Central Texas Caravan, Day Two.

The Astros are currently in the midst of a nine-day caravan schedule that has them visiting more than a dozen cities, during which they stop by schools, sporting goods stores and other area stopping points.

No visits are more important, however, than the hospital visits, especially when children are involved.

The Astros spent about an hour and a half at the Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas on Tuesday, but everyone agreed that it probably should have lasted longer. It’s heartbreaking to see what these kids are going through, but heartwarming to see their faces light up when ballplayers walk into the room. It’s especially entertaining to watch a youngster as it dawns on him that yes, that was really Jeff Bagwell who shook his hand and introduced himself.  

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Other news and notes in Astroland:

Bud Norris loves the big leagues, but he still reflects fondly upon his Minor League years, especially when one certain special assistant to the general manager would roll through town for a couple of days.

“We’d see Bagwell lurking around, trying not to be noticed,” Norris said. “But as soon as we saw him, we knew: We were going to get a good dinner that night.”
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Speaking of Bagwell, he’s ready to go under the knife for another shoulder surgery, scheduled for Monday in Scottsdale, AZ.

He’s hoping to alleviate a lot of the pain that has not only returned, but appears to be getting worse.

The procedure will involve shaving the ball of his shoulder down to a perfect circle, drilling a hole in the middle and sticking a metal half-ball on top of it.

“They go into my shoulder and open it up — it won’t be arthroscopic, Bagwell said. “It’s actual surgery. They’ll take out all my bone spurs, there’s one big one in there that we’ve known about for a while.”

Read the full story, which includes more Bagwell insight, here.

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Park Patrol tryouts are scheduled for Feb. 5 from 4 to 7 p.m. CT and Feb. 6 from 9 a.m. to noon at Union Station. You might remember that the Park Patrol is an interactive squad that performs various home game duties, including t-shirt launches, prize giveaways and trivia contests while performing dance routines and “skits” with the Team Mascot.

Park Patrol members will perform these tasks LIVE in the stands, on ballpark concourses and will be featured on the stadium videoboard. They will also make appearances at season ticket holder events, Astros in Action Foundation events, and any approved event in connection with the Houston Astros.

To be considered for the Astros Park Patrol, please contact by phone or through e-mail to Dukeman Productions at 713-838-9855 or Kevin@dukemanproductions.com.

For more information, check out the Park Patrol page on Astros.com.

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Questions? Send to afooter@astros.com

3 Comments

These pictures are hard to take. It reminds me of these St Jude Hospital commercials here in Tennessee; it’s really heartwrenching.
It looks like Lindstrom is getting along well with Norris.
You may have been asked before, but who decides which players participate to these road trips? It seems like the only players on the active roster who actually ride the bus from town to town are rookies (Towles, Norris, Bourn, etc).
Also, I have yet to see Lyon or Lee on your pictures, whether on the caravan or at a dinner party. Are they not participating to off season activities at all?
One final question (sorry): I watched the short interview of Johnson and how the prospects were prepared to step in the big league (life in the bigs, etc). This is something I don’t know anything about. Do prospects get psychological help, financial advise, etc? Could it be the topic of a next post, maybe once the Astros Caravan is over? Maybe this is a request for Brian, I don’t know.
Thanks Ms. Footer.

Renaudtn, I’ll try to answer your questions to the best of my ability: 1) Most players are contacted to participate in the caravans. I do know that Lyon was trying to come to town for a couple, but his wife was due to have their third child sometime this month, so I’m assuming that’s why he wasn’t here. Not sure about Lee’s schedule. 2) The Rookie Development program is a 2 or 3 day seminar that is held near DC. Each team sends 3 or 4 players. The seminars involve discussions about just about everything, from how to deal with media to how to avoid traps such as gambling, shady people, etc. It’s all encompassing and the goal is to prepare future big leaguers for the spotlight before they get there.

Thanks for answering my questions Ms Footer.

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