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2009 Community Outreach

Astros Community Relations Department and Astros In Action Foundation manage the various community outreach aspects of the Houston Astros Baseball Club that are of interest to fans. See what we've been up to this year.

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September 2009

Houston Astros MLB Urban Youth Academy Groundbreaking
Houston Astros MLB Urban Youth Academy Ground Breakingr In a special ceremony on September 25, Major League Baseball (MLB), the Houston Astros and the Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD) broke ground on the Houston Astros MLB Urban Youth Academy at Sylvester Turner Park. The future site of the second MLB Urban Youth Academy in the country will provide year-round free baseball and softball instruction to local youth ages 7-17. Several MLB officials, city and state representatives and baseball supporters were in attendance at the event emceed by Astros Hall of Fame broadcaster Milo Hamilton.

Houston Astros MLB Urban Youth Academy Ground Breaking

Some of the guests included Astros President of Business Operations Pam Gardner, MLB Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Jimmie Lee Solomon, State Representative Sylvester Turner, Astros Interim Manager Dave Clark, Astros first base coach Jose Cruz and players Michael Bourn, LaTroy Hawkins, and Wesley Wright.

After the groundbreaking ceremony, MLB hosted over 250 children from the Harris Academy and the local Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) Program to a youth-oriented event called Wanna Play?, providing various baseball activities such as batting and pitching cages, base running contests, and demonstrations by Houston Astros players and coaches.

Hawks Big League Bass Classic
On Thursday September 24 LaTroy Hawkins traveled to the Academy Sports + Outdoors store located on Houston's northwest side off highway 290 to sign autographs for fans. The appearance was part of his partnership with Academy to help promote his off-season charity event, Hawks Big League Bass Classic.

Hawk's Big League Bass Classic gives sports fans the exclusive opportunity to spend a November weekend in Del Rio, Texas fishing with him, four other Major League Baseball players and professional bass fishermen. During the month of September, Astros fans were able to register to win, at no charge to the winner, one of the five spots courtesy of Academy Sports + Outdoors. The exclusive weekend event convenes at Indianhead Ranch, a 10,000 acre, exotic hunting reserve complete with thousands of free roaming animals. Proceeds benefit Lifeline Youth and Family Services an organization that provides programs for children and families at risk for abuse, neglect, and delinquency.

Astros 2010 Player and Pet Calendar
Astros Pet Calendar The Houston Astros have teamed up with the Houston Humane Society (HHS); a Houston based non-profit organization, to produce the third annual Astros Player and Pet Calendar.

Astros players posed for photos with their pets, as well as homeless animals from HHS. Astros featured in the 2010 pet calendar include Jeff Keppinger, Doug Brocail, Hunter Pence, LaTroy Hawkins, Brian Moehler, Jason Michaels, Chris Sampson, Carlos Lee, Jeff Fulchino, Geoff Blum, Tim Byrdak, Lance Berkman, Darin Erstad and Mike Hampton.

Calendars went on sale September 22 and are just $15. They are available for purchase at Minute Maid Park in the Team Store, Houston area Petco stores, Houston Humane Society adoption centers and clinics and

The Houston Humane Society is a non-profit animal shelter dedicated to eliminating cruelty, abuse, and the overpopulation of animals.

Forecast - Lots of Sunshine
Minute Maid Park was filled with smiling young faces as the Sunshine Kids enjoyed a very special party with Astros legend, Craig Biggio. On September 14 the Astros, along with Craig and Patty Biggio, hosted approximately 200 people from the Sunshine Kids to a "play day" at the ballpark. After running around the field and taking swings off of Biggio's pitching, the kids enjoyed a ballpark dining experience in the FiveSeven Grille which included autograph and picture opportunities with the Astros star.

Sunshine Kids Party Sunshine Kids Party Sunshine Kids Party Sunshine Kids Party

Granting Wishes
Make a Wish The Astros were honored to be able to grant the wish of Zak Rosen on September 13. An avid Astros fan, Zak's wish was to throw out the first pitch before a game and work the Minute Maid Park scoreboards. Before doing both, the Astros treated Zak and his parents to lunch in the FiveSeven Grille.

Baseball Tomorrow Fund Equipment Drive
Equipment Drive Each year, clubs around Major League Baseball partner with the Baseball Tomorrow Fund to host equipment drives to support the growth of youth baseball and softball. On September 12, Astros fans made a pitch for Houston youth by taking part in the 2009 Astros and Baseball Tomorrow Fund Equipment Drive benefiting the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston. Items collected included baseballs, bats, cleats, gloves and helmets. Astros fan and youth baseball player Reed Fredricks helped make the drive a huge success by donating two full carloads of equipment he collected himself.

Along with the donated equipment, the Astros presented the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston with a $5,000 grant from the Baseball Tomorrow Fund to further help them purchased needed equipment.

Astros Play GreenTM
Hunter Pence The Astros Play GreenTM program continued in September with two events geared towards improving the environment and raising conservation awareness with children, the Earth's future caretakers.

On Thursday, September 10 Hunter Pence, the team's Play GreenTM Ambassador, joined Astros staff to help plant 20 trees at 300 North Post Oak Lane. The 20 trees represented the number of Astros home runs hit at Minute Maid Park in June and July. The Astros tree planting is in partnership with Keep Houston Beautiful, HLS Enterprises, Christison Landscape and Tree Town USA.

On Tuesday September 8, the Astros other Play GreenTM Ambassador Geoff Blum and Astros broadcaster Dave Raymond visited Woodland Hills Elementary School in Kingwood. An environmentally focused school, Blum's visit rewarded the students for their Earth-friendly efforts. While there, he read William Is Going Green to the second graders. William is an honest, good-natured, green hybrid garbage truck and the leader of the pack. His friends are a diverse crew of recycling trucks with very distinctive personalities; each painted the color that matches his or her individual duty. Blum presented the kids with their own autographed copy of the book, which is 100% recyclable, along with Play GreenTM baseball caps and tickets to a future Astros game.

Astros Play Green Astros Play Green

September's Hometown Hero
September's Hometown Hero Each month, the Astros In Action Foundation partners with CenterPoint Energy to recognize an individual who has gone above and beyond to serve their community as part of the CenterPoint Energy Hometown Heroes Program. On September 8, Ken Davis was honored as September's Hometown Hero.

Davis proudly serves as the principal at McNeill Elementary. While at Lamar CISD, he worked at two campuses and both schools received exemplary status - the highest ranking given to a school in the state of Texas. By building a culture of high expectation at both campuses among teachers, parents, and students, Davis has proven that his dedication can make a difference in his schools. In 2009, Davis received the honor of being named the Distinguished Principal for Texas and will represent Texas in October when all the distinguished principals from across the nation meet in Washington, D.C.

Roberto Clemente Award
Hunter Pence On September 4 Hunter Pence was recognized as the Houston Astros recipient of the 2009 Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevy. He is one of 30 Major League Club nominees for the national 2009 Roberto Clemente Award, which is given annually to the Major League Baseball player who combines outstanding skills on the baseball field with devoted work in the community. As he has quickly become an integral piece of the Astros championship aspirations, Pence has also willingly taken an active role in team activities off the field.

Previous Months - Click the month to see what the Astros were up to

August 2009 »

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March 2009 »

February 2009 »

January 2009 »