Inside Lawrence Washburn’s classroom at Foothills Middle School in Arcadia, the focus is learning history and earning history.
“Walking around in my Astros gear isn’t something I hide. It’s something I’ve been wearing proudly,” says Washburn. “I like the ‘Boo, Astros’ jeers, actually.”
His desk is covered in baseball cards and the walls are postered with Astros memorabilia. Washburn says he’s rooted for the team since he was 9, when he watched Nolan Ryan pitch a one-hitter.
“Even to this day if I see him on TV, my heart starts pattering a little,” he says. “Huge fan.”
Washburn is more than just a fan of Ryan. He loves the ‘Stros and the game.
“I did my Master’s thesis on the rise of the American League in 1901,” he says. “I’m really, really into baseball.”
The 7th and 8th grade history teacher is so into the sport, he owns at least six Astros jerseys, as well as jerseys for every team in the MLB. On top of that, he has about 100 hats.
What Washburn values most, though, is the lesson he’s teaching his students about sportsmanship.
“See you tomorrow,” he says as kids file out of his classroom. “Go, Astros.”
“Go, Dodgers!” a student chirps back.
With a smile, Washburn says goodbye, adding a final “Go, Astros!”