Houston native Loney recalls rooting for Astros

Houston native Loney recalls rooting for Astros

Houston native Loney recalls rooting for Astros
HOUSTON -- Dodgers first baseman James Loney said it will seem weird next year when the Astros move to the American League.

Loney grew up in Houston, cheering for Astros legends Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell. He remembered the excitement when Houston acquired left-hander Randy Johnson in 1998.

"I remember going to games back at the Dome," Loney said of the old Astrodome, where the Astros played before 2000.

Loney, who hit a solo shot in the second inning Saturday off Astros starter Kyle Weiland, played several high school playoff games at the Astrodome and one at Minute Maid Park, current home of the Astros.

"It was cool, getting the chance to play in a big league park in high school," he said.

Loney starred as a pitcher in high school as well as with his hitting. He posted a 9-1 record with a 1.08 ERA his senior year at Elkins High School. He also batted .509 with eight homers and 56 RBIs.

"They pretty much told me they wanted me as a hitter," said, a first-round Draft choice of the Dodgers in 2002. "I thought about [pitching]."

He still owns a home in Houston and said he is "back-and-forth" between southeast Texas and the West Coast. He contributed a double in a 1-for-4 performance in Friday night's 3-1 win at Minute Maid Park.

Matt Carpenter, St. Louis' rookie first baseman, and Chad Huffman, an outfielder for the Indians, were teammates of Loney's in high school when Elkins won the state championship his senior year.