PHILADELPHIA -- This week's series at Citizens Bank Park is a homecoming for Astros left-handed starter Brett Oberholtzer, who grew up about 45 minutes away in St. Georges, Del., as a huge Phillies and NFL's Eagles fans.
"I went home last night and before I walked in the front door of where I grew up, born and raised, I turned around and looked at my front yard and said, 'This is where it all started. This is where I was born and raised and grew a passion for baseball,'" Oberholtzer said. "There's been a lot of ups and downs, but it was surreal when I walked through the door yesterday. It was pretty cool."
Oberholtzer isn't scheduled to pitch until the Astros return home on Friday, but he still plans to have about 15 friends and family members in the stands Tuesday.
"They're all Phillies fans growing up, so if they can't see me pitch at least they can come out to the ballpark and enjoy it," Oberholtzer said. "I told my family, 'That's just how it works.' But the good side of it, the motivation side of it is, if I keep playing baseball long enough, I'm sure I'll be back."
Oberholtzer's father, Fred, was a huge influence on Brett as a youngster and was among those that came to Philadelphia to watch the Astros.
"It was pretty cool growing up watching baseball on my back porch with my dad," Oberholtzer said. "I saw Chase Utley's first home run ever hit [on TV], a grand slam down the line at Veterans Stadium. It seemed so surreal. It seemed like yesterday when I was a young kid watching Jimmy Rollins making his debut. Scott Rolen was another guy I watched growing up. It's pretty surreal to be here."
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.