Houston Chronicle photojournalist Karen Warren was inducted into the Houston Baseball Media Wall of Honor on Sept. 14, becoming the first photojournalist and second woman to receive this honor since the award’s inception in 2007.
Each season, a current or former Houston media member is inducted into the Houston Baseball Media Wall of Honor for significant and lasting contributions to the landscape of Houston baseball through his or her work in journalism or broadcasting.
NP: What was it like that night to be on the other side of the camera?
KW: Being on the other side of the camera was incredibly intimidating. It was hard enough standing on the field with everyone looking at me. The next day, I ran into Jeff Bagwell, former Astros first baseman and member of MLB’s Hall of Fame. As he was congratulating me, I told him how intimidating it was to have all of the cameras pointed at me, and now, after all these years, I finally understand what that feels like for those caught in the spotlight. His reply: “Karen, you will get used to it.” Well, Jeff, no … that was a one-time thing for me, but thanks for the advice!
NP: This was an honor. How do you feel about it?
KW: This was a huge honor for me. I was floored to be nominated! I am happy that a photographer is on the wall but never guessed it would have been my name on the plaque. It’s really pretty cool that the Astros do this for the media. I am not aware of any other Houston sports teams that stop to honor and spotlight the media. So hats off to the Astros.
NP: Are you the first woman to be given this award from the Astros?
KW: I am not the first woman to be on the Wall of Honor. The first woman was Anita Martini, who was the first inductee in 2007.
*From Wikipedia: Anita Martini was a sports journalist and broadcaster and the first woman to cover a Major League Baseball All-Star Game (1973) and the first female journalist allowed into a baseball locker room in 1974. She died in 1993.
NP: Any standout memory from covering the Astros?
KW: The first time the Astros clinched the pennant in 2005 was a wild ride. The best game is always referred to as “the 18-inning game” where we saw Roger Clemens pitching in relief in the 16th inning and Chris Burke’s wild walk-off home run to end the six-hour game. Craig Biggio’s 3,000th hit was also a crazy night. And, of course, the 2017 World Series and playoff runs. Game 5 of the series was one of the wildest games I have ever photographed!
Karen Warren is applauded as she accepts a plaque from the Houston Astros naming her to the Astros Media Wall of Fame during a ceremony before the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Minute Maid Park on Sept. 14, 2018. Photo by Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle