Longtime Astros fans honored before Game 2

Local 101-year-olds Williams, Peine throw out ceremonial first pitch

HOUSTON — The first game for Houston’s baseball franchise was more than 55 years ago, but they have fans to this day who are nearly twice that age.

On Saturday, the Astros honored two centenarians who have been loyal fans from the very beginning, going back as far as the days of the Houston Buffaloes and continuing right up to Saturday’s Game 2 of the American League Championship Series presented by Camping World.

A lot of fans have waited their entire lives to see the Astros win a World Series. A pair of 101-year-olds, Maxine Williams and Walter Peine, take that concept to an entirely different level. Their longevity, and their Astros loyalty, earned them ceremonial first-pitch honors in Game 2.

The two threw the pitches to Astros pitchers Joe Musgrove and Brad Peacock.

Peine, a graduate of Sam Houston High School, attended George Washington University and received his masters degree from the University of Houston in 1944. He served during World War II in the Naval Reserve (’37-40) and U.S. Coast Guard (’42-45), and he received the Albert Gallatin Award, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s highest career service award, in ’74. He raised six kids, all of whom graduated from either Sam Houston State or the University of Houston.

Peine first started following baseball in the Bayou City when the only team in town was the Houston Buffs, a Minor League affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. Back then, tickets cost a quarter.

“It was lots and lots of fun,” Peine recalled.

His favorite player back then was Dizzy Dean. His favorite player today is Jose Altuve. He has the latter in common with Williams, who lit up when Peine mentioned the Astros’ All-Star second baseman. Altuve is her favorite current player, while Craig Biggio tops her list of past players.

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