ANAHEIM -- This weekend's series against the Angels represents a homecoming of sorts for Astros rookie first baseman Jon Singleton, who graduated from Millikan High School in Long Beach, Calif., which is less than 20 miles from Angel Stadium.
"It's fantastic," said Singleton, who said he'll have anywhere from 60-70 friends and family members at Thursday's series opener, including his parents. "It's not far from home, so it's nice."
Singleton actually grew up as a fan of the Dodgers and made more trips to Dodger Stadium as a kid than he did to see the Angels. As a teenager, he began attending more games at Angel Stadium, dreaming of getting a chance to play there.
"I really don't know why I went to Dodger games more, but when I got older I realized it's a different baseball experience going to different ballparks," he said. "I enjoyed it."
As Singleton learned, there's nothing like playing in your home ballpark.
"It's surreal," he said.
Singleton, of course, has been through a lot this year, ranging from his admission in the spring he was a drug addict to signing a contract extension with the Astros and being called up to the Major Leagues in May. Astros manager Bo Porter said those coming to watch Singleton play should be proud of him.
"Jon Singleton is a prime example of a person growing and maturing, and it's great for him to be back here, not too far away from where he grew up and to have family and friends have the opportunity to see him play Major League Baseball," he said.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.