Restaurant Owner Serves Up Barbeque, Baseball History

Six days a week, Russell Turner serves up pounds of barbeque and a hefty helping of baseball talk.

"I've been going to the games ever since I was a kid," Russell said. "It just kind of got in my blood."

When you stop in at All-Star Barbeque in Rusk, be sure to ask for the owner, Russell. He is a diehard Astros fan, whose business is a bit of a museum.

"I thought, I love baseball and if I'm going to spend all my waking hours down here, I'm going to put something up I enjoy seeing," he said.

Step up to the cash register, and below is a display case loaded with memorabilia. The walls are plastered with posters, pennants and autographed pictures.

"The more you know in my opinion about the game, the more you love it," Russell said.

His collection rivals the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. He has a complete set of player cards from the 1962 Colt 45's team and programs from some of their first games.

There is a picture taken with Roger Clemmons, Red Sox, not yet an Astro.

Then there is his favorite, an autographed throwback jersey.

"My son and I have been on a quest to get as many ex-Astros or current Astros and coaches to sign it."

Russell and his son have waited in the cold or in line for hours to get it signed. So far so good. Among the names, Jeff Bagwell and Russell's favorite player, Craig Biggio.

Russell has seen many come and go in the almost 100 games he's attended. While the faces on the team may change, he doesn't forget them. He hopes his customers do the same.

"You see any old Colt 45 stuff or Astros stuff, keep me in mind."

Maya Golden reporting