Odds and ends: Wives gala, Race for the Pennant, young pros.

The Astros were anxious to put the results of Sunday’s homestand finale against the Rays out of their minds as quickly as possible, and they did so in party fashion, gathering at a nearby restaurant for a soiree supporting a very worthy cause.

The 21st annual Astros Wives Gala is scheduled to take place Aug. 12 at Minute Maid Park, but a tradition as long-standing as the gala itself is the party that thanks the underwriters for sponsoring the event. Astros players, their wives and a slew of adoring sponsors and fans took over Mo’s…A Place for Steaks on Post Oak, where gala chairs Morgan Keppinger and Heather Byrdak welcomed the crowd and made a short presentation thanking the sponsors.

Proceeds from the gala goes straight to the Houston Area Women’s Center, which provides shelter and support services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence. The gala alone has raised millions for the HAWC over the last two decades and is by far the biggest charity function of all of the charity events with which the Astros are involved.

Individual tickets for the Gala are $500 each, and table prices are priced as follows: $5,000 “Home Run” table of 10; $7,500 “Silver Slugger” table of 10;  $10,000 “Gold Glove” table of 10; $15,000 “Diamond” table of 10 and $25,000 “All-Star” table of 12. All-Star, Diamond, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger tables have the opportunity to select a player and his wife/guest to be seated at their table. Player requests are granted first by level of sponsorship and second in order received.

For ticket information, call 713-781-0053. We’ll post more on the Wives Gala as it gets closer, and I’ll dig out more pictures of past galas and post those in future blogs. In the meantime, enjoy the pictures from Sunday’s event:

Lance and Cara Berkman

Tim and Heather Byrdak


Kevin and Emily Cash


Jeff and Kerry Fulchino


Morgan and Jeff Keppinger


Kerry Fulchino, Morgan Keppinger, Pamela Michaels


Carlos Lee (with his wife Mary, sitting behind him).


Tommy Manzella and his girlfriend, Andrea.


Jason and Pamela Michaels


Ozzie Navarro.


Humberto and Michelle Quintero


Race for the Pennant

There is still time for early registration for Astros fans to participate in the 8th Annual Astros in Action Foundation Race for the Pennant. The 5K Run/Walk and Junction Jack’s Kids Fun Run will be this Saturday (May 29) and begins at Minute Maid Park, in front of Union Station on Crawford Street. The run will head toward the Elysian Viaduct, travel back through downtown Houston on La Branch Street, and finish inside the ballpark.

Runners and walkers are encouraged to register online in advance of the event by going to the astros.com/race. Registration forms are available now at all Academy Sports + Outdoors stores. In-person registration and packet pick-up will also be available at the Academy Sports + Outdoors located at 2404 Southwest Freeway on Thursday, May 27 (10 a.m. – 8 p.m.) and Friday May 28 (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.). Registration forms are also available in the Union Station Lobby and the Fan Accommodations booths (Section 112 and 323) at Minute Maid Park.

For the full Race rundown, click here.


Young professionals
During the last homestand, I snuck out to the patio area to check things out and soon came to the conclusion those are some of the best seats in the house.

Sure, you’re far from home plate, but the patio overlooks the bullpen and you’re directly behind Michael Bourn, who’s known to make some pretty sweet plays in center field.

The Budweiser Patio was hopping when I stopped by, so of course, I took pictures:










I’d also be remiss if I didn’t send out a friendly reminder that Saturday’s are “Young Professionals” nights, which offers a pretty nice package deal. For $48 per ticket, you score a ticket on the Budweiser Patio, eight wings or nachos, a 16 oz. beer or nachos, an Astros souvenir mug and an Astros cap.


Family Sundays

The lobby of Union Station turns into a mini-carnival every Sunday, complete with face painters, balloon artists, arts and crafts and other fun kid-friendly activities. The Kid’s Zone setup is up and running every Sunday until about 1:30 p.m., after the game starts:







Good work Alyson, as always. The “behind the scenes” stories and pictures are a humble reminder that the players are just normal people like you and I. No matter how the team is doing, they still have a life off the field.

I see Tommy Manzella is doing quite well for himself *thumbs up*

Looks like you interrupted Manzella’s scouting session of Johan Santana on the TV.

It sounds like you enjoyed itYou should look at it yourself.YesŁ¬I suppose So.What we read influences our thinking.Believe it or not!Would you care to see it sit down for a while?Would you care to see it sit down for a while?He is taller than I by ahead.Tomorrow will be a holiday.You might as well throw your money away as spend it in gambling.

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