Astros superfan hires artist to paint Minute Maid Park on backyard fence

Saturday, March 9, 2024
Astros superfan hires artist to paint Minute Maid Park on backyard fence
A Houston Astros superfan hired an artist to add a lifelike painted mural of Minute Maid Park's behind-home plate view to his sports-dedicated home.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Steps away from Alvin High School, the alma mater of Nolan Ryan, is the home of Freddie Valdez which features a Houston sports display as eye-popping as Nolan's fastball.

"I'm blessed to have a wife who allows me to do this," Valdez told ABC13 from his home this week. "I don't think too many people allow their husband to have a man cave in their living room or their whole house. I'm like a little kid when I walk in my house and see all my sports stuff."

Now, the 57-year-old Astros superfan can be like a little kid when he walks out of his house, too.

When Valdez told his wife Jennifer he wanted to paint the Astros logo on their backyard fence, she suggested hiring a real artist to do it. The real big project went to Alvin's Daran Smith.

"It was definitely a massive endeavor going into it," Smith recalled to ABC13.

"It was way beyond my expectations how it turned out," Valdez said of Smith's work.

Smith told ABC13 it took him nearly 30 sessions, each lasting seven or eight hours, to paint the lifelike mural of the behind-home plate view of Minute Maid Park. That's a whole lot of time, and time is not something Smith has since art is not his full-time job.

"I work as a personal trainer and tumbling coach for a local cheer team," Smith said of his day jobs. "I'm also a father of a 6-year-old daughter, so my time is very spread out. Unfortunately, art is very part-time at the moment."

Valdez says Smith should plan to find the time to come back and do more work on his fence later this year.

The mural is perfect, but it's also partial. Valdez specifically asked Smith to include the Astros' two World Series trophies from 2017 and 2022. The vacant space to the left of the mural was left intentionally blank.

"That was perfectly done like that because I plan on more trophies coming in," Valdez said of the space for more Astros championship displays on his backyard fence. "Maybe this year, 2024, we'll add another one. So I'll be calling [Smith] back after October."

Valdez, who already displays Astros fandom on his walls, his skin, and his fence, appears to have room for more.

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