Offseason notes: Bourgeois, Bourn, a clubhouse bonanza and a farewell to one great teammate.
Jason Bourgeois’ logic for being so active in the Houston community is pretty simple: he’s a Major League Baseball player, he grew up here, and most importantly, “My mom always told me it’s better to give than to receive.”
In recent years, Bourgeois founded Jason Bourgeois Youth Sports, Inc., a foundation that raises funds to purchase equipment for inner city youth baseball programs. Last week, he hosted a golf tournament at Hermann Park Golf Course and raised $4,000 for the cause. Among the 44 participants were teammate Bud Norris and Diamondbacks outfielder Chris Young, a Houston native.
A few days later, Bourgeois met up with his former teammate and good friend Michael Bourn to serve Thanksgiving dinner to 100 families at the Fifth Ward Church of Christ. Bourn, who was traded to the Braves last July, attends this church and, like Bourgeois, views giving back to the Houston community a natural part of being an athlete.
“Houston’s always going to be my hometown,” Bourn said. “I’m always going to want to contribute. Now it’s the offseason when I can come back and do events like this and contribute back to the community.”
As you’ll see from the photos below, the two players did more than just pay for the meals, and they have the caps and aprons to prove it…
The Astros are still looking for interns in their Tours, Community, Grassroots Marketing, Street Team and Urban Youth Academy. The internships are offered to college students for class credit. For more information, click here.
I’ve received a few questions from you regarding the Astros Clubhouse Extravaganza Dec. 9 and 10 at Minute Maid Park. Basically, the home clubhouse is turning into a team store for two days and will feature Authentic goods, in addition to select game jerseys, jackets and leftover baseballs and bats from the season.
Admission is $10 and will go toward your purchase. You will also be able to tour the dugouts and take pictures, meet Junction Jack and have a bite to eat. Tickets will be available at the door — the Diamond Club entrance off Texas Ave. — the day of the event. The hours of operation are Friday Dec. 9 from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information, call the Team Store at 713-259-8077 or click here.
And we conclude on a somewhat sad note, as it’s time to bid a fond farewell to a staff favorite in the Astros front office. Sally Gunter, better known to those who follow along on Twitter as my favorite trending topic #sallygunter, spent the last five years providing valuable contributions to the Astros media relations department in a variety of roles. She’s been the assistant media relations director for most of her tenure here, but effective Dec. 1, she’s taking her talents West to join the public relations staff at Heavenly Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe.
We’re happy for #sallygunter — I mean, with a job like that, how can you not be thrilled for her, albeit a little envious — but believe me, she’s going to be missed around here. A lot.
She’s extremely popular with the players, manager and coaching staff both for her exemplary work and no-nonsense approach. I always looked on with amusement when #sallygunter pulled a young player aside to explain how it works around here (“when I send you a text message, you need to respond”) or when she shuffled players onto the makeshift rafters for the annual team photo (“no, Carlos, you may not sit in the front row with the bat boys.”). One player in particular enjoyed the simple act of not wearing a shirt while doing interviews, mainly because teammates found it funny, but he knew better than to try to get away with it when #sallygunter was around. Once, when approached postgame by a camera crew, he grabbed a t-shirt and moped as he put it on. “Sally’s making me,” he grumbled.
In short, #sallygunter is equal parts hard-working, forthright and, most importantly to your friendly neighborhood blogger (especially during road trips), fun.
She will be missed by many. But we’re happy that she’s landing somewhere fantastic, especially since it gives us a good place to take a vacation. Good luck Sal!
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