Houston Astros catcher Jason Castro arrived back at Bush Intercontinental Airport Wednesday night from New York City where he represented his team and the city at the All-Star Game.
"It was an honor," Castro said in an interview with FOX 26 Sports. "I'm excited about where this organization is headed . I think this is just the beginning for the Houston Astros in the American League.
"I think in these next few years, with who we have coming up the pipeline, it's an exciting time. I'm grateful and excited to be a part of it."
Castro enjoyed every second of his first time as an All-Star as the American League beat the National League 3-0.
"It's pretty surreal," Castro said. "The whole All-Star process is a pretty incredible experience. I was grateful to be a part of it. Hopefully, there'll be more to come.
"I was proud to be able to represent Houston in the first year in the American League."
Among the many special moments for Castro, being involved in the game's opening ceremonies is near the top of his list.
"It was pretty special," Castro said. "That was definitely something I'll never forget, being out on that field and being able to take part in that opening ceremony.
"It was pretty cool."
And Castro's wife, Maris, and his family were at Citi Field to experience the moment with him.
"It was great to be able to share it with them," Castro said. Obviously, having my dad and my mom and my brother there, they did a lot for me growing up.
"My dad coached a lot of my Little League teams and things like that. So that was pretty cool to be able to share that with them."
Unfortunately, with the home-field advantage in the World Series riding on the outcome, with the game relatively close, and with Castro being one of the American League's three catchers, he did not get to play.
"Obviously, I would have wanted to get on the field, but it's understandable with what the game means now, with the playoff implications that are riding on the game," Castro said.
"It is what it is. That's the way it has to be. There were quite a few guys who didn't get in. It was a decently close game and that's just the way it is."
Castro was thrilled to be part of the last All-Star game involving New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who is retiring.
"It was an honor to share a locker room with Mariano Rivera in his last All-Star season," Castro said.
"I got a chance to talk to him a little bit. He's a great guy. He's done a lot for the game. It was a pretty special moment last night. It was incredible to be there."
Rivera was one of the many All-Stars Castro had a chance to get to know beyond competing against them.
"I think just everything about it, just being in that clubhouse and meeting a lot of those guys, kind of on a first-name basis for the first time," Castro said.
"We play against a lot of them, but it's a lot different when you're sharing a clubhouse with them. You kind of get to see another side of them.
"It was a fun experience."