OUSTON – It was so typical of a little town called Houston.
The community gathered in Joe Brigance Park Monday night to watch the Mississippi State Bulldog baseball team play in the College World Series in Omaha, Neb. While the Bulldogs lost the first game, plans were to host it again Tuesday night and Wednesday night, if needed, in the best-of-three series.
“This is Houston at its best,” said Houston Mayor Stacey Parker. “Some people saw an opportunity to make something happen for the community and got together and did it.”
The event was open and free to the public.
A big-screen TV was set up in the park courtesy of Shane and Kristy Booth and Puddle Jumpers.
And while a power outage across the county in the early innings hindered the video portion of the show, attendees continued to eat, chat and keep up with the game via radio.
“Jessica Hamblin went to the Mayor and he called us up,” said Shane Booth. “I was glad to do it and I appreciate folks showing up. I’m from Houston and I love this community and this state. People look like they are having fun.”
A pick-up game of baseball quickly formed among a group of young boys. Girls chased fireflies in the cool of the evening. Moms, dads, grandparents and even Ole Miss fans were seen stretching out in lawn chairs and enjoying the show.
The Bulldogs lost the game 3-1. A bases-loaded walk in the fourth inning brought the cowbells out and – as is typical MSU baseball this year – the Dogs made a show in the last inning.
Chickasaw County Chapter MSU Alumni Association President Todd Bennett said these kinds of events are good for Houston, good for Mississippi and good for MSU. Bennett said he hopes it might inspire a youngster to go to college or pursue an athletic career.
“We have more than 800 MSU alumni in this Chickasaw County and MSU being in the World Series Championship game has brought a lot of pride to them, this state and the university,” said Bennett. “We hear so many negative things in the news about Mississippi. This makes me proud to be a Bulldog.”
Monday’s event started at 7 p.m., but the show didn’t get going until the Sun went down and the park cooled off.
Parker said he was amazed at how it all came together at the last minute and he thanked all who played a part in the show.
“This kind of thing is good for Houston and we want to do more of it,” said Parker. “We are so proud of Joe Brigance Park and people use it every day. This was just a Houston thing and it made me glad to live in this community.”