A fun November day at the ballpark, and more comedic stylings from the Puma.

When Lance Berkman told his wife why he was going to Minute Maid Park Saturday afternoon, Cara Berkman summoned her three oldest kids (above) and said, “We’re going too.”

Berkman (aka Puma) was one of four Astros representatives to participate in an event designed to help 20 families who are transitioning from homelessness to self-sufficiency.”Take A Minute” marked the beginning of national Hunger and Homelessness Awareness week. Families were treated to a Thanksgiving meal, a tour of Minute Maid Park and an autograph session Berkman, Jeff Bagwell, Hunter Pence and manager Brad Mills.

Cara Berkman didn’t hesitate when she heard what the event was about.

“I said to Lance, ‘Homeless children? We’re going,’ Cara said. “I want my kids to see this and be involved. They need to understand there are people that have hard lives and need our help.”

Brian McTaggart gives a full report of the event here.

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Covering offseason activities is fun, mainly because players in general are well-rested and relaxed, and any fatigue and/or bitterness from a down year has pretty much subsided.

I chuckled a bit as I headed to the event, knowing it would take about two minutes for Puma and I to pick up where we left off — I snap pictures, he acts like he’s annoyed and then he spends the next several minutes lamenting the presence of Facebook and Twitter — “two things contributing to the downfall of society,” Berkman grumbles. (He was especially thrilled when I told him about Twit pic).

Bagwell isn’t quite so dramatic, but we did have a good laugh about the fake accounts floating around. To review, the Berkman Twitter account is bogus, and if you’re ever wondering if that is really Bagwell’s Facebook page, the answer is a resounding no. He’s made progress over the years when it comes to logging on but I can assure you he does not now, and never will, be a Facebooker.

Enjoy the pictures.

My attempts to take pictures of the four Astros at the autograph table were intercepted by one Puma, who just cannot help himself.

 

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Another block, this time, with a sweatshirt.

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So I switched my positioning and was a bit more successful. Here’s Pence, displaying his own brand of goofiness:

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Bagwell tapes a PSA for “Take A Minute.”

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Berkman and Pence, catching up after five weeks of no baseball.

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The new guy always gets the most attention. Brad Mills spent as much time granting media interviews as he did signing autographs.

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Autograph session

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Group photo

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And finally, a visit from Junction Jack.

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Try ‘em Before you Buy ‘em

Speaking of offseason fun at Minute Maid Park…

The Astros Ticket Services Department will host a Select-A-Seat event for fans interested in season tickets on Saturday, December 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

If you are interested in 2010 full season ticekts or 27-game mini-plans, come out to the ballpark for a one-on-one guided tour to find the perfect set of seats. Ticket sales representatives will offer valuable information on each available seat location to ensure you invest in the perfect plan.

Also, new for 2010 is the “Buy Two, Get Two Free” season ticket offer. As part of this package, fans purchasing two season tickets in the View Deck I and View Deck II seating levels or in select Terrace Deck sections will receive two additional season tickets in the same price level for free. These full season packages start at only $415 per season seat — only $5 per game.

The Astros are also offering special “Early Bird” incentives for those who buy their season tickets by Dec. 18. The incentives include a choice of taking batting practice, playing catch in the outfield or a taking clubhouse tour at Minute Maid Park. (At first glance, I’d go with the clubhouse tour. It’s pretty cool, although I would imagine for those of you whose baseball careers petered out in the seventh grade, batting practice might be fun).

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3 Comments

My Astros Making Me Proud Once Again
Can u email me info on getting a autograph from Lance and Baggy, i will make a donation my number is 646-300-1156 Anthony from NYC

It’s so good to hear there are selfless, giving athletes out there. Thank you for the story.

As I commented on that other blog (Tag’s Lines), I’d like to see more about Brad Mills.

I don’t want to diminish the important work the Astros, including Mr. Mills, are doing on the charity front. Good job, all of you.

But this is the Hot Stove season, and the Astros have a new manager. Yet I see just about as much of that cockamamie jackrabbit (Junction Jack) as I do of Mr. Mills, and the rabbit has said almost as much.

Can’t anybody do a substantive one-on-one interview with Brad Mills and tell us something about his philosophies? I know he’s available because I’ve seen these pictures of him at the charity event.

And if he and the Astros are refusing to answer questions any more hard-hitting than “How do you feel about being the manager of the Astros?” then that’s a story, too.

Brad Mills has had some time to get comfortable. He’s made at least one trip to see prospects in the Arizona Fall League. He’s surely had meetings with scouts and the front office. Isn’t it time for him to say something about what the future might hold, and to respond to some difficult questions?

Thanks, and lest you get the wrong idea, I do appreciate the pictures and other insights to the Astros that most fans never get to see. I just get frustrated by the lack of substance when I try to find out about the direction this baseball team is headed.

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