Saturday roundup: gifts, scholarships and honoring Brownie.

The crowd braving 100-degree temperatures on Saturday, while waiting for the gates to open, probably wasn’t expecting a healthy portion of the Astros’ roster to come barreling out of the doors near the Texas Avenue entrance. Count Buddy Lamothe as one of the surprised fans who got an eyeful as Ed Wade, Brad Mills and several Astros players made a beeline from the Diamond Club entrance over to the wheelchair-bound pitcher and his family.

Lamothe, the pitcher who was paralyzed in a diving accident shortly before he was drafted by the Astros in June, barely noticed the van that was parked nearby. That is, until Wade informed him that the van was for him. The wheelchair accessible vehicle was a gift to Lamothe, courtesy Drayton McLane and the Astros in Action Foundation.

As Brian McTaggart writes, the gift presented to Lamothe, whom the Astros selected in the 40th round of the First-Year Player Draft out of San Jacinto College in Houston earlier this year, came a complete surprise.

“It’s hard to actually make me surprised, but this one got to me,” Lamothe said.

In addition to Wade and Mills, players Clint Barmes, David Carpenter, Mark Melancon, Sergio Escalona, Fernando Rodriguez and Bud Norris were also on hand to help with the presentation.


Philanthropy and random acts of kindness were popular topic on Saturday. Astros television announcer Bill Brown spoke on those very topics when he was honored by the Texas Italian-American Sports Foundation at its annual scholarship awards luncheon at Damian’s Cucina.

The TIASF salutes a different pillar of the community every year and this time around it selected Brownie, who is celebrating his 25th year in the booth as one of the broadcasting voices of the Astros.

Brownie noted the Astros’ relentless presence on the Houston charity scene, whether it’s the donation of money or simply meeting young people and encouraging them to strive to get their educations and become leaders in their own right.

The TSIAF handed out more than $17,000 in scholarship money at the luncheon to Houston kids heading to college.  Five Astros players helped hand out the checks — Carpenter, Melancon, Barmes, Jordan Lyles and Brian Bogusevic.

Bob Aspromonte, pictured here with emcee Milo Hamilton, was one of the original Colt .45s and later was tabbed "Aspro the Astro." He is still active in the Houston community and supports many Astros-related events.

Barmes, Melancon, handed out scholarship checks to soon-to-be college athletes.

David Carpenter during the check presentation.

Brian Bogusevic.


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Wow. Aspro looks awfully darn spry for the guy I used to pretend to be in 1966-67-68…………of course, I was only a kiddiegarter then……….;-}
Great story, Directrix, thanx for the pic of one of my all-times!
Peace from the Great NorthWet!

The gift to Lamothe is probably the greatest transaction Drayton has ever made. That goes much further than anything he could put on the field. Good move, man. Glad it got coverage, Footer.

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