas with Larry Dierker on Apr. 12, 2012, at the 50th Anniversary of the Houston Astros
Francisco Salinas with Larry Dierker on Apr. 12, 2012, at the 50th Anniversary of the Houston Astros

Some fans get extremely excited when they meet professional athletes. Alex Salinas collected baseball cards when he was a child. And Larry Dierker's card was one of the favorites in his collection.

Last week, Salinas met Dierker in person, and he came to class bragging about his wonderful experience.

Salinas said, "As a retired baseball player, he was the sportscaster. Growing up watching games with Mr. Dierker announcing the baseball games made the meeting more personal for me."

He said, "When I finally met him, it was as though I already knew him."

Salinas attends a Houston college, and planned to attend the University of Texas' prestigious MD Anderson Center to study biology.

The college student likes baseball because there are so many applications of math and science in the game.

For example, trying to determine the necessary velocity of a baseball so it can clear an outfield wall that stands 10 feet tall and 420 feet away is a good math problem.

Salinas added that one day he was surfing the Internet, and he found an application of the problem he mentioned. He decided to share this problem with his class, along with the story of meeting his idol, Larry Dierker.

Salinas, a jovial and studious person, brought a lot of excitement to his class when he showed them his picture with Mr. Dierker.

He added that the majority of Dierker's career was spent playing for the Houston Astros (who were called the Colt .45s when he first began playing for them), and then broadcasting their games, before becoming their manager.

Salinas said he rode his bicycle to Minute Maid Park from Northside Villages in Houston, Texas, in order to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Houston Astros. Little did he know that he would get to meet one of idols, Larry Dierker.