HOUSTON -- Had a few things gone differently, Indians manager Manny Acta could have been sitting in the home dugout at Minute Maid Park when the Indians opened their three-game series against the Astros on Friday.
"It will always be special for me to come here," said Acta. "I grew up rooting for the Astros and had the pleasure to sign a professional contract to play for them. Everything I have and I am, I owe it to them.
"They were the one who gave me the opportunity, not only to play professional baseball, but to make me a coach and to allow me to manage in the Minor Leagues. So, nothing would have been possible unless they took a chance on me."
Acta was signed by the Astros at age 17 as a first baseman. He reached Double-A as a first baseman/outfielder and played five seasons of professional baseball, all in the Houston organization. He also began his coaching career in the Astros' organization.
"So it will always be special for me to come over here," Acta said. "I grew up idolizing Cesar Cedeno and Joaquin Andujar and Luis Pujols and Dickie Thon -- [Rafael] Landestoy and some of those guys that were here.
"I'm a very colorful guy, too, so I love the rainbow uniforms. I wore it when I signed, too."
As part of Flashback Fridays, the Astros wore their rainbow uniforms on Friday.
Acta said he has the first uniform pants he ever wore in rookie ball back in 1987.
"A couple of years ago, one of their Minor League clubhouse managers found them in storage and gave them to me," Acta said. "So there's a lot of ties."