Hunter at Habitat, Clint’s Crew, and Astros Play Green.

There are a lot of great things about Habitat for Humanity — obviously, providing permanent homes for people who otherwise cannot afford them is at the top of the list. But for the volunteers, it has to be doubly rewarding to actually help build those homes and see the finished product come to life, just as the recipients of this great cause are ready to move into their new digs.

The Astros have been working with Habitat for Humanity for four years and have made it a staple among a myriad of projects they take on during Play Green week. On Wednesday, dozens of front office personnel from both the Astros and FS Houston, along with Play Green ambassador Hunter Pence, gathered at the site of the newest Habitat home for some good old fashioned hard labor.

The house is completely “green,” meaning it’s environmentally sound from top to bottom, inside out. Several green features include vinyl, low E, double pane windows with a sunglass tint, 5/8” roof decking with a radiant barrier coating, high rating 16 SEER, 2.5 ton cooling system with 95 AFUE furnace and the entire home is wrapped in 7/16” OSB sheathing then covered with a 3/4” sheet of Dow high-performance Energy Star rated underlayment.

In other words, the new tenants will be in extremely comfortable surroundings while saving money and energy, too.

Pence, having spent multiple seasons as a Play Green ambassador, grabbed a hammer and nails and got to work.

“It’s about going out and doing something good for nature and for Mother Earth,” he said. “You have to take care of everything. It’s something I take a little pride in. I was just raised that way. It’s our responsibility to recycle and leave this (world) in good condition.”

Of his building skills, Pence said: “I need more practice. But I have done quite a bit of similar work. I have had my days of shoveling and hammering.”

Photos from the event:


Clint Barmes is new to the Astros this year, but it took no time for him to join in the club’s community efforts with a brand new program — Clint’s Crew.

The goal is to treat kids in Houston to a unique and memorable Astros experience. Once a month, on a Friday, a group of kids and their chaperones are welcomed to Minute Maid Park and given the unique opportunity to watch batting practice on the field and meet the Astros shortstop.

The group is given 20 tickets to the game, purchased by Barmes, with each one loaded with $10 that can be used to purchase food, beverages or other merchandise at most concession stands and retail locations throughout the ballpark.  In addition, everyone in the group receives a Clint’s Crew drawstring bag filled with Astros goodies.

The first Clint’s Crew group is from Special Olympics Texas.


And finally, images from Minute Maid Park, where the Astros are 1-1 heading into the series finale Thursday:

The media crush, Berkman's first day in town as a Cardinal.

Captured on FS Houston...friends with differing opinions. Patti Smith got to the bottom of the issue.

Craig Biggio stopped by batting practice...he's seen here chatting with Michael Bourn.

Bourn, preparing to take BP.

Biggio, JR Towles, Brad Mills, Jamie Quirk.

Brett Wallace, Chris Johnson, Matt Downs, Brian Bogusevic.

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I wish Bidge had said “Hey Mills, what the heck does a talented young catcher who has an OPS over 1.000 have to do to get some consistent playing time around here? I never would have been a future-Hall-of-Famer if I had gotten jerked around like you’re doing with J.R. Towles here!”

Not at all surprised that Clint would start something like this. Congratulations, Barmes!

Didn’t Lance do the same thing when he was here with Berkman’s Bunch or something like that? Treated kids to a game, meet and greet, and other stuff? Nice that Clint is following the tradition, but it certainly isn’t a brand new program. Give credit where credit is due, he is continuing an established practice from a prior player.

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