Larry Dierker Recalls 1999 Collapse
by: Pat Hernandez, November 4, 2013 10:11:00 pm
Houstonians held their collective breath after Texans coach Gary Kubiak collapsed on his way to the locker room during halftime, including Larry Dierker. He was manager of the Houston Astros when he suffered a seizure and was unconscious in the dugout during a game in the Astrodome in 1999.
"They did drive their emergency vehicle into the Astrodome and put me on a gurney and stuck me in their and took me to the hospital just the same way they did with Gary. And so, my thought was Wow, this is what it must have been like when they took me away."
Dierker underwent brain surgery, and made a full recovery. Unlike the Texans who took the field the second half with Coach Wade Phillips, the Astros finished the game with the Padres the next time the two teams played.
"So there were similarities and there were differences, but one of the things that I got from it was a great feeling of good wishes and good will from all the Astros fans around Houston, and it meant a lot to me because I was conscious a couple of days later."
Dierker says the incident could serve as a wake-up call for Kubiak.
"I know he's gonna be thinking, 'I never want to go through that again, and maybe I need to take it easy and not take all of this to heart and try to take it all on my shoulders and try to bear the burden of the problem the team has alone.' And maybe he'll appreciate that in a way that it'll change his perspective on football and on his place in football."
He says the experience he had was humbling because of the genuine outpouring of the fans.