Houston Youth are ‘Bourn to Wynn.’

By Rachel Frey

The “Bourn to Wynn” three-day leadership program began with a slightly different start than originally planned.

As the participants knew, Michael Bourn, who helped create this program, was traded on Sunday to Atlanta. Jimmy “The Toy Cannon” Wynn, who also helped found this program, helped kick it off on Monday by talking about the qualities good leaders exhibit in their lives. Wynn was joined by Guest Host Madd Hatta from Houston’s 97.9 The Box, who helps facilitate each day’s activities.

“Bourn to Wynn is about dealing with adversity, and overcoming that adversity,” said Houston Astros MLB Urban Youth Academy Director Darryl Wade.

After Wynn spoke, Astros Assistant Director of Media Relations Sally Gunter and KHOU sportscaster Butch Alsandor talked about how their jobs fit together. Gunter showed the participants the products that  media relations puts out, such as media guides, game notes, and the monthly magazine. She also explained how media relations staff schedules interviews with the team for journalists.

Alsandor told about how he uses the information Gunter and the media relations staff send out to create each night’s newscast. Gunter and Alsandor also went on to talk about the paths they’ve taken to get to where they currently are, including explaining how important education and internships are.

Jason Bourgeois joined the program on day two to step in for Michael. As a fellow Houston native, he related well to the participants. He told them about how diligence has positively affected his career. He spent 9 years in the minor leagues, and kept working to earn a full-time spot on a Major League roster. Each offseason, he spends time in the Mexican Pacific League’s winter baseball league to keep practicing and getting better. Bourgeois believes that time has helped maintain his skill level through the off-season. He gives up a lot of time he could be spending with his family to become a better baseball player.

Jennifer Germer, Vice President of Marketing and Ticket Sales, Clint Pasche, Director of Marketing, Kirby Kander, Senior Director of Creative Services, and Brock Jessel, Director of Ballpark Entertainment, joined the youth to share what they do each day at work, and how they got there.  The students were really excited to meet the people who create the bobbleheads (Germer & Pasche), and were excited by the video clips Kander and Jessel brought.  The students asked them many questions, including how did bothdepartments dealt with the changes brought on by the trades.  The staff members told them about some of the changes they made and how they always try to focus on promoting the whole team, and not just players in case something like this happens.

Wednesday’s session focused on setting goals and putting a road map to success into action. Bourgeois, Wynn and Madd Hatta were on hand to lend their experience to the participants.  Head Trainer Nate Lucero joined them on the fields for some stretching and baseball instruction.

Each youth receives a Bourn to Wynn student booklet, T-shirt, poster, certificate, Astros baseball cap, Michael Bourn two-time Gold Glove bobblehead, and a baseball signed by both Bourn and Wynn.  The youths will be recognized before the Astros-Brewers game on Saturday, August 6, at Minute Maid Park with Jason and Jimmy alongside them.

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1 Comment

Houston has needed this for a loooooooong time. Hopefully, Bourn will still
be involved with it in some way! These kids HAVE to learn baseball!! We NEED
them! I just love “the toy cannon”! I remember him fondly. Great pictures, great
story!!! Thanks! Becky:) :) :) :) :)

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