Just Who the Heck am I?

Hello fellow readers.

First off, I am married to the best woman in the world, Susan Thompson. I have three great kids (all grown up) Jordan, Kayla, and Josh. I have a wonderful family that continues to grow. I also have one grandson, Tetsu. My wife and I also have two other children: our dogs, Bandit and Fiona.

I never pictured myself as anything but a non-conformist rebel.  That was WHO I WAS for a long time.  As I’ve gotten older and I look back on my life now that my kids are grown, I wish that I would have done some things different.  Hey, who doesn’t right?!  The more I think about it though, I can’t help but think that I never would have got to where I am today without going through all the hell that I went through before.  Oh well, what is that Spanish saying? Eso pertenece al pasado?  It all belongs in the past?  Or something like that….

I am from the small town of Splendora, TX, about an hour north of Houston. After I graduated from Splendora High School in 1989, I had a chance to go to Sam Houston State University but I decided instead to join the US Air Force. Shortly after I joined, Desert Storm began. I worked in the medical field (nutritional medicine) for most of my military career but then I spent a little time during the last part of my Air Force career doing work at the museum at Fairchild AFB, WA. That time at the museum reminded me of how much I loved history. After spending most of the 1990s in the Air Force living in California and Washington State, I moved back home to Texas.

I spent the next several years working in the corporate world. I worked several jobs in the tech industry, the sports travel business where I did some marketing work for Notre Dame University, workflow management within the energy industry, and Blockbuster Video. Despite all of that, the study of history kept calling me. In 2005, I transferred to the University of Houston from the University of Texas at Dallas. When I moved to Houston to start at UH, I was working for Dish Network. I decided to leave Dish and got the perfect job for the student who had a family. I joined up with Dominos Pizza. For the next seventeen years of my life, I would work my way through school, teaching a little once I got into grad school. The one career constant in my life during the majority of that time was working for Dominos.

I received my PhD in American History in December 2018 at the University of Houston (#GoCoogs)! My dissertation was on the history of drug use in baseball. Besides a baseball historian, I am a historian of the post-WWII period focusing primarily on the 1970s, ’80s, ’90s, the media, technology, and pop culture.  

Since 2011, I have taught at my alma mater, THE University of Houston. I have taught US History and International Business courses. In 2019, I was given the opportunity to focus more on teaching International Business and in the Fall 2022, I joined the faculty of the Department of Management and Leadership at the Bauer Business School.

I love teaching International Business because it gives me a chance to integrate a lot of my own research interests into the courses I teach. Whether its sports, technology, media, space commerce, energy, health, and history, every semester, I get to show students how these topics affect all aspects of our increasingly shrinking global and interstellar business neighborhood. In particular, I get to teach students about the business environment of the greatest area in the world, Houston, TX and the Gulf Coast Region.

All my life I’ve loved history.  I didn’t know why, I just did.  You know that saying (I know, I’m big on sayings here) that you just know what you’re going to do, even if you don’t know how you’re going to do it?  Well, that was me and my pal, history.  So, after graduating from high school, spending time in the military growing up, and spending most of my adult life working for the man, one day I finally just broke away from the corporate life and decided to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming a historian and an author. Well, after years of hard work, I finally accomplished one of my lifetime dreams.

On July 3, 2017, Mexican-American Baseball in Houston and Southeast Texas, became my first major contribution to the growing baseball historical literature on forgotten segments of Baseball history in the Houston area. That project earned me the Joseph Pratt Houston history prize from the University of Houston just a few weeks ago. The book is my first jump into the forgotten or little-know baseball and sports histories that I plan on writing for the rest of my life.

In 2010 at the Astros Winterfest held at Minute Maid park, I came across a Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) booth.  I participated in a trivia contest and although I answered only three questions correctly, I won a book on sports writing.  Now whether I was excited about winning the contest or I was excited about joining a baseball club in the city I am not sure, but I ended up joining SABR that same day.  Over the past few years as a member of SABR, I participated in several writing projects.  A few years later I wrote a chapter on 1870s baseball in the city and a section on women’s baseball in Houston Baseball: The Early Years. 

A year after that I joined another project that included a history of highlights in the history of baseball in the Astrodome called Dome Sweet Dome: History and Highlights from 35 Years of the Houston and Astrodome.  In that book, I wrote about three different games including a game that happened the weekend I graduated from high school in 1989.  That book brought back a lot of memories.

In the meantime, I have continued my writing about different baseball and other pop culture subjects as I worked my way towards completing my PhD at UH.  I have published some more in the last few years. Check out my other writings and projects on my Academic CV (resume) page on this site.

Finally, I want to talk about the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR). I joined SABR in 2010 and I firmly believe that this organization and the people I have met because of it has had a dramatic influence on my life. In January 2022, I became President of the Houston Larry Dierker chapter. It is a great chapter and one of the most active chapters in the entire organization. SABR is not just an organization for people who love baseball numbers and analytics. In fact, that is not the reason I joined SABR. I joined because of the stories that I hear from current and former players and others involved in all levels of baseball. SABR does indeed have something for everyone, even if you are a non-analytics and numbers guy, like me. I have a SABR page on this site and I highly recommend all of you check it out.

Well, that’s all about me. This page will be a work in progress as I like to change things based on what is going on in my life.

Cheers everyone!

If you want to contact me, fill out the contact info below and I will get back in touch with you.

Glad to have you here and go Astros!

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