Astros notes: Road tripping in Miami with a slightly altered roster.

The Astros hit the road this week for their first games away from Minute Maid Park with a slightly different look to their roster. As expected, Jed Lowrie, fresh off a successful rehab stint with Triple-A Oklahoma City, has rejoined the Astros and will be in the lineup Friday when the team begins a three-game weekend set with the Miami Marlins at their newly-minted ballpark near South Beach.

To make room for Lowrie on the 25-man roster, Brian Bixler was optioned to Oklahoma City.

You’ll hear a familiar voice on the radio if you listen to the Astros games while they’re in Miami.  Milo Hamilton, who normally announces only home games, is with the club for this leg of the trip. The Marlins ballpark will be No. 59 on his list of Major League stadiums he’s called games from.

Finally, please enjoy this writeup from guest blogger Dairanetta Spain, the Astros’ manager of community affairs. This week, she tackles the Astros Buddies Club, a time-honored tradition that has spanned generations and reached thousands of kids over the years.

Rainbows and Shooting Stars: Astros Buddies Kids Club Goes Retro

By Dairanetta Spain

It’s interesting how often fans mention that Astros alumni Jose “Cheo” Cruz, Jimmy “The Toy Cannon” Wynn, J.R. Richard and many more were their Astros Buddy or how often they share that they were a “Buddy.”

For years, the franchise’s kids club has connected youth to their hometown team since its inception, dating back to the Colt .45s era (then the Six Shooter Club).  Some members have remained close to the team and are current season ticket holders, avid fans and even current Astros employees.

The club has evolved through the years, but a kid’s connection to the club remains the heart and focus. Year after year, Astros Buddies receive their own personalized membership package enclosed with a membership card, their favorite player’s photo card and Astros trinkets, which have varied from season-to-season. Past and present Buddies events range from Photo Day at the Astrodome to the Members-Only autograph party and Buddies Behind-The-Scenes Day.

Among Astros “Flashback Fridays”, Walk of Fame inductions and 50th anniversary giveaways, the retro-themed 2012 Coca-Cola Astros Buddies Kids Club gives members their own piece of Astros history.

The 2012 Buddies club offers two memberships to choose from – the free Rookie membership and the loaded $20 MVP membership – there’s affordable fun for everyone!

In addition to members-only autograph sessions and a kids press conference with players, MVP members receive four free tickets to an Astros home game, a collector’s baseball cap, rainbow jersey drawstring bag, a wall banner, and other cool items, all celebrating the team’s 50th anniversary.

Kids 14 and under can be a part of the club’s 50th anniversary by joining at

Astros Authentics Manager and former Buddies member Mike Acosta (far left) with Joe Niekro at Photo Day on August 18, 1985.

The original kids club when the Colt .45s started up in 1962 was the Six Shooter Club. Here's the membership card.

Premium items for Buddies Club members.

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Is that a stock photo or a pic from your window seat?
My two boys (Chris 8, Ryan 6) are now mvp members of the “club”, which I never even knew existed. I personnely like the orange striped polyester feel unis— it’s what I grew up watching and wearing. Thanks, Bob Droubi

Yes l have fond memories of my membership in the Buddies club. I seem to remember that Enos Cabell and Cesar Cedeno were my buddies.

So I couldn’t wait till our son was big enough to join. This is his second year. He’s turning 4 tomorrow so he’s not quite sure yet what the Buddies Club is all about. But hey there’s some perks for mom & dad too. The 4 free tickets thing is great because you can either claim the tix which I think are upper deck tix or can apply the monetary value of the tix against a discount on better seats which is what we did last year. Had good field box seats by right field line when Hunter returned back to MMP.🙂

I also have fond memories of my membership in the Astros Buddies. For me, it was Roger Metzger (I was a shortstop back then) and Cesar Cedeno. I still remember being on the field and having Bob Gallagher show us the proper footwork for fielding first base and Roger Metzger showing us how to turn the double play and not get taken out by the runner (something I should have paid more attention to, since in college I did get taken out on a double play). I don’t have any of the memorabilia any more, but the club was instrumental in me becoming an Astros fan and making sure that a trip to the ballpark was on the itinerary every time I return to Houston.

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