Feel like Talkin’ Baseball? Join us on Saturday.

The doors of Minute Maid Park will be open on Saturday at 10 a.m., and we hope Astros fans will join us for the annual baseball bonanza affectionately known around here as FanFest.

In addition to player autograph sessions and fun activities on the field, we’ll also be hosting several Talkin’ Baseball sessions. From the Social Media side, we are planning for an interactive chat session with Brad Mills and Bud Norris from 2:30 to 3 CT in Union Station that will connect fans who are at FanFest in person and those following online.

We will take questions from our cyber-audience through this link. Fans who attend the chat in person in Union Station will also have the opportunity to ask questions of our manager and starting pitcher. All answers will be transcribed on our chat page for everyone to read.

In the meantime, I need to brush up on my Astros history, quickly. I’ll be moderating a Talkin’ Baseball session titled “50 Years of Astros Baseball,” during which we’ll reminisce with a bunch of former players about 50 years of Major League Baseball in Houston.

Expected guests include: Jim Deshaies, Jimmy Wynn, Jose Cruz, Enos Cabell, J.R. Richard and Larry Dierker. The session will take place in Union Station from 4:30 to 5:15 p.m.

Other Talkin’ Baseball sessions, all of which will take place in Union Station, include:

* The 2012 Season Outlook, 11:15 a.m. to noon
The panel: George Postolos, Jeff Luhnow, Brad Mills. Moderated by Milo Hamilton.

* Story Time with Milo Hamilton, 12:45 to 1:15.

* 50th Anniversary Plans, 1:30 to 2:15 p.m.

During this session, we’ll be previewing what’s on deck for Flashback Fridays, including retro uniforms, fireworks and alumni first pitches. We’ll also talk about fan involvement in the 25-man roster vote and the premium giveaways aimed toward celebrating our 50th anniversary, including a “Greatest Moments” Bobblehead set and many retro items from every era of Houston baseball.

The Panel: Christie Miller, Promotions and Special Events Coordinator; Mike Acosta, Authentication Manager. Moderator: me!

* Talkin’ Youth Baseball (GSFYB), 3 to 3:45 p.m. CT

The panel: Jason Bourgeois, Daryl Wade, Fred Arnold.

A full schedule of FanFest activities can be found here. We hope to see you Saturday!

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Without looking it up, do you know who the starting pitcher was for the Colt 45s on April 10, 1962?

Turk Farell?

Hey Alyson, what exactly is the Astros Garage Sale? Is it 2011 merchandise that was never sold, or various items that players would think are trash (eg. a broken bat) but are good as gold to fans, or…? Never been to Fanfest before, thinking about it.

Not sure how many broken bats will be on sale but yes, a lot of merchandise from previous season as well as leftover giveaway items. Things like that.

Here’s some trivia.
1. Name the only pitcher to pitch a 9 inning complete game no-hitter and lose the game.
2. In 1969 the Astros tied a major league record originally set by the New York Yankees in 1943. What was that record?
3. Name the two Astros players who each hit a grand slam home run in the same inning.
4. Who was the first Astro to hit for the cycle?
5. What were the Astrodomes original demensions in 1965 and what made it so difficult to hit home runs down the left field line and the right field line?

1. Ken Johnson
2. They turned 8 double plays in a game.
3. Menke and Wynn
4. Cesar Cedeno
5. You had to hit the ball into the seats in the mezzanine for it to be a home run.

Since he will be a guest there, when are the Astros going to retire J.R. Richard’s number? He was the most dominant pitcher in the league in his prime. J.R.’s numbers were comparable to Don Wilson’s and his number is retired.

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