(Busch Stadium) For the first time since July 27, 2011 outfielder Colby Rasmus will be back on the field playing a game at Busch Stadium. The former top pick of the St. Louis Cardinals will be in the starting lineup for Houston as the two teams open their series tonight.
“It feels good,” said Rasmus as he spoke before the Astros batting practice. “Nice to be here, got a couple guys on the team who are still around from when I was here.”
Among those familiar faces for Rasmus is tonight’s starter, Jaime Garcia.
“Getting to face Jaime tonight–that’s gonna be pretty cool. Me and Jaime were roommates back in the day and came up all the way through the minor leagues together. There’s excitement in the air–I feel it. It feels good. It’s good to be back in The Big Red House and excited to see what the fans have for me tonight. I think it’s going to be a good time and just going to try and have fun with it. I was just back at home with my family, cutting up about coming to St. Louis and getting up to the plate and tipping my cap or whatever and having a good time with it and letting it all hang out. It’s still a baseball game.
“I was very fortunate to play here, I was blessed to play here. It was a great time in my life–a lot of learning, a lot of learning experiences, a lot of bumps on the head that I took in my time of baseball playing here. A lot of things I had to learn to grow with and I’m thankful I was able to do here in my early age.”
The central piece in an eight-person trade, the St. Louis Cardinals sent Rasmus to Toronto along with Trevor Miller, Bryan Tallet, and P.J. Walters in exchange for Octavio Dotel, Edwin Jackson, Corey Patterson, and Marc Rzepczynski.
The move helped launch the Cardinals historic run to the World Series title, meanwhile Rasmus finished that season hitting .173 in 35 games for Toronto.
“I was fine with it, really, especially at that time because I didn’t even watch it–I just went home and was out in the country doing whatever,” shared Rasmus. “I was fine with it, things happen for a reason. It just wasn’t meant to be. When the powers that be want something done, they get it done. They’re in those positions for a reason. I’ve learned that throughout my time playing baseball. As a player, we’re just players–we’ve got to suit up and every day and go out there and play to be able to stay in this game and be able to produce is what’s going to keep us in the lineup.
“As far as how it went down, they saw that they needed to do something different and I hold no grudge towards that. I see it much differently now being an older, young man. That it’s not that big of a deal, it’s not the end of the world. The good Lord’s going to be looking out for me, he’ll put me where I need to be.”
The offensive numbers improved for Rasmus, as hit 63 home runs over the next three seasons for the Blue Jays before he signed with Houston as a free agent before 2015. But perhaps more importantly than his numbers, was his learning of himself and the ability to finally spread his wings.
“I learned a lot–as far as being able to be who I am and be myself, and do things kind of the way I wanted to them,” he explained. “You have to enjoy it. It can’t be a straight mental grind everyday of just killing yourself and killing your spirit and the mental side of your game. I try to just enjoy it and since I left playing with the Cardinals–I put so much pressure on myself to do good and produce and to be all that was asked of me to be, it probably hindered me to really spread my wings and be who I could be. After learning that about myself, I’ve tried in the best ways I could to just enjoy the game and enjoy the process of being a big league baseball player.”
photo credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports